ASB 2024 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

General Questions:

  • Is ASB happening? Yes, ASB will be travelling to 6 different locations across the United States, from rural Macon, Georgia to New Orleans, Louisiana. Each location offers a unique opportunity to learn in-depth about the ways communities have historically and currently combat these inequities. Click here to see our full 2024 trip list. 
  • When is ASB? This year, ASB will take place Sunday, March 10 through Saturday, March 16, 2024.
  • Who is eligible to participate in Alternative Service Breaks (ASB)? All BU undergraduate and graduate students can participate in the program as volunteers.

Registration Questions:

  • Where do I register? Registration for ASB 2024 has closed. 
  • How much will ASB 2024 cost? The program fee for all ASB trips is $950, which covers flights, supplies, partner fees, local transportation, most meals, and lodging for the week. During registration, students will be asked to pay a $250 deposit to hold their spot on the trip.
  • Can I register for more than one trip? No, students should only register for one trip. Holding spots on multiple trips is not permitted.
  • Are scholarships available? Yes. Scholarships of up to $950 are available to students who demonstrate high financial need. We take into consideration a student’s unmet need, as determined by the Office of Financial Assistance, and extenuating circumstances that may impact a student’s ability to pay the registration fee.  Bottom line, if you want to participate in ASB, we do not want one’s finances to be a barrier! Please don’t hesitate to email us directly at altbreak@bu.edu if you have questions or concerns about scholarships or paying our program deposit.
  • How do I apply for a scholarship? To be considered for a scholarship, please complete the scholarship-specific questions during registration. Once you complete your volunteer registration, we will review your scholarship application. We will notify students of their scholarship decision and remaining balance information on a rolling basis. Typically, it takes 1-2 weeks for us to review scholarship applications.
  • I’m an international student and I’m not eligible to receive federal financial aid. Can I still apply for a scholarship? Yes. If you have extenuating circumstances that impact your ability to pay for the program you are welcome to apply for a scholarship.
  • What if I cannot pay the deposit? Please email us at altbreak@bu.edu and we will make financing work for you.
  • Are there payment plans available? Please email us at altbreak@bu.edu and we can discuss options.
  • Are program fees refundable? ASB registration fees are non-refundable. Fees are used as we receive them to cover fixed costs that we often cannot cancel, including food, partner fees, and transportation costs. If the university needs to cancel trips, refunds will be issued.
  • What if my preferred trip sells out? A waitlist ticket option is available on Eventbrite for students who miss a spot on their preferred trip. (If other trips are available, we very strongly  encourage students to take a chance and register for a different experience!) If a spot opens up, you will be contacted by phone and email. You will have 24 hours from the point of contact to accept the spot on the trip before we move to the next person on the waitlist. 

Trip Questions:

  • What will volunteers do on ASB? Trips will be a mix of socializing, education, reflection, and service. We ask students to be flexible and approach the experience with an open mind and heart. We encourage you to be flexible, choose organizations based on mission, or even choose something out of your comfort zone. Work ranges from office work, to socializing with community members, to rigorous construction or environmental work.
  • Where will I be staying during ASB? Most if not all ASB housing is rustic. In most cases, you will be in a sleeping bag on a floor, mattress, or cot. Most students will stay in church recreation rooms, but others may stay in private homes, dorms, cabins, tents, or hostels. Your coordinators will provide you with a more detailed packing list and help you find what you need for your trip. Trust us, the rustic, communal ASB accommodation is one of the most fun parts of ASB. All students will have access to restrooms and basic kitchen facilities and, yes, a place to charge your phone.
  • Can I join a trip late or leave a trip early? No, volunteers are expected to participate in the full ASB experience. If an emergency occurs while you are on ASB and you need to leave, the trip coordinators and chaperone will help you make alternative travel arrangements at your own expense.
  • What is the substance-free policy? ASB is a 100% substance-free program, even for students over the age of 21. No participants can consume alcohol or recreational drugs at any time between departure and return. This policy is zero-tolerance, and students found in violation of this policy will be immediately dismissed from the program to return home at their own expense.
  • Can I leave a trip to explore? No. Students must remain with their groups at all times. Groups may split up to do grocery shopping or explore a tourist attraction, but at least three members of the trip must be together at all times. If students have friends or family in a destination city, they are welcome and encouraged to host entire groups for a meal.

Have additional questions? Don’t hesitate to contact the Alternative Service Breaks Program Managers at altbreak@bu.edu or 617-353-4710.