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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 3,500 deserving youth. Scholarships are awarded based on the applicant's circumstances and need as documented in an application form.

Congratulations to all of the Road Scholarship recipients. All announcements have been sent out to the nominators regarding the status of the application. The message came from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and was sent to the nominator's email address. Be sure to whitelist This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as a trusted contact so that you may receive any important messages from the SYTA Youth Foundation. 

If you have any questions regarding the Road Scholarship program, please contact Hannah Degn at 703-610-0250 or e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. When inquiring about a specific nomination, please include the student's name and the educator who submitted the nomination.  

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is a Road Scholarship?
A Road Scholarship is financial aid granted to eligible individual students or groups of 5 students or more, 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.

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 under the age of 18 and in grades K-12. 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. *Please note that the Road Scholarship application will only be available during the application period dates. 

The nominator will be able to keep track of the students and nominations submitted for each Road Scholarship round. All scholarship applications must be submitted via the online application. 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. When filling out the nomination - you must complete all required fields in order to submit the nomination. You have the ability to make any 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 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 for the specific students nominated 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 USD will be awarded to an individual nomination and no more than $5,000 USD will be awarded to a group nomination.  

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 800-1500 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. Individual student awards will not exceed the maximum of $1,000 USD and group awards will not exceed the maximum of $5,000 USD. 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! If you are nominating more than three (3) 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 requested 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 SYTA Youth Foundation staff notifying them of the results. 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?
The amount awarded will be indicated in the announcement 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. SYF will include instructions on how to claim the scholarship within the announcement email. 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 submitted 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 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.

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