No matter what money has been called (cashola, dough, dinero), it’s something that people don’t mind having around, underneath their mattresses, inside the deepest corners of their pockets or in their bank accounts. For college students this also rings true, but if at the end of the day your college-self feels as though it hasn’t been rewarded appropriately for that late-night shift or those long hours spent studying the mitosis cycle, the next best thing to money is a scholarship, a.k.a. free money.

Contiki Vacations, the leader in fun travel packages for 18 to 35-year-olds, has partnered up with Tourism Cares, a non-profit public charity, and they’ve established a scholarship fund, “Tourism Cares - Contiki Vacations Scholarship Fund,” for U.S. undergraduate students pursuing a degree in a travel, tourism or hospitality-related program.

“As a company that caters to the youth market, we are excited to provide this support,” says Michelle Murray, Director of Marketing at Contiki. “We look forward to helping a deserving and hardworking student begin an exciting and enlightening career in the travel, tourism or hospitality field.”

The deadline for this program is April 15, and it’ll endow an undergrad student with a one-year, $1,500 scholarship. In order to apply for the funds, students are asked to submit their resume, two letters of recommendation and an original essay that outlines their goals. The Tourism Cares Scholarship Selection Committee will then review all submissions, narrow down the candidates and appoint the final recipient. Awarded funds will be applied to the student’s fall semester for tuition, books and educational fees. Get all the information you need in order to get your future not only looking brighter, but greener. Visit to learn about eligibility and restrictions of the scholarship fund and to apply.

Not yet a college student? If you’re in high school you can now pay to live, breathe and learn like one at a top, prestigious university.Academic Study Associates (ASA; is a college-preparatory organization offering college-bound high school students a range of summer academic programs “to inspire personal and intellectual growth, as well as social change and global understanding.”ASA, comprised of 15 summer enrichment programs for high school students, has just opened up two new programs that will be offered this summer: Film Studies: Hollywood Uncovered, offered on the USC campus, and Leaders for Social Change, offered on the university campuses of Stanford and Yale.

The Film Studies: Hollywood Uncovered costs $6,195 for a four-week program starting June 27 and ending July 24, for students in grades 9 through 12. It offers students the complete, full-on college experience: residing on campus, working up a sweat at the USC gym, getting a behind-the-scenes look at how movies evolve from concept to the real Hollywood deal in classes taught by accredited professors and even going to a Dodgers baseball game. High school participants will also explore myriad film genres, while dissecting and understanding the concepts that go behind a story structure, visual style and other vital cinematic devices.

The program might seem pricey, but it includes two courses, meals and accommodation on USC’s University Park campus, daily and evening activities and supervised visits to Universal Studios, Santa Barbara, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Santa Monica and more.

The Leaders for Social Change costs $4,695 for a three-week long program offered on the campuses of Stanford and Yale Universities, running from June 27 to July 17, for high school sophomores and juniors only. Participants will not only gain leadership skills, problem solving and business etiquette, but will identify issues of concern such as global climate change and health care. The program includes small classes led by top-notch faculty and dynamic courses including Creating a Budget, The Great Debate: Lobbying Your Cause Effectively, Understanding Global Issues, Creative Thinking & Problem Solving and Business Etiquette. At Stanford, students will visit Santa Cruz, Muir Woods and attend a San Francisco Giants game. At Yale, students will visit New York City, Newport and Rhode Island. Students will also reside on campus with access to each university’s facilities and resources.

Once again, the price will cover tuition, room, three meals a day, use of some of the available on-campus facilities, all afternoon and evening activities, transfer to and from designated airports, bedding and more.