Payment, Cancellations & Admissions Policies


Tuition and Fees Payments

The $500 deposit you paid upon enrollment includes a $150 non-refundable application fee. The balance of tuition and fees is due 90 days prior to course start regardless of your student’s application status. Past-due payment may be considered a cancellation and you will forfeit both your space on course and your deposit.

Open Enrollment Scholarship & Payment Plans

We offer scholarship opportunities and flexible payment plans to make courses accessible to more applicants. Please ask your course advisor for more information. In the event that you apply for an open enrollment scholarship and do not receive sufficient funds to attend course, we will refund your full $500 deposit.

If you cancel: 
  • 90+ days from the course start date - OBCA will retain a $150 non-refundable application fee
  • 89-75 days from the course start date – OBCA will retain the $500 deposit
  • 74-45 days from the course start date – OBCA will retain the $500 deposit plus 50% remaining tuition
  • Fewer than 44 days from the course start date - OBCA will retain full tuition
  • Early Departure from course– OBCA retain full tuition (see tuition protection plan below, for exceptions)

*If you are not medically cleared to participate on the course, Outward Bound California will refund paid tuition and fees with the exception of a $150 non-refundable application fee.

We STRONGLY RECOMMEND that you research travel insurance options (see options below) and purchase one that will protect your investment.

Additional Policies and Insurance Information

Application Process

Our goal is for every student to have a successful course. By sharing all physical, emotional and behavioral conditions with us in the screening process, you enable us to help you find the course that will provide you with the highest chance for success. Failure to provide accurate and complete information could compromise your or other participants’ safety and course quality. Any undisclosed conditions that result in early departure from course are not eligible for a refund, and may result in additional fees up to $1000 to cover costs incurred during removal from the field.

Tuition and Fees Refund Policy

Outward Bound California’s (OBCA) general payment terms and conditions are based on the investment we make in planning, preparing for and delivering our courses. Many of these expenses are incurred well in advance of your trip and cannot be recovered in the case of short-notice cancellation, transfer or early departure from your course. By requesting an Application for Outward Bound you are agreeing to abide by the information contained in these policies and understand that we cannot make exceptions. Please review the options (below) for insurance if you’d like to protect your investment.

Course Cancellation and Unavoidable Course Transfers

On occasion, relocating or cancelling a course is the only way we can maintain our high safety standards. When complications such as inclement weather, environmental disaster or similar uncontrollable interruptions occur, we have the following policies:

  • In all cases, travel will not be reimbursed by OBCA. If you have purchased travel insurance through a third party, please complete a claim to potentially recover travel costs.
  • If you have purchased third party insurance, OBCA’s policy will be secondary to any amount recovered by your insurance.

Courses relocated to another course area: Programming will continue and no refunds or credits will be issued.

Courses which have not started: Full course refund including fees (if not able to be transferred to future course).

Courses that have started: OBCA will retain a $150 application fee and a $150 transportation fee in all cases.

  • < 25% Course Completed: Full tuition credit
  • 25-75% Course Completed: Prorated tuition credit
  • 75-100% Course Completed: No tuition credit

Course Transfer Policy

  • 60+ days prior to course start: 
    • ONE complimentary transfer to another course
    • $100 transfer fee for subsequent transfers 
  • 31-59 days prior to course start: Forfeit 50% of your paid tuition and fees, apply the remainder to your new course  
  • < 30 days before course start: Transfers within 30 days of course start will forfeit payment of full tuition and fees


Once a course has reached capacity, three waitlist spots become available. A $500 deposit is required. The deposit includes a $150 non-refundable application fee. The remaining $350 tuition payment is refundable only if you cancel your waitlist application or if an open spot does not become available. 

If a spot becomes available, the applicant will be applied to the open spot and held to the terms of the Application and Cancellation Policies above, including forfeiture of the $500 deposit if you cancel 90 days or less prior to the course start date. 

Waitlist applicants are required to complete all required admissions documents while awaiting an open spot. Spots may become available up to two weeks prior to the course start date. Applicants may only apply to one course. We recommend applying to a course with open positions instead of a course that is accepting waitlist applications.

Insurance: OBCA Tuition Protection Plan (TPP)

The OBCA Tuition Protection Plan provides limited tuition reimbursement for Pre-Course Cancellations or Early Departures from course ONLY due to a family emergency or documented illness/injury.
If you elect to not purchase the TPP and need to cancel your enrollment or leave course early for any reason, you will be held to the terms of the Cancellation Policy. The Tuition Protection Plan is only available for purchase until your final payment due date. 
Coverage Specifications for OBCA's Tuition Protection Plan
To request a TPP refund, you must contact your Course Advisor with written documentation from a medical professional within 2 weeks of the participant’s cancellation or early departure from course. Refunds for Early Departures will be prorated based on the number of days of course missed.
OBCA will retain a $150 application fee, a $150 transportation fee and the cost of TPP for all cancellations or early departures from course. Applicants are fully responsible for any travel costs associated with the cancellation or early departure from course. 

Tuition Protection Plan Cost (2022 season)

Length of Course  

 Cost of Plan 

  4-11 days  


  12-14 days  


  22-24 days


  30-59 days




TPP may not be used to cover pre-course cancellations when: 

  • Enrollment occurs within 45 days of course.
  • Participants are enrolled on an Outward Bound course at another school earlier in the same year.


Emergency evacuation by air or otherwise can be very expensive. OBCA will not be financially responsible for these costs in the event your student requires evacuation.

Travel insurance is not required, but it is strongly recommended. Please consult with your existing insurance provider and/or a third party vendor to learn about your options.  

A third party Travel Insurance plan has the potential to cover course tuition, airfare and/or emergency evacuation (such as an ambulance or helicopter). Coverage depends on the insurance purchased and must be discussed with the insurance provider you select. We cannot guarantee that emergency services will be “in network” with your insurance provider. 

There are many vendors who sell this type of insurance, and OBCA is listing a travel agent and World Nomads below as a courtesy. They are familiar with Outward Bound programs and can assist in choosing a trip insurance plan. Outward Bound is not affiliated with either of the options listed, and does not receive any commission.

Travel Agent:  Donna Evans, CTA, DS - Exceptional Adventures/Andavo affiliate-Virtuoso member

Phone: 303-400-0852

Email: [email protected]

3rd Party Insurance Provider: World Nomads 

Website: https://www.worldnomads.com

Review the World Nomads travel insurance options carefully, particularly the information about what claims are covered and excluded. For instance, World Nomads has represented that activities such as rock climbing, rappelling, and mountaineering, which are Outward Bound activities on some courses, are specifically listed in the Explorer plan, but not the Standard plan. Direct any questions about World Nomads coverage to World Nomads representatives.

OBCA makes no representations or guarantees on how third party insurance will process any claim. In the event of an emergency air evacuation during the course, OBCA will not, in most instances, obtain pre-approval and/or pre-notification of the evacuation that may be required by World Nomads. World Nomads represents that if their assistance company cannot be contacted ahead of time for approval or notification, the covered traveler will be charged, billed, and responsible for the travel costs at the time of service. You must then file a claim and submit medical documentation to World Nomads for review to determine coverage.

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