Outward Bound can help you charter your academic course.

Academic Credit

As the oldest and leading provider of experiential education, universities across the globe recognize the value of an Outward Bound course.

While the Philadelphia Outward Bound School is not a degree granting institution, like a university, we do offer credit bearing courses through our accredited partner, Western State Colorado University. Additionally, some institutions award academic credit through independent study programs.

As with any external study program, the student’s home university must approve their program and accompanying transfer credit before the student embarks on course. See your academic advisor or registrar for your school’s specific policy on transfer credit approval. Upon successful course completion, students receive an official transcript from one of our accredited partners so they may transfer the awarded credit to their university.

Visit our partner school Western State Colorado University in Gunnison, CO to review their policies and requirements for transfer credit.

529 College Savings Plans and AmeriCorps Education Awards

We accept 529 College Savings Plans and AmeriCorps Education Awards! Students wanting to attend Outward Bound with assistance from their 529, AmeriCorps Education Award or most other College Savings Plan may do so. Thanks to Outward Bound’s partnership with Western Colorado University, we can accept 529 College Savings Plan through their Extended Studies program and anyone can register – you do not have to be a current Western Colorado University student. Registration is easy and takes only a few days to process. And, as a result, you will earn academic credit for your Outward Bound outdoor education course.

How to Use Your 529 College Savings Plan and Receive Academic Credit
  1. Students 14 and older can register for any of our courses and indicate that they plan to use a 529 College Savings Plan.
  2. Download, complete and sign the Western Colorado University Extended Studies registration packet by visiting the Outward Bound Extended Studies page.
  3. Return sections B, C and D (if selected) of the completed registration packet to Western Extended Studies, along with payment for the desired credit.
  4. Once the packet is received, Extended Studies will verify your enrollment, tuition cost and payment status with the Outward Bound School.
  5. Within two business days of your enrollment verification, Extended Studies will process your registration and send an email confirmation.
  6. If you are using a 529 Plan to pay for your course, carefully follow the instructions in the registration packet and arrange for payment at a minimum of 30 days before your course begins.*
  7. If you are paying for your course with personal funds, please remit payment for your credit to our office along with your registration packet.

To learn more about using your college savings plan, scholarships and academic credit, please contact our Student Services Manager, Qiad Jones at [email protected].

Service-Learning Credit

Many of our courses that are 10-14 days long have a service project component that some schools accept as service learning credit. Prior to course start, ask your school counselor if your Outward Bound course will contribute to your service learning requirement. Finally, you must bring your school’s required paperwork with you for your instructors to complete at course start.

* You will be responsible for full payment 90 days before the course even if your 529 or Education Award funds have not been received. We will refund any additional payments once we receive the balance from Western Colorado University. Please plan accordingly.