I. What is the Travel Scholarship (formerly known as Travel Reimbursement)?
1.) The EPSY Department determines from year to year whether to put up money to go to students who present at national, regional, and state conferences. These funds are not guaranteed; In recent years, there has been $10,000 to disperse to students. NO money for these scholarships comes from EPSO.
2.) This is a 'Travel Scholarship', not a reimbursement-we want students to know that this is not an 'automatic' reimbursement that they can receive, but is a competitive scholarship process. We hope that permanently changing this terminology will help dispel this 'myth'.
3.) Scholarship amounts vary depending on the number of applications for funds, and on the amount of funds available. Turning in receipts does NOT guarantee students will receive a scholarship, or that they will receive the full amount that they request.
II. Who is eligible to apply for a Travel Scholarship AND how do they apply?
1.) All students in the EPSY department are eligible for the Travel Scholarship (EPSO Membership is
not required), if monies are made available for said scholarship by the department, if the criterion below is
met. The student must:
· be an EPSY (EPF, SPSY, EDTC, CPSY, SABE) student during the semester when they attended the conference.
· have presented research at a conference using research from a TAMU-affiliated program, class, grant, or other study
· document (have receipts) for expenses incurred as a direct result of traveling to or attending the conference
· Note: Students who receive any outside support for conference attendance (i.e. their G.A. grant pays for part of the conference expenses, other travel scholarships, etc.) are NOT ELIGIBLE to apply for the EPSY Travel Scholarship. EPSO seeks to dispense the available funds to those students who are not receiving any other funding to support their travel.
· Note: Students can request a MAXIMUM amount as follows:
o National Conferences (e.g. APA; NASP; AERA; SRCD; NABE; NAN) : $500
o Regional Conferences (e.g. SERA; SWPA) $300
o State Conferences (e.g. TCEC; TASP; TPA; ) : $200
o (These classifications are determined based on the 'caliber' of the conference, not based on location; For example, if APA is held in San Antonio, one could theoretically still request up to $500 scholarship since it is a 'national' caliber conference.)
· Note: Students should be aware that: If they are receiving federal financial aid (such as a Pell grant or Stafford loan), the money they receive from this travel scholarship may affect your financial aid amounts. Student may have to pay back federally-awarded money if you receive this scholarship. Students should check with their TAMU financial aid advisor if you are unsure whether this applies, and if so, to see if it can be changed.
2.) How do students apply for the Travel Scholarship?
· For conferences held January 1 - April 30th, paperwork (i.e. Travel Scholarship form, proof of presentation, and receipts) is due the 2nd Friday of the Fall Semester.
· For conferences held May 1 - August 31st, paperwork is due the 2nd Friday of the Spring Semester.
· For conferences held September 1 - December 31st, paperwork is due the 2nd Friday of the Spring Semester.
· Students can turn in their complete and accurate paperwork by the due dates above. This
paperwork must include the following:
a.) Proof of presentation at the conference (i.e. copy of page from program)
b.) A Travel Scholarship Form which indicates expenses being requested for Scholarship.
c.) All receipts that indicate any expenses listed on the Travel Scholarship Form
o Registration fees, hotel expenses, airfare/car travel expenses, car rental, and food are expenses that may be submitted on the scholarship form.
§ If someone rents a car, they can keep track their receipts for gasoline and submit them to be covered by the scholarship.
§ If someone uses their personal car, they can apply for money to cover their mileage (EPSO will compute the distance based an A&M Standard Mileage Calculator); these individuals will be awarded money based on mileage, and need not keep track of gasoline expenses.
§ Only up to $30/day of food expenses will be considered for scholarship coverage.
o "Splitting" expenses on from one receipt is not allowed; if 4 people split a hotel room fee, they should ask for 4 separate receipts to turn in, indicating THEIR portion of the fee. [exceptions to this rule will only be considered in extenuating circumstances, and at the discretion of the Travel Scholarship Committee]
· Turn in paperwork In a sealed envelope, labeled clearly with their name, and addressed to
EPSO TRAVEL CHAIR) in the EPSO Black, Metal mailbox on the 7th floor of Harrington Tower. Alternatively, they can mail it to 'EPSO TRAVEL CHAIR; Dept of EPSY, 4225 TAMU, CS,TX 77843-4225-the student is responsible for making sure they mail it early enough that it ARRIVES by the paperwork due date.
· Applications turned in late will NOT be accepted. Since the amount of scholarship amounts will be determined based on the number/amount of requests made, and cannot be easily modified after that determination has been made.
· Applications for scholarships outside of the allotted time period (i.e. turning in paperwork a conference attended Dec. 1 the 2nd week in the Fall semester) will NOT be considered.
· Students will be notified within 3 weeks as to whether they were awarded a Travel Scholarship, though it will likely take much longer to be deposited into their TAMU account. This is outside of EPSO control!
III. How exactly is EPSO involved in the Travel Scholarship? How is it determined how much money students will receive?
1.) EPSO facilitates the Travel Scholarship process as a service to the department and students. The Treasurer/Travel Chair is responsible for forming a Travel Scholarship Committee in the fall and spring to review submitted forms/receipts; the Committee should be comprised of no less than three members (with at least one faculty member and one EPSO Officer) to determine the percentage of scholarship monies that will be awarded to applicants. Students or officers who are applying for scholarship funds may not serve on the Committee.
· Prior to the first EPSO meeting in August, the Treasurer/Travel Chair should talk with the EPSY financial advisor to determine if EPSY department funds have been allotted for the Travel Scholarship. If so, the Treasurer/Travel Chair should lead a discussion with officers (and any EPSO members or EPSY students in attendance) about how to best divide the available funds across the two payment periods. Records should be kept by the Treasurer/Travel chair each year and should refer to past records to make sure that money is being distributed in the most effective way possible.
· Based on the available funds and on the number of scholarship applications, the Treasurer/Travel Chair will propose 3 options and the Travel Committee will determine which option for awarding scholarship money is best (e.g. 35% to students who attended a National conference, 25% to students who attended a State conference, and 20% to students who attended a Regional conference; -- OR-- all students get 50%, but students who attended multiple conferences will only get 10% of what they requested on 2nd, 3rd conferences; --OR-- all students receive 70% of what they requested, etc.). General suggestions as to the scholarship award policy may be made by officers during regularly held officer-meetings, but the Travel Scholarship Committee should make the final decision on scholarships. If the Travel Chairperson is applying for a travel scholarship, then the Travel Scholarship Committee must develop the 3 options for awarding scholarship money, and then vote.
2.) The Treasurer is responsible for promptly notifying Scholarship recipients as to their award amount (by letter in their mailbox, as well as by email) within a week of the Committee's decision.
3.) Currently, funds are being deposited into student accounts, not through checks or direct deposit to bank accounts. Funds must be deposited this way since the funds are in the form of a scholarship.
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