Check out the questions below. If we do not answer all your questions visit our contact us page or send us an email.
- How do I apply?
- How much does the program cost?
A: The program costs $2,000 and that includes food, lodging, and materials relating to the program.
- How do I get a scholarship and how much is it?
A: Currently we don’t offer scholarships, but we are looking to add a scholarship program in 2017.
- If I drop after I pay, can I get a refund?
A: No. Unfortunately after the “Student Charge Authorization Form” is signed/submitted, we cannot give a refund for dropping out of the program. The form specifically states this and we recommend not signing it until you are ready to “accept” your spot in the program. There are a few reasons for the refund policy. First, each year we turn hundreds of students away because of the high number of applications we receive. By accepting the spot in the program, a student has taken that space away from another student. Second, fundraising only covers part of the program’s expenses. Depending on when someone drops there may not be time to replace them through our wait list (or we may not have anyone left on the wait list). We need that money to make the program happen. Finally, and most importantly, we do not want to be in the business of deciding what is a “good” reason to drop and what is a “bad” reason. Therefore we apply the no refund rule equally to everyone who drops.
- What do we do?
A: Participants in the alternative spring break program will learn how to start and maintain a micro farm in an urban area. Visit our Syllabus page to get more of a sense of the day-to-day activities.
- How are the duties divided up?
A: When you apply to be a participant, you rank your top choices of what TASK you want to do during the program. Then the site leaders and execs go through the pool of participants to decide who will work best on which projects and duties. Then you are notified which project or duty you were assigned and what you will be doing.
- What is the Wait List and how does it work?
A: Each year students have to drop out of the program for various reasons (health, family, etc). We keep a wait list of students so we can make sure the program is full when it starts. If a student drops, we contact the next person on the wait list. We’ve been asked before if there is an order to the list. There is and is not. We select students to try and create a balanced program. For example, we do not want a program of 11 women and one man. We try to replace the dropped student with someone similar. So if a woman drops, we try to replace her with another woman. If a freshman drops, we try to replace them with another freshman. All students are notified about their application status at the same time. When the time comes, every student who was accepted, wait listed, or not selected will receive an email.
- How is the program funded?
A: As discussed previously, the enrollment fee actually pays for everything that the student would need for the program including lodging and food.
- Are alcohol or drugs allowed?
A: Yes and No. While drugs are not allowed under any circumstances, alcohol for students of age and during their free time is allowed, in moderation.
- How safe is the program?
A: The well-being of our students is our number one concern. To make the program as safe as possible we take all kinds of precautions during the entirety of the program. First, we only provide lodging from safe and reliable individuals. Second, we also have policies in place to make sure students are safe at the work site, in their housing and at all other times. We require at least three people be together at all times, regardless of when or where they are. Site Leaders have regular check ins with staff members and should an emergency arise, they are instructed to notify us as soon as possible so we can advise them on what to do next. Site leaders have full control during this program. If at anytime they feel the work that we ask them to do is too dangerous, we will ensure that student is immediately removed from the situation. If a student is not complying with our policies or our site leaders we reserve the right to put that person on a plane and send them home (at their expense). This is to ensure the safety of the entire group. In the past we have also taken disciplinary measures when the students have returned with the Office of Student Conduct for violations of MAB policies. Safety is our number one concern and we do not take it lightly.
- Do you go anywhere outside of the US?
A: No unfortunately this program does not provide for an international program.
- Should I bring any money to the program?
A: Yes. The program will not pay for any “souvenirs.” (you should probably get your parents something) Also, while the program will supply standard meals, you may want to buy a soda or snacks.
- What effect does this program have?
A: Wonderful question. This program allows students to experience every aspect of urban farming while also being exposed to the business side of things, thus allowing any student that finishes the program a bit of leg up on some of their counterparts who may not have participated in any type of alternative spring break program.