Is $8,000 enough to fund a self-designed gap year?

Yes! Since the focus of the Gap Year is service, with proper budgeting the funds will usually cover all expenses related to the project you choose, especially since most of the projects tend to be located in developing nations. At the conclusion of the service project, you may elect to embark on independent travel. To meet these expenses, Fellows will use personal funds they have saved or earned while working. Please know that if you are selected for a Fellowship, the Global Gap Year Fellowship team at the Campus Y will help you plan and budget for a meaningful year without having to worry about funds running out.

What steps do I need to take before embarking on my gap year?

Please pay your enrollment deposit and confirm your enrollment online through your MyCarolina Account. By July 1, please notify the Office of Undergraduate Admissions in writing (through your MyCarolina Account) that you wish to take a gap year and explain how you plan to spend the year before you enroll. Further questions about deferment should be addressed to Ashley Arthur (

Is there anything I need to do while I am on my gap year?

Please write to Ms. Arthur again by December 31 to confirm your enrollment for the following fall. The Admissions Office will be in touch with the most recent enrollment brochure (mailed to your home address and emailed to your UNC email), so that you may sign up for orientation over the summer for the year in which you plan to enroll.

During the summer before you join us at Carolina, you should also log into your Connect Carolina Student Center to check for outstanding items on your to-do list. Your list will include items such as the immunization form that is required of all enrolling students. The list may also include items related to financial aid that require action on your part. Please be sure to update your personal contact information if it changes during this time.

Toward the end of the summer before you enroll, watch for an email from the Fellowship. This email will include invitations to special events for returning gap year students. These events are a great way to network with other returning gap year students who will be eager to welcome you to Carolina.

Will my scholarship or financial aid package still be valid when I return?

Merit-based aid awards are transferable. Please follow the directions provided in your award letter and notify the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid when your enrollment has been activated. Need-based recipients are required to submit the FASFA and Profile by March 1 of the year in which they plan to enroll. Recipients of awards with both a need and merit component should also follow the terms specified in the award letter and resubmit the FASFA and Profile by March 1st.

Are my deposits and fees refundable?

The enrollment deposit is nonrefundable and will automatically be applied toward your first-semester charges at the University. However, application fees for University housing and registration fees for orientation are typically nonrefundable after May 1 and may not be carried over to the following academic year.

Will I still be eligible for campus housing?

Yes. Please follow the steps provided in the enrollment brochure that you receive and apply for housing by the specified deadline.

Will credits for course placement remain valid?

Yes. Credits that you receive for AP and IB exams taken in high school will remain valid. The criteria for exam credit, course placement, and how these credits/courses fulfill graduation requirements will be made available to you prior to your first term at Carolina. You cannot earn academic credits at a university during your gap year.

Thilini Weerakkody, UNC class of 2021, taught environmental sustainability workshops to students in Madagascar during her gap year.