Wheaton logo 2020 color version also for mobile

Investing in a Christian, Liberal Arts Gap Year

Cost of the Vanguard Gap Year: 2021-2022

If a Vanguard takes full advantage of the opportunities to reduce program cost, the total out of pocket program cost is $11,000.

There's no way around it: a gap year is a significant investment. College? Even more so. 

Research shows students who have completed a gap year are more motivated and disciplined in their academic pursuits. Too many students use valuable time in college just learning how to navigate life away from home. Instead of focusing on classes, extra-curriculars, and building healthy relationships, they're learning how to balance time demands, developing realistic expectations and boundaries, and taking extra classes trying to determine their major.

While Vanguard is an investment, it prepares students to jump into college with a purpose, knowing who they are and where they want to go.

Program Costs

Program Deposit $300
Fall Semester $7,750
Spring Semester $7,750
Immersion Experiences $2,500
Total Program Costs $18,300

Remember, if a Vanguard takes full advantage of the opportunities to reduce program cost (see below), the total out of pocket program cost for a year of room & board, travel, 8 college credits, and guided vocational discernment is $11,000. 

Additional Information: Vanguard Program Costs

  • Deposit: A $300 deposit (nonrefundable after May 1) confirms enrollment. After successful completion of the program, all bills being paid, this deposit will be refunded.
  • Immersion Experiences: Vanguards will raise support for their immersion experiences. If their goal is not met, the amount will be added to the summer semester bill.

Decrease the Cost of Your Gap Year

Reducing Program Costs

Program Deposit Refund $300
Student Contribution $1,000
HoneyRock Match to Student Contribution $1,000
Immersion Experiences Fundraising $2,500
Total Potential Reduction $7,300

Additional Information: Decreasing the Cost of Vanguard

  • Program Deposit Refund: As long as the Vanguard has raised the full expense of the immersion experience and passes their room inspection at the end of the year, this deposit is returned in full.
  • Student Contribution: A matching scholarship up to $1,000 is given when a Vanguard participant contributes $1,000 of their own money towards program costs. This must be personally earned and cannot be raised through fundraising or gifts.
  • Immersion Experiences Fundraising: Vanguards will be guided through the fundraising process to raise the needed money for the immersion experiences.

Work at HoneyRock Over the Summer

Another way to offset the cost of Vanguard (and apply what you've learned from the year) is to work at HoneyRock during the summer following your Vanguard experience.

Vanguard lifeguard gives thumbs up

Summer Staff at HoneyRock

Incredible community, meaningful work, beautiful place...it's the best way to spend a summer!

Explore Summer Staff Roles

Estimated Indirect Costs

The costs may be greater or lower depending on the individual situation.

Listed below are the estimated indirect costs that a participant could incur that are outside of the program cost.

We strongly encourage each Vanguard to have a debit card that parents can access and monitor. This allows Vanguards to learn how to budget their living expenses over the course of one year.

  • Personal expenses/miscellaneous = $1,000
    Includes but not limited to laundry, snacks, dinner in town, movie, etc...
  • Transportation = $600
    Traveling to and from HoneyRock during Christmas and pre-summer breaks.
  • Total Estimated Indirect Costs = $1,600
vanguards on log pile in northwoods wi
Interested in Vanguard?

Sign up and stay in the loop! Hear from our leadership, read stories from past Vanguards, and learn about unique distinctives Vanguard offers high school graduates.