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Student Conference Funding Guidelines

The Dean's Office has a limited amount of funding which is used to defray the student's travel expense to attend professional conferences within the United States.  Preference in funding will be given to students making formal academic presentations, although requests to support other scholarly opportunities will be considered. Funds will also be prioritized for students who have not yet received support from the Dean's Office. Applications open on the first day of Fall semester and awards are made on a rolling basis until the allocated funds have been exhausted for the year. 

To apply, students should complete the online application form. Click link below:  

Types of Eligible Conference Funding Requests

  • Students who are accepted to present or invited to actively participate in a conference.
  • Student presenters or co-presenting a project or paper individually or with a faculty member.
  • Students attending professional/scholarly conferences, symposia, meetings, or other events. 
  • Funding is not available for international conferences or competitions at this time.
  • Conferences must occur during the academic year (AY: first day of classes through the last day classes are held).
  • Funding is not awarded during the summer or after a student graduates from the College.

Student Eligibility

  • Students of all class years provided they are active, enrolled students in good standing (academic and conduct)
  • Applications must be submitted at least four weeks prior to the conference start date.
  • Priority will be given to students who are first time applicants.
  • Applications must have faculty/advisor support.
  • Students must complete the Swarthmore College Assumption of Risk Waive of Liability Form prior to travel. 
  • Approved conference funding does not constitute approved absence from class. 
  • Funds will not be awarded retroactively. Applications must be submitted before the conference occurs.

Maximum Funding Reimbursements:

  • Up to, but not exceeding $400  (one or two individual students attending the same conference)
  • Up to, but not exceeding $600  (three or more students attending the same conference)

Funds are limited and distributed post-conference only.  There is no guarantee that a conference funding request will be approved. If approved, the office will fund only one conference per academic year for individual or group of students. The Dean’s Office encourages you to choose carefully the conference you are hoping to attend and to apply in advance.  It is recommended that groups limit the number of participants given the maximum reimbursement for a student group is a set amount regardless of the group size.  Three or more students attending the same conference will be considered to constitute a group, whether students apply as a group or individually.

Award Notifications - Applicants will be notified via email within one week after applications are submitted. We will not provide same day decisions. 

    Reimbursement Requirements:

    Within 2 weeks upon return from travel, students are required to submit a one-page descriptive report along with a travel reimbursement form and original receipts. Students will receive reimbursement for conference related expenses (registration, economy transportation, hotel/lodging). Conference materials, membership fees, special event tickets, or meals will need to be covered by the student or another funding source.  

    Print the travel form, attach ORIGINAL receipts, and send (via campus mail) or drop off to Felicite Gibson (Dean's Office - Parrish 140) who will finalize the reimbursement information. The forms will then be sent to the Business Office for processing.  Payments will be deposited into student accounts within three weeks. *Reimbursement will not be processed without a report. 

    Please note that the report, either in part or in whole, may be shared with relevant academic departments, Dean’s Office staff, President’s staff, and/or the Board of Managers.

    General questions about the Student Conference Fund can be directly addressed to Felicite Gibson at or by visiting the Dean's Office in Parrish Hall East, Room 140.

    *Note:  The Dean's Office reserves the right to reduce conference funding levels if students receive awards or stipends from other sources. The fund will close when funds have been exhausted for the academic year.