Travel & Study Abroad Scholarships

One Mile at a Time, the largest independent travel blog in the world, believes everyone should have the chance to chase after their dreams, and that the best education in life can often be found outside the classroom.

Scholarship details

We offer scholarships for college students, helping to free up funds so they can work on passion projects and explore new ideas. Whether you want to start a new business or participate in a humanitarian trip abroad, we want you to have the financial freedom to succeed. Our passion is to help every person, regardless of budget, afford the experience of visiting new places and expanding their horizons through travel. What’s yours?


2-year or 4-year undergraduate degree-seeking full-time students who are currently enrolled or with acceptance, or part-time undergraduate students with verifiable employment of 20+ hours/week.

Scholarship amount

$3,000 annual scholarship

How to Enter

No matter what pathway you ultimately take in life, being able to clearly communicate is an important skill. The ways in which people share information are changing, and we believe that ideas and enthusiasm are more important than format. As such, there are two different ways to apply:

  1. Write something — You can choose a casual blog-style or a more formal essay, and aim for ~1,000 words (if you need more, use them, if you don’t, please don’t feel like you need to fill pages). Either way, your grammar and punctuation should be impeccable. We’re all for relaxed formats and breaking rules to set the tone, but draw the line at “apostrophe abuse.”
  2. Make something — Writing is important, but there are other ways to get your point across. If you’d like to submit a video instead, that’s great. The same notes apply; a casual style is fine (we have plenty of our own video bloopers), but you’ll want to showcase crisp and clear communication skills. Please keep videos to under three minutes, and provide a written transcription.

With either format, please also include:

  • Your name
  • Your email address (please use your school email address)
  • Your enrolled school
  • Your major, and why you chose that branch of study (or what you’re leaning towards if undeclared)

Essay Topic

The skills you develop in college can provide an amazing foundation for doing cool stuff in the world, but as with many things in life, you get out of it what you put into it. A desire to hustle, combined with strong financial responsibility, can enable incredible things.

So, we want to hear about the cool stuff you’d like to do. We’re big proponents of “giving forward”, and would like this scholarship to help propel others to do the same.

We’re not necessarily looking for something extravagant or grand; giving forward and sharing your talents with the world doesn’t have to be monumental. One Mile at a Time helps people achieve their aspirations and travel better, in a way that doesn’t break the bank. We’re not solving global problems (though we try and do our part to help where we can), but we are helping to educate, inform, and inspire.

Your passion may be leading you to certain branches of research, or to a career that enables you to pay the bills while you pursue your passion project on the side. It could lead to starting your own business, or becoming part of a massive team chipping away at a problem. Your passion needn’t be related to travel, though we, of course, think meeting new people and exploring new cultures provides a valuable perspective.

Please address all three points in your submission:

  • What are you passionate about, and how can you leverage that enthusiasm to give forward as you go through the world?
  • What skills do you have (or will develop in school) to enable you to do those things in a sustainable way?
  • What steps are you taking to build healthy financial habits that will give you more flexibility after college?

Scholarship rules

Scholarship may be used for tuition, books, university fees, or costs directly associated with study abroad programs and/or exchange student programs.

Submission deadline

Scholarship application/submission is 11:59 PM EDT October 31, 2019.

Selection process 

The scholarship winner will be notified by email in the first week of December 2019, by December 6, 2019, 5 PM EST. The selection of the winner is solely at the discretion of One Mile at a Time.

Our story

One Mile at a Time is the largest independent travel blog in the world, but it didn’t start out that way. In fact, the blog was created from a college dorm room, on one of those weekday mornings where you’re zoning out and wondering “What am I even going to do with my life?” — we’ve all had them.

So a little blog was started, as a way of channeling an obsession for aviation, miles, points, and travel. A couple of years later (and once again from a college dorm room) a side business was started, with PointsPros directly advising people on how to get the most out of their travel rewards, and receiving a fee in exchange.

Having time for these kinds of passion projects in school was possible in part because Ben (OMAAT’s founder) had been able to take advantage of programs and scholarships that covered the costs associated with college tuition, removing some of the worry of burdensome student loan debt.

After 11+ years, over 25,000 blog articles on One Mile at a Time, and half a billion miles redeemed through PointsPros, these are still passion projects. Just ones that are businesses as well.

Creativity and passion need an opportunity to become a reality. Add some out-of-the-box thinking, and we think you’re on the right path. One Mile at a Time is all about aspirational travel, and our passion focuses on inspiring, educating, and encouraging others on how to do the same.

Learning how to be financially responsible, knowing your way around a credit report (and properly managing your credit), and understanding the complete irrationality of how rewards and loyalty programs function is what we do — with a bit of sass thrown in for good measure.

We’ll be honest — while everyone at OMAAT has a college degree, very little (okay, roughly zero) of our college coursework is relevant to what we do each day. And our career paths have been totally different from what we envisioned when we went to school.

Sometimes things don’t work out exactly as planned, and that’s not a bad thing.

Every day our team wakes up knowing that we’re extremely lucky to have the opportunity for our work to be the thing we’d enjoy and obsess over even if it wasn’t our job. We’d like to help someone have that same opportunity to explore their passion, with hopefully a little less stress about covering their expenses.

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