Application & Cancellation Policies

Updated 3/25/2022

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, cancellation penalties apply, see Cancellation Policy 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 Cancellation Policy


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

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.
  • North Carolina Outward Bound School cancels your course.

There is no deposit required to apply for Veteran Programs.

Past Due

If your payment or required forms are not received by the due dates noted in your Applicant Portal, this may be considered a cancellation due to inactive status and you will lose your position on the course as well as the $500 deposit. To avoid cancellation due to an inactive status, contact your student services representative to discuss possible extensions.

Cancellation 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 cancellation 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 cancellations:

  • 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 45 days prior to the course start date, Outward Bound will retain the $500 tuition deposit and will refund 50% of the remaining balance.
  • 44 days or less 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 you responded with full disclosure while completing the health history questionnaire at time of application, met all required due dates and the screening process has been completed.

NCOBS is 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 Cancellation Policy will apply.

We STRONGLY recommend that you:

Consider third party trip insurance to protect your financial investment of course tuition, airfare and/or emergency evacuation. Trip insurance options are widely available and coverage depends on the option purchased. North Carolina Outward Bound School does not represent nor endorse any third party trip insurance options.

Consider the NCOBS Protection Plan for Pre-Course Cancellation 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 cancellations 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 plan cannot be purchased after the balance due date noted in your Applicant Portal.

Length of Course

Cost of Plan - effective 2/17/2022

  4-7 days     $175  
  8-20 days   $250  
  21-49 days     $350 
  50-59 days   $500  
  60+ days   $700  

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 cancellation. If we do not receive that verification within 2 weeks of the cancellation, 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 cancellation. If we do not receive the required documentation within 2 weeks of cancellation, we will not provide a refund.

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



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 forms or have yet to be cleared to participate.  


A $500 deposit is required for a waitlist application. This deposit includes a:  
  • $150 non-refundable processing fee
  • $350 tuition payment refundable only if you cancel your waitlist application before a position becomes available* or an open position never becomes available. 

Exception: Outward Bound will refund your full $500 deposit if Outward Bound cancels your course and you are unable to transfer to another course. 

If a position becomes available, the waitlist applicant will be applied to the open position and our Cancellation Policy will apply. 

 *If you no longer wish to be waitlisted, contact us immediately to cancel your waitlist application!

Applicants may only apply to only one course. We recommend applying to a course with open positions rather than a course accepting waitlist applications. Due to high demand, available positions are extremely competitive; therefore, waitlist applicants are expected to complete all required forms. We select waitlist applicants based on responsiveness to deadlines and level of commitment to participate. Positions may become available as late as one to two weeks prior to the course start date.  

Early Departures or No Shows

Our intent is to support students to successfully complete their 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 applicant's portal.

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

Course Confirmation

We work diligently to confirm courses as early as possible. However, due to circumstances such as enrollment, weather and/or staffing, course confirmation may be delayed.  

Once the course is confirmed, your student services representative will notify families by email.  

Course Cancellation 

Should the North Carolina Outward Bound School cancel a course, we will endeavor to notify applicants two weeks prior to course start or as quickly as possible. For course length of 30 days+, our goal notification is one month prior to course start or as quickly as possible.

Should we cancel your course, all payments are refundable or transferable to another course. The North Carolina Outward Bound School is not responsible for any other expenses including travel, insurances, lodging or clothing/gear.


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 prior to course start date, 50% of fully paid tuition transfers to a new course and 50% is forfeited.
  • Less than 30 days prior to course start date, no payments transfer. 




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