Admissions & Tuition for Kroka Semester Programs

Admissions Process

Lao-tzu said that “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” The first step along the path to a transformative Kroka semester is to fill out our online application.  After, you’ll submit additional supporting materials, including an essay, academic transcript, and a letter of recommendation, via email to After we’ve received your materials, we’ll contact you to either set up an interview or to provide next steps to continue to prepare for a Kroka semester in the future.


We believe all eligible students should have access to the unique opportunity of a Kroka Semester. Launching and supporting extended expeditionary learning programs with the very best equipment and faculty is expensive, and thanks to our generous donors, we can welcome all students who have a sincere desire to attend. We are grateful to the staff, donors, and other supporters who work throughout the year to make sure that these life-changing programs can be available to all. Kroka does not pay commissions for any US referrals to their Semester programs.

We offer two financial paths to enrollment for families:


$35,000 Winter/Spring
$30,000 Fall/Ecuador

Covers the full cost of a semester program: staff, equipment, management, and logistics.


$7,500 – $34,000

Based on documented household family income with additional scholarship funding available.

Additional Fees

The cost of the program is divided between tuition and other fees. You should expect to pay an additional $1,000 – $2,000  in equipment and materials fees (for items that will be taken home at the completion of the program), as well as miscellaneous donations and student account fees. There is also a packing list with required gear that you will need to have borrowed or purchased ahead of time.

Multi-Program Discount

Students who have successfully graduated from a previous Kroka semester can receive a 5% tuition discount on another semester.

Payment Plans

Payment Plans

A $2,000 deposit is required upon acceptance into the program (before the financial aid decisions are made). This deposit is refundable (less a $500 fee) up until 60 days prior to the program start. The remaining payments are typically spread out over a period of months, on a schedule that meets your needs, with all tuition and fees due prior to the completion of the program.

Kroka does not pay commission for any US referrals to our semester programs.

Financial Aid

There are two different processes for completing enrollment, paying tuition, and applying for financial aid:

Sterling College Process (for students who wish to receive credit and have already achieved a highschool diploma or equivalent)

Students will enroll, pay tuition, and receive financial aid through Sterling College, a four-year undergraduate college located in Craftsbury Vermont that also serves as Kroka’s accreditation partner. Please note that one does not need to complete the Sterling College admissions process; admission to Kroka guarantees enrollment at Sterling college.

Once enrolled, families can follow the regular Sterling College financial aid process – which typically includes filling out the FAFSA using the Sterling College school code 014991

Kroka Process (for all other students)

Current high school level students will enroll and pay tuition directly to Kroka Expeditions, based on our sliding scale tuition system. These specific sliding scale tuition rates are published for each program.

Public School Funding: Some school districts will pay some or all of Kroka tuition costs. Check with your local school district.

If the sliding scale system is not adequate to meet the needs of your family, we encourage student fundraising, and Kroka also can sometimes offer additional financial aid. Kroka Expeditions is a financial needs-blind institution, with financial aid decisions made after admissions decisions. We are committed to allowing participation to everyone regardless of income. Financial aid awards typically range from 5% to 30% of your family’s sliding-scale tuition amount, depending upon your unique circumstances and the resources we have available at the time.

Click here to download Kroka’s financial aid application form

Essential Eligibility Criteria for a Kroka Semester

A Kroka semester is a uniquely transformative experience that demands extraordinary levels of focus during a brief period of time in one’s life. In order to meet our curriculum and programmatic goals, students on a Kroka semester will live simply in the wilderness with few material possessions, participate in daily physical farm work, practice traditional handcrafts, and engage in walking, running, hiking, backpacking, backcountry skiing, whitewater canoeing, mountain biking, rock climbing, caving, and other adventure sports. The following Essential Eligibility Criteria outline the minimum requirements for successful participation in a Kroka semester:


On all Kroka programs, the primary language used in instruction is English. Students must possess a high level of English fluency and be able to understand, read, write, and articulate at a 9th grade level or above. In addition, to complete academic work on Kroka semester students must:

  • Be able to write legibly with pens and pencils
  • Be able to use a knife effectively for woodcarving
  • Be able to use, with instruction, a variety or handheld tools for handwork projects including knitting needles, axe, saw, awl, sewing needle, sewing machine, rasp, hammer, and pencil sharpener

Physical Fitness

Baseline Physical Fitness is measured on the start day of the program and is a requirement for participation. Students must demonstrate that they are capable of completing:

  • a 5-mile run in one hour or less
  • 50 crunches in one minute or less
  • 30 squat jumps
  • 30 burpees

In addition, students are expected to maintain a high standard of personal hygiene and be responsible for all aspects of personal care, with periodic instruction and reminders.

Living Environment

Living in Kroka Village requires students to be capable of living in an outdoor, off-grid, low-technology environment while performing daily chores including:

  • Safely using an axe and a maul to split firewood and kindling
  • Using a wheelbarrow, log carrier, and wheeled cart
  • Selecting and wearing appropriate clothing for sufficient warmth and protection in weather that includes rain, sun, snow, sleet, winds up to 40mph, and temperatures ranging from 80 F to -30 F
  • Entering and exiting dwellings with doors 2.5’ wide by 4ft high
  • Sleeping on the ground on an inflatable mattress and sleeping bag
  • Using composting toilets

Farming Activities

In order to participate in farming activities, students must:

  • Be able to move unassisted over uneven terrain including muddy, slippery, rocky, or loose surfaces
  • Be able to hold and operate a variety of handheld tools including shovels, rakes, pitchforks, hoes, rock bars, mattocks, and posthole diggers
  • Independently move and lift buckets of water and animal feed weighing up to 30lbs
  • Wear all required protective equipment including hearing protection, eye protection, rubber boots, work gloves, and durable work clothing
  • Respond appropriately to risks associated with working with animals and/or machinery including sudden movement, warning sounds, and/or instructor verbal commands

Walking, Running, Hiking & Backpacking Activities

Walking, running, hiking, and backpacking activities take place on uneven terrain that may be steep, slippery, rocky, wet, muddy, and/or icy, and students must:

  • Be able to maneuver safely across varied terrain without assistance
  • Select appropriate equipment for travel in varied conditions
  • Have sufficient stamina to travel distances of up to 10 miles and;
  • Be able to do so while carrying a backpack weighing up to 35lbs

Winter Activities

Winter activities take place on snow and ice which may require that participants:

  • Can put on and take off skis, snowshoes, and microspikes
  • Can travel on skis and snowshoes over uneven, steep, slippery and/or icy conditions for distances of up to 10 miles and while carrying a backpack weighing up to 35lbs
  • Can safely put on and take off winter clothing including mittens, gaiters, insulated jacket with hood, buff, winter hat, ski pants, and winter boots

Winter Camping

Winter camping takes place in remote and snowy environments that require students to:

  • Be able to identify trees to be used for firewood and harvest firewood using a handheld axe, folding saw, and/or by breaking branches
  • Be able to do so while maneuvering on skis and/or snowshoes
  • Be able to participate in setup and takedown of winter tents which includes tying quick-release knots in 3mm cord in sub-zero temperatures while not losing one’s gloves!
  • Understand the risks associated with frostbite, hypothermia, dehydration, and burns
  • Safely enter and exit the winter tent with an entrance no more than 3 ft high in pitch darkness while using a battery-operated headlamp

Canoe Travel

During the spring and fall, canoe travel is common on flatwater and whitewater ranging from class I-III. Whitewater canoeing is an exciting activity that demands 100% focus and where the margin of error can pose a significant risk (but which also helps students develop willpower and self-confidence while learning a traditional craft!). To participate in canoeing, students must:

  • Be able to enter and exit a canoe independently from land and from water
  • Demonstrate correct paddle position and paddle strokes including a forward stroke, pry, draw, and sweep
  • Properly fit and wear a PFD, understand buoyancy aids, and help a partner with PFD fit
  • Be able to read oncoming river hazards such as rapids, rocks, strainers, and other boaters
  • Demonstrate international paddle symbols and react to symbols from other boaters
  • Be able to safely swim to shore, securely hold a rescue rope and/or flotation, and demonstrate self-rescue following a capsize and/or swimming event

Mountain Biking and Bikepacking Activities

Mountain Biking and Bikepacking are essential modes of travel on Kroka Semesters, and these require students to demonstrate balance, coordination, judgment, and mechanical ability. Students mountain biking must:

  • Be able to mount and dismount a bicycle and achieve balance while riding
  • Be able to keep pace with a group traveling 20-30 miles/day over paved surfaces, dirt road surfaces, and single-track woods trails
  • Be able to quickly respond to environmental hazards, vehicles, pedestrians, and other cyclists by operating brakes, gears, and steering to avoid collision
  • Be able to use a range of handheld tools to perform bicycle maintenance

Rock Climbing & Caving Activities

Rock Climbing and Caving activities occur periodically during Kroka Semesters. Participating safely in these activities requires that participants:

  • Select appropriate clothing for the activity based on instructions
  • Be able to put on, take off, and adjust a safety harness and helmet without assistance
  • Be able to tie the following knots in 8mm rope: figure eight follow-through; fisherman’s
  • Demonstrate effective use of an ATC belay device and safe belay technique
  • Demonstrate effective communication using verbal commands across distances of up to 30 meters and while climbing, belaying, or managing a back-up belay
  • Be able to independently maneuver through spaces in rock measuring no more than 30 inches wide by 24 inches high over distances of more than 10 feet

Enrollment Policies

At Kroka we place a top priority on the health and well being of the individual and the community. As a result, nearly 100% of our students complete their semester study programs, and many return to Kroka again and again as alumni, students, apprentices, and staff. Should some circumstances prevent the successful completion of the program, these are the policies and procedures that will apply:

Withdrawal prior to the start of the program

Should circumstances require you to change your plans, your tuition deposit and payments are refundable up to 60 days prior to the starting date of the program, less a $500 cancellation fee. After that date, all tuition and fees are non-refundable.

Withdrawal or dismissal from the program

Since our operating expenses in planning and staffing the program do not diminish if a student departs during the course of the semester, you acknowledge that your obligation to pay fees for the full program is unconditional. No deduction, remission, or refund of tuition charges will be made for any absence, dismissal, or withdrawal from the program due to disciplinary, academic, social, emotional, or personal reasons. Students and family will be held accountable, to the extent permitted by law, for Kroka’s expenses of enforcement and collection of those fees.

Medical Issues

Should a physical injury or illness that occurs during the program prevent participation or completion of the program, we will offer to apply the pro-rated unused portion of the tuition towards a future program with Kroka for that student or an immediate sibling.

Mental Health

While immersion in nature and wilderness travel is beneficial and healing for all, our semester programs are not clinically therapeutic nor appropriate for individuals who need routine, ongoing counseling or mental health support. Any participant who has had therapy within the past 12 months must establish a communication plan between Kroka and their clinician.

Change of plans

Kroka reserves the right to change it’s curriculum offerings, activities, schedules, itineraries, and staff personnel, as well as other policies and procedures, as circumstances may require.


Kroka reserves the right to dismiss a student from the program if the teachers, staff, or the Board of Trustees, determine that the behavior of the student is not in accordance with Kroka’s code of conduct and is jeopardizing the functioning of the program and/or the health or education of any student.


Kroka reserves the right to withhold student evaluations and academic transcripts until we have received full payment of semester tuition and fees.