Road Scholarship FAQs

What is a Road Scholarship?

A Road Scholarship is financial aid granted to individuals or groups of 5 or more who have been nominated by a teacher or youth group leader and who meet criteria within 5 categories: Achievement, Need, Initiative/Involvement, Service/Citizenship, and Connection. The grants are vetted and approved through the SYF Board of Trustees.

What is a Road Scholarship?

A Road Scholarship is financial aid granted to individuals or groups of 5 or more who have been nominated by a teacher or youth group leader and who meet criteria within 5 categories: Achievement, Need, Initiative/Involvement, Service/Citizenship, and Connection. The grants are vetted and approved through the SYF Board of Trustees.

When can I apply for a Road Scholarship?

Spring 2024

Application Period:
January 24, 2024 – March 29, 2024
Announcement Date:
Week of April 29, 2024

Fall 2024

Application Period:
September 16, 2024 – November 8, 2024
Announcement Date:
Week of December 9, 2024 {/slider}

Who can apply for a Road Scholarship?
All Road Scholarship nominations are required to be submitted by an educator, program leader, or designated school official for students in grades K-12 and 18 years of age or younger. 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?

First, you must create an SYF Road Scholarship account. Click here to create an account (only available during open scholarship dates). Then confirm your email address and return to this page and submit your application via the online process. IMPORTANT: The Road Scholarship application is ONLY available during the application period dates.

Can I begin a Road Scholarship application online, save my changes, and return later to complete the application?
Yes, but no changes will be accepted once the nomination period is closed. To make edits to your application, return to the log in page and select the application you wish to edit then select “submit” at the bottom. You are welcome to make edits up to the close of the application period.
What is the announcement process?

All announcements are sent from [email protected] approximately 4 weeks after the application deadline. Every nomination is notified whether it was awarded a Road Scholarship or not. Please take into consideration this time frame when planning to meet trip payment deadlines. Road Scholarships can only be applied to travel costs of the specific trip indicated for the specific students nominated in the application. The results are sent to the nominator (educator, school official or group leader) and the nominator should relay the results to the parents. SYF will disclose the Road Scholarship result to parents when inquired by email.

How much money is awarded for each Road Scholarship?
Not every application submitted is awarded a scholarship. The average Road Scholarship granted is $750. No more than $1,000 USD will be awarded to an individual nomination and no more than $5,000 USD will be awarded to a group nomination. Your nomination will not be considered if you request an award higher than the maximum award.
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 and the general level of need in a given applicant pool. It is SYF’s goal to award as many students as possible. The Road Scholarship program generally receives between 1,000 – 2,500 applications each period. At this time, SYF is only able to award approximately $100,000 per year. It is SYF’s goal to increase this number each year and grow awareness of the benefits of travel. If you would like to contribute to make student/youth travel a reality, please contact us or donate to the Road Scholarship program.

Can I nominate more than one student/youth for a Road Scholarship?

Yes! When nominating ONE to FOUR (1-4) students, you must submit individual nominations. If you are nominating FIVE (5) or more students, please submit a group application.

Should I send additional material to SYF to support my scholarship application?

No. The SYF Board of Trustees only consider information submitted in the online application and will make a decision based on the themes presented in the application. Those themes are:

How will the nominee receive the scholarship funds?
You will need to claim your Road Scholarship by responding with the Trip Verification Letter, which will be included in your Road Scholarship notification email. You must claim the scholarship funds prior to the deadline indicated in the Road Scholarship Award Notice.
How will I know if my nominee is granted a Road Scholarship?

All nominators will receive an email from n[email protected] notifying them of the results.  Be sure to whitelist or add SYF as a trusted contact, so that you may receive all communications regarding your nomination. SYF will not contact students/youth or their parents/guardians.  It is the responsibility of the nominator to share the results 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.

I applied for a Road Scholarship and did not receive the funding. Can I apply in the next application period?
Yes, but each application period is for a specified travel time. If the student is going on multiple trips, you can nominate them only during the corresponding application timeframe. Only one nomination will be accepted per student, per application period. Multiple applications by more than one educator in a given application period will not increase the chance of receiving a scholarship and only the first application received per student per nomination period will be considered.
If the nominee's travel expenses have already been paid, can they be reimbursed with their Road Scholarship?

No, scholarships cannot 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 student/youth or their families.

Was my application awarded a scholarship?

The Road Scholarship website will be updated once announcements are issued. Teachers will be sent an email to the address provided at the time of submission. Please check your spam/junk email folder. If you still do not have it, please email [email protected].

What if our trip has been cancelled before the award check is issued?

If your trip has been cancelled prior to the award check being issued, the awarded scholarship will be forfeited as the scholarship is for the original trip application and trip dates. Please send an email to [email protected] with the following information:

This is verification that (name(s) of student(s)/recipient(s)), is/are not traveling with (name of group/school) to (trip destination). We fully understand this means that the student(s) listed previously are forfeiting the scholarship(s).

What if our trip was cancelled after the award check has been issued?

If your trip has been cancelled after the award check was issued, the awarded scholarship will be forfeited as the scholarship is for the original trip application and trip dates. The scholarship money must be returned to SYTA Youth Foundation. Please send an email to [email protected] with the following information:

This is verification that (name(s) of student(s)/recipient(s)), is/are not traveling with (name of group/school) to (trip destination). We fully understand this means that the student(s) listed previously are forfeiting the scholarship(s).

Please make the check payable to SYTA Youth Foundation or SYF and mail to our address below.

SYTA Youth Foundation
2776 S. Arlington Mill Dr. #564
Arlington, VA 22206

What if our trip was postponed?

The awarded scholarship will still apply to the new trip dates only if the original student who received the scholarship will be attending the trip. Please send an email to [email protected] with the following information:

This is verification that (name(s) of student(s)/recipient(s)), is/are still traveling with (name of group/school) to (trip destination). Our trip has been postponed. Here are our new travel dates: (trip start and end dates)

What if the student(s) will be traveling with a different group or on a different trip?

If the trip was postponed, the original student(s) of the scholarship are no longer attending or have changed, the awarded scholarship will be forfeited. Scholarship awards are not transferable between students. Please send an email to [email protected] with the following information:

This is verification that (name(s) of student(s)/recipient(s)), is/are not traveling with (name of group/school) to (trip destination). We fully understand this means that the student(s) listed previously are forfeiting the scholarship(s). The award check (was/was not) issued.

If the award check was issued, the scholarship must be returned to SYTA Youth Foundation. Please make the check payable to SYTA Youth Foundation or SYF and mail to our address below.

SYTA Youth Foundation
2776 S. Arlington Mill Dr. #564
Arlington, VA 22206