Financial Philosophy - High Desert Center
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Financial Philosophy

THE MOST AFFOARDABLE GAP PROGRAM AROUND

Because we believe the opportunities we offer should be accessible.

For a nine-month program that offers room and board, instruction, adventure and travel, $7,500 isn’t much. In fact, as many applicants have told me, “I’d have a hard time living on my own and traveling for that amount of money.” It is important to us to keep costs low, because we want this program to be accessible to young people who are earning their own tuition money. Already, from that context, $7,500 is a lot of money for a young person to earn.

Here’s what we do to keep costs low:

  • Dev Carey, the director earns $15,000 a year and other staff earn less than that.  That’s not a lot for a yearly income, but all of us are committed to living simply, and we want to model living well without spending much.
  • All program participants eat simple, healthy and mostly local food; live in close quarters without a lot of personal space; and travel by foot or bike or in an old van (with good brakes and new tires).
  • Our adventures are mostly of a local, low cost variety.  Instead of paying somebody to take us whitewater rafting, for example, we might walk the 30 odd miles from our land to the Gunnison Gorge and jump in, then spend the night around a campfire.
  • We don’t buy liability insurance.  For more about this see our risk philosophy page.