The Fellowship is a highly selective award given to seven high school graduates who have been admitted to UNC as part of the university’s Early Action deadline. Once admitted, students must submit a separate application for the Fellowship that describes their goals for completing their international year of service. The nine-month Fellowship provides up to $7,500 to each student, and may be complemented by other funding that the Fellow secures.

Made possible by an anonymous gift of $1.5 million to the Campus Y, the Global Gap Year Fellowship provides support for students who would not otherwise be able to fund their service work. The Fellowship partners with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, which helps promote the program and select the recipients.

Program Benefits

  • Mentoring and advising: Campus Y staff and students mentor Fellows before, during, and after the Gap Year
  • Connecting with faculty: The Y helps returning Fellows bring their gap year experience home by introducing them to professors who can help them create plans for coursework or independent research. The Y also connects returning gappers to other student groups and opportunities on campus and in the community.
  • Connecting to a global and local service community: Because we strongly believe in the connection between the local and global, the Campus Y helps Fellows apply their gap year experiences to local service initiatives and supports them in exploring future global opportunities.


If awarded the GGYF, students are required to defer their acceptance to UNC-CH for one year and commit to enrolling the fall after the gap year is completed. Prior to departing, students develop an extensive gap year proposal with assistance from Campus Y staff and attend an intensive pre-departure program on campus. During the gap year, students complete a minimum of 6 months of in-depth service. They also participate in reflective writing and blogging assignments, and they maintain bi-weekly communication the program director.

To qualify for and receive a GGYF, students will need to:

  • First, apply for admission by the early action deadline of October 15 and comply with all actions required by the Admissions Office (midyear grades submission, responding to all inquiries from the Admissions Office).
  • Then, apply for the Fellowship. Our application goes live February 1, 2016.
  • If selected as a GGYF, students will then enroll in the University and complete any post-admittance steps required by the Admissions Office (submission of community standards form, etc.).
  • Then, students will apply for a one-year deferral from the Admissions Office and commit to enrolling at UNC in the fall after the gap year is completed.

Before, during, and after the gap year, Fellows will be required to:

  • Complete Pre-Departure Checklist
  • Secure approval of their Global Gap Year Proposal
  • Submit blog posts and photos (2 per month)
  • Coordinate a monthly check-in with Global Gap Year Coordinator (2 per month)
  • Compose a Mid-Year Reflection, Proposal Updates, and an End-of-Year Reflection
  • Attend a Re-Entry Retreat upon returning to UNC-Chapel Hill
  • Create a Global Gap Year Presentation


Re-Entry is different for everyone. You will come back to school with new friends and real-world experiences that will aid you in your personal and academic experiences at UNC. Campus Y staff will mentor and connect you to faculty advisors. In addition, returning Fellows attend a weekend-long retreat organized by former GGY Fellows and the Fellowship Coordinator. This retreat brings together your gap year cohort with a few senior Fellows to reflect upon and process your experiences. In addition, the retreat builds a new peer group based on this shared year abroad.

Gap year veterans are more mature and motivated after they enter college than they otherwise may have been, and they have developed life skills that give them competitive career advantages. See what our Fellows our doing here.