When the LSA Scholarships team learned that the 2019 NSPA Scholarship Provider of the Year award they won for the innovative program that helps students acquire a U.S. passport included a $2,000 scholarship prize, they knew exactly what to do with it. For Giving Blueday, they’re giving the entire amount back to the LSA Passport Scholarship Program. The $2,000 gift will make studying abroad or finding an international internship possible for nearly 10 more LSA students.

“Since the LSA Passport Scholarship Program was first introduced in 2015, we’ve helped 712 LSA students get their passports and enrich their LSA experience by traveling out of country,” says Doug Fletcher, Director of LSA Scholarships. “It’s incredibly fulfilling to be recognized for helping students succeed. The entire team is excited for the opportunity to continue to ensure the program’s success with this gift on Giving Blueday.”

There are others scholarships available to help cover travel and housing costs—but if a student doesn’t have a passport they might not even consider applying for an international internship or study abroad program. That’s what makes the passport scholarship different.

The LSA Passport Scholarship Program covers the full $205 cost of an expedited U.S. passport for Pell Grant-eligible, first-year students. Figuring out how to get a passport can be daunting, so the program also helps students through the process of collecting necessary documentation, getting a passport photo taken, and preparing their application. And, ‘Passport Day’ events bring U.S. passport officials to campus to process applications, eliminating the need for students to travel to a passport office. 

“International experiences present exciting learning opportunities for undergraduates, but not having a passport can present an unexpected and discouraging hurdle. We don’t want anything to stand in the way for our students,” says LSA Scholarships Senior Manager, Katherine Weathers. “The LSA Passport Scholarship Program removes both financial and psychological barriers so that they can follow their dreams.”