FYJ Trip Cost, Classifications and Ratings

Will I have to pay extra to go on FYJ?

Typically, yes, but it depends. We’re committed to ensuring that cost is not a barrier for anyone who wants to participate. FYJ’s are a significant investment from the University, both in terms of leadership, equipment and overhead, but also in making the trips happen. Accommodations, food, outfitters, supplies and transportation all cost money. Our goal is to provide equitable opportunities for all students to participate in FYJ, while still having the program remain financially sustainable.

As an optional pre-orientation program, FYJ’s are not part of student tuition, and paid for separately. They’re like the most awesome appetizer imaginable for your college experience. For 2023, each student’s trip fee will be determined by their financial aid package, FASFA and Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). Students will automatically be considered for a full or partial fee waiver based on their financial situation. Trip fees for FYJ will range from $495 to $0 for the week, which includes all accommodations, travel, food, equipment rentals and activity costs. In 2022, 52% of FYJ participants received a partial or full fee waiver, with 15 students attending for zero cost. Each applicant will receive their FYJ trip fee information with trip assignments on July 15th. Additional resources for financial support will be available at that time.

Trip Rating Definitions:

So, what are we doing on FYJ?

We’ve developed three experience types and a rating system to help folks understand exactly what they’re getting in to, as well as trip descriptions and sample itineraries for each FYJ trip.


Front Country Experience FYJ's focus primarily the many outdoor opportunities within a day's drive from campus.  Front Country Experience FYJ's introduce students to skills such as camping, hiking, teamwork, and caring for the environment.  Front Country means that you will often times have access to restrooms, running water, and will be camping near basic facilities.  You will be participating in activities based around your campground.  All Front Country Experience FYJ's practice Leave No Trace principles.


In addition to connecting with your classmates, these trips are a great way to introduce yourself to opportunities throughout the Southwest.  No previous experience is necessary to attend a Front Country Experience FYJ.


Wilderness Experience FYJ's offer students the opportunity to spend multiple nights in the backcountry.  Students will work together as a team to backpack into a wilderness setting where they will set up camp away from many front country facilities.  This empowering experience offers opportunities to learn new skills, visit remote and peaceful locations, and be a part of a wilderness team!

There is no experience required for backcountry FYJ's.  Gear such as backpacks, sleeping bags, etc. are available to borrow.  These trips typically offer more physically challenging hikes!


Culture and Service experience Experience FYJ’s emphasize engagement and adventure beyond the scope of “outdoor recreation.”  These trips will have off-campus and on-campus components, with more standard amenities including beds, showers and bathrooms.  These trips will still have adventure and physical exertion, which may entail long days on your feet, travel to new places and opportunities for new experiences. 


If camping is not your thing, but you’d like to embark on an adventure and build a new community, check out our Culture and Service FYJ’s.