Scholarship FAQ

1. How do I to apply for a scholarship?

All scholarship opportunities are listed on our website. Please see the "Additional Scholarship Opportunities" page for the most up-to-date scholarship information.

2. What will I need to send in addition to the application form?

Passport Fund scholarship applications must be accompanied by your family’s most recent tax return. You will need to register for a program and submit a deposit. You will also need to send a brief letter of recommendation from a teacher and a short essay.

3. When should I apply for a Passport Fund scholarship?

The Passport Fund Scholarship Form is available in December on our website. The application deadline is late February. The exact deadline is noted on the application form.  However, some additional scholarship money is available after the February deadline.  Please see the "Additional Scholarship Opportunities" page for the most up-to-date scholarship information.

4. Who awards Passport Fund scholarships and how do you decide?

Passport Fund scholarships are based on financial need. Need is determined through a calculation that considers family size and adjusted gross income (AGI).  Special circumstances are also noted. Typically, families with an AGI of $60,000 or less are considered first. An awarding committee meets in March and discusses each individual application.

5. How do I increase my chances of being awarded a Passport Fund scholarship?

Read and follow the application guidelines carefully. In your essay, indicate how much money you need. You are more likely to receive a $500 scholarship than a $1,500 scholarship. Consider languages with smaller enrollments such as Arabic, Portuguese, Finnish or Korean. If you are reapplying for a scholarship, make sure you’ve sent us your thank you letter.

6. Can I receive a full scholarship through the Passport Fund?

No. It is our policy to award no more than 90% of the cost of the tuition. Transportation, room, and board are not covered by the Passport Fund. Some outside funders have different guidelines and will award full scholarships.

7. How much money is awarded each year?

On average, 1,100 scholarships are awarded annually equaling approximately $400,000. This includes Passport Fund scholarships as well as additional scholarships from outside organizations, such as cultural groups and foundations.

8. When will I find out if I’ve been awarded a scholarship?

All applicants are notified of their status during the first week of April. You may cancel your registration and request a refund of your deposit if you do not receive a scholarship. Deposits will be refunded ONLY if requested prior to the date indicated in your scholarship application status letter.

9. What if I don’t think I qualify for a need-based scholarship?

We encourage all families, regardless of financial need, to apply. Some languages have additional funding available so we are able to broaden our definition of need.

10. Are there scholarships available other than Passport Fund scholarships?

There are additional language specific scholarships available. Some of these scholarships are offered through third-partners such as the Sons of Norway and the Salolampi Foundation. View a list of additional scholarships.

11. What do I do if I’m not awarded a scholarship?

We offer payment plans, which many families find helpful.

12. Who should I contact with questions?

Email us at or call 800-222-4750