Frequently Asked Questions
Questions answered below:
Check out the questions below. If we do not answer all your questions visit our contact us page and send us an email.
A: Great question, just Join a Break!
A: All participants pay a participant fee that covers part of the cost of their trip. The remaining cost is covered through each student’s fundraising efforts. Students pay a $200 participant fee for Thanksgiving, winter, and spring break week-long trips. Students pay a $300 participant fee for a 10-day summer trip. Participant fees for international trips vary per year. These participant fees only cover a portion of the trip. The rest is covered through student fundraisers. Every MAB trip does fundraising so we can keep the cost to students for each trip as low as possible. If a student raises more than $500, we’ll refund 50% of their payment to their MyZou account upon successful completion of their MAB trip. Students participating on weekend trips are charged a $100 participant fee and do not participate in fundraising efforts. All participant fees are charged through Student Charge on a student’s MyZou account by signing a form and are non-refundable.
A: MAB created its own scholarship fund in 2012. On the application there will be a box you can select that indicates you’d like to be considered for a scholarship. There will be a few other questions you’ll need to answer and you’ll need to give us permission to view basic FASFA information (by checking a box on the form). After all the applications are in, we will read through the scholarship requests and offer scholarships based on need and availability of funds.
No. Unfortunately after the “Student Charge Authorization Form” is signed and submitted, we cannot give a refund for dropping out of the trip. The form specifically states this and we recommend not signing it until you are ready to “accept” your spot on the trip. There are a few reasons for the refund policy. First, each year we turn hundreds of students away because of the high number of applications we receive. By accepting the spot on the trip, a student has taken that space away from another student. Second, fundraising only covers part of the trip’s expenses and the participant fees cover many of the fixed costs of the trip. Finally, and most importantly, we do not want to be in the business of deciding what is a “good” reason to drop and what is a “bad” reason. Therefore we apply the no refund rule equally to everyone who drops.
A: When you apply to be a part of an MAB trip, you rank your top choices of what service focus you want to do on your alternative break. Then the site leaders go through the pool of applicants and choose participants based on their application answers and service focus (no personal identifiers are used in the selection process). Then, you are notified which trip you were selected for and where you’ll be going.
A: Each year we have more applicants than available spots on trips. However, there are always a number of students who have to drop out of trips for various reasons (health, family, etc). Depending on the time when a student drops, we may be able to contact the next person on the wait list. We select students in a way that creates a diverse, balanced trip. For example, we try to replace the dropped student with someone similar. So if a woman drops, we try to replace her with another woman. If a freshman drops, we try to replace them with another freshman. All students are notified about their application status at the same time. When the time comes, every student who was accepted, wait listed, or not selected will receive an email.
A: MAB covers most of the expenses of the trip through student fundraising efforts and participant fees. Trip expenses range from transportation (rental cars), food, fuel, housing, site fees, and more food. (Seriously, college students eat a lot of food.) We rely on participants fees and a lot of fundraisers to make our program possible. The average domestic week long trip for 12 students costs anywhere from $2,500-$6,000.
A: No. This is a University sponsored event, so alcohol and drugs are prohibited at all times.
A: The well-being of our students is a priority. To make the trips as safe as possible we take precautions both before the trips leave and during. First, we only rent vehicles from Enterprise, Avis, and our campus fleet. Second, any person who is going to drive must follow our driving policy, the site leaders are responsible for promoting adherence to the policy. Drivers are not allowed to drive longer than 2 hours at a time so as to keep the drivers fresh. Also, driving between 12:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. is not permitted. Every driver has completed a driver’s training and signed a driver’s agreement. Per University regulations only 20-year-old drivers are permitted to drive larger vehicles. Driving safety is not our only concern. We require at least three people be together at all times, regardless of when or where they are. Site Leaders also have check-ins and should an emergency arise, they are instructed to notify us as soon as possible so we can advise them on what to do next. MAB policies are also in place to make the trips as safe as possible and it is each participant’s responsibility to adhere to MAB policies. .
Site leaders and participants are advised to take precautions and be safe on these trips. If at any time they feel the work that an agency is asking them to do is too dangerous, they are advised not to perform the work until the appropriate safety measures are in place. If a student is not complying with our policies or our site leaders, we reserve the right to end their participation on the MAB trip. If a decision is made to remove a student from the trip we will not simply strand the participant. We will support the student with arranging transportation home at their own expense. In the past, we have also taken disciplinary measures when the students have returned with the Office of Student Conduct for violations of MAB policies. All expenses inured after being removed will be the responsibility of the participants.
The above highlights the efforts taken to mitigate health and safety issues for MABers.
A: Yes. Over winter and summer break we now send students on international trips. Students on international trips serve in the Dominican Republic or Nicaragua. A staff member accompanies all international trips.
A: Yes. Your trip will not pay for any “souvenirs.” (you should probably get your parents something) Also, while the trip may supply some snacks, you may want to buy a soda or something when you stop for gas. Most trips raise enough money to cover every meal, however some trips may not provide food for the drive to and from the site. You should speak to your site leader about how much is appropriate and if all the meals will be covered.
A: Great question. Check out our “Alternative Break Impact” page for more information, but the short answer is a lot.
A: Absolutely. We are strong supporters of it, because without an Oxford Comma, people might be confused, perplexed, or disoriented.