General Gap Year Questions

What is a Gap Year?

The American Gap Association (AGA) defines a gap year as, “an experiential semester or year "on," typically taken between high school and college in order to deepen practical, professional, and personal awareness.” At Vox Bivium, we believe gaps occur at various times in young people’s lives - not exclusively the year in between high school graduation and a student’s first year of college. For that reason, our program is designed for students as young as 18 and students in their twenties.

Do Gap Years actually work?

Yes! Many studies have been completed that show that students who choose to do a gap year program actually perform at higher academic levels than those who do not. Additionally, students who complete a gap year often find they possess a greater understanding of who they are and what they are skilled and gifted at doing with their careers and callings. For more information and scholarly research on this, check out the research composed by the AGA found here. 

Application Process, Acceptance, & Coursework

Is Vox only for those just out of high school?

No. Vox Bivium exists for college-aged students that find themselves facing crossroads situations in life – gaps. This doesn’t exclusively mean recent high school graduates but generally anyone as young as 18 and into their twenties. 

Are the college credits transferable to any university?

Yes. Through our university partnership, 24 college credits are transferable to any other public or private university upon successful completion of each of the course requirements.

What is the application process? When will I know if I’m accepted to Vox?

The Vox Bivium application process is much like a regular college application. Click on the “Apply Now” button to the right to begin your application. After we receive your application, we will get back to you within three business days to schedule an interview. We then conduct your interview and check your references . You will be notified of your acceptance status within seven (7) days of your interview. The sooner you apply, the sooner you will know if you are accepted.

Note: If you plan to use Federal Student Aid to assist in your tuition, be sure to complete the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the applicable deadlines. Click the button below to learn more. 

What are the academic requirements for Vox?

At Vox Bivium we like to say we value credibility over credits, but that doesn’t mean that credits are not important to us. We simply realize that while some students may excel in the classroom setting, they can still have challenges outside of the classroom. Conversely, while some students excel in vocational life, they may not excel in the classroom. All that to say, we do still factor academic performance and GPA values into admittance decisions, but we do not have a specific GPA threshold for who is admitted and who is not. Instead, we evaluate each student’s capacity to be successful at Vox Bivium on a case-by-case basis.

Our learning environment has proved to be beneficial to some students who historically haven’t done as well in the classroom because we provide a combination of classroom instruction, hands on experience, and great adventure. However, it should also be noted that in order to attain transferable credit for your coursework at Vox Bivium, students must be able to meet the academic requirements of each course.

When is the deadline for application?

The sooner the better! We accept applications until our subsequent year's class is full. Once our class is full, we create a waiting list of students to fill any spots that may open up prior to move in.

If you don’t choose to do Vox Bivium for credit, do you still get to do the same classes?

Classroom instruction is a vital element of our goal to help students gain clarity and understanding for who they truly are and what God has called them to do. Therefore, if a student elects not to accept credit for their coursework, they will still be required to participate as if they were receiving credit. Additionally, these students will be unable to use federal student aid to help pay their tuition.

Can I come to Vox for a visit during my Junior or Senior year?

Absolutely! For more information on scheduling a Vox Visit, click on the button below.

Do I apply to Vox and Columbia International University (CIU)?

Students apply to CIU after acceptance to Vox is completed, and we will walk you through that process.

Is Vox Bivium denominationally affiliated? 

Vox Bivium is a non-denominational protestant evangelical Christian gap year school. We have partnerships with multiple Bible believing ministries and churches that share our ethos. Those ministries range in denominational ties, but they are all Christian ministries. Our students come from all different backgrounds. By looking at our partnerships, our curriculum, our students, and where and how we serve - one can get a good picture of our Christian values. If there is any one particular topic or position that is important to you we would love to talk about it more. Overall, our goal is to develop clarity around who God is and what he is doing through the work of His Son - Jesus - and the indwelling presence of The Holy Spirit, who you are in Christ, and the part you play in God's story. We do this through bible-based instruction, hands on learning, serving, and adventure -all of which is carried out against the backdrop of a Christian worldview. 

Tuition & Fundraising

What does tuition cover?

Tuition covers full program costs. This includes all college credits/tuition, all textbooks, room and board (i.e. residence and meals), and travel costs for ALL trips. The only additional funds a student may wish to bring would be for spending money while off campus or for incidentals. Incidentals might include coffee, movies, off-campus meals students elect to check out for, personal snacks, hygiene items, etc. Tuition for the 2019-2020 school year is $23,700. 

We’re concerned about money.

In our Introduction to Personal Finance, Economics and Ethics course, our President Josh Pedersen shares with the students that money is simply an “agreed upon storehouse for value.” We believe that Vox Bivium is an extremely valuable experience for those God calls to participate. We also believe that God is a provider and will be faithful to those he calls. For that reason, if money is a concern for you, creative financial options are available, including fundraising, third party financing, and payment plans. Additionally, because of our partnership with Columbia International University, all the student aid that would be available to you at any other public or private institution is also at your disposal. If money is one of the only elements holding you back from something you feel God is calling you into, please contact us by clicking on the button below.

Are there resources available that we can take back to our church to raise tuition assistance?

Yes. Once a student is accepted into an upcoming school year, they are provided with an acceptance packet that includes a fundraising packet. Also once accepted, students are able to reach out to Vox Bivium staff for any assistance or support they may need leading up to and during their time at Vox Bivium.

Are there any in house scholarships available to help with tuition?

Yes! Vox has established the Amy Todd scholarship to honor our friend and former faculty member’s legacy. After enrolling, students are eligible to be considered for this scholarship. Each school year, at least one scholarship of no less than $1,000 will be awarded to qualifying student(s). More detail on qualifying for this scholarship is sent to students upon enrollment.

Student Life

Can I bring a vehicle to Vox?

Yes. Students are allowed to bring their vehicle and leave campus when there is no scheduled programming on nights, weekends, and over breaks.

Can I have a job while I attend Vox?

Because of our full schedule at Vox Bivium including classroom instruction, hands-on experience, community service, and approximately one week of travel per month; students are unable to have normal jobs while attending Vox Bivium. It is logistically challenging for students to be reliable employees in a normal job setting with the full schedule we have at Vox Bivium. However, students will have the opportunity to work with our partner ministry Look Up Lodge to earn a bit of extra spending money by picking up shifts when our schedule allows.

What type of facilities do Vox students live in?

Vox Bivium uses resident housing provided by our ministry partner Look Up Lodge. Look Up Lodge is a non-denominational Christian camp located in Travelers Rest, South Carolina. We are privileged to have access to a beautiful lakefront campus on 230 acres of land in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Students currently use two dorm-style facilities with shared bedrooms and bathrooms. Central to our core curriculum is the importance of living in Christian community and dorm-style housing naturally encourages the process of developing Christian community.

Do Vox students have breaks for holidays during the school year?

Yes. Vox Bivium follows a schedule very similar to any other college or university. Students have three full days off for Thanksgiving (plus the weekend), three weeks off for Christmas, and one week for spring break.

What type of meals do Vox students eat?

Meals and meal preparation are essential skills to life and because of that we incorporate meal planning and preparation into our curriculum. Approximately half of the meals are prepared by our partners at Look up Lodge, the other half are prepared by our students. With the guidance of Vox Bivium staff, students are assigned to teams, given a budget, and tasked with planning, purchasing, and preparing meals for the student body on a rotational basis.

Can Vox students go home on the weekend?

Yes. Students are free to go home or off campus over the weekends. We encourage students to find an appropriate balance in taking weekends away from Vox Bivium to help them build deep Christian community in order to maximize their experience at Vox Bivium. Additionally, on a few weekends over the course of the year, Vox Bivium has scheduled activities or trips so home visits or weekend check-outs are not possible in those instances.

Where do Vox students attend church?

At the beginning of the school year, Vox Bivium staff introduce students to four partner churches in our area. After those introductions are complete, students choose to go to one of those partner churches or request permission to attend another church. As part of Vox Bivium, students need to attend a local church regularly and submit written reflections of their experience at their church on a weekly basis.

Do I have to be an avid adventurer to attend Vox?

No. In fact, most of our students do not have much experience in adventure, but just a big appetite to adventure and learn. We give you that opportunity and we make sure that you are 100% safe doing it.

Are Vox students more likely than others to become summer staffers at Look Up Lodge?

No preferential treatment is given to Vox Bivium students when it comes to the hiring of Look Up Lodge summer staff.

How many students participate in Vox?

Currently, Vox Bivium has 12 male spots and 12 female spots available each year for a total of 24 students. 

Can friends/family come visit?

Family and friends are welcome to come visit students and can even stay at Look Up Lodge if space allows! Students are asked to verify details with staff prior to family or friends arriving. 

Do we have access to the outside world?

Yes! In fact, we encourage students to use their free time and weekends to explore the upstate of South Carolina and Western North Carolina.. The city of Greenville is consistently voted a top tourist destination. Additionally, the upstate of South Carolina and Western North Carolina have all sorts of great hiking, biking, camping, and scenic destinations to explore. 

Just for Fun

Is there a way that adults can put their lives aside and participate in Vox?

We get this question all the time! Perhaps one day we’ll create a Vox Bivium experience for post college-aged adults. 🙂