District needs to offer financial aid to fund trips

Journalism II Editorial

The district’s recent partnership with Education First Tours is one full of opportunities and excitement. The tours promise not only exposure to other lands and cultures, but also the educational enlightenment that comes with such experiences.

Despite this, many students and their families would struggle to fund the cost of these trips, some of which cost more than $4,000. Because of this financial reality, the district needs to take an active role in providing financial assistance to open up these opportunities for the entire student body, not just the economically elite.

Scholarships are one way in which the district could increase access to the tours. The district could partner with outside organizations, such as the PTO or the Alumni Association, to set up several scholarships for students who meet criteria outlined by the scholarship committee. Such scholarships would insure that those with true interest in a trip could access the opportunity, regardless of their family’s financial status.

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 1.04.51 PMAnother way in which the school could insure that students have access to the trips could be through offering fundraising opportunities. Students interested in a trip could sell goods and/or services organized by the district, with a portion of the proceeds going toward each participating student’s planned trip.

Not only would scholarships and fundraisers open up the trips for more students, but the district could also offer need-based grants to offset the cost of the trips for struggling families. Again, the district could partner with outside organizations affiliated with the school, such as the Upper Arlington Education Foundation, to help fund the trips for students in tight financial situations.

The district’s decision to partner with Education First Tours and offer students the opportunity of international travel should be applauded. The trips offer much more than just a fun adventure with friends. They offer students cultural enlightenment and perspective—and in this instance, it’s something that money can buy. Merely offering these opportunities should be just the first step the district should take in insuring that students can take advantage of the educational enlightenment of such trips. The next step is to insure that every student who wants to experience these cultural opportunities actually can afford it.