EF Smithsonian Student Travel Liberty Scholarship
We believe every student should have the opportunity to explore America’s rich heritage, natural wonders and amazing destinations. Our Liberty Scholarship was created to make travel more accessible to more students. Each year we award $30,000 to deserving travelers through this need-based scholarship program.
Who can apply?
Any student enrolled on an EF Smithsonian Student Travel tour can apply. Students’ financial need and essays are taken into consideration.
How much is each scholarship?
Liberty Scholarships are awarded in amounts between $250 and $1000, based on the student’s demonstrated financial need and essay.
How to apply
1. Complete an entry form
and answer the essay question, "One of your friends is thinking about going on the trip, but isn't sure. Explain to your friend why you think traveling on this trip is important." (A parent or guardian will need to help students in completing the financial need portion of the entry form.)
2. Fax entries to 617.619.1805, Attention: EF Smithsonian Student Travel (please include your tour date in the subject line) or mail to:
Smithsonian Student Travel
1 Education Street
Cambridge, MA 02141
Submission deadline: Your entry must be received by EF Smithsonian Student Travel at least 150 days prior to your tour's departure date. Find full terms and conditions here. Students who are selected to receive a Liberty Scholarship will be contacted directly. Best of luck & happy travels!
The Student Youth Travel Association (SYTA) offers several merit and need-based student travel scholarships. Grants are available to both individual travelers and groups. As a domestic division of EF Education First, EF Smithsonian Student Travel is proud to be a contributing member to SYTA's Board of Directors. The scholarships below are awarded by the non-profit SYTA Youth Foundation (SYF), a sister organization of SYTA.
SYF "Road" Scholarship
Established in 2002, the Road Scholarship is available to students who are unable to afford the cost of their group's educational trip. Applications must be submitted online by the Group Leader. Awards range up to $1,000, and one award is available per group. More than 30 Road Scholarships are awarded each year.
Silver Lining Program
The Silver Lining Program recognizes a group of deserving high school students who have shown the desire to make a dramatic change in their lives through travel. Every year one class is awarded an all-expenses-paid educational trip. Every student in the group must be between the ages of 14 and 19 years old. All groups must submit a presentation up to 15 minutes in length with their application.
Top 10 Scholarship Tips
1. Start early
Begin your scholarship search as early as possible. Getting an early start allows you to apply to the greatest number of scholarships and gives more time to complete the applications.
2. Organization is key
Keep a detailed list of deadlines, requirements and notes for all your scholarships. Pay attention to deadlines and give yourself enough time to coordinate every part of your application.
3. Complete thorough research
Know the requirements of the scholarships for which you are applying. Be sure to demonstrate that you fulfill those requirements in your application.
4. Don't count out small scholarships
Small amounts can really add up! Apply for smaller scholarships with all the energy and dedication you would use for larger ones.
5. Look beyond Internet searches
Scholarships advertised on the Internet can be seen by anyone, anywhere. Diversify your scholarship search by looking for opportunities through print resources or with your local government.
6. Highlight what makes you unique
Your application should be memorable, so make sure the scholarship committees understand how you are special. Include information that showcases why this trip is important to you.
7. Be specific about your goals
Tell the scholarship committee why this trip is important for you. Useful questions include: how does travel impact your overall education? What will you learn? Why do you want to travel?
8. Proofread your application
Check your application for errors more than once. Ask another person to review it to gain a fresh perspective. Your final application should be error-free.
9. Look for local scholarships
Look into community organizations like the Rotary or Optimists Club that might have scholarship or grant programs for students in the community to pursue educational opportunities.
10. Apply, apply, apply
Be persistent and apply to as many scholarships as possible.