The Obama Foundation and Airbnb Voyager Scholarship

Hoping to pursue a career in public service? The Obama Foundation and Brian Chesky are teaming up to help students pay for college and travel with The Voyager Scholarship.

Kathryn Knight Randolph

February 15, 2024

The Obama Foundation and Airbnb Voyager Scholarship
The Obamas and Chesky team up to provide epic opportunity.
Is your Instagram feed fueled by a love for travel and wanderlust? Do you also have plans to dedicate your time after college to public service? If so, the Voyager Scholarship may be the perfect opportunity for you.

The Voyager Scholarship for Public Service

In 2022, the Obama Foundation and Airbnb launched a joint scholarship initiative to help college students pay for their education, travel for work over the summer, and then continue their passion for exploring the world after graduation. If it sounds too good to be true, it’s really not.

Who is the Obama Scholarship open to?

The Voyager Scholarship is open to rising juniors in the United States at accredited four-year colleges and universities. You must be finishing your sophomore year right now – or transferring from a two-year community college to a four-year institution.
You must also have a 3.0 GPA and a commitment to public service, which is defined as "government, non-profit, or private sector work, 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," according to Finally, you must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. permanent resident, or an individual with deferred action status under DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program).

How can the Airbnb scholarship be used?

This scholarship is extremely comprehensive. First, you will receive a scholarship each year for your junior and senior years of college. Any gap, up to $25,000, between your existing scholarships and financial aid packages will be met through this award. You will also receive a $10,000 stipend to use between your junior and senior year of college, which is referred to as the Summer Voyage in the scholarship package. You will design your own summer experience, such as an internship or mentorship, to take place anywhere in the world in order to broaden your horizons and understanding of a career in public service. After graduation, scholarship recipients will be able to take advantage of up to $2,000 in Airbnb travel credit each year for up to 10 years in order to continue exploration in their field and make new connections.
Finally, you’ll be invited to the annual Fall Summit, where you will be able to meet with the Obamas and Airbnb co-founder and CEO, Brian Chesky, as well as other Voyagers and alumni. You will also be able to tap into the network of leaders and opportunities provided by the Obama Foundation through ongoing speaker series and events.

How do I apply for the Voyager Scholarship?

Students can only apply through the designated online Voyager Scholarship portal. Additionally, applicants must provide an official college transcript that includes their name, school, grades and credit hours for each course, and term in which the course was taken. ISTS will be determining financial need using a methodology that is similar to that used by financial aid offices. Financial data will be asked for during the application process. Applications will be accepted until March 27, 2024, 11:59 p.m. CST. A scholarship committee will review all applications, and 100 winners will be notified in July of the final decision. The program then begins in September.

What happens after junior year? And then college graduation?

In order to remain eligible for their senior year, recipients must maintain a 2.5 GPA. Seniors are also invited to attend the Summit each year to stay engaged with the organization and meet other Voyagers, although attendance is not mandatory. The Voyager Scholarship does not guarantee an internship during the summer between junior and senior year, nor does it guarantee a job after college. You are to utilize the Summit to develop an internship or mentorship experience to complete during the Summer Voyage. In both instances, however, recipients will be able to tap into the network of leaders and resources provided by the program as well as the Obama Foundation to create their Summer Voyage experience and to drive their career trajectory after college graduation.

The Voyager Scholarship

Deadline: 3/27/2024 Available to: Rising College Juniors Award Amount: Up to $50,000 The Voyager Scholarship is open to students who plan to enroll full-time in their junior year of study at an accredited four-year college or university in the United States in the fall or be transferring from a two-year to a four-year college for their junior academic year, have a minimum grade point average of 3.0, have a demonstrated commitment to public service and be planning to pursue a career in public service upon graduation in order to be considered for this award. You must also be a United States (US) citizen, US permanent resident (holder of a Permanent Resident Card), or an individual granted deferred action status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA).

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