Who is eligible to apply?
Any young person between the ages of 17-22 from any country who is passionate and curious about the world and their ability to change it.
Is this program designed for students coming out of high school or current college students?
FOCUS is a gap year program, and traditionally a gap year happens after a student graduates from high school and before the enter college. However, lots of people, including folks applying to FOCUS, don't take a traditional path and are taking time off from their first or second years of college to pursue a gap year.
How much does it cost?
Taking a FOCUS Climate Gap Year costs less than a typical freshman year of in-state tuition, and is almost half the cost of one year at a private school. Fall tuition is $15,000. Spring tuition is $12,000.
Can you access college credit?
Yes. FOCUS partners exclusively with organizations that have been certified through the Gap Year Association so all FOCUS students are eligible for up to 18 credits each semester through Portland State University (PSU). So far, PSU credits have been well-received by most institutions nationwide. However, we cannot guarantee that 100% of the credits will transfer appropriately. Successful transfer will depend on the institution you are transferring to and their policy regarding incoming credit. When transferring these credits, most colleges/universities typically consider them to be general elective credits, which means they won't count toward your major. Every college/university has different guidelines for evaluating transfer credits, our courses are written to maximize their chance of transferring. We encourage students to talk with their registrars at any receiving institution and pre-approve any credits. We are also happy to work directly with our participants on this whole process.
Do you have to sign up for a full year?
No. You can sign up for either fall semester only, or the fall + spring combo. If you're interested in a spring-only semester, please contact our Community Manager, Annika Roberts directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are scholarships and financial aid available?
Yes. All US citizens can access need-based federal financial aid by filling out FAFSA forms during your application process. In addition, FOCUS is able to provide a small number of supplemental need- and merit-based scholarships through our FOCUS Scholarship Fund. To access both federal and FOCUS scholarships, students must fill out their FAFSA form and submit their final application. You can apply for financial support from the FOCUS Scholarship Fund here.
When will cohorts head abroad?
Spring programs typically head abroad in February. Fall programs typically head abroad in September.
How many participants are in each cohort?
Each cohort has an average of 10-12 participants.
When do applications close?
We accept applications on a rolling basis.
Where does FOCus have programs?
Through our extensive partner network, FOCUS is prepared to send cohorts to India, China, Chile and Argentina in 2019. We are currently gauging interest from students and partners about launching additional programs in Vietnam and Indonesia in September 2019. We encourage you to sign up on our mailing list to get the early word on new programs, scholarships and partnerships.
Who are the founders?
Garett Brennan and Ethan Knight are the co-founders of FOCUS Climate Gap Year. They each have more than a decade of experience working in the Gap Year and Climate space. In 2008 Garett co-launched Focus the Nation (FTN), an organization responsible for the largest teach-in in US history. FOCUS Climate Gap Year is an evolution of FTN’s original mission: “empowering a generation to empower a nation." Between 2008-2013, FTN engaged more than 1.5 million youth on climate through teach-ins and town halls on college campuses, leadership retreats on Mount Hood, and their mentorship, job placement, and internship program. With FTN’s history at the core of our programs and approach to youth engagement on climate issues, FOCUS has an 8500-person alumni network across the globe. Ethan launched Carpe Diem Education in 2008 which has since provided transformational gap year programming to more than 1500 students across 20 countries. In 2014, Ethan left Carpe Diem to launch the nonprofit Gap Year Association, which established the industry standards for quality, safety, and operations in gap year education. GYA is a direct partnership between the US Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission.
What if I have more questions?
Contact our community manager, Annika Roberts, directly. She's awesome.
PHONE: (503) 683-2357