Sustainable Summer is committed to providing exciting educational opportunities to a diverse group of high school students interested in environmental sustainability. We have two types of financial assistance: 20% tuition assistance and scholarships (30 – 85% of tuition).
If you are interested in supporting any of Sustainable Summer’s scholarship programs, please click here for more information about how to make a tax-deductible donation.

Financial Assistance

Education is an investment in your child’s future and we want to help make our programs attainable for families from all corners of the economic spectrum. We offer several different types of financial aid.

Program Summary Type of Support Deadlines
Tuition Assistance Sustainable Summer operates on a tiered tuition model. Our tuition assistance level represents a 20% discount on the standard course fee. Please see the “More Info” section for details. 20% of tuition No Deadline More Info
Scholarships Sustainable Summer maintains an internal scholarship fund to provide financial assistance to students that would otherwise be unable to afford full tuition. Scholarship awards typically range from 15% to 85% of tuition, with the most common award amount being 50%. Please see the “More Info” section for details. Up to 85% of tuition April 1st More Info
Payment Plans We offer payment plans to eligible families, which is a convenient, interest free way to spread the cost of participation out across several monthly payments. No interest payments March 15th More Info
Fundraising Support Sustainable Summer makes it easy for you to fundraise the extra financial support you need to participate. Donations April 1st More Info
Early Enrollment Families applying before December 6th can save 5% on tuition. Tuition discount & interest free payment plan Dec 6th More Info

Scholarship & Financial Aid FAQs

Sustainable Summer welcomes any student currently enrolled in the 9th, 10th or 11th grade in the United States to apply for financial assistance or a fellowship. Applicants must be US citizens and be between the ages of 15 and 18, inclusive. At minimum, successful applicants will have a desire to learn; demonstrated interest in the environment and sustainability; be in good academic standing (minimum GPA: 3.5); and have a clear financial need. In general, families making less than $65,000 per year (adjusted gross income) are eligible for financial assistance up to 85% of the program tuition. Families with adjusted gross incomes higher than $65,000 may be eligible for awards depending on their unique financial circumstances, but, in general, need-based eligibility will phase out around $100K AGI. We do consider cost of living and extenuating financial circumstances, such as multiple children in college or recent loss of employment, so families that have (or recently had) gross incomes greater than $100K are often still eligible for support.

Students should first submit a preliminary application as part of our regular application process. This will be reviewed within 3 business days. Promising candidates are invited to submit a full application. At this point, you’ll be given the option of continuing with the “regular” application process or instead submitting a scholarship application.

Please see the “More Info” button in the Scholarship section above for additional info.

Sustainable Summer scholarships are competitive and, unfortunately, we are not able to award scholarships to all of our applicants. While we encourage you to apply, we ask that you manage expectations.

Generally, students that are invited to continue the application process after submitting a preliminary application are likely to be strong candidates for scholarship funding. We encourage all students that are serious about environmental sustainability to submit a preliminary application. Be sure to articulate clearly and concisely how Sustainable Summer will benefit you keeping in mind that competitive candidates for scholarships will possess all of the following:

  • A demonstrated personal commitment to and interest in achieving environmental sustainability
  • Outstanding academic and extracurricular achievement (or unique experience related to environmental sustainability)
  • An application that articulates how Sustainable Summer will benefit the participant and help him or her become a future sustainability leader
  • Letters of recommendation that underscore all of the above
  • Clear financial need

Preference for our financial assistance awards is given to students with outstanding academic and extracurricular achievement, and a demonstrated commitment to achieving environmental sustainability, who have a clear financial need that can be met by the limitations of our financial assistance program. Scholarships are not granted on merit alone (see fellowships below); only those students who could not attend a program without financial assistance will be awarded scholarship funds. (NOTE: We cannot fund requests for 100% of tuition in aid and it is expected that all financial assistance applicants will make a family contribution of at least 50% of the tuition, fundraise their family’s tuition responsibility, or a combination thereof.)

Scholarship awards are determined based on financial need and on demonstrated merit. This amount will vary from scholar to scholar based on total program tuition and his or her unique financial circumstances. In most cases, participants are expected to provide a “family contribution” and/or fundraise at least 50% of tuition in most circumstances. We also have a few highly selective “program grants” that can fund up to 85% of tuition costs, but these award amounts are less common (usually one person per program). Families will be responsible for all program fees, including travel expenses such as airfare, less the scholarship award.

We know that every family’s situation is unique and we do not have a definitive threshold on family income for the purpose of determining scholarship eligibility, although families with an adjusted gross income of less than $65,000 will generally be considered eligible whereas families with adjusted gross incomes in excess of $100,000 will generally be considered ineligible. However, we consider cost of living in your area, your financial commitments, and a number of other factors in determining eligibility.

Sustainable Summer scholarships can be combined with outside grant support (from a foundation, school, etc) to reduce the total participation costs of the program. Sustainable Summer scholarship award decisions are applied after outside grants. Participants are expected to make a minimum financial contribution of at least 15% of tuition before Sustainable Summer funding will kick in.

Scholarship awards are applied to total program fees (including housing, activities, and meals). Related travel expenses (airfare, etc) are not included in the award. Spending money is not included in the award calculation and is the responsibility of your family. (Note: Some outside grants will cover travel expenses.) Fundraising and outside grants are both very viable means for funding participation costs beyond any Sustainable Summer scholarship support. We will apply outside funding sources to the total cost of participation first, before applying internal (ie; Sustainable Summer) scholarship funds towards a student account.

The student should apply online to Sustainable Summer using our preliminary application. There is no application fee. Accepted applicants will be provided with access to our scholarship applications.

You must first receive a preliminary acceptance into a Sustainable Summer program to be able to apply for a scholarship. The scholarship application deadline is April 1st. If you are planning on applying for a scholarship, you should apply for admissions at least 3 business days before April 1st. We are occasionally able to consider scholarship funding for applicants later in the spring, but it is not advisable to wait. You will receive a preliminary acceptance decision within 3 days along with information on how to apply for scholarship funding. Your scholarship application materials must be received in full before April 1st. Award decisions are communicated on April 10th and awards must be accepted by April 23rd.

Maybe. It depends how late in the year it is, which program you’re interested in, and other factors. Please go to our Get More Info page to inquire about availability or call 646.504.5046.

No. Our Tuition Assistance plan is available to all families at any point during the year; no additional documentation or application is required. Students should apply to their program of choice. If accepted, a parent will indicate their desired tuition tier when enrolling the student in the program.

Go to our Get More Info page and submit your question there or call 646.504.5046. If you have questions about your eligibility to receive a scholarship, call us. We can’t confirm a scholarship award before receiving your application, but we can help determine if you would most likely meet our qualification criteria.