Which programs does SPA endorse?
- Maine Coast Semester (Wiscasset, ME): Place-based natural science and sustainable living focus
- CITYterm at the Masters School (New York, NY): Urban Studies focus
- The Oxbow School (Napa, CA): Visual Arts focus
- HMI Semester (Leadville, CO): Wilderness expedition and leadership focus
Who can participate in one of these programs?
- Qualified juniors
- Maximum of four students per year
How is the experience different than at SPA?
- Residential intellectual community
- Experiential approach to learning
- Interdisciplinary approach to curriculum
How is the experience similar to that at SPA?
- All of the semester-away programs provide a rigorous academic program
- You are still “doing school” during the semester you are away
- You earn letter grades for the academic work you do at these programs
Why might a student want to consider participating?
- “Lifers” might want a change
- Explore a particular passion in more depth
- Try new things and learn new skills
- Meet new friends
- Experience residential intellectual community
- Discover new kinds of intellectual and personal challenges
- Discover more about how you learn
- Learn through interdisciplinary approach
How much do these programs cost?
- Parents of SPA students are wholly responsible for covering the tuition of the semester-away program. Please check each program’s web site for detailed information on tuition and expenses. Tuition, room and board for one semester ranges from approximately $19,000 to $23,000.
- SPA students participating in an approved semester away program receive a tuition credit on SPA’s annual tuition rate for their junior year. The credit is set annually by the Board of Trustees as part of the budgeting process. For 2010-2011, the credit was a $10,000 off SPA’s full-year tuition, for either fall or spring semester away from SPA. Once this credit was deducted, parents paid $13,530 to SPA in 2010-2011, which covered their student’s tuition for the semester at SPA, covered program administration costs, and preserved their student’s place in the class at SPA upon their return from the program away.
Is financial aid available?
- Yes, each of these programs offers its own financial aid, and awards can be substantial. Students apply for financial aid directly to the program away; this is separate and distinct from the financial aid application process at SPA.
- SPA awards financial aid only for the time that a student is at SPA. If a student participates in a semester-away program, SPA financial aid awards will be adjusted by the same percentage as tuition. For questions about SPA financial aid, please contact Director of Admission and Financial Aid Heather Ploen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-696-1339.
How does the semester away appear on my SPA transcript?
- There is a standard notation on the SPA transcript indicating that you attended a certain program during a given semester. Each program provides its own transcript, and you would attach it to your SPA transcript so that colleges can see your work in both places.
How does participation in one of these programs affect my SPA GPA?
- It has no impact on your SPA GPA. The courses that you took while away, and the grades that you earned, do not become part of your official SPA transcript. The colleges do, however, see what grades you earned while away because you need to attach your transcript for the work you did away from SPA.
How would participation in one of these programs affect the courses I could take in junior and senior year?
- If you are considering applying for one of the semester away programs, you MUST schedule an appointment with Dr. Richter to coordinate SPA curricular requirements with the options available at the different programs. Each program is different and would have a different impact on the courses you would take at SPA.
FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO APPLY:
Maine Coast Semester
The Oxbow School
REMEMBER THAT YOU MUST TALK WITH DR. RICHTER TO WORK OUT YOUR ACADEMIC PROGRAM IF YOU WANT TO APPLY TO ONE OF THESE PROGRAMS!