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Using Scholarships & Crowdfunding to Pay for Student Travel


STEM_Girls.jpgTeachers who lead student trips want to make sure every child has access to the opportunity, which means being resourceful when it comes to finding financial support for families in need.


Scholarships and crowdfunding are great resources for raising the money needed to ensure everyone has the chance to participate.


SYF Road Scholarship


NationsClassroom is a member of the Student & Youth Travel Association (SYTA). We are happy to support its Student Youth Foundation (SYF), which offers Road Scholarships each year to travelers who, for various reasons, are unable to afford the cost of student group trips.


The average Road Scholarship is $750 with a maximum award of $1,000 given to an individual, and up to $5,000 awarded to a group nomination.  


Based on the belief that travel is essential to a complete education, it is SYF's goal to make a positive difference in young lives through travel. Scholarships are awarded based on the applicant's circumstances and need as documented in an application form.


The 2018 Fall Road Scholarship nomination period is now open!



Current Application Period and Announcement Date                     
October 1, 2018 - November 16, 2018             Announced the week of December 10, 2018

Future Applications Periods and Announcement Dates

February 4, 2019 - March 15, 2019                  Announced the week of April 15, 2019

October 1, 2019 - November 15, 2019             Announced the week of December 16, 2019
February 3, 2020 - March 20, 2020                  Announced the week of April 20, 2020

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

Visit the SYTA Youth Foundation site for more details.









Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or cause by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet. There are great resources out there to help teachers, students, and their families set up a direct appeal site to give crowdfunding a try. 


GoFundMe - This website allows you and your students to easily set up a personalized campaign to collect online donations.


Once the page is created, a link to the campaign can be sent within an email, posted to a classroom blog, or added to your school’s website. Facebook and Twitter also make it easy to spread the word via social media, and the site allows the organizer to print a poster to promote the campaign.


When you’re ready to collect the money, GoFundMe can deposit it directly into a bank 


account or they will send a check. If you set up a class campaign, you can work with your student travel company to have the money applied to student accounts.


While it is free to create and share the campaign, GoFundMe will deduct a 5% fee from each donation.


Here is an example of a campaign set up for an 8th grade field trip to Washington, D.C.






CrowdRise.com -  If you want to encourage giving with a personal story that has visual appeal, try CrowdRise. Once created, your story page can be accessed from a computer, tablet, or smartphone, which makes it easy to give. To make it simple to use, the site offers 10 recommendations to guide you through the process.


For an inspiring lesson on the power of goodwill and generosity, check out the company's page about its  “giving tower." The CrowdRise Giving Tower has an app that shows the world's charitable efforts as they grow in real time in the form of a tower made in augmented reality, like a hologram. 




As for the money, the company charges a 3% fee for all donations, which they promote as one the lowest fees around. Claiming your contributions will not be subject to meeting a goal during a predetermined amount of time, which takes the pressure off.  To collect, you will need to provide a bank account for a fund transfer.


DonorsChoose.org - People in public education have been crowdsourcing through DonorsChoose for several years. The site matches donors with specific classroom needs or projects that are submitted by teachers from around the country. You will need to answer short essay questions to explain the need and provide financial details about how the funds will be used.


Here is a great example of a request for support for a high school student trip to Boston for a Model UN Conference.


Donors Choose Boston Trip.png


Your project can remain on the site for up to four months and if it does not meet its funding goal, you can redirect your contributions to support another project. They also ask that your students write thank you notes or send photos to donors - a nice touch.


Involve your students


Besides raising money to help your students travel, another great benefit of a direct appeal campaign is student involvement. Kids can help write the appeal, plan a strategy to get the word out, and then monitor the campaign's progress. They also can make adjustments along the way, which can give them the opportunity to problem solve and build a sense of community while working toward a common goal. 


For more information


For great student travel experiences, please Browse Our Tours.


If you would like more ideas for paying for school trips, you may be interested in 15 Great Ways for Kids to Raise Money for a School Trip. 




Topics: How to Pay for Student Trips

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