Application & Cancelation Policies

Please review this page thoroughly BEFORE MAKING ANY FURTHER FINANCIAL COMMITMENT. We acknowledge there is a lot to read but all the information is important as you are about to make a significant commitment of money and time. If you are the parent of an applicant, you are making an investment in the growth and development of your child as well as giving the gift of an amazing opportunity. We recommend you review these financial commitment policies with your child as you will be relying on them to contribute considerable effort during course and be an active, responsible and safe participant.

It is up to parents/legal guardians to fulfill any obligations or decision-making agreements in joint custody situations. Similarly, third party payers should be made aware of all financial obligations, fees or penalties.

North Carolina Outward Bound School's (NCOBS) payment terms and conditions are based on our investment in planning, staffing and course delivery. These expenses are not recoverable; therefore, cancelation penalties apply, see CANCELATION POLICIES section below.

We will NOT issue refunds except as outlined in this document. THEREFORE, it is IMPERATIVE that you consider protecting your financial investment. Families who do not choose one of the recommendations below will not be granted refunds other than as listed in the CANCELATION POLICIES.


North Carolina Outward Bound School requires a $500 deposit submitted at time of enrollment.  The $500 deposit is applied toward the course tuition and includes a *$150 non-refundable processing fee.

There is no deposit required to apply for Veteran Programs.

The *$150 processing fee is refundable ONLY under the following conditions:

  • If you have met all due dates and did not receive the amount of scholarship aid needed.
  • You were waitlisted and a position on course DID NOT become available.
  • North Carolina Outward Bound School cancels your course.

Cancelation Policy

The deposit includes a $150 non-refundable processing fee.  The remaining $350 is refundable if you cancel your enrollment 90 days or more prior to your course start date.

If you cancel 89 days or less prior to your course start date, the cancelation penalties listed below will apply.  If you have not paid your full tuition by the due date, there are no refunds or percentage refunds of partial payments.

For cancelations:

  • 89 to 75 days prior to the course start date, Outward Bound will retain the $500 tuition deposit and will refund the remaining balance.
  • 74 to 60 days prior to the course start date, Outward Bound will retain the $500 tuition deposit and will refund 75% of the remaining balance.
  • 59 to 45 days prior to the course start date, Outward Bound will retain the $500 tuition deposit and will refund 50% of the remaining balance.
  • Less than 44 days prior to the course start date, Outward Bound will retain all payments.

In the event you are not cleared to participate, North Carolina Outward Bound School will retain the $150 non-refundable processing fee.  The remaining $350 is refundable ONLY if the screening process has been completed (all required form received, interviews completed, due dates met) and you responded with full disclosure while completing our health history questionnaire at time of enrollment. 

We are not responsible for other expenses, including travel, lodging and gear costs.

Protect Your Financial Investment

The plans highlighted below help protect your financial investment with North Carolina Outward Bound School (NCOBS).  If you elect NOT to purchase one of these plans, all NCOBS Cancelation Policies will apply.

We STRONGLY recommend that you:

  • Invest in a third-party Trip Insurance plan, which has the potential to cover course tuition, airfare and/or emergency evacuation. Coverage depends on the Trip Insurance option purchased.   
  • Consider the NCOBS Protection Plan for Pre-Course Cancelation which protects your tuition should you cancel prior to course start for a confirmed medical or family emergency ONLY. This plan will not offer refunds for cancelations due to schedule changes, lack of motivation, summer school, work conflicts, unreported pre-existing conditions, students who do not show for course start or concerns related to COVID-19.

This plan is purchased directly through NCOBS using our online payment portal and must be purchased by your balance due date. This pre-course cancelation plan is available for purchase UNTIL BALANCE DUE DATE. This plan cannot be purchased after the BALANCE DUE DATE noted in your APPLICANT PORTAL.

Length of Course

Cost of Plan (add to balance)

effective 3/23/2020

  4-11 days     $150  
  12-27 days     $250 
  28-49 days   $300  
  50+ days   $500  

In order for NCOBS to process a refund for a medical emergency, we require a letter from your physician verifying the medical emergency within 2 weeks of your cancelation.  If we do not receive that verification within 2 weeks of the cancelation, we will not provide a refund.

In order for NCOBS to process a refund for a family emergency, we require documentation of that emergency (receipts, hospital records or letter) from an objective third party (not a friend or member of the family) within 2 weeks of your cancelation. If we do not receive the required documentation within 2 weeks of cancelation, we will not provide a refund.

Once all criteria have been met, NCOBS will refund all tuition with the exception of the $150 non-refundable processing fee and the cost of the Protection Plan

Third Party Trip Insurance  

Consider third party trip insurance to protect your financial investment of course tuition, airfare and/or emergency evacuation. Trip insurance options are widely available. Ruby Frederick of Southlands Travel, LLC is a travel and trip insurance resource available to you. She works with Outward Bound Schools across the country and knows our programs well.

She can be contacted through ruby@southlandstravel.com or 303-680-5241.

 North Carolina Outward Bound School does not represent or endorse any third party trip insurance options.


Past Due

If your payment is not received by the due date noted in your REGISTRATION EMAIL, this may be considered a cancelation due to inactive status and you will lose your position on the course as well as the $500 deposit. To avoid cancelation due to an inactive status, contact your student services representative to discuss a possible extension.


Tuition covers the cost of provided food, instructors, permits, gear and equipment.  Not included in this cost are personal expenses such as clothing, insurance (health and course), airfare and baggage fees.

Full payment is due 90 days prior to the course start date even if you have yet to submit your required paperwork or have yet to be cleared to participate on the course. 


If you applied to a course and are waitlisted, your paperwork needs to be completed and returned by the due date listed in your REGISTRATION EMAIL.  If a position on course becomes available, we will offer it to the applicant who completed the paperwork first, not to the applicant who applied first.  The longer you can wait for a position to open, the better your chances!  We have had cancelations as late as one week prior to the course start.  If a position on course becomes available, you will have 24 hours to respond to our offer.  If you elect to cancel from the waitlist or decline our offer of an available position, we will refund your $500 tuition deposit.  If you fail to respond to our offer, we will refund all but the $150 non-refundable processing fee.

If a position does not become available, we will refund the $500 tuition deposit.

Early Departures or No Shows

Our intent is to support students so they have the opportunity to successfully complete their chosen course.  However, medical issues, homesickness, voluntary withdrawal, low motivation or expulsion may prevent a student from completing a course.  Should a student leave course early, parents will be contacted to arrange travel.  If your child is on a course for ages 18+, please read our Release of Information Waiver contained within the Medical Record Booklet.

No matter the reason for early departures or no shows at course start, there will be no refund or credit of tuition.

Low Enrollment Course Cancelation 

In cases of low enrollment, the North Carolina Outward Bound School may cancel a course and offer you the opportunity to transfer to another course.  We will advise applicants of their course cancelation no later than two weeks prior to the course start date or 30 days prior to an international or semester course start.  Should we cancel your course, all payments are refundable or transferable to another course.  North Carolina Outward Bound is not responsible for any other expenses including travel, insurances, lodging or clothing/gear.

Course Confirmation

In order for a course to be confirmed, we must achieve a minimum number of “firm” enrollments (typically 6).  We define “firm” as applicants who are fully paid and have been cleared to participate.  Once we achieve these requirements, your student services representative will notify families by email, phone or both.

We work diligently to confirm courses as early as possible.  However, some courses may enroll slowly which may delay this process. 


If you transfer:

  • 60 days or more prior to course start date, 100% of fully paid tuition transfers to a new course. A $100 transfer fee will apply to subsequent transfers.
  • 59-30 days from course start date, 50% of fully paid tuition transfers to a new course and 50% is forfeited.
  • Less than 30 days from course start date, no payments are transferable.

Invitational Terms & Conditions

If you are registering for an invitational, please refer to the terms and conditions in your registration email.



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