Other Scholarship Opportunities

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Other Scholarship Opportunities

Scholarships available for undergraduate students studying abroad

With advance planning, you may be able to obtain scholarship and loan money for your LeapYear program. Below are several scholarships that we have found to be helpful for LeapYear students.

  • GoAbroad.com Complete Guide to Study Abroad Scholarships: A great central location for a wide variety of funding sources.
  • Test Drive Your Future: Gap year scholarships for students 18 - 25 who wish to use their gap year experience as an "Extreme Test Drive" (to figure out what they really want to do with their college and career path).
  • LIVFund: LIVFund was established in 2011 in order to recognize and proudly support study, internship and volunteer opportunities in Latin America. LIVFund has been designed for anyone who wants to learn, intern or volunteer [LIV] in Latin America and is seeking financial assistance in order to offset program or living abroad expenses. Their goal is to help others get the most out of their experience abroad.
  • Fund for Education Abroad: The Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) was created in order to open doors for deserving education abroad students. Starting with the 2011-2012 academic year, FEA will award funds for students planning to study abroad on any academically rigorous programs.
  • The Foundation for Global Scholars: A non-profit organization located in Denver, Colorado whose mission is to create global citizens and leaders by assisting students in achieving their personal and professional goals of obtaining cultural and academic experiences abroad. The Foundation will support this mission by awarding scholarships to help enable students to obtain an international experience. Students who are from underrepresented populations in international education are a priority.
  • Schepp Foundation: Requires university credit and good GPA.
  • Marion Wright Edelman Scholarship: Requires university credit (for students of minority background).
  • America's Unofficial Ambassadors: Scholarships ranging from $2,000 - $5,000 to support Americans volunteering in Muslim-majority countries.
  • Freeman Awards for Study in Asia (Freeman-ASIA): They offer awards of up to $7,000 to U.S. undergraduate students needing financial support to study abroad in East/Southeast Asia. The primary goal of this scholarship is to increase the number of American undergraduates who study in East and Southeast Asia by providing them with the information and financial assistance they will need.
  • Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program: Gilman Scholarships provide up to $5,000 for American students to pursue overseas study for college credit. Students studying critical need languages are eligible for up to $3,000 in additional funding as part of the new Critical Need Language Supplement program. Critical Need Languages include Arabic, Chinese. Korean, Russian, Turkic (Azerbaijani, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Turkish, Turkmen, Uzbek), Persian (Farsi, Dari, Kurdish, Pashto, Tajiki), Indic (Hindi, Urdu, Nepali, Sinhala, Bengali, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Sindhi). They have approx. 2 applicants for each award.
  • The Critical Language Scholarship: The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is a fully-funded overseas language and cultural immersion program for American undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Bridging Scholarships: They offer $2,500 scholarships to students participating in study programs in Japan.
  • British Council: Funding studies in the United Kingdom.
  • Institute of International Education: Provides scholarships for study outside of W. Europe, Australia, New Zealand & Canada.
  • Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarships: For undergraduate, graduate & vocational study, the scholarship is set up to further international understanding and friendly relations among people of different countries and geographical areas.
  • Scholarships for Multicultural Students: Hosted by Michigan State University, this page lists several scholarships for various minority groups.
  • UK 9/11 Scholarship Fund: For those who lost a parent or guardian in the 9/11 attacks.
  • The Earth Island Institute Brower Youth Award: An organization that recognizes young people for their outstanding activism and achievements in the fields of environmental and social justice advocacy. Maximum Award: $3,000. Eligibility: youth ages of 13-22. Deadline: May 15.
  • The Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarships: The Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarships offer financial assistance to two graduating seniors with documented learning disabilities (LD) who are pursuing post-secondary education.
  • Varsity Tutors College Scholarships: Monthly $1000, based on an essay.
  • International Internships: $100 - $500, based on essays.
  • University Tutor Scholarships: Monthly $1000, based on a short essay. Eligibility: Ages 16 and up.

Scholarships for Californian residents:

Most states have scholarships for their residents - search for scholarships in your specific state online. Also, a number of universities offer entrance scholarships to students that have participated in an alternative education or gap year program.  When you're looking at schools, remember to ask about gap year scholarships.

Scholarships for people with disabilities, including learning disabilities:

Free scholarship services & information

These services offer more information on how to find and apply to scholarships you are eligible for:

Loans for study abroad

  • GreenNote: An organization that helps students connect with their social network—friends, family, friends of family, community leaders and others—to ask for small student loans. GreenNote helps formalize everything into legally binding loans and handles all the details.


Get creative! Try connecting with your local community, religious and academic organization. Your local Rotary Club is a great place to start. These groups may set aside funding or take special collections for students. They might also choose to sponsor a student, because these groups often see students volunteering abroad as representatives or role models and may even ask you to speak at their meetings when you return home.

Past students have written to friends and family and requested a donation toward their LeapYear in lieu of birthday or Christmas presents. Some restaurant chains have a deal where you invite a bunch of people to come and eat, and they give 10% of the final amount paid back to you as a fundraising support. Get donations from businesses and friends for auction items, and hold an auction to help you pay for your year.

Other LeapYear students have substantially reduced the cost of their program by gathering frequent flyer miles for their international and domestic airfares (potential savings of up to $3,000), by choosing low-cost or paying internships, and by fundraising through friends and family. LeapYear students have raised up to $7,000 through these kinds of efforts.

Check out this excellent guide to fundraising for travel written by Blake Boles of Unschool Adventures.