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The SYTA Youth Foundation Road Scholarship

Purpose: The SYTA Youth Foundation established the Road Scholarship program in 2002 to award funds to youth who, for various reasons, are unable to afford the cost of their group's travel. Based on the belief that travel is essential to a complete education, it is the SYTA Youth Foundation's goal to make a positive difference, through travel, in the young lives of our global citizens. Since its inception, the SYTA Youth Foundation has awarded over a thousand scholarships to deserving youth. Scholarships are awarded based on the applicant's circumstances and need as documented in the completed application form.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is a Road Scholarship?
A Road Scholarship is financial aid granted to an eligible student or young person for education or performance-related travel with their class or youth group. The SYTA Youth Foundation's Board of Trustees has the final decision as to each award and each award is made at its sole discretion.

Who can apply for a Road Scholarship?
All Road Scholarship nominations must be submitted by an educator, program leader, or designated school offiical for students under the age of 18.  Applicants who are between the ages of 18 and 25 may apply and submit a Road Scholarship application on their own behalf.  

Please note that the SYTA Youth Foundation will not consider applications submitted by parents. 

When can I apply for a Road Scholarship?
There are two application deadlines for Road Scholarships and applications will only be accepted online:

Application Periods:                                    Announcement Dates:                               
February 2, 2015 - March 17, 2015

    The week of May 11, 2015

September 1, 2015 - October 19, 2015

    The week of December 14, 2015

February 1, 2016 - March 18. 2016

     The week of May 9 , 2016

Applicants should note that the decision process takes approximately six weeks from the date of the application deadline. Please note this time frame when planning to meet trip payment deadlines. Please also note that the SYTA Youth Foundation Road Scholarships can only be applied to travel costs of the specific trip indicated in the application. This trip must take place within 12 months of the Announcement Date.

How much money is awarded for each Road Scholarship?

The scholarship amount varies on a case-by-case basis, depending on the cost of specific trips, the demonstrated need of the applicant, and the number of applicants in a given application period. The average Road Scholarship granted is $750. No more than $1,000 will be awarded to a single student.

How many Road Scholarships are awarded each application period?

The number of scholarships awarded depends upon the number of applications received in a given period, the cost of specific trips, and the general level of need in a given applicant pool. The Road Scholarship program generally receives between 400-600 applications each period, and is able to award approximately 12% of the applicants. It is the SYTA Youth Foundation's goal to increase this number; to learn how you can help make student/youth travel a reality please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Can a single trip win a Road
Yes, but the SYTA Youth Foundation reserves the right to limit the number of students receiving scholarships from a single school per application period. Specifically, a single trip cannot receive more than $1000. This limit exists in order to spread the benefits of the Road Scholarship program to a broad number of students and organizations. There is no guarantee that a given trip will receive any funding from the Road Scholarship program.

Can I nominate more than one student/youth for a Road Scholarship?
Yes, but keep in mind no more than $1,000 will be awarded to a single trip. 

Can I begin a Road Scholarship application and save my changes to continue completing the application at a later time? 

No, changes will not be saved to an application.  Once submitted, an application cannot be changed. If you need to make changes to your submitted application  you will nee to re-apply and notify the SYTA Youth Foundation staff that you have submitted a new application and indicate which application should be considered. Please email the SYTA Youth Foundation staff at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and include "Road Scholarship Application Changes" in the subject line. 

Should I send additional material to the SYTA Youth Foundation to support my scholarship application?

No, members of the SYTA Youth Foundation Board of Trustees only consider information requested in the online application. Additional essays, school report cards, or pictures will not be considered.

How will I know if my nominee wins a Road Scholarship?

All nominators will receive an email from the SYTA Youth Foundation staff notifying them the results. The SYTA Youth Foundation staff will not contact students/youth or their parents. It is the responsibility of the nominator to share the results of the application process with the nominee and his/her family. In order to facilitate this process, it is imperative that all nominators include their correct, up-to-date email address to ensure they can be contacted with results.  

If I win the Road Scholarship, how will I receive the scholarship funds? 

The amount you receive will be indicated in the email. All scholarship awards will be paid directly to the organization or company responsible of organizing the trip, such as professional tour operator or school. No money will be given to students/youth or their families. Checks must be written to the tour operator, school, or group organization the trip and cannot be made out to individuals. If awarded a Road Scholarship, you must claim the scholarship funds within 30 days of the notification date. All unclaimed funds will return to the scholarship pool. If the student/youth cannot attend the trip, the award is forfeited and cannot be transferred to another person or saved for another trip.   

What do I need to do after I've received the notification email which indicated that the student/youth I nominated was awarded the scholarship? 

You will need to respond with the trip verification letter that includes the following information:

  • The letter must be written on school or organization letterhead  
  • You must indicate to whom the check should be written (either the school or tour operator)
  • The address that the check should be mailed to
  • If applicable, the Trip ID number, account number, or any additional information that would help the tour company/school identify the student/youth

Once this trip verification letter is returned, the date is logged and you have up to 9 months to use the scholarship. 

I applied for a Road Scholarship and did not receive the funding. Can I apply in the next application period? 

Yes, those who are not awarded a Road Scholarship may apply again. It is the responsibility of the nominator to re-submit the online application. Applications from those not awarded a scholarship will not be retained, nor automatically re-considered in the next application period.  

If the nominees travel expenses have already been paid, can they be reimbursed with their Road Scholarship?

No, scholarships can not be paid as reimbursements. All Road Scholarship funds must go directly to the organization or company responsible for organizing the trip, such as the tour operator or school. No money will be given directly to the students/youth of their families.