Application Process

UWC National Committees

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UWC National Committees (including scholarships)

UWC depends on the dedication and expertise of a network of more than 3,000 volunteers to find and select students in more than 155 countries worldwide.

A wide variety of individuals make up UWC National Committees, including:
  • UWC alumni
  • Parents of alumni
  • Education professionals
  • Community leaders who have embraced UWC’s mission and values
  • Our volunteers serving on National Committees exist to:
  • Promote UWC to prospective students and parents
  • Encourage and support applications
  • Select UWC scholarships them for their UWC experience
  • Some National Committees also run short programs to engage with prospective students, alumni, and the wider community.
Our Committees operate in vastly different contexts and circumstances and are uniquely situated to seek out the most promising and diverse students in each country, making them one of the standout features of the UWC Movement.
Costa Rican residences or foreigners with a minimum of 3 years of studies in Costa Rica can apply through the Costa Rica National Committee.
Students from Venezuela, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, or refugees that have not completed the 3 years of study in Costa Rica may have alternatives, and you are encouraged to send us an e-mail explaining your immigration status. Emails should be sent to or

Application Requirements

  • Age: Applicants should be born between August 1, 2002, and July 31, 2004.
  • Education: Ninth grade approved (no later than December 2019).
  • Nationality or Residence: Costa Rican national or resident.
  • Foreigners must have a minimum of 3 years studying in Costa Rica. Students from Venezuela, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, or refugees that do not have a minimum 3 years of study in Costa Rica can send an email explaining their immigration status.
  • Extracurricular Activities: A demonstrated commitment of at least 6 months in one or more non-compulsory extracurricular activities (does not include mandatory Community Work, CAS, Confirmation), during the last 3 years.
  • Academics: A minimum average of 4 in the International Baccalaureate subjects, or a minimum average of 85 on a scale over 100, or the equivalent in other scales during the last full school year and the first block of the current year. The following subjects will be requested for enrollment: Mathematics, Spanish, Social Studies, Civics, Science, and a Second Language. An annual transcript will be required at the end of the process.
  • Acceptance and Agreements: Acceptance of, and affinity to the UWC values and mission, and the terms and conditions of the process. Parents or Guardians must approve participation in the admissions process.
  • Complete Registration Form: Due before the deadline assigned by Costa Rica National Committee

The 2021 National Process Phases:

Completion of the entire process is mandatory for applicants who wish to become eligible candidates for the UWC Schools and Colleges.

List of 4 items.

  • 1. Application Form

    Application form available between February 1st - February 28th. (A link will be made available on Feb 1st here).

    Applicants with limited internet access may download the application form and deliver it in person at UWC Costa Rica.

    This form will ensure that you meet our entry requirements. To avoid any setbacks or disappointment, be sure to complete and submit your applications early and check that you have signed an submitted all relevant documents and included your grades from the last two years (2018 - to date in 2019).
  • 2. Open House

    January 30th at 9:00 am (online via Zoom) registration: Click here

    Understanding the information from these sessions is essential before you start with the next phase of the process
  • 4. Selection Camps

    This is where you will get to meet fellow applicants, young people who, like you, seek to part of the UWC movement and become changemakers for the world. It will be an opportunity to meet face-to-face, to learn about their different realities, to let ideas flow, to develop skills, and to make new friends, so remember to be yourself and to SAVE THE DATE!
  • 5. Interviews

    Different types of interviews are carried out, and it is mandatory that you attend.

    In these interviews, you will be asked to present documents for a socioeconomic study, and you will also be required to submit a few additional documents digitally before the day of your appointment.

    Appointments are set 15 days in advance, and the assistance of your parent or legal guardian as well as someone who lives with you is essential.


It is highly competitive to be selected by any UWC, and we have a rigorous application process that includes various stages such as an online application, a selection camp, and personal interviews.

The National Process is composed of continuous and challenging phases for participants; however, the process will allow students to get to know each other, while they acquire important learning skills for life and start to develop the capabilities to become change-makers for a better world.

Each phase of the National Process is selective, and the number of participants may decrease as the process progresses. During this time the UWC Costa Rica National Committee will get to know each participant, and according to their merit and potential, they will select those that they consider being the most eligible candidates for UWC Schools and Colleges.

Recruitment cycle:
  • 1st round: August 2020 to October 2020
  • 2nd round: January 2021 to February 2021
  • (Partial scholarships available up to 50% and full fee payers. Places available for the UWC Costa Rica campus only.)

International Students

Most students in their IBDP years at UWC are selected through one of UWC’s National Committees. Representing UWC in over 155 countries and territories, UWC National Committees form a global network that seeks and selects students with great potential from around the world, often in the most unlikely places.

Over 70% of students selected through the UWC national committee system are offered financial assistance. If you require a grant or scholarship, you should apply using this application process. Scholarships are granted based on each individual’s needs and means.

For more information on how to apply through your National Committee, requirements and dates, find yours on our UWC National Committees page.


For questions related to the National Selection Process and application to a UWC Movement, please leave your questions in the questions and answers section of our Facebook page or write to

During the registration phase, we will have a session with interested families; this session is intended to assist with any queries or concerns you may have around the selection process.

List of 15 frequently asked questions.

  • Who do I have to communicate with if I have any questions regarding any stage of the National Process?

    For general enquiries, please refer to the National Selection Process questions and answers section on our Facebook page. If you have any personal questions or queries regarding a case that should be reviewed, please email your information to
  • How long does the National Process take?

    The National Selection Process is designed year to year, that means that the lapses vary.
    • National Process begins on July 1st, 2019 and ends in January 2020.
    • Nominations to the UWC schools take place between February and April 2020.
    • The preparation process takes place between the acceptance date and August 2020.
    • Classes at UWC Colleges begin between August 2020 or January 2021.
    It is important to know that the process is selective, and candidates will be informed if they are eligible to continue at each stage of the process. At the end of the National Process, the National Committee will decide who will be nominated for the UWC Colleges and may include other options.
  • Who is part of the Committee that selects the candidates?

    The National Committee is made up of alumni, parents and friends to the United World College Movement. We have an interdisciplinary team of professionals in various areas, and throughout the National Process, volunteers will collaborate in one or more of the phases.
  • Why should I go to a United World College?

    The experience of attending a United World College is unique. The experience turns a young student into a mature, cosmopolitan person with the knowledge and skills to become a change-agent for the world.
    Students benefit from:
    •  A high-quality international education (the International Baccalaureate) with its extensive curriculum of activities including creativity, action and service.
    • Access to international teachers.
    • Experience of living with young people from all over the world, and in some instances, the experience of living in a different country with a different culture and traditions.
  • How do you decide who can go to a UWC College?

    During the National Process, the National Committee will get to know the profile of the participants and will determine who is most eligible to attend a UWC College, based on their pre-established profile, their merit and their potential.

    Specific indicators are evaluated to generate a ranking that will determine the order of priority for nomination.

    Each year the number of quotas varies, as well as the amount of partial or complete economic subsidies to cover tuition costs. So, despite being eligible, you may not be in a place in the ranking that benefits you according to your socioeconomic status.
  • If I am a foreigner, can I apply?

    Yes, if you have studied in Costa Rica for the last three years you can apply, however, if you do not meet this requirement, you can still apply to a UWC directly through the Global Selection Program.
  • Does my socioeconomic status influence the probability of being selected?

    We do not know the socioeconomic condition of the family before generating the ranking of eligible persons; this guarantees that we do not discriminate based on economic condition, and your position in the ranking will reflect your results by merit and potential. From this ranking, the person closest to 1st place will have priority.

    We will conduct a socioeconomic study with a professional Social Worker to support both the application and the offers of partial or full scholarships. The results of these studies are only known after the selection of eligible persons.

    The offers available are limited, so there is the possibility that a person with greater purchasing power that is below you in the ranking, could access an offer that you could not cover, even though you had priority in the offer.
  • What happens if I do not speak English?

    It is not a requirement to speak English to apply to our process. In most of the schools, there are support programs (tutoring) that will help students learn English. To make learning English easier, there are also summer courses in some of the schools that will help prepare the student before starting the school year. Exposure to English, not only in the classroom but also socially, will continue to help the student to improve their English communication skills.
  • Can I apply if I take the International Baccalaureate (IB)?

    The student can apply if they have not registered for the final exams. Students must start the program from scratch at any UWC College.
  • If I am a finalist, can I choose which UWC I am going to attend?

    No. You are applying to the “United World Colleges”, to the Movement, not to a College. After reviewing the personal files, the profiles and requirements of the schools, their position in the ranking, as well as the result of the family socioeconomic study The National Committee will make an appropriate offer to the student.
  • How much money do I have to pay? How many places and what schools are there this year?

    The National Committee has a limited number of offers each year to nominate to UWC Colleges, that number also varies every year, it can even change during the National Process. Since offers change year to year, we reserve this information.

    The investment to attend a UWC College also changes every year and depends on the College. The amounts vary and could be between USD 30,000 and USD 65,000 per year.

    In addition to the payment of tuition for two years, there are also additional investments such as pocket money, air tickets, immigration procedures, clothing and academic articles.

    Offers are made to families according to the process mentioned in previous answers. The negotiations with families are expected to happen in January 2020, after the eligibility ranking.

    Whether you want to apply for a subsidy or accept partial or full payment, you must be able to prove your economic solvency with relevant documentation. It should be noted that each case is different, and a will be negotiated accordingly with the schools.

    That said, we cannot answer the exact amount you will need to pay, but we can guarantee that if you are the number one person in the ranking, you will not be limited by economic reasons.
  • How often can my student visit my family?

    Students can visit their family during vacation periods. A Costa Rican student who studies at UWC Costa Rica can visit their families on occasional weekends; however, there is a limitation on how many weekends one can sleep outside of school and students will need to obtain a permit in advance.
  • Who will be responsible for the student within the schools?

    There are adults in charge of the students at all times, whether it is the teacher, the residence coordinator, the tutor or another staff member. On nights and weekends, there are always people on “duty” who sleep in the residential area and respond to any emergency.
  • What happens if the student becomes ill and needs urgent medical attention?

    Each school has a system of medical attention, both on-site and external, and medical insurance. There is information related to medical care in each school profile which student can read about before accepting their nomination.
  • What is the International Baccalaureate? Is it valid to apply to a Costa Rican University?

    Yes, it is a recognized degree both nationally and internationally that will allow you to continue your studies both in Costa Rica and abroad.

    You can learn more about the International Baccalaureate at
From the southeast corner of the Catholic Church, 400 meters north
San José, Santa Ana 10901
Phone: (+506) 2282 5609
United World College Costa Rica is a non-profit foundation offering a two-year residential pre-university program focused on experiential learning. Our mission is to educate a diverse group of people to become happy, healthy and committed individuals, capable through their leadership and engagement, of fostering positive change in their communities in order to contribute to achieving a more sustainable and peaceful world.