Am I eligible for Arete’s Blue Ridge Session?

To be considered for admission to the Blue Ridge Session, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Gender: The following groups are eligible for admittance to the in 2019:
    • Assigned female at birth; identifies as a woman
    • Assigned male at birth; identifies as a woman
    • Assigned female at birth; identifies as genderqueer
    • Assigned intersex at birth, identifies as a woman
    • Any student not mentioned in the above categories, but who believes they could benefit from and contribute to a women’s educational space. (Please explain on application.)
  • Age and Experience: By summer 2019, all students must be at least one year out of high school (i.e. graduated high school no later than spring 2018) and no more than one year out of college (i.e. attained a bachelor’s degree no earlier than spring 2018). We also do not consider applications from individuals who have spent more than two years out of college with no current plans to return. We expect that most of our students will be between 19 and 23 years old.

The Arete Project does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national and/or ethnic origin, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, mental or physical ability, or gender identity/expression in the administration of any of its educational programs, admissions policies, financial aid, and other related policies and programs, as well as volunteer and employment-related policies and activities.

What are the dates for the 2019 Blue Ridge Session?

The 2019 Blue Ridge Session will take place from June 16 to August 10, 2019.

What does it cost to attend?

The Blue Ridge Session has adopted a “pay what you can” tuition model for the 2019 program year. While there is no established tuition fee, we ask all admitted students to reflect seriously on how much they can contribute towards the program’s operation, and to pay a tuition that they and their families can afford.

To put things into perspective: $4000 covers full program costs for one participant, including eight weeks of room, board, and education. Students are free to pay anything from $0 to the full $4000 depending on their circumstances; students from affluent families may consider making an additional tax-deductible donation to help make this financial model sustainable for us.

As a way of taking responsibility for the program’s success, students are encouraged to seek additional support from their schools, from their families, through crowdfunding platforms, and through part-time jobs. We are happy to help with the first of these especially – providing letters of admission, recommendation, or other supporting documents.

The final personal tuition cost is up to you. We hope that this approach makes the Blue Ridge Session available to as broad a range of students as possible.

Where does the program take place?

Arthur Morgan School is located 20 minutes from Burnsville, NC, about an hour outside of Asheville.

Will the program be able to accommodate dietary restrictions?

Most meals at the Arete Project are vegetarian, and vegetarian options are always available. Applicants with other dietary restrictions are encouraged to contact us for further information.

I’m 21. Am I allowed to drink alcohol?

No. The Arete Project is strictly drug, tobacco, and alcohol free. This applies to all students regardless of age. Drugs include all illegal drugs, all prescription drugs taken recreationally and/or without a prescription, marijuana and its derivatives, all forms of tobacco, and e-cigarettes.

How do I apply?

Submit our online application. The application deadline is January 19, 2019.

Can I apply as a foreign student?

Arete welcomes applicants from other countries, but is not in the position to sponsor student visas. All applicants must be able to secure travel visas that will cover the length of the program (56 days).

How is Internet/information access?

Depending on the wishes of the professor, students may or may not be asked to bring personal laptops. If students are asked to leave them behind, computer stations will be made available. Cell phones will be collected upon arrival, and the creation of a policy regarding cell phone usage will then be left to the student body. Students will have access to a landline phone, but there is very limited cell phone reception. Internet will be available on communal computers, but bandwidth is limited and features like streaming and video Skype will not be available except by special accommodation under circumstances of great need.

Where will students be housed?

Accommodations will be rustic. All students will sleep on bunks in three-sided Applachian-Trail-style shelters. Mattresses are provided, but students must provide their own pillows, sheets, and blankets/sleeping bags. Please note that because of health code restrictions, students *must* bring sheets, not just sleeping bags.

Other questions?

For more information, please read through the rest of our website. If it’s not answered there, contact us at

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