Financing Your Experiment

The Experiment in International Living is committed to helping students from a diversity of backgrounds experience immersive cross-cultural programs through a variety of need-based high school scholarships.

Need-based high school study abroad scholarships range from $250 to $3,000 and include but are not limited to:

  • Geographic Diversity Scholarships – For students from under-represented states or regions and/or students who will be the first Experimenter from their high school.
  • Thematic Focus Scholarships – For students who demonstrate a clear interest in the thematic focus area of their program.
  • Home School Student Scholarship – For students who are currently homeschooled.

Early Application Discount

Apply online to summer 2017 programs before Friday, November 18, 2016, and automatically receive $450 off the program fee! To be eligible for the early discount, you must complete the online portion of the admissions application and pay both the $50 application fee and $400 enrollment deposit by November 18 at 5 PM EST. (This discount cannot be combined with others, but need-based financial aid and scholarships are still available to recipients of this discount.)

Alumni Discount

The Experiment also offers an alumni early-application discount of $400 for students who have an immediate family member who is an alumnus/a of The Experiment in International Living, and/or for students who are applying for a second Experiment program and submit their application for admission before February 15, 2017. (This discount cannot be combined with others, but need-based financial aid and scholarships are still available to recipients of this discount.)

Educator Discount

Educators are eligible to receive $400 off an immediate family member’s program fee. Educators include teachers, school administrators, guidance counselors, and education staff at nonprofit organizations. (This discount cannot be combined with others, but financial aid and scholarships are still available to recipients of this discount.) To be eligible for the early application discount, you must inform the Admissions Office of your educator status by calling 800 345-2929 or emailing by February 15, 2017.

How to Apply for Financial Aid

  1. Complete your online application for admission.
  2. When submitting your online application, be sure to indicate that you are interested in financial aid.
  3. Ask a parent or guardian to complete the financial aid application before February 15.* Although our financial aid deadline is on March 1st, admissions and financial aid applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Programs fill quickly, and there is more financial aid funding earlier in the process, so please apply early!
  4. The Experiment office will notify you with a financial aid decision.

Financial aid funds are limited and are based on individual need and the availability of funds. Awarding is made on a rolling basis.

* Please be aware that if you are working with a partner school or organization, the deadline to apply for financial aid may be earlier.

There are many ways prospective Experimenters can take ownership of their experience from the start. Here are some funding ideas and options to consider.

Pull in your local community and raise money for your Experiment tuition. You may consider finding a part-time job that could help you earn and save your own money. Or, pledge volunteer hours for a local nonprofit in your home community in exchange for donations. Get as creative and as committed as you want — not only will an ambitious project attract more potential donors and others willing to assist you in your funding efforts; it could spur you on to greater things as well.

Consider the following:

  • Reaching out to local Rotary clubs, Lions clubs, and/or local foundations
  • Contacting community-based organizations
  • Finding a part-time job
  • Setting up bake sales, car washes, or other fundraising initiatives
  • Crowdsourcing (fundraising on social media)—details on crowdsourcing are below

To help you reach out to community organizations, The Experiment has created a fundraising template letter. Be sure to personalize your letter with your name and Experiment program.

Questions? Do not hesitate to contact the Experiment’s admissions team at 1 800 345-2929 or at

Crowdsourcing Your Experiment Tuition

Consider expanding your fundraising to the web. Are you going on the photography program to Argentina? Sell your travel prints from your trip — in advance.

Here are some crowdfunding instructions to help you:

  1. Pick a Platform. Websites such as Gofundme, Piggybackr, Indiegogo, and Youcaring are examples of sites set up to launch your cause, attract followers, and track your fundraising progress. A lot of these sites will have service fees — usually a tiny percentage of the money you raise — so remember to adjust accordingly when setting your goal.
  2. Craft your Hook. When writing a compelling campaign to convince people to donate, remember the following:
    • Address your audience beyond family and friends — aim to convince strangers.
    • Think of yourself as a business start-up. What product, service, or concept can you offer?
    • Remember that successful fundraising is more like trading; your donors are buying a cause they support. 
    • Keep it informative, personalized, and brief.
  3. Talk the Talk. Promote, promote, promote! Use Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter. Post links to your campaign as well as updates on your progress. Ask friends, family members, and supporters to spread the word. Maintain a regular schedule of updates, but avoid blitzing people’s feeds (until the final days of the campaign).
  4. Walk the Walk. After reaching your goal, follow up on your promises! Stay organized about who donated how much and what you owe. Like step three, publicize the results of your campaign and their donations. And, of course, share highlights of your time abroad.

The Experiment creates and maintains longstanding partnerships with more than 60 mentoring organizations, after-school programs, home-school organizations, community groups, public and private schools, and foundations located across the country. These important partnerships provide tremendous access and opportunity annually to a range of high school students who choose to spend their summer on an Experiment program. Some partnerships provide partial or full scholarship funding for Experimenters. Read more information about The Experiment’s partnerships.