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Financial Aid


We believe that cost should not prevent enthusiastic students from being able to travel with us. For this reason we are constantly looking for ways to improve upon our offerings for fellowships, scholarships, and discounts to motivated participants.

Our fundraisers are open to all applicants. Payment plans, fellowships, and full scholarships are need-based and are open only to Open Enrollment applicants. The total amount awarded depends on a variety of factors, including parent contribution, student contribution, household income, and availability of aid.

To begin the financial aid process please complete the enrollment form below and make sure to check the Applying for Financial Aid box. After you submit your enrollment form and $250 deposit, you will be sent an email with the link to the Financial Aid Application.  If financial aid is not awarded to you 100% of your funds are refundable.

Below are the four components of our financial aid opportunities, along with some general notes on the application process. Please click on each of the tabs below to learn more about what we offer.

SSA offers extended payment plans to distribute the financial obligation of our programs over up to a year.

Eligibility: Based on individual need

Deadline: Within two weeks of acceptance

Length: Up to one year from travel date

Items Needed:

  • Open Enrollment Application
  • Financial Aid Application (this will be sent to you after you opt for financial aid in your Open Enrollment Application)
  • $250 Deposit (fully refundable if we don’t come to an acceptance on payment plan)
  • Copy of Most Recent Tax Return
  • Credit Check Form
  • Promissory Note (once plan is determined)

Note: Can be combined with the Fair Trade Fundraiser and a Fellowship.

Journalism Fellows are responsible for documenting their study abroad experiences, whether it is through writing, photography, videography, or another medium. Before the program departs, Fellows will write a short proposal of the kind of article or project they hope to focus on and will be contacted by an SSA Director to review expectations and responsibilities. During the program, Fellows will keep a daily account of interesting stories, touching moments, difficult challenges, and personal triumphs. They will also be encouraged to conduct interviews with students, leaders, and locals and will contribute to their group’s blog. After their program, Fellows will use their notes and interviews to attempt to publish an original article or slideshow in their school paper, local newspaper, and/or other news sources. The article will also be posted on our blog and may be used in other promotional materials.

As a Journalism Fellow, you can learn to:

  • Understand one’s role as an advocate for global leadership through journalism and photo-journalism
  • Develop writing, blogging, photography, and videography skills while strengthening a resume for college
  • Strategize methods for documenting experiences while on program
  • Connect process of travel writing to promotion of global awareness

Eligibility: Based on individual need.

Deadline: Within two weeks of application.

Amount: $0 – 50% of tuition, with no limit to the number of Fellows per program.

Items Needed:

  • Open Enrollment Application
  • Financial Aid Application (this will be sent to you after you opt for financial aid in your Open Enrollment Application)
  • $250 Deposit (fully refunded if we don’t come to an agreement on aid)
  • Copy of Most Recent Tax Return

Note: Participants whose families can afford the full tuition are welcome to apply for a No Funds Fellowship, in which they would be granted a Journalism Fellowship and will receive the benefits of being a Fellow but will not receive a tuition reduction. Fellowships can be combined with the Fundraiser and a Payment Plan. Below is the description of our Journalism Fellowship. If you have an idea for an Independent Fellowship that might suit your interests better, please let us know about it in your application.

Past Journalism Fellowships

Image of Amber Desisto

Amber Desisto

Image of Ariella Ventura

Ariella Ventura

Image of Arsema Hailemarian

Arsema Hailemarian

Image of Ava Williams
Ava Williams
Image of Brittany Noel


Image of Claire Campbell

Claire Campbell

Image of Cynthia Salas

Cynthia Salas

Image of Elle Neal

Elle Neal

Image of Hailey Baker
Hailey Baker
Image of John Morris

John Morris

Image of Lily Mogen
Lily Mogen
Image of Luke Daly

Luke Daly

Image of Sarah Wilkinson

Sarah Wilkinson

Image of Shelby Sellers
Shelby Sellers
Image of Johnny Guillemette
Johnny Guillemette
Image of Julia Collins

Julia Collins

Image of Kaylee Bingham

Kaylee Bingham

Image of Laura Sly
Laura Sly
Image of Lauren Duncan

Lauren Duncan

Each year we partner with The Wandering Scholar every year to offer a handful of scholarships to students who set themselves apart from the pool of applicants.  These scholarships cover the entire cost of a program, and students must apply directly through The Wandering Scholar.

Eligibility: Only families with household income of less than $60,000

Deadline: Will be awarded at the end of February. All forms must be submitted to The Wandering Scholar directly.

Limit: Only a few awarded each year

Forms Needed: You will need to apply directly with The Wandering Scholar by filling out their Wandering Scholar Application at www.thewanderingscholar.org. The Wandering Scholar is a non-profit organization committed to providing international education experiences to low-income students.

Note: If you are also applying for a Fellowship or Payment Plan with us, please review and submit the items listed in the above sections.

Fundraising opportunities are offered through our partner organization, Walking Tree Travel. These opportunities give students the resources and tools they need to cover or contribute to the cost of their travel program. Walking Tree has partnered with an organic, fair-trade coffee producer to provide a unique fundraising opportunity available to all SSA travelers. Pablo’s Coffee, and their community of international coffee farmers, is thrilled to make quality organic coffee available as a fair-trade fundraising opportunity. For each $20 bag sold, $10 goes to pay the costs for the local coffee farmers and $10 goes directly to the participant to offset their travel costs.

Eligibility: All participants are eligible.

Deadline: All payments and order forms must be sent to SSA by the program travel date. If you have already paid in full, we will send you a check for the amount you raised.

Amount: No limit. You can raise up to your tuition, or even beyond!

Items Needed: Fundraising Guide

Note: Can be combined with a Payment Plan and a Fellowship.

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