College Planning


Further Education

After Alzar Gap, our alumni can go on to some of the finest universities and colleges around the world.  Over the years, many colleges and universities have noted the leadership skills Alzar alumni have developed while in our programs.  A more exhaustive list can be viewed on the map above, but as a quick sample, we have alumni attending the colleges and universities listed below:

  • Stanford University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Colby College
  • Colorado College
  • University of Virginia
  • Middlebury College
  • Montana State University
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Duke University
  • University of NC Chapel Hill
  • Bowdoin College
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Colgate University
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Universidad de Chile

“I have learned not to take the easy way out and to push through challenging situations. I will not forget my lessons here and I will keep pushing myself and keep stepping out of my comfort zone.”

— Ben

Helping Gap Students Navigate the College Process

According to the American Gap Association, on average, 90% of gap year graduates make their way back to university within a year.  With that in mind, we view a gap program at Alzar Gap as one exciting step in a student’s overall educational journey.  Here are some steps that experts recommend when considering a gap program:

  1. Apply to college as you would normally in your senior year of high school.  Take advantage of having access to your high school counselor and their ability to help you pull together college application materials (such as letters of recommendation, transcripts, etc).
  2. While considering colleges/universities, inquire with the admissions counselors about their policy on gap years.  This may help you narrow down to schools that align with the plan you are building for yourself.  Not all schools treat gap years the same way.
  3. Apply to Alzar Gap while you wait to learn if you have been accepted to your school of choice.
  4. Get accepted to both your college/university of choice and Alzar Gap (knock on wood) and pay the deposits to hold your spaces depending on the following answer.
  5. Ask the college/university for a “deferral.” More and more school have adopted formal policies around deferrals.  In some cases, deferrals are specifically to take a gap year (in which case, you should announce your plans clearly), but in other cases, students are simply looking to take the time to work and earn a bit of money for college. The American Gap Association curates a list of university deferral policies for gap years.

Planning Your Gap Year

There are many ways to structure a gap year, and an Alzar Gap program is an excellent component.  Here are a few steps for making the gap year a productive step in your overall educational journey:

  1. Make a list of goals you would like to achieve, skills you want to learn, and experiences you want to have.
  2. Challenge your thinking about where to go and what to do.  A gap year is a real chance to experience more of the world by living in it.
  3. Start working through the logistics.  What is the sequence of your varied gap experiences? Gap years often include some combination of these components:
    • Structured gap program (like Alzar Gap’s Patagonia Exchange, Wild & Scenic, or Western Whitewater programs)
    • Career exploration (try out an internship in the field you are interested in)
    • Service/Volunteering
    • Paid work (saving for the gap experience itself or for the next step at college/university)

College Credit

During the Alzar Gap experience, students have the option to earn up to 16 college semester credits through our relationship with Portland State University, and Western Colorado University. All of our college credit opportunities are entirely optional and designed to add depth, and value to your Alzar Gap experience. View the college courses here.