Expenses

The all-inclusive cost of the Glacier Bay Year is $45,350. This includes all tuition, fees, lodging, permits, travel within the state of Alaska, and (should the student choose to pursue this option) up to 20 college credits through the University of Alaska.

Costs that are not covered include health insurance (required for all participants), travel to and from Juneau at either end of the program, books (estimated $300), and suggested spending money ($50/month).


Our Financial Aid Commitments:

  • We meet 100% of demonstrated financial need for all students.
  • All financial aid awards are grants – they do NOT have to be repaid.
  • The financial aid process should NOT be a barrier to entry. If you are unable to fill out the financial aid application, please email info@areteproject.org to discuss other options.

Financial Aid

The Arete Project remains committed as ever to ensuring that our cohorts represent students from all walks of life. Consequently, we offer extremely generous need-based financial aid. The Arete Project utilizes a system developed by School and Student Services to estimate a family’s ability to pay.

We project that over 80% of admitted students will receive some amount of financial aid. While the SSS formula also looks at family assets, students from families making under $50,000 a year are likely to qualify for 100% financial aid, including a stipend for books, travel, and other necessities.


To Apply for Financial Aid

1. When filling out your Arete Project application, check “Yes” to answer the question “Are you applying for financial aid?”

2. By the application deadline of September 30th, 2020, complete the online financial aid application or PFS (Parents’ Financial Statement) here. In the Select Subscriber Schools section, choose “The Arete Project,” code 200161. The cost is $51. Families will not be charged the application fee until the PFS is complete and the fee will be waived if responses show extreme financial hardship.

3. When requested, submit a copy of your completed 2019 tax returns to info@areteproject.org.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What do I do if my parents are divorced?

In the case of divorce or separation, both parents complete financial statements to provide an accurate picture of family resources.

  • What if I have already filed the financial aid application for another school that uses the Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS)?

Please add The Arete Project (school code 200161) to the list of schools selected to receive your financial information. From your PFS Online Dashboard, click “Need to Make a Change to your PFS or Add a School?” and follow the instructions.

  • I cannot fill out the financial aid application. What should I do?

Please contact us at info@areteproject.org. We are happy to work with students and families that cannot fill out the application.

  • My $51 application fee was not waived, but my family really cannot afford this expense. What should I do?

Please contact us at info@areteproject.org. We can help you with a fee reimbursement based on your family’s needs.

  • Why is the Arete Project suddenly charging so much tuition? Haven’t earlier programs been lower cost?

Since our inception, the Arete Project has striven to make its programs accessible and affordable to all students, regardless of income level. Especially since our immersive programs are costly to run, this has meant getting pretty creative with our tuition and financial aid plans! We’ve experimented with several different models, including a flat, ultra-low tuition fee, a “pay what you can” model, and a completely free program. Each of these has had its benefits and drawbacks.

Switching to a more conventional tuition model was a difficult decision for us, so we wanted to explain why we moved away from our other models in designing the gap year.
  • A flat, ultra-low tuition fee – as our early programs featured – is both inequitable and financially unsustainable. For some families, the tuition was the equivalent of pocket change. For others it was punitively expensive: just one more indication of the nation’s staggering wealth inequality. Even without this social negative, tuition at such a low level would be insufficient to help support the costs of a year-long program.
  • A pay-what-you-can model is tempting but risky. This was the alternative we considered most strongly, and it is one we may return to in the future. Due to Covid-19 and our ongoing growth as an organization, the Arete Project currently needs to be able to anticipate our financial position more concretely
  • A completely free program is financially untenable and potentially inequitable for a year-long program. Though we have been able to successfully raise the funds to run an annual free program, a longer program raises the costs by 8 or 9 times: a serious challenge at a time when we’re asked to be more efficient than ever with our funds. Furthermore, donors have asked us explicitly why they should support a program that serves students who do have the resources to pay “full freight.” There is no easy answer to that question. Why should donors subsidize affluent students?
In adopting our new tuition model, our goals are as follows:
  • To ensure that the gap year is affordable for any admitted student.
  • To ensure that students from all income backgrounds are represented at our program. One of our guiding principles in cohort selection is ensuring that our cohorts reflect the country’s diversity along many axes, including socioeconomic status. We will use students’ financial information to make sure that this is the case.
  • To ensure that scholarship money goes to students with demonstrated financial need.
  • To ensure that tuition revenues are sufficient to support – if not fully fund – the cost of the program. We anticipate that fundraising for scholarships will continue to be an important source of revenue for the program.