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Travel & Training Fund: How to Apply

If the below information doesn't answer your questions, please contact us directly to learn more.

2010 Travel & Training Fund grantee Ibtihaj Muhammad poses for a portrait at the 2016 Team USA Media Summit at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on March 9, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The Travel & Training Fund application for 2017 is now closed.

What is the purpose of the Travel & Training Fund?

The goal of the Fund is to provide financial support to female athletes with potential to be elite who have demonstrated financial need and would not otherwise be able to afford basic necessities like coaching, travel and equipment to achieve even higher performance levels and rankings without our help.

Who administers the Travel & Training Fund?

The Travel & Training Fund is administered by the Women’s Sports Foundation and is supported by generous sponsors like Gatorade and public donations.

Who is eligible to apply?

1. Individual applicants and all members of a team must be female U.S. citizens or legal residents and be eligible to compete for a U.S. national team.

2. Applicants must have amateur status.

3. Applicants must demonstrate financial need. The WSF approves grants that will have a significant and lasting impact on the applicant. A request needs to demonstrate a visible, apparent and immediate financial need and be consistent with the Travel & Training Fund’s mission.

4. Applicants must have a successful competitive record within their sport and/or age group.

5. Applicants must demonstrate the ability, based on competitive record and years in training, to reach and compete at an elite level.
Those that have competed regionally (outside their state), nationally and/or internationally and/or are ranked by a national governing body.

6. In order to qualify for a team application, a team must consist of two or more females.

7. An individual or team may be awarded only one grant per calendar year and a maximum of three grants to an individual or team in a lifetime.

Who is not eligible to apply?

1. High school, college, university (intercollegiate or club) or community recreation sports teams.

2. Any athlete who is a member of a team already applying for a team grant may not also apply for an individual grant in the same grant period.

How would accepting an individual grant affect a student athlete’s college eligibility?

1. Per the NCAA, for Division I and Division III athletes, receipt of this fund for general training expenses will jeopardize a prospective student-athletes or an enrolled student-athlete’s amateur status and make the individual ineligible to participate in intercollegiate athletics at the Division I or Division III level. However, in Division I and III NCAA Amateurism rules allow an individual to receive expenses provided they do not exceed the individuals’ actual and necessary expenses and are related to competition, or practice in preparation for competition. If an individual accepts actual and necessary expenses it is the responsibility of each institution to ensure that its student-athletes comply with NCAA legislation.

2. Per the NCAA, for Division II athletes, prior to initial full-time enrollment at any collegiate institution, a prospective student-athlete may use her athletics ability for pay without jeopardizing her amateur status provided the competition occurs during her one-year grace period. The one-year grace period is the year between the prospective student-athlete’s date of high school graduation, as determined by the NCAA Eligibility Center, and the next opportunity to enroll after the one calendar-year period has elapsed. However, if a prospective student-athlete delays full-time collegiate enrollment following the one-year grace period and continues to participate in organized competition involving an amateur or professional team(s), the prospective student-athlete may use a season of intercollegiate competition and could be subject to an academic year in residence. (NCAA Division II Bylaw 14.2.4.2). However, in Division II NCAA Amateurism rules allow an individual to receive expenses provided they do not exceed the individuals’ actual and necessary expenses and are related to competition, or practice in preparation for competition. If an individual accepts actual and necessary expenses it is the responsibility of each institution to ensure that its student-athletes comply with NCAA legislation.

3. Athletes applying for the grant are responsible for checking the financial aid regulations of the NCAA or sports organization governing their current or future high school, college or university to avoid jeopardizing their eligibility for sports participation. For specific questions about your collegiate eligibility, please contact the NCAA or your collegiate institution directly.

How would accepting a team grant affect a student athlete’s college eligibility?

1. NCAA Amateurism rules allow an individual, on an outside team, to receive expenses from that team provided they do not exceed those individuals’ actual and necessary expenses and are related to competition, or practice in preparation for competition. For example, “general” training expenses would not qualify for this exception, but actual and necessary expenses for meals, lodging and transportation that are directly related to competition would fit within this exception. If an individual accepts actual and necessary expenses it is the responsibility of each institution to ensure that its student-athletes comply with NCAA legislation.

2. Please note that if an individual receives preferential treatment, and/or a benefit or service because of the individual’s athletic reputation or skill, or pay-back potential as a professional athlete this may affect the student-athlete’s amateur status.

What is the grant amount awarded?

Individual amounts vary between $2,500 and $10,000. Up to $100,000 in grants will be awarded in 2017.

What criteria will be applied in making grant decisions?

A Selection Committee will evaluate each application based on the selection
criteria below:

1. Financial need

2. Present and potential level and ranking

3. Lack of financial support from traditional sources (ie. endorsements, National Governing Body stipends)

4. Role of award in continued participation and advancement in sport

5. Potential impact of grant on advancing women in sports

6. Contribution to greater visibility of female athletes

7. Priority given to those who present a plan for reimbursing the grant in the future, whether financially or otherwise contributing to women’s sports

When are deadlines and other relevant dates?

Online applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. EST on Friday, March 10, 2017. Please note that it may take up to three months for a decision to be made on your grant application. Grants will be disbursed during the second quarter of 2017.

Applicants will be judged on what information is available or provided at the time of application submission.

Application Procedure

Access the application here and follow the directions to register a new user profile or update an existing profile.

Under the organization information, please enter the contact information for your National Governing Body (NGB). A Tax ID number is not required to register (so you may leave that space blank).

Notification of Application Acceptance

You will receive an e-mail at the e-mail address provided in your profile when your application has been received.

Any application that is late, incomplete or requesting funds for an event or purchase of equipment that will occur before the applicant would receive the grant money will not be accepted.

Questions

After reading the above guidelines carefully, if you have any questions, please refer to our Travel & Training Fund FAQ or contact us directly.