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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 scholarships to over 6,000 deserving youth. Scholarships are awarded based on the applicant's circumstances and need as documented in an application form.

The 2018 Spring Road Scholarship Application CLOSED on March 16, 2018. All nomination results will be sent out the week of April 16, 2018.

The next nomination period will open October 1, 2018 through November 16, 2018. All nomination results will be sent out the week of December 10, 2018.

If you have any questions regarding the Road Scholarship program, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Matt Hendrickson at 703-610-1266.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is a Road Scholarship?
A Road Scholarship is financial aid granted. There are two application categories: Individual nominations and group nominations. A group is considered 5 or more students. The SYTA Youth Foundation's Board of Trustees has the final decision as to each award and each award is made at its discretion.

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 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?
The educator, designated school official or program leader MUST register 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.  

All scholarship applications must be submitted via the online process. The sign up link is on the right hand side of this page. The application is available after you confirm your email address. 

Can I begin a Road Scholarship application online, save my changes, and return later to complete the application?
Yes, changes can be made once the initial nomination has been submitted. You must complete all required fields in order to submit the nomination. You have the ability to make changes to the nomination, up until the last day of the open application period. To make changes to the nomination, use this link to view the applications you have submitted and select the nomination that needs to be updated. Please do not submit changes to the SYF staff, they will not make updates to your profile. No changes will be accepted after the nomination period is closed.

What is the announcement process?
Applicants should note that the decision process takes four weeks. 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 for the specific students nominated in the application. All announcements are sent from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Every nomination is notified whether it was awarded a Road Scholarship or not. 

How much money is awarded for each Road Scholarship?
The scholarship amounts vary on a case-by-case basis, based on 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 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. 

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

Yes! If you are nominating more than FIVE (5) students, you MUST submit a group application. 

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 submitted in the online application. Additional essays, school report cards, or pictures will not be considered. 

How will I know if my nominee is granted a Road Scholarship?
All nominators will receive an email from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. notifying them of the results. Be sure to whitelist or add SYF as a trusted contact, so that you may receive all of the notifications. 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. Road Scholarship results will not be announced prior to the scheduled announcement date. 

How will the nominee receive the scholarship funds?
You will need to CLAIM your Road Scholarship by responding with the Trip Verification letter, which is included in your Road Scholarship notification email. You must claim the scholarship funds within 30 days of the notification date. 

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

Yes!! It is the responsibility of the nominator to re-submit a new nomination for the student(s). Only one nomination will be accepted per student, per application period. (Multiple educators cannot nominate a student(s) for an increased chance of receiving a scholarship.) Nominations are not retained from one application period to the next.  

If the nominee's 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.

Important Tips 
Nominations WILL BE disqualified if they do not meet requirements. 

Please do include the Date of Birth of each student nominated. We can only verify your students' age by their date of birth.

Please refrain from indicating the Tour Operator Company that you are traveling with.

Group Applications

  • Please refrain from including group leaders or chaperones in the student listing. We only award the students participating on the trip.
  • Please refrain from requesting more than the maximum award amount of $5,000.

Individual Applications

  • Please refrain from requesting more than the maximum award amount of $1,000.

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