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Service Program Financial Aid

Rustic Pathways’ Service Program Financial Aid is competitive scholarships that enable students to cover part or all of the program fee. The Service Program Financial Aid is based on financial need and merit. Applicants must be first-time Rustic travelers who meet our financial need criteria. Financial aid is available for a select number of programs.

Applying to receive Service Program Financial Aid does not guarantee you will receive it. This is a competitive process with a limited amount of awards for summer 2023.

Required Materials

  • Digital Copy of Household Income Statement
  • Three Short Essay Responses
  • TikTok Video Submission
  • Follow @RusticPathways on TikTok

Program Selection

You will fill out your top two program selections in the form. Each eligible program is community service-focused. In choosing your top two program selections, please keep in mind it is likely you will be responsible for a portion of the program fee, airfare, and any add-ons like insurance.

All travel will occur between June-August 2023. Please be sure your program selections have departure dates that work for you. More information on the available dates can be found on each program page.

Eligible programs:

  • Public Health in the Caribbean – Dominican Republic (30 Service Hours)
  • Mountain Air and Island Service – Dominican Republic (20 Service Hours)
  • Turtle Conservation Project – Costa Rica (35 Service Hours)
  • Sacred Valley Service – Peru (40 Service Hours)
  • Intro to Community Service – Fiji (30 Service Hours)
  • Culture and the Crater – Tanzania (50 Service Hours)
  • Hawaii Service – United States (30 service hours)
  • Service Program in Thailand (Coming Soon!)

View more information on the eligible programs below, and see the available travel dates on each program page.

Proof of Household Income

You will be asked to provide proof of household income.

We accept: FAFSA, federal tax forms, or social security benefit documents to verify income eligibility. If you are not a U.S. resident, any tax document from your government will be accepted. Tax filings must be from 2021.


The Service Program Financial Aid is for first-time travel program participants only. Financial aid is merit and need-based, so the quality of the application will be judged along with the financial need.


Applying to receive financial aid does not guarantee you will receive it. This is a highly competitive process with a limited amount of awards. We strongly recommend you start fundraising now fund your dream summer program, or if you do receive aid, to cover expenses such as a portion of the program fee, airfare, and any add-ons like insurance.

View our resources to help you start fundraising here.

Required Materials Details

Essay | Growth: What do you hope to gain from your Rustic Pathways experience?

Essay | Motivation: Why do you want to participate in a Rustic Pathways program?

Essay | Service: How is service or volunteering important to you? What kind of impact do you want to make this summer?

Video | Aspiration: What do you want your summer to look like with Rustic Pathways?

Video requirements: In a TikTok video, tell us about your ideal summer with Rustic Pathways. Be creative. Be passionate. Be your authentic self. Use the hashtags #IDeserveTravel and #RusticPathways so we see your video!

All videos must be:

  • Submitted publicly through TikTok
  • Using the hashtags #IDeserveTravel and #RusticPathways
  • Your original creation
  • Suitable for publication

Videos must not:

  • Have won previous awards
  • Have been previously published
  • Infringe on any third-party rights
  • Violate TikTok’s content and community guidelines

Follow on TikTok: Follow us on TikTok. In order to be considered for financial aid, applicants must follow our TikTok account to see the latest announcements and updates.

Submit your application by January 30, 2023. Scholarship recipients will be notified in February 2023.

From beginning to end, the experience was professional, efficient, exciting and fulfilling. Having never traveled such a distance before, Lark might have had justifiable anxiety. However, the information Rustic Pathways provided along with the support parents received, allayed any fears we might have had. Rustic Pathways provided a generous scholarship which was such a point of pride for Lark. 

Quote by: Kimberly White, Lark's Mom | Canoga Park, California Rustic Service Program Ambassador, 2017

Eligible Programs
Accomodation Amenities
Educational Activities
On-Program Travel

Community service, cultural immersion, and adventure near Machu Picchu

$5,195 plus Airfare
Age 14-21
15 Days
40 Service Hours
Accomodation Amenities
Educational Activities
On-Program Travel

Village community service on the edge of the immense Ngorongoro Crater

$4,645 plus Airfare
Age 14-18
16 Days
50 Service Hours