Application Instructions

The 2020 Duke Gap Year Application is now available. 

Important COVID-19 Update
Due to the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we regret the Duke Gap Year Program will not be able to distribute funding awards this fall. If current Duke University restrictions on travel are lifted by January 2021 we hope to be able to provide funding for meaningful Spring and Summer 2021 experiences. We encourage you to consider this as you plan and budget for your gap year.

 

Students admitted to Duke University as first year undergraduates can access the 2020 Duke Gap Year Program application. You will be able to save your application to return to later, but be sure to read the following information closely before starting. You should email dukegapyear@duke.edu with any questions.

Applicants are asked to outline their gap year plans, taking into consideration:

  • Volunteering opportunities
  • Travel and cultural experiences
  • Unpaid internships
  • Experiential learning opportunities

As you plan your gap year, we encourage your to consider opportunities that promote civic engagement, personal development and global awareness.

While we understand that plans may not be finalized, we ask that applicants provide as much information as possible, including timeline, locations, costs, and goals of the experience. Your application should, to the best of your ability, cover the period of time from July 2020 to July 2021.

We recommend looking at “Where to Start”, for guidance on how to being planning your gap year, as well as information about Established Gap Year Programs who have offered additional financial support to Duke students. Please know this is a selective process. Applicants may be contact by the DGYP to provide further information, but are encouraged to include as much detail as possible in their application.

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Deadline:

Students who apply by April 12, 2020 will be notified of the outcome of their application by April 27, 2020.

Students who apply by May 17, 2020 will be notified of the outcome of their application by June 1, 2020.

Program Expectations:

Students must commit to enrolling at Duke in order to accept their place in the Duke Gap Year Program and receive any funding awarded.

Members of the Duke Gap Year Program will be expected to maintain regular contact with the Duke University Undergraduate Admissions Office, through monthly blog and social media posts, attending webinars, as well as a mid-year and end of year reflection.

Members of the cohort receiving funding may also be asked to provide receipts from their programs, travel and activities, confirming their expenses.

When the DGYP students arrive on campus for their first year, they will be expected to attend a “re-entry” session during orientation. They will also be expected to serve as mentors to future cohorts of gap year students, providing advice, speaking about their gap year experience, and helping at admitted student events.

 

Funding:

Important COVID-19 Update

Due to the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we regret the Duke Gap Year Program will not be able to distribute funding awards this fall. If current Duke University restrictions on travel are lifted by January 2021 we hope to be able to provide funding for meaningful Spring and Summer 2021 experiences. We encourage you to consider this as you plan and budget for your gap year.

 

While Duke Gap Year Program participants do not need to request funding to join the program, an award of up to $15,000 may be available to help support plans for those who apply. Funding is limited, but we hope to make gap years more accessible to those who, financially, may not have been able to consider this opportunity previously.

An applicant’s plans for their gap year, as well as their overall financial need, will be considered during the selection and funding award process. We want to be as flexible as possible in allowing students to explore their interests in creative and personalized ways, but there are also some restrictions on how the funding may be used. While the following may comprise a part of your gap year, funding awarded from Duke may not contribute toward:

  • Mandatory military or religious service
  • Paid work
  • Personal business initiatives or start-ups
  • Medical deferrals

Funding will be distributed directly to the student in two payments, one in July and one in January.* The funding can be applied toward program costs, transportation, housing, equipment, and other expenses directly associated with their gap year program.

*The Duke Gap Year Program (DGYP) is pleased to have matching scholarship agreements with Global Citizen Year and Year On, who provide generous deductions from the costs of their programs for members of the DGYP. In order to maintain these agreements, any students who receive a matching scholarship agree to commit their DGYP award to that provider, making the payment directly after receiving funding from Duke. These students will receive their full award in July.

Some students who do not receive or do not request funding may still be admitted into the cohort and participate in other components of the Duke Gap Year Program, depending on the nature of their proposed gap year activities. Students interested in deferring their enrollment outside of the Duke Gap Year Program, should email undergrad-admissions@duke.edu.

Important Things to Consider:
  • For Regular Decision applicants, simply applying to the Duke Gap Year Program does not commit you to attending Duke, but you must commit to enroll at Duke in order to join the program and receive funding.
  • Applying for the Duke Gap Year Program does not commit you to taking a gap year. You will not be asked to confirm your gap year until you’ve received the outcome of your application.
  • Finally, this application is only for joining the Duke Gap Year Program. Students are responsible for their finding and confirming their gap year opportunities through established program, internships, volunteering organizations, etc.

 

Applicants to the Duke Gap Year Program will be asked to agree to the following Terms and Conditions:

1.  You may not apply to other colleges during your gap year, nor be enrolled as a student at another college during this time.

2.  You are bound by the Duke Community Standard of honorable conduct during your Gap year.

3. You are required to submit one blog post per month (beginning June 2020), and provide regular social media posts.

4.  You will provide a mid-year reflection of 200-300 words, as well as an end of year report or 300-600 words.

5.  You will report any outside scholarships that may be awarded, or notify Duke of any changes to your gap year plans.

6. You will attend a Duke Gap Year Program orientation event during your first semester on campus in the fall of 2021.

7.  You will serve as a mentor to students participating in the Duke Gap Year Program in 2021-2022.

8.  You will be responsible for submitting your Duke Gap Year Program expenses, confirming use of your funding award.

Any questions can be directed to dukegapyear@duke.edu.

Skijler, completing his hike of the Camino De Santiago