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Voyager Scholarship

Overview and Introduction

Founded in 2022, the Obama-Chesky Voyager Scholarship for Public Service provides up to $80,000 for the undergraduate education and professional development of outstanding young people from all corners of the United States who are committed to public service leadership. 

The funding comes from a joint collaboration between the Obama Foundation and a personal financial contribution by Airbnb Co-founder and CEO Brian Cheskey. The two-year scholarship program for US-based students in their junior and senior years of college offers unique opportunities for those who are committed to pursuing careers that serve the public and their communities. This scholarship defines “public service” to include careers in government, nonprofit, or the private sector, ranging from school teachers, community organizers, social workers, entrepreneurs with ideas for socially impactful businesses, journalism, arts, and design — a range of fields through which people are committed to creating a more connected, just, and equitable world. 

Students of all academic fields are encouraged to apply. 


  • Academics: Have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or equivalent.
  • Citizenship: U.S. citizen, U.S. permanent residents (holders of a Permanent Resident Card), or individuals granted deferred action status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA).
  • Degree-Level: Juniors in Fall 2024: Finishing sophomore year in Spring 2024. Applicants should be considered “juniors” based on the total number of earned credits at their institution by Fall 2024 or having two years of full time enrollment remaining before earning your Bachelor’s degree.Alternatively, students may be transferring from a two-year to a four-year college for their 2024-2025 junior academic year.
  • Other: Demonstrated commitment to public service, demonstrated financial need, plan to pursue a future career in public service upon graduation, able to commit to fully participating in once per month programming including individual meetings with coaches and network connections as well as developing an actionable Summer Voyage plan.

Application Deadlines

  • National Deadline: Thursday, March 27, 2024 at 11:59 PM United States Central Time (UTC-6.)
  • Endorsement: This scholarship does not require U-M endorsement. Applications are on the Voyager Scholarship website.
  • Finalist Notification: May 2024
  • Scholarship Awardee Notifications: June - July 2024
  • Funds Disbursed: July - October 2024


Prospective Applicants

Prospective applicants are encouraged to reach out to ONSF for an advising appointment. If you are a U-M student or are a transfer student to U-M and would like to receive a link for this year’s U-M Voyager Scholarship Info Session, please email our office at 

Application Summary

Voyager applicants should refer to the Voyager Scholarship site for full, detailed instructions. Note: this application has only very brief essays, and requires no references. 

  1. Fill out the Voyager Application on the Voyager website, which includes question categories:

    1. Cataloging of your Public Service Experience, Work Experience, Other Activities, Other Leadership Programs

    2. Short essays on your public service issue, summer voyage plans, curiosity in broadening your perspectives, challenges to your values, changes you have implemented, problems you wish to solve, and how you intend to take action after receiving your degree.

    3. A brief description of any personal circumstances that affected your achievement in school and work.

  2. A two-minute video that addresses the following:

    1. What gives you hope for the future? 

    2. How does public service fit into your vision for that future? 

    3. How does bridge building and understanding play a role in this vision? 

    4. How will the Voyager Scholarship help? 

    5. What do you hope to learn from your fellow Voyagers?

Note: This video does not need to be of high production quality; it should contain nothing but you, talking about your plans. More details are available in the Voyager Scholarship application.

3. University Transcript(s). This includes U-M transcripts, and/or any transferring institutions transcripts.

Review full eligibility requirements and selection criteria on the Voyager Scholarship website.