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Road Scholarship

The SYTA Youth Foundation (SYF) established the Road Scholarship program in 2002 to award funds to youth who are unable to afford the cost of student group trips. Based on the belief that travel is essential for 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 to nominees by the SYF Board of Trustees after reviewing applications submitted by educators, program leaders, or designated school officials. 

The 2018 Spring Road Scholarship Application CLOSED on March 16, 2018. All nomination results were sent out the week of April 16, 2018 from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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 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?

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 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 nominations submitted by parents and/or guardians will not be considered.

How do I nominate someone for a Road Scholarship?
First, Click HERE to create a profile. 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?
No, but you may edit a completed application until the nomination period is closed. You must complete all required fields in order to submit the nomination. Please do not submit changes to the SYF staff, they will not make updates to your profile.

What is the announcement process?
All announcements are sent to the nominator from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.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.

How much money is awarded for each Road Scholarship?
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, please submit a group application. 

Should I send additional material to SYF to support my scholarship application?
No, only the information submitted in the online application will be considered. Additional essays, school report cards, or pictures will not be considered. 

How will the scholarship fund be dispersed?

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. 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. 

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

Yes, however Nominations are not retained from one application period to the next. 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 applications by more than one educator in a given application period will not increase the chance of receiving a scholarship.)  

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.

Important Tips 
Nominations will be disqualified if they do not meet requirements. 

You must include the Date of Birth of each student nominated. We can only verify your student' ages 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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