We are not a school. We just make yours better. Each semester, we create an exceptional in-person learning community for students studying online. We provide academic support, professional mentorship, and optional workshops that cultivate social, emotional, and real life skills. And we do it in some of the most beautiful places on earth.
You’re someone who wants to take full advantage of where and how you live while taking your school’s online courses. While here, you’ll build a strong community, learning the necessary skills that will set you up for success. You’re someone who wants to learn and grow in a beautiful setting, not locked in a dorm room or your parents’ basement — let’s get you out of there!
Hear from our students about why they joined A Place Beyond
Simplicity and comfort. Find out what happens when you remove the clutter — spoiler alert: you’re much more focused and productive, and it’s a lot more fun.
Tucked into Prescott National Forest, our campus at Friendly Pines Camp takes advantage of what the mountains of central Arizona have to offer. 5 minutes to the National Forest running or biking trails, 5 minutes to world-class Groom Creek Bouldering, and 2 hours or less to Phoenix, Sedona, Flagstaff, and the Grand Canyon.
Our Front Range campus in Florissant, CO offers the perfect location to study and grow while you explore all that mountain life has to offer. Our site partner, Sanborn Western Camps, offers excellent facilities and an unmatched 6000 acre campus abutting an additional 6000 acres of accessible public land in the Pike & San Isabel National Forests and the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument.
Building a strong network requires more than just connecting with someone on LinkedIn. It requires collaboration, communication, and emotional intelligence. These are learned skills. At APB, you’ll be learning and applying these skills in real time, all while building strong connections with friends and future collaborators. The community you make here will be with you for a lifetime.
We’re reimagining the college experience. Keep all the benefits of your enrolled school while exploring what’s possible at A Place Beyond. Same dollars in, greater lifelong satisfaction out.
*The above fees were calculated by combining room, board, some non-tuition fees, and expected costs. To learn more, click the link in the comparison chart.
**Generally, student fees are charged by colleges to pay for services such as the gym, health center, orientation, etc. Schools which have had all-online options for several years — such as Oregon State University — usually only charge a small technology fee in addition to tuition. This year, many schools are making student fees optional for distance learning.
How do people pay for APB?
Many different ways! Some folks use a college savings plan, and some use room+board reimbursements from their college. Many students have also received discounts on their tuitions by asking their college for discounted rates for online-only learning. We've also had a couple participants use their merit scholarships to help cover the cost. We work with each student to figure out how to reallocate funds to pay for room and board and more at APB.
Some of our participants receive a sponsorship to help cover the cost of A Place Beyond. Applicants can indicate their need in the sponsorship questionnaire in our application.
Nearby National Forest trails and world-class bouldering makes our Bradshaw Mountains campus perfect for independent day trips and quick overnights. And its proximity to the Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree, Canyonlands, and Zion make it a perfect jumping off point for our weekend trips.
See the best of the US without taking a year off.
It’s okay to want it all: academic rigor, professional mentorship, and a connected community invested in changing the world. Maximizing your online experience doesn’t simply mean gaining more information. It means gaining the freedom to explore the things that enrich and empower you offline. Our program of optional trips, workshops, and drop-in activities are specifically designed to adapt to our communities. Below are some of what you can expect:
Are you a college?
No. We replace the traditional room and board that colleges provide with more connected and intentional communities in beautiful natural settings. Growth and balance are easier when living and learning with a motivated community in an awesome place.
You’ll stay enrolled at your current school and study remotely from one of our campuses. Our small groups and personalized mentorship will help you learn more than on campus or in your parents’ basement.
We run optional workshops on skills that schools don’t teach and small group trips that take advantage of the outdoor recreation close to our campuses.
What if I’m not in an online degree program?
All good! Some of our participants are working remotely, doing research, or pairing some classes with our programming.
Contact us if you need help navigating your current college’s distance learning requirements.
Who can apply?
You must be 18-30 years old by the start of your APB experience.
Most of our applicants are enrolled in an associate, bachelor, or graduate degree program. We also work with applicants who are working remotely, taking gap years, or doing research.
Let us know in your application if your education or work for the fall is a little different, and we'll talk about what that would be like here.
You must have health insurance at the beginning of the semester. If you are uninsured, we can help. Please contact us for more details.
How does the application process work?
We want to make sure A Place Beyond is a good fit for you and for us. Because of our interests and values, we get an wonderful pool of applicants with diverse interests and projects who value community, nature, balance, and growth. We let most people in.
After a participant applies, we schedule a Welcome Call with one of our current participants or instructors, and, based on mutual assessment of fit, a $350 nonrefundable deposit saves your spot. We'll need a few more forms and a full payment before you arrive on campus, but you can stop worrying about your school's spring plan — or lack of one.
When is the deadline to apply? Are there multiple deadlines?
We've been truly humbled by the response to our early-bird deadline. The amount of new applications has outstripped our ability to process everyone who wanted to put down a deposit before our Nov. 7 deadline.
So far, we've allocated about 35 of our spots for the spring, and have another 50 applicants who have submitted a priority application and are scheduling welcome calls.
We've set a second round deadline for Nov. 21 to fill our remaining spots while we work through our backlog of applications.
If you are a new applicant, and you are pretty sure APB seems like the place for you, we’ll prioritize your application and help you secure your spot before Nov. 21. If you are still waiting to hear about school plans, we still encourage you to apply in case you miss the application deadline.
Do you distance and wear masks on campus?
Living in a small, intentional community allows us to keep people healthy and live a relatively normal life despite the risk of Covid-19. We test everyone upon arrival, with extra housing to support and seclusion for those that test positive, and then treat our cohort as a stable bubble. We then test weekly so that limited off-campus travel is guilt-free.
We use a same-day testing, contact tracing, and use a simple low-, medium-, and high risk activity designation system to guide our collective conversation. At the end of the semester, participants quarantine together as one collective family unit in order to go home with the confidence that they are keeping their older relatives safe.
We take the risks of Covid-19 very seriously, and we work with the local health authority of each of our campuses to implement best practices.
Read more about our Covid-19 precautions here.
Will there be good internet?
We checked each campus to make sure the bandwidth can withstand 60 people on Zoom all the time. That means fiber, expansive wifi, and lots of space to spread out.
Sounds cool, but how does this work?
We know that 15 credits or remote work takes up most of your time. To us that means you'll be living and working on your own schedule, opting in and out of weekly workshops, trips, and community events based on your workload.
During an average week, there are about 20 hours of APB trips, workshops, and community events, and you'll get to choose what fits and plan some of your own.
We’ll check in with you each week in order to: help you set academic, professional, and personal goals; connect you with a professional mentor that matches your interests; learn how we can better support you; and ask for feedback about what's working and what's not. We want to make sure you find balance and that the workshops and trips that you're most interested in are aligned with your schedule.
We'll also make time each week for small group meetings to reflect on what we're learning about online learning and about our community.
Read our day in the life blog post here.