Attending Conferences: How to Ask Your College to Pay

Your School Can Cover Conference Costs

Conferences can be expensive. The good news? Many colleges and universities will pay for students to attend conferences and events.

Attending conferences as a college student can be incredibly valuable. These events provide amazing opportunities for personal growth, networking, and developing essential skills. However, even with reasonably priced events, the costs of registration and travel can be difficult for college students to afford.

The good news? Many colleges have funding specifically for sponsoring students to attend enriching conferences and events. Each year, schools help cover registration and travel expenses for students — all you have to do is ask.

The Power of Asking

It may surprise you, but numerous students get their colleges to pay for conferences annually. The key is simply asking for the sponsorship. As they say, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.” You could open up fantastic opportunities just by putting together a compelling request.

AAUW’s National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL) is an especially worthwhile conference to ask your school to sponsor.

NCCWSL is specifically designed to enhance leadership skills and grow the potential of college students. By attending, you’ll gain invaluable training and insight that aligns perfectly with your college’s goals of fostering exceptional student leaders.

Requesting sponsorship for NCCWSL demonstrates your commitment to personal and professional development — an investment that will pay dividends for both you and your college community. Clearly articulating how NCCWSL directly benefits both you and your school’s mission strengthens your sponsorship request.

Make it Simple: Use a Template

To streamline the process, use a customizable template email to send to the right decision-maker at your college. This ensures you include all the important details for your ask. Here’s an easy template you can use to ask your school to send you to NCCWSL!

AAUW Email Template | How to ask your school to send you to NCCWSL
Subject: Help me grow as a leader at NCCWSL 

Dear [staff member’s name], 

I hope this message finds you well! 

I’d like to bring to your attention the upcoming National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL, sounds like “nick whistle”). Specifically, I’m asking that [your college or school’s name] sponsor me to attend the conference. 

From hands-on workshops and panels to recognized experts, NCCWSL will provide me with a a unique opportunity to broaden my capacity as a leader, both here on campus and beyond.  Also, the peer networking opportunities at NCCWSL will let me learn from young women leaders from different walks of life and make lifelong connections. 

Please help me enhance my leadership skills and foster my personal and professional growth by sponsoring my attendance and travel. Housing is covered by my registration, as are most meals. I’m happy to provide any additional details you need. Early-bird registration ends April 14. 

I’m sure you’ll agree that investing in my attendance at NCCWSL not only aligns with our school’s commitment to student empowerment but contributes to diverse and capable leadership here on campus and beyond. 

Thank you for considering my request. I am eager to discuss this further at your earliest convenience. 

Best regards,
[Your Name]
[any leadership roles you serve in at your school]
[Your Contact Information] 

Who to Contact

Look for someone who oversees student life and activities — their role may be:

  • Dean/VP of Student Affairs
  • Director of Campus Life/Student Activities
  • Multicultural Affairs or Student Government Director
  • Diversity & Inclusion Director
  • Greek Life Director
  • Director, Campus Women’s Center

Do some research to identify the most fitting contact for your situation.

Seize the Opportunity

Whether it’s a leadership conference like NCCWSL (National Conference for College Women Student Leaders) or an event related to your field of study, attending can be extraordinarily beneficial. You’ll gain invaluable skills, make connections, and expose yourself to new ideas.

So, dare to be bold! Ask your college to invest in this opportunity for you. It’s an investment in your future potential as a leader. With their sponsorship, you can make the most of an amazing conference experience.