Student Conference Fund

Mount Holyoke College recognizes the value of experiential academic experiences and is fully supportive of those activities that happen outside the classroom. To assist individual students who wish to pursue those opportunities, an annual fund has been established through the Office of the Dean of Students.

These funds are intended to support undergraduate students by underwriting expenses associated with independent research and travel, to cover the cost of registration fees and/or travel expenses related to attending or presenting at academic conferences or workshops, participating in off-campus research, or engaging in service learning directly related to their academic program or purpose. The fund is intended to help students reach their highest potential by encouraging imagination, creativity, and high aspiration by funding innovative projects that students would otherwise be unable to pursue.

Funds are awarded on a competitive basis according to the quality of the proposal and the importance of the proposed activity to the student’s academic plan. Students can request a maximum amount of $300 per academic year while an enrolled student at Mount Holyoke. Funding is not guaranteed.

Applications should be submitted at minimum 3 weeks prior to the anticipated project.

The funds available to students are limited and have specific requirements; awards are suspended for the academic year once the funds are expended. Please read carefully the funding description, guidelines, and expectations. Note that grants are always dependent on the total dollars available each semester.

Eligibility and Guidelines

  • Applicant must be a currently enrolled undergraduate student not on leave or study abroad at the time of the application and during the proposed activity period. 
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • Funds may not be used for a class activity, required or voluntary, to pay for the cost of tuition for courses, or as part of a co-curricular activity sponsored by a department, program, athletic program or student organization. 
  • Funds may not be used for internships or study abroad purposes.
  • Successful applicants agree to file a brief project and expense report, including a statement of reflection, with the Office of the Dean of Students within two weeks after completing their funded activity. The report should touch on what you found most valuable about the experience and how it tied in with your academic or post graduate plans. 
  • Receipts must be turned in at the time you submit your report to the Dean.
  • Grants are treated as income and may be taxed as such. If you have any questions regarding tax implications, you should contact Student Financial Services.

To apply for student conference funds, complete the online application form and submit the additional required documents. Additional documents are linked within the application form.

Applications are evaluated by the Office of the Dean of Students on the basis of clarity, quality, and originality of proposal; level of engagement; uniqueness of opportunity; potential impact on student’s career and academic department or program; and professional formatting of application.

Some academic departments may also have funding to support students’ attendance at professional conferences. Students should check with their department before submitting a request for financial support.

To Apply

Currently enrolled undergraduate students should complete the online application form and submit the documentation required within that application. Such documentation includes:

  • Conference or project description: Describe in detail the project/work you are proposing. How does this align with your academic and post-graduate goals?
  • A timeline of the conference or project, including anticipated start and completion dates.
  • A detailed budget to include entire cost of conference or project, including costs for airfare/other travel expenses; per diem; equipment purchases or rentals; lodging/housing on site; licensure, etc. Please supply receipts or actual quotes.
  • Documentation of funding sources you are pursuing including funds you have secured for this event/project.
  • A current resume.
  • Name and contact information of faculty or staff recommender.


Can I apply for more than one grant at a time?
Definitely, certain projects may fit criteria that allows both funds to be accessed. Keep in mind when applying, the maximum amounts granted during a student’s career at Mount Holyoke.

What if I don’t submit my application within the required timeline?
In order to ensure timely processing, we request applications a month in advance of the proposed activity. We recognize that some opportunities present themselves at the last minute. If this is the case and your application is approved, you will have to pay upfront and submit receipts for reimbursement after the project or activity is complete.

What is the maximum amount I can apply for?
While a student at Mount Holyoke you can receive up to $300 each academic year.

What if I don’t use all the money granted or change my mind?
It is important to thoroughly research expected costs and submit a detailed budget at the time of application.

What if my conference is canceled or I decide not to proceed with my project?
Notify the Assistant to the Dean of Students immediately of any changes to your proposed plan. Arrangements will have to be made with Accounts Payable if you have already received or cashed your check.

Can I apply for a grant if I am a graduating senior and will be off campus at the time of the event?
No, activities are only funded during your actual time on campus as an enrolled student.

Can I use the money for a conference during the summer or breaks?
Yes, you can apply for funding to attend a conference during the summer or over breaks as long as you apply within the required timeline and upon return will be completing one more semester on campus.

How will I receive my money?
Upon approval, a check request will be submitted to Accounts Payable.

What do I need to do when my project/conference is over?
First, it is good practice to get in the habit of writing thank you notes to the people who made the experience possible. Secondly, gather your receipts and submit those along with a brief summary to the Office of the Dean of Students within three weeks of the project completion or travel.

Are there additional funding sources at Mount Holyoke?
Listed below are potential additional funding sources. Please make sure to reach out directly to these offices and departments to see if your application qualifies. Links to applications are provided where they exist. Funding is not guaranteed from any of these sources, and the Dean of Student’s Office has no say in how these offices chose to fund.

  • Department of Astronomy
  • Department of Chemistry
  • Department of Environmental Studies
  • Department of Geology and Geography, Funds to Support Student Travel and Research
  • McCulloch Center, Student Conference funding
  • Department of Mathematics & Statistics
  • Department of Physics
  • Funds are not available to individual students through the Student Government Association Ways & Means Committee.