2022-2023 Tuition and Fees

Fall Trek Semester $16,900
Fall Traverse Semester $16,900
Fall Rock Semester $16,900
Spring Trek Semester$16,900
Spring Traverse $16,900

**Tuition and Fees do not include flights to/from program start or to Patagonia**

Affording HMI Gap

The High Mountain Institute recognizes that the cost of excellent programs is difficult for some families to afford. HMI strives to make our programs affordable to families of all income levels by offering generous need-based financial aid packages.

Financial Aid applications for  HMI Gap are accepted on a rolling basis and must be completed with an application to the program.

All of our financial aid awards are need-based. We do not offer merit-based scholarships or financial aid.

We Accept 529 Education Savings Plans

25% of Gap Students Receive Aid  

Top Awards Include Free Gear Rental and Flights

How to apply for financial aid

HMI uses School and Student Services (SSS), a service of the National Association of Independent Schools, to process financial aid applications. SSS provides schools with an estimated amount each family can contribute to educational expenses. This then helps the school make fair and objective financial aid decisions.

To begin our financial aid application please visit SSS by NAIS.

Your application will not be considered complete until you have uploaded all available tax forms from the past two years including forms 1040, W2, 1099, and Schedules A-F (if applicable). For example, if you are applying for financial aid in February 2020, you must submit all 2018 tax forms and any 2019 tax forms you have received (such as forms W2 and 1099). If your 2019 1040 form is not yet ready, you may indicate as much in your document portal.    

There is a $51 fee to submit your financial aid application through SSS. This fee is automatically waived for families making below a certain income level. If the fee is not automatically waived, and you feel that you cannot afford this fee, please let us know and we can waive it. 

You may download this guide from SSS for more information regarding how to complete a financial aid application. Specific questions about the SSS application are best directed to the SSS Help Desk, accessible via phone at 800-344-8328.

The HMI school code is 2096.

Financial Aid Policies

The following list details the policies that govern financial aid for HMI Gap programs:

  • We allocate financial aid on a rolling basis; applications should be completed early for priority consideration.
  • All HMI Gap financial aid awards are based on need as determined by the Financial Aid Committee.
  • Parents are expected to support the student to the extent they are able, as determined by SSS (School and Student Service for Financial Aid) and the High Mountain Institute.
  • In cases of divorce or separation, each parent should complete the Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS).
  • If either parent remarries, the financial information of the stepparent must be included on the PFS.
  • It is essential that applicants complete and file all application forms and required tax forms to be considered for financial aid.
  • All financial aid records are kept confidential. Only the Financial Aid Committee has access to financial aid information.

Other Ways to Fund Your Gap Experience

HMI is proud to offer need-based financial aid to help make HMI Gap more affordable to all families. Additionally, there are many other ways to fund your gap experience. We have listed some ideas and resources below.

  • Get college credit for your gap semester – HMI Gap provides the foundation for rigorous intellectual engagement combined with hands-on experience in the conservation industry. Some students are able to work with their college or university to design an independent study or internship credit option while taking an HMI Gap course. Our lead instructors all have graduate degrees and are able to work individually with students to design a credit-option that fits their specific needs. In addition, we offer college credit through Western Colorado University.
  • Apply for scholarships or grants – Increasingly, funders are recognizing the value that a gap experience can add to a student’s education. Here are some scholarship and grant resources:

Additional Expenses

  • Upon acceptance to an HMI Gap semester, students are asked to pay a non-refundable deposit of $1,500 of tuition owed, unless otherwise noted in a financial aid award, and return a signed Enrollment Agreement. This deposit is applied to the cost of tuition.
  • Each program has designated start and end locations. Students are responsible for all costs associated with arriving at this location at the beginning of the program and departing from this location at the end of the program, including all international flights.
  • We ask students to set up a student account with us to cover any expenses that come up during the program, such as gear, incidentals, or travel. At the end of the program, an itemized bill and refund of any unused student account money will be sent home six weeks after the semester ends.
  • Group camping equipment such as stoves and tents are provided by HMI. Upon acceptance, students will receive a list of required clothing and equipment. We also provide suggestions for affordable purchase of quality gear from retailers around the country. In addition, many items may be available for rent from HMI.

We Are Here To Help

With questions about tuition, expenses, and financial aid, please contact the HMI Gap Admissions Office at 719-486-8200 x 103 or gap@hminet.org

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