Credit/ Scholarships

Credit/ Scholarships


Thanks to generous donations  from foundations, corporations, parents, instructors, and alumni, the Colorado Outward Bound School awards over $300,000 in scholarships each year. The Colorado Outward Bound School also has specific programs with partner organizations where students receive full scholarships, such as the ASCEND program and our partnership with Summer Search. Military veterans are eligible for full scholarships through Outward Bound.

Individual students may apply for the Colorado Outward Bound School Student Opportunity Fund.  The Student Opportunity Fund is our partial-tuition scholarship program for students on our traditional wilderness courses. These scholarships are based on financial need, student motivation, and the potential to excel on a wilderness course. Our scholarship program is guided by a single principle: Every person should be given the opportunity to experience adventure and challenge, develop character and compassion, and learn social and environmental responsibility, regardless of financial ability.

These partial scholarship awards are usually 10-30% of the course cost.  Sometimes tuition assistance of up to 50% may be awarded for exceptional candidates.  Families that earn under $75,000 per year or less will usually qualify.  Families that exceed this threshold may still qualify if they are struggling with special circumstances such as severe medical issues or significant unexpected expenses.

Our scholarship committee will determine how much funding you may qualify for after reviewing each application on an individual basis.  We do have a limited amount of funding each year and cannot guarantee financial assistance for every applicant.

Applicants are encouraged to apply as early in the calendar year as possible.  Scholarships are awarded each year beginning in January.  There is generally less competition for funds on early June courses or late August courses.  We do not offer scholarships on Alaska courses or our Rockies to Ecuador Leadership Semester.  We reserve the majority of our funding for students under the age of 21.

How to Apply:

1.   Enroll on a course.  Make sure to review our Admissions and Cancelation Policies  first.
2.  Request a scholarship application from your course advisor .
3.  Submit a personal video, completed application materials, completed scholarship application, and a copy of your most recent 1040 tax form.  (Dependents will need to submit the 1040 of whoever is claiming them as a dependent.) (These materials will be further explained in the scholarship application.)

Incomplete scholarship applications will not be reviewed by the scholarship committee.  You MUST enroll on a course before we will consider your application.

It usually only takes a couple of business days for us to review a scholarship application.  It may sometimes take up to two weeks as the summer season approaches.  Any delay in meeting your due dates  may affect the amount of financial aid available to you as awards are made on a first come, first serve basis.  If you fail to return your application or miss your deadline by more than two weeks, you may forfeit your $150 application fee.  If we are unable to offer you enough scholarship funding, we will refund the entirety of your $500 deposit.

To learn more about some of our named scholarships, please click here. Various individuals have honored or memorialized family and friends by creating named scholarships at the Colorado Outward Bound School, ensuring that today’s students will be able to access wilderness expeditions.

Questions?  Call our Student Services Department at 828-239-2320 or email


Academic Credit

Master’s Credit

Up to 3 Credit Hours (must have a bachelor’s degree to apply):

Bachelor’s Credit

Up to 12 Credit Hours:


You can also inquire into setting up an Independent Study with your high school or college:

Hundreds of colleges and high schools have granted academic credit for Outward Bound expeditions in our 50 years of operation.

Call our Student Services Office at 720-381-6589 when you are ready to enroll on a course, or if you have any questions about how to obtain academic credit.

Academic Credit

Here are some of the High Schools, Colleges, and Universities that have awarded credit for Outward Bound expeditions. The list continues to grow every year! If you receive credit from your school for Outward Bound, let us know so we can add it to our list.

High Schools Colleges/Universities
Albuquerque Academy Adams State
Armada West High School Antioch College
Atlanta Public Schools Appalachian State University
Beachwood High School Boston University
Cambridge School Brigham Young University
Canterbury School California State Polytechnic
Carrow Hall Claremont College
Colorado Rocky Mountain School Colby
Cranbrook School Colorado College
Deerfield Academy Colorado Mountain College
Denver Public Schools Dartmouth College
Fountain Valley School Denison University
Freedom 7 Elementary School Earlham
Hopkins High School Evergreen
Loomis Chaffee Franklin and Marshall
Miami Valley School George Williams College
Milton Academy Harvard University
Milwaukee Public Schools Hiran College
Nashville School Idaho State University
New York Military Academy Mankato State University
Newton North High School Massachusetts Institute of Technology
North Shore Country Day Northland College
Northfield Mount Hermon Oklahoma State
Northwestern Junior High School Oregon State
Park East High School Penn State
Park School Portland State
Phillips Andover Academy Redlands University
Portsmouth Outdoor Project University of Alabama
Proctor Academy University of Colorado
Ravenscroft University of Dayton
Rockford Public Schools University of Maine
Selwyn School University of Massachusetts
Sheldon High School University of South Maine
St. Edwards University of Toledo
St. John Boys’ School University of Vermont
University of Wisconsin
Warren Wilson College
Wellesley College
Western State College
Westminster College
William Penn College


AmeriCorps Education Awards

We Accept Education Awards

You can use your AmeriCorps Education Award to pay for your Colorado Outward Bound School course.  Whether you are looking for a seven day wilderness adventure to celebrate your accomplishment or a semester long program, we have the right course for you.  Longer courses, like our instructor or semester courses are an excellent way to gain the skills you need to become a leader and thrive in the wilderness.  To find out more about current course offerings check our Course Finder.

Here’s How You Can Get Credit and use your Education Award

1.      Call Outward Bound and let our Student Services Team know that you are an AmeriCorps member and allow them to help you find the right course.  We offer course lengths ranging from 7 to 85 days.

2.      Complete the Western State College Extended Studies registration packet online. In addition, this site provides college credit information. Note: Western State College will process your registration within 48 hours.

3.      Once your AmeriCorps Education Award is processed, Western States College gives Outward Bound notice and you are officially enrolled.

529c Accounts

We also accept 529c accounts, please call 720-381-6589 for more information.

Contact Us

To learn more about Outward Bound, scholarships, academic credit, and using your Education Award, call us today at 720-381-6589 or email