PEAR Scholarship

Professional Educator's Assistance and Recognition (PEAR) Scholarship

Educators hold a special place in our heart. Road Scholar was founded by two education administrators, David Bianco and Marty Knowlton, and nearly half of our participants were, or are currently, in the field of education. That’s no surprise, because Road Scholar is a university of the world and learning is at the core of the Road Scholar mission.

Though being an educator is one of the noblest callings, unfortunately in today’s world, the financial reward educators receive doesn’t come close to matching the value they provide society. That’s why we have created a special kind of financial assistance specifically for active and retired educators. We call it the “Professional Educator’s Assistance Recognition” scholarship — or “PEAR” for short.

Thanks to the generous support of our donors, we are able to ensure that educators with limited financial means are able to experience a Road Scholar learning adventure. Through our financial assistance program, we can turn the dream of experiencing one of our thousands of educational travel adventures into a reality. If you are over 50 years of age, are currently working in or have retired from any educational organization or system, which includes public or private early childhood, primary, secondary, and further or higher education and are facing financial barriers preventing you from participating in a Road Scholar program, you are eligible to apply.


Questions & Answers

The following is a list of eligible fields, departments and roles in various sectors of education. These are intended as guidelines and are not strict limitations. If you do not see the educational field in which you worked and you can provide proof of your employment, please complete and submit an application.  

  • Classroom Teachers 
  • Higher Education Faculty & Staff 
  • Administrators 
  • Substitute Educators  
  • School Librarians and Other Media Specialists 
  • Paraeducators 
  • Education Support Professionals 
  • Clerical Service Staff
  • Technical/AV/Media Services Staff
  • Transportation Services Staff
  • Coaches 
  • School Nurses 
  • School Psychologists
  • School Social Workers 
  • Day Care Teachers 
  • Before and After-School Teachers 
  • Health, Wellness & Student Services Staff
  • Custodial & Maintenance Staff
  • Facilities & Operations Staff 
  • Dining/Catering/Cafeteria Staff

The scholarship is applied toward the cost of the program you selected in your application. The amount of the scholarship award will be between $200 and $2,000 and you will pay any balance of the program cost after the scholarship has been applied. At minimum, you will pay the applicable deposit for the program selected.

Our financial assistance for educators is available for our programs in the United States and Canada that cost no more than $2,500.

We take care of everything. Lodging, meals, field trips, transportation during your program and much more — it’s all included.

Yes! Solo travelers love our learning adventures for the warm and welcoming camaraderie.

The financial assistance is applied to the cost of your program only. It does not cover the cost of transportation to and from your program.


Professional Educator's Assistance & Recognition Scholarship Application

Road Scholar’s Financial Aid Committee happily accepts fully completed applications mailed to the address listed on the application form or submitted online. The review of an application takes 4-6 weeks once it has been received by the committee; applications are reviewed in the order that they are received and cannot be expedited. Therefore, please ensure that you are submitting this application early enough to allow time to enroll and make your travel arrangements after you receive your award letter. We recommend that you apply at least three months before your selected program start date.



“As a senior woman living exclusively on Social Security, I would not have been able to attend such a wonderful learning experience without your generosity. Given that I'm single and often alone during the holiday season, the program did wonders to lift my spirits! Enjoying the season in the company of others was such a delight for me. Your financial support means more to me than I can say. Please accept my heartfelt thanks for your thoughtfulness in providing me with the opportunity to expand my horizons and to be refreshed and renewed on my weeklong adventure. It will be a memory that I will treasure for a long time to come.”

—Former educator Cheryl K. on “A Cultural Christmas Feast in Historic Charleston” (#14327)