While BEST cannot fully finance participation costs for students or teams, we strive to ensure as much accessibility and affordability as possible to all teams who wish to participate. To this end, we welcome all schools to apply for a partial scholarship (in the form of reimbursement) to travel to our tournaments.
Terms and conditions
Please read the following terms and conditions carefully to ensure a successful application and reimbursement! Failure to adhere to these terms and conditions may result in loss of your scholarship. BEST adheres to the follow rules because:
We have limited funding and want to maximize our resources to make BEST accessible to as many students as possible.
As a registered NGO in Bulgaria, we are required to obtain certain documentation from you as a recipient of a BEST scholarship.
We appreciate your participation and cooperation in helping us make that possible! All scholarships are conditional on adherence to the below terms and conditions:
Transportation scholarships are contingent on the provision of travel documents for all traveling students that matche the amount indicated on the application (or within a total of 10 leva difference in that amount).
Scholarships in the form of reimbursements will only be issued for students who are present at the tournament. Students who drop or do not show up will not be considered for reimbursement.
All teams are asked to find the cheapest possible method of transportation. We ask teams to buy round-trip tickets whenever possible.
All teams are expected to obtain at least the regular student discount for train and bus tickets. Teams of ten or more students are expected to obtain the 75% student group discount for trains. If your team fails to secure a discount for which you are eligible, or elects to choose a more expensive mode of transportation without sufficient reasoning, BEST may only reimburse the cost of a fully discounted student train ticket.
At every BEST Tournament there will be a designated Reimbursement Table with fixed “opening times” when coaches, judges and chaperones can be reimbursed. You cannot be reimbursed in any other way or at any other time.
applying for a scholarship
Research transportation costs to find out per-student travel costs. BEST assumes that teams will travel by the cheapest possible mode of transportation (using the group student train discount is usually the case).
Finalize the number of students attending one week before the tournament registration deadline.
Fully register for the upcoming tournament. Make sure to complete all the steps.
Fill out the scholarship form well before the tournament registration deadline.
Find out via email if your scholarship has been [conditionally] approved!
At least ten days before the tournament, purchase your student group rail tickets.
This will require a letter with all participants’ names and ID numbers, signed by your director, to be brought to the train station at least 10 days in advance of the travel date.
Ensure you purchase round-trip tickets that will be photographed at the reimbursement station
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, concerns or changes in your application.
Remember, all scholarships are conditional on adherence to the terms and conditions and adequate documentation at reimbursement. Here are some Dos and Don’ts of scholarship applications!
Carefully review our scholarship terms and conditions and reimbursement policies
Fill out the scholarship application before the deadline
Include an accurate number of students attending
Research cost-effective transportation options (always try to go for the group student rail discount!)
Get round-trip tickets if possible
Buy your tickets early
Show us how you’ve fundraised for your team
Fill out the scholarship application last-minute
Expect to get reimbursed without original itemized receipts
Pick the most expensive way to travel
Travel by bus if you can travel by train
Travel by hired car if you can travel by bus or train
receiving a scholarship
BEST scholarships are made in the form of reimbursements or discretionary funding at tournaments. In order to prepare for your reimbursement, please keep in mind the following:
Reimbursements will be made during set hours announced by a member of the Management Team at the tournament. Once you are prepared with all of your tickets, you can come and receive your reimbursements from BEST during these hours. Please note that we cannot guarantee your reimbursement if you miss the hours, so come on time!
You are only ready to be reimbursed when:
You have round-trip train tickets (or bus) for each participant requiring reimbursement that we can take a photo of.
You have checked that the cost of these tickets matches the amount we allocated for your scholarship.
You collect all of your students’ signatures on the form we give you at check-in and present it at reimbursement.
BEST will not reimburse teams who do not provide the appropriate documentation.
What to expect
You Can Expect BEST to…
Give scholarships in the form of reimbursements or discretionary funding to be issued at the tournament.
Cover the cost of transportation, with appropriate discounts, for each student, in the form of a per-student travel stipend.
Why train is the best option: Train is the cheapest form of transportation for groups of students in Bulgaria. Covering the cost of transportation by train and requiring teams to obtain a group discount enables us to provide more scholarships, and make BEST accessible to more people.
Refuse to issue reimbursements to teams who do not adhere to the terms and conditions of receiving a scholarship, or fail to provide appropriate documentation at reimbursement. Scholarship recipients are responsible for knowing and adhering to all terms and conditions regarding scholarships.
Why: As a registered NGO in Bulgaria, we are required to document how we use our funds, and cannot issue scholarships to teams who do not provide this documentation. BEST expects all teams to spend their scholarship funds responsibly.
Do Not Expect BEST to…
Fully finance your teams for tournament attendance.
Why: Because BEST believes in empowering coaches, students, and communities, we expect all teams to contribute to the cost of attendance themselves by fundraising. This can seem intimidating, but teams have had great success fundraising in previous years! Please visit the Fundraising section for ideas, advice, and strategies.
Cover the cost of transportation other than a train, even if it is not feasible for your team to take the train due to location or unreasonably excessive travel time. However, BEST will still cover the cost of the train for that team, and attempt to assist further if possible in covering excess transportation costs. Please feel free to contact for advice regarding extenuating circumstances.
Why: Though we understand that in exceptional circumstances it is not possible to take the train, BEST cannot guarantee our scholarship fund will cover the cost of transportation other than the train. BEST expects teams to know well ahead of time what transportation they will require and to fundraise accordingly.
Award scholarships to cover the full cost of transportation for teams who are able to take the train but wish to take a more expensive form of transportation.
Why: BEST wants to provide as many scholarships as possible, and providing scholarships to teams using unnecessarily expensive forms of transportation takes away from that goal. BEST will cover up to the (fully discounted) cost a train ticket regardless of the method you choose.
Provide scholarships for regional tournaments to teams from outside the region. Teams from outside the region are welcome to participate, but must finance their own attendance entirely.
Why: Every team is eligible to receive transportation scholarships for two regional tournaments and the National Tournament. BEST cannot finance the cost of out-of-region team travels.