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Road Scholarship

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 student group trips. Based on the belief that travel is essential to a complete education, it is SYF's goal to make a positive difference, through travel, in the young lives of our global citizens. Since its inception, SYF has awarded over a 1,000 scholarships to deserving youth. Scholarships are awarded based on the applicant's circumstances and need as documented in an 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 official 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. 

(Note: SYF will not consider applications submitted by parents).

How do I nominate someone for a Road Scholarship?
All scholarship applications must be submitted via the online form. Only online applications will be accepted. The link for online applications will be provided here at the beginning of the next application period.

Can I begin a Road Scholarship application online, save my changes, and return later to complete the application?
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 need to re-apply and notify SYF staff that you have submitted a new application and indicate which application should be considered. Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. SYF staff and include "Road Scholarship Application Changes" in the subject line.

When can I apply for a Road Scholarship?
Road Scholarships application periods occur two times a year.

Application Periods:                                          Announcement Dates:
February 1, 2016 - March 18, 2016                  The week of May 9, 2016
October 1, 2016 - November 15, 2016             The week of December 12, 2016
February 1, 2017 - March 15, 2017                  The week of April 10, 2017

What is the announcement process?
Applicants should note that the decision process takes approximately six weeks from the date of the application deadline. Please take into consideration this time frame when planning to meet trip payment deadlines. SYF 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 for each application period?
The number of student travel 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 SYF's goal to increase this number; to learn how you can help make student/youth travel a reality please contact us.

Can a single trip win a Road Scholarship?
Yes, but SYF 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 $1,000. 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.

Should I send additional material to SYF to support my scholarship application?
No. Members of the Student & Youth Travel 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 a nominator know if a nominee wins a Road Scholarship?
All nominators will receive an email from SYF notifying them of the decision. SYF 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 a 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. Checks 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 receiving the scholarship notification?
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 the student has nine 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 a new online application. Applications from past nominees are not retained.

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.

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