To apply to Wishbone, the student must meet the following criteria:
- You currently attend high school in one of the following areas: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, or Connecticut.
- You qualify for free or reduced-price lunch through the National School Lunch Program.
- You’ve identified an adult outside of your family who has agreed to serve as your Wishbone Advocate. The Advocate will write you a recommendation and help you fundraise your selected program cost by sharing your campaign with friends and family on social media and via email.
- You have not previously been accepted into the Wishbone program.
While we do not have a GPA requirement, we look for students who have a distinct passion, are self-motivated, and have incredible follow through. However, some programs do have specific requirements, including minimum GPA and citizenship status. Students should enter accurate information when completing their application to help ensure that they’re matched with the right programs. Additionally, students should review each program’s description to check for additional requirements.
To serve as a Wishbone advocate, you must meet the following criteria:
- You are an adult outside of the student’s family who knows the student well, such as a teacher, counselor, mentor, or coach.
- You are committed to helping your student pursue their passion.
- You have access to social media and/or email and are a proficient user of one or both mediums.
- You are able to share your student’s fundraising campaign with friends and family during the spring of 2017.
- The student is required to choose programs that are located in the region in which they live. Only certain programs (specified on the program profile) are open to non-regional students.
- The student is required to meet all deadlines set by Wishbone and the student’s summer program.
- The student is required to respond to emails and phone calls from Wishbone and the student’s summer program in a prompt and professional manner.
- If accepted into Wishbone, the student is required to register for their summer program. Wishbone will send the student instructions for how to register and support them throughout the process.
- If accepted into Wishbone, the student is required to complete all mandatory updates and tasks, including writing a thank you note to donors, writing pre- and post- attendance updates, and completing pre- and post- attendance surveys.
- If accepted into Wishbone, the student is required to attend their summer program.
- Student Contribution: If the student is accepted into Wishbone, then the student’s family is required to contribute $99 to the student’s campaign. This payment must be made online using a credit or debit card by February 21. The remaining program cost is fundraised using Wishbone’s crowd-sourced fundraising platform.
- Transportation: The student’s family is required to coordinate and pay for the student’s transportation to and from the program. Wishbone is able to reimburse the transportation cost associated with selected programs, which is indicated on each program profile. Please see the Reimbursement & Refunds tab for additional information.
- Program Materials: The student’s family is required to purchase the student’s required materials (e.g. art supplies, water bottle, books, athletic clothes, etc) prior to the program’s start date. Often, the student already owns these items and won’t need to make additional purchases. Wishbone is able to reimburse the cost of required materials for selected programs, which is indicated on each program profile. Please see the Reimbursement & Refunds tab for additional information.
- The Advocate is required to complete an online recommendation form for their student. Information about completing the recommendation form will be emailed to Advocates immediately after the student submits their portion of the application. Recommendations are due two weeks after the student completes their portion of the application.
If the Advocate’s student is accepted to Wishbone, then the Advocate is required to support their student by helping Wishbone fundraise their program fees using Wishbone’s crowd-sourced fundraising platform. Specially, the Advocate is asked to:
- Share their student’s campaign on social media
- Email their student’s campaign to their colleagues, friends, and family
- Follow up when necessary to help solicit donations.
Here's how your Wishbone experience will work:
Start your Wishbone applicationThe Wishbone application for the summer of 2017 opens on September 1, 2016. The application includes program selection, contact information, two required short essays, and a parent signature. You’ll also submit contact information for your Advocate: an adult outside of your family who is willing to recommend you to Wishbone and help share your fundraising campaign.
Submit your Wishbone applicationDEADLINE: December 18Admissions to Wishbone are rolling! We recommend that you apply as soon as possible to increase your chances of getting your first choice program. Your application must be submitted by December 18 to be considered. Once you submit your portion of the application, your Advocate will receive an email prompting them to answer a few questions about you (instead of submitting a formal recommendation) within two weeks. You’ll be notified of your acceptance on or before February 1, 2017.
Complete Wishbone registrationDEADLINE: February 21If you’re accepted to Wishbone, then you’ll be required to complete your registration and contribute $99 to your fundraising campaign by February 21. Some programs with high selectivity require students to fill out a separate application on their website after they’re accepted to Wishbone, which is considered part of the registration process.
Fundraise on our crowd-sourced fundraising platformMarch-AprilShortly after you complete your registration, Wishbone will publish your crowdfunding campaign on our website and provide resources to help your Advocates share your campaign. Wishbone also negotiates exclusive program scholarships and corporate sponsorships to support your fundraising efforts.
Confirm program acceptanceApril-JuneWishbone’s program providers will evaluate your registration information to determine if they can accept you into their summer program. In 2016, 99% of students were accepted to their summer programs.
Prepare to attend your programMay-JuneOnce you’ve been officially accepted to your program, Wishbone will check in with you to help you prepare for your program and coordinate your transportation.
Attend your programJune-AugustYou’ll attend your program and have a life-changing experience pursuing your passion.
Wishbone is a team effort; we are able to send passionate students to great programs because many people come together to fund the student’s program cost. Typically, 10% or less of the program cost is funded by the Student Contribution, 50% by scholarships from the program provider, and the remaining 40% by funds raised on our crowd-sourced fundraising platform. These percentages vary based on the student’s summer program and are not guaranteed by Wishbone.
Once the student is accepted into both Wishbone and their summer program, Wishbone:
Creates a personalized campaign page for each student
Click here to view an example campaign.
- Provides access to our highly effective Fundraiser Toolkit and individualized fundraising support -- we want to help you succeed!
- Enables program affordability through scholarships from program partners and negotiated corporate and foundation sponsorships, which reduces the total tuition costs left to fundraise.
- Publishes the student’s campaign page on our crowd-sourced fundraising platform for 28 days.
Once the student’s campaign page is published, the student and their Advocate have 28 days to share the student’s campaign page with their networks (friends, family, colleagues) in order to fundraise the remaining program cost.
If the student’s campaign reaches its fundraising goal within the 28 day time period, Wishbone uses the money raised to pay the student’s program tuition and fees directly. If the campaign ends without reaching its fundraising goal, then the student will be withdrawn from the Wishbone program and will not be able to participate in their summer program. Since 2012, fewer than 2% of Wishbone campaigns have failed.
Wishbone’s ability to reimburse transportation and materials costs varies from program to program. Whether or not Wishbone is able to reimburse these costs is indicated on the program profile.
Transportation and Materials Reimbursement Requests
If the student chooses a program for which Wishbone does reimburse transportation and/or materials costs, then the student is responsible for requesting that a pre-approved amount be added to their fundraising goal to cover these costs. Wishbone will request this information immediately after the student is accepted to Wishbone on February 1. This request is due back to Wishbone by February 15.
Wishbone will add the amount(s) requested by the student to their fundraising goal. For example, if the program costs $1,000 and the student selects transportation that costs $200 and materials that cost $50, then the student’s fundraising goal will be $1,250.
- All transportation is coordinated and booked by the student’s family. Wishbone is not able to assist students in coordinating or booking transportation. We recommend using Google Maps to assist in planning transportation to and from the program.
- Students are responsible for getting to and from the airport on time and with all required documentation, such as photo ID and boarding pass. Wishbone does not cover airfare change fees, cancellation fees, or bag fees. We are not responsible if the student misses their flight.
- All required materials must be purchased by the student’s family. We recommend contacting the student’s selected program if you have questions about required materials.
If the student meets their fundraising goal, then Wishbone will reimburse up to the amount(s) indicated on the transportation and/or materials request(s) to the student’s family after the student has completed their program.
- Students must submit receipts, a reimbursement form, and complete their post-attendance items in order to be reimbursed. Wishbone will send these instructions via email once the student has completed their program. We cannot reimburse items without a receipt.
- Reimbursements will be issued electronically via Bill.com within 14 business days of receiving the student’s expense report and post-attendance items. Students (or their parents) must have a bank account in order to receive these funds.
- Wishbone will not reimburse amounts beyond those indicated on the transportation and/or materials request(s). These must be submitted to Wishbone by February 21 and cannot be changed thereafter.
If the student does not meet their fundraising goal, then Wishbone will not reimburse transportation or materials costs. Thus, we advise students to wait until after they’ve met their fundraising goal to book transportation or purchase materials.
If the student does not attend their program, then Wishbone will not reimburse transportation costs.
Wishbone is only able to refund the Student Contribution if the student’s application to their summer program is rejected. Wishbone is not able to refund the Student Contribution in other instances, including if the student withdraws from Wishbone or their summer program for any reason.
If the student’s application to their summer program is rejected, Wishbone will refund the Student Contribution to the credit card on file immediately upon receiving notice of the rejection.