We find incredible young leaders from all backgrounds and are proud to award need-based scholarships.

As part of our commitment to advancing equity and opportunity for all, we award need-based scholarships to qualified applicants who would not otherwise be able to afford our leadership experiences.


We offer more aid and scholarships for gap year students than any other gap year program.

Global Citizen Year awards both merit and need-based gap year scholarships, and is committed to making this experience accessible. The full gap year's cost of tuition is $32,500. To date, 80% of our Fellows have received a partial scholarship, and 30% of those have received a full ride. We will work closely with you and your family to understand your financial need before determining your financial aid package.

During the application process, you’ll have the opportunity to fill out a simple Financial Aid Application and send us your FAFSA.

Your financial need does NOT factor into admissions decisions. Fellows are chosen according to our Selection Criteria, not their ability to pay or financial need.

If you’re admitted to Global Citizen Year, we will work with you and your family to understand your financial need before determining your financial aid package. You’ll receive your financial aid award with your admissions decision.


We award merit gap year scholarships to exceptional applicants.

Each application deadline we honor exceptional applicants who have demonstrated leadership in their classroom and/or community. We are looking for students who take the initiative to stand up for what they believe and collaborate with others to make a positive impact through their leadership experience.

Each year we award up to 20 gap year scholarships between $5,000 - $15,000!

Global Changemaker Scholarship

All applicants are automatically considered for the Global Changemaker Scholarship which awards up to $10,000 to a select number of Fellows who demonstrate a track record of significant leadership and entrepreneurship.

Eligibility: All applicants are eligible.

How to Apply: All applicants are automatically considered.

College Partner Scholarships

Students who have been admitted to and decide to defer from one of our partner colleges in order to take a gap year with us, will be awarded a $5,000 merit scholarship toward their Global Citizen Year tuition.

Eligibility: Students who have been admitted to and defer from one of our partner colleges. Visit our What About College page for a complete list.

How to Apply: On the application, check off any partner colleges to which you have applied.

Tech For Good Scholarship

Students with a passion for science and technology who intend to pursue a STEM degree in college are invited to apply for one of fifteen Tech For Good merit scholarships. The selected Tech For Good Fellows will be awarded a $10,000 scholarship toward their Global Citizen Year tuition. These Fellows will participate in a special curriculum focusing on the complex relationship between technology, poverty, and development, and explore ways to use technology to drive positive social impact.

Eligibility: US-based applicants with a passion for science and technology and intent to pursue a STEM degree in college. The deadline to apply for this opportunity is April 1, 2020.

How to Apply: Check the Tech For Good box on your application. You will then be prompted to submit a short essay response describing why you are qualified for this scholarship.

United World Colleges Scholarship

Through a partnership with United World Colleges International and patron Shelby M.C. Davis, we are offering up to 40 Davis Global Citizen Year Scholarships. Scholarships cover airfare from Global Citizen Year training in California to your host country, in-country program expenses, and room and board. These gap year scholarships are evaluated based on financial need.

Eligibility: Offered exclusively for UWC students.

How to Apply: Check the UWC Davis Scholarship box on your application.

College Track Scholarship

Students who are part of College Track are eligible for a merit scholarship covering the full cost of the Global Citizen Year program.
Eligibility: Must be a College Track student

How to Apply: Check the College Track box on your application.

How much does this cost?

Our full tuition is $32,500, and we offer both merit and need-based scholarships. We are committed to making our program accessible, and historically, about 30% of our class have received a FULL gap year scholarship, and an additional 50% have received partial gap year scholarships. Visit our Tuition & Financial Aid page for more information about merit scholarship opportunities and what is included in tuition.

How selective is this?

We have a selective admissions process. Of all the great students that apply to be part of our program, 25% become Global Citizen Year Fellows. We are heartened, encouraged and excited to see the growing interest in taking a gap year. Every year since our founding we have grown our Fellow cohort and we will continue to work to meet increasing demand.

What about college?

Most colleges are supportive of gap years - not surprising when studies show that gap students get higher GPAs and are more active on campus. Whether you choose to defer your acceptance or to re-apply, our Director of College Admissions Guidance will support you through the process. We're also proud to offer several college partnerships.


Each semester, we carefully review all incoming scholarship applications, and regularly have more outstanding candidates than scholarships available.

We are dedicated to making the Academy accessible to talented young leaders from all backgrounds. We also know that people from the global south and people who identify as BIPOC are underrepresented in positions of leadership and disproportionately impacted by income inequality. Therefore, our scholarships target individuals without the means to afford the Academy, with a need- and demographically-aware philosophy to ensure that we are giving access to traditionally underserved groups.


1. Complete the Online Application & Check the Scholarship Box

Complete the online application for the Academy as usual. If you are unable to afford the tuition, there’s a check-box on the application where you can indicate that, if accepted, you would like to apply for a need-based scholarship.

2. Receive Admissions Decision & Financial Aid Application

The Admissions Team will carefully review your application and email you an admissions decision within 5 business days of applying. If accepted, you will receive instructions to apply for a scholarship.

3. Submit Financial Aid Application within Two Weeks

You will have two weeks to submit your clearance requirements which includes a financial aid application. All applicable clearance requirements must be submitted for your scholarship request to be considered:

  • Financial Aid Application
  • System Check to make sure you can effectively use our Learning Management tool
  • English language assessment (if applicable)
Because of the high volume of scholarship requests, if you do not submit your clearance requirements within the allotted two weeks, we will need to cancel your scholarship request. However, even if you miss the two-week scholarship deadline, your acceptance to the Academy still stands and you are welcome to participate without a scholarship.

4. Receive Welcome Packet & Scholarship Award

The Admissions Team will carefully review your completed financial aid application and clearance requirements, and will then email you a Welcome Packet that includes information on whether you’ve been awarded a scholarship.

5. Reserve Your Spot within Two Weeks of Receiving your Welcome Packet

After receiving your Welcome Packet, you will have two weeks for you and your parent/guardian to e-sign the Welcome Packet, submit your deposit (if applicable) and select your course times. Due to high demand, we cannot hold your scholarship or spot in the Academy if we do not receive your signed Welcome Packet and deposit within the allotted two weeks.

If you are unable to afford the offer in your Welcome Packet, you can contact and request to be added to the scholarship waitlist should additional funding become available. We cannot guarantee that a student on the waitlist will receive an additional scholarship.

6. Join the Academy Student Community

Congrats and welcome to the Academy community! Once you’ve completed the steps above, you’ll gain exclusive access to Meet & Greets with your new classmates and Academy alumni.


UWC Student and Alumni Need-Based Scholarships: Thanks to United World Colleges (UWC) International patron Shelby M.C. Davis, Global Citizen Year is pleased to offer eligible UWC students and alumni access to Global Citizen Year Spring 2022 Academy through need-based scholarships.

Eligibility: UWC students and alumni ages 17-21

Scholarship: All UWC students and alumni accepted to the Academy will be awarded a $1,000USD UWC Davis scholarship. The remaining tuition is $4,000USD, and additional financial aid is available based on demonstrated financial need.

Deadlines: October 29 and November 19, 2021. We encourage UWC students and alumni to apply early as scholarships are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

UWC Partner Scholarships: Students who are enrolled in partner UWCs at the time of Academy participation are eligible to receive a full $5,000USD scholarship through the Global Citizen Year and UWC partnership. Eligible UWC partnership applicants will receive a full-tuition scholarship to the Academy on a first-come, first-served basis funded by Shelby M.C. Davis.

We are thrilled to welcome the following UWC Schools and Colleges into the UWC Partner program for the Spring 2022 Academy Semester:

  • Li Po Chun UWC of Hong Kong
  • UWC Adriatic
  • UWC Dilijan
  • UWC East Africa
  • UWC Maastricht
  • UWC Mostar
  • UWC Red Cross Nordic
  • UWC Robert Bosch College
  • UWC South East Asia
  • UWC Thailand
  • Waterford Kamhlaba UWC of Southern Africa

If you have questions about the UWC partnership scholarship, or you’re interested in establishing a partnership for your UWC campus, please contact for more information.

*There is a limited number of scholarships available for eligible UWC partnership applicants. Scholarships will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Please apply as early as possible in the application cycle.

What do I need to submit to apply for a scholarship?

If you’re accepted you’ll receive detailed instructions to apply for a scholarship. The financial aid application requires three pieces of information all of which must be submitted for your scholarship request to be complete:

  • 2021-2022 CSS Profile OR FAFSA Student Aid Report
  • Login to Minvera’s Forum to complete a Tech Check
  • English language assessment (if applicable)

How do I send my completed CSS Profile form to Global Citizen Year?

Please complete the 2021-2022 CSS Profile if you are not a U.S. citizen. When you have successfully completed the CSS Profile, you will be prompted to select an institution to electronically send your documents to. From the list of institutions, select “Global Citizen Year”, and we will receive your submission electronically.

If you are unable to afford the cost of the CSS Profile, please email to request a fee waiver.

How do I send my completed FAFSA form to Global Citizen Year?

Please complete the FAFSA if you are a U.S. citizen. When you receive your FAFSA Student Aid Report, save it as a PDF and then upload it to your Academy financial aid application form.