Student Travel Scholarships: Road Scholarship

Too often do we come across the situation in which we are helping plan a student group trip, and there are one or two (or more, sadly) students who cannot individually afford to join their classmates in the adventure.

AST Student Group in DC

This is heartbreaking to us, and to programs such as SYF (Student Youth Foundation), as we believe travel is an essential key to a complete education. These trips are much more than a vacation with friends, they are experiences that open students minds to new cultures, help them understand their place in our world better, and learn hands-on life skills that lessons in the classroom simply cannot teach.

To help any students or teachers who may be in these situations, AST is presenting a new blog series featuring the biggest and best student travel related scholarships, starting with one of our favorites, SYF's Road Scholarship.

This scholarship fund was started in 2002, the purpose of the scholarship to award funds to youth 'who, for various reasons, are unable to afford the cost of student group trips'. SYF wants to help make a positive difference in these students' lives through travel, therefore they work year-round to make the scholarship possible. There have been over 6,000 awarded since the Road Scholarship inception, with around 1,000 to 2,500 applicants a year.

The amount of students accepted for the scholarship varies year by year, depending on the number of applicants, student situations, and size of trips being taken. The typical grant is about 750 - $1000 for a single student needing help, and no more than 5,000 for a group of students who need help. Again, these numbers all depend on the trip specifics, level of need, and the number of applicants.

This year's application period is February 1st through March 16th, see below for more specific details about the dates and application process. We highly suggest you visit the SYF Road Scholarship Page to check out the FAQ's and scholarship fine print before applying.


Check out what one of this past year's winners, Briahna Ruth, had to say about her experience:

Where I come from doesn’t matter, I’m ready to start my journey on making a difference in this world, and to explore and succeed. So, help like yours with my scholarship means more than something. I appreciate any and everyone who supported and helped me go on this trip.

Thank you so much. You give me inspiration.

I just think it is so cool what you have going on.

Sincerely,

Briahna Ruth



Here are a few important pieces of information taken from the SYF page that we think you should know before going any further.

Important Do's & Don'ts 
Nominations WILL BE disqualified if they do not meet requirements.

Group Applications

  • DO include the DATE OF BIRTH of each student nominated. We can only verify your student's age by their date of birth.
  • DON'T include group leaders or chaperones in the student listing. We only award the students participating on the trip.
  • DON'T request more than the maximum award amount of $5,000.
  • DON'T submit a Group Application if nominating less than 5 students.
  • PLEASE REFRAIN from indicating the Tour Operator Company that you are traveling with! We like to keep the nominations as unbiased as possible!
  • Your application will not be reviewed if your trip dates have passed or if they are less than 30 days of the Announcement dates.

Individual Applications

  • DO include the DATE OF BIRTH of your nominated student. We can only verify your student's age by their date of birth.
  • DON'T request more than the maximum award amount of $1,000.
  • PLEASE REFRAIN from indicating the Tour Operator Company that you are traveling with. We like to keep the nominations as unbiased as possible!
  • Your application will not be reviewed if your trip dates have passed or if they are less than 30 days of the Announcement dates.

When can I apply for a Road Scholarship?

Road Scholarships application periods occur two times a year. Be sure to save these dates!

Application Periods:                                          Announcement Dates:
October 2, 2017 - November 17, 2017             The week of December 11, 2017
February 1, 2018 - March 16, 2018                  The week of April 16, 2018

October 1, 2018 - November 16, 2018             The week of December 10, 2018
February 4, 2019 - March 15, 2019                  The week of April 15, 2019

Who can apply for a Road Scholarship?
All Road Scholarship nominations must be submitted by an educator, program leader, or designated school official or program leader for students in grades K-12 and 18 years of age or under. Please note that the SYTA Youth Foundation (SYF) will not consider nominations submitted by parents and/or guardians.

How do I nominate someone for a Road Scholarship?
The educator, designated school official or program leader MUST sign up and create a profile, in order to view and submit a Road Scholarship nomination. Click HERE to create a profile. IMPORTANT: The Road Scholarship application is ONLY available during the application period dates.  

-More info from SYF. 


For more information on SYF or SYTA, check out our Student Youth Association blog, and for more help with travel funds check out our Fundraising Ebook.