Finances are one of a student traveler’s biggest obstacles.
According to the Student & Youth Travel Digest: Part 2: U.S. Student Group Travel Led by Teachers report, the average total cost per student of a domestic five-day trip is $1,106—and that trip prices continue to grow. As schools fund only 6 percent or less of school trips on average, parents are the primary source of funding for school trips.
But what about families who cannot easily afford student travel?
Research shows that fundraising plays an important role.
The Student & Youth Travel Digest reports that the difference in parent involvement between public and private schools is significant: 79 percent of private school parents fund student trips, compared to 53 percent of public school parents. As such, public schools rely on fundraising techniques more than private schools—27 percent and 10 percent respectively—and fundraising is particularly crucial for low-income families.
Fundraising, however, is not easy.
Carrie A. Olson, Ph.D., researcher and teacher, recently joined SYTA Executive Director Carylann Assante on Teach & Travel’s edWeb community, to present on the fundraising structure and techniques she used to enable 800 students from a low-income neighborhood to take part in educational travel. You can find tips from her presentation and a link to the full webinar recording here.
Yet sometimes, students and families still need an extra hand.
There are many available scholarships for educational performance-based travel. Since its inception, the SYTA Youth Foundation (SYF) has awarded over $1.2 million to students and youth who would otherwise be unable to travel. Find available scholarship opportunities here.
Given the immense benefits of educational travel—from building self-esteem, independence, tolerance, and cultural understanding to breaking down barriers to a child’s personal educational and social development—the value is priceless.