Travel Grants

The ASM Travel Grant provides funds for Registered Student Organization (RSO) travel to conferences during the academic year (fall and spring semester) that serve to further and enhance the mission of the RSO. Travel should educate traveling RSO members, allowing them to bring new information back to the UW campus.

Changes in the UW-Madison Covid-19 response may impact travel grant funding.

Grant Details

RSOs who are interested must apply for the grant 42 full days (6 weeks) prior to the travel start date. After applying, groups attend a virtual GAC hearing and, if approved, a virtual workshop with an ASM financial staff member. No grant funding can be spent prior to the workshop with an ASM financial staff member.

Details on each step in the grant process are outlined in the following tabs.


1. Travel Grant Overview

1.1 Purpose of the Travel Grant. The primary use of Travel Grants is to financially aid RSOs in going on travels in line with the mission of the RSO.

1.2 Definition of Travel. For the purpose of this document, “travel” is defined as a trip central to the mission of the RSO and exclusive to RSO members. Travel must be educational and have a defined purpose, agenda, and timeframe as set forth by an external event organizer that is not the RSO.

1.3 Eligibility for RSOs. An RSO is eligible to apply for a Travel Grant if it satisfies the following criteria:

1.3.1 The RSO is in good standing with the Center for Leadership and Involvement and UW-Madison.

1.3.2 The RSO is not currently receiving funding from the Student Services Finance Committee (SSFC).

1.3.3 The RSO has not already received a Travel Grant in the current academic year.

1.4 Travel Requirements. All travel requests that receive funding from the Grant Allocation Committee shall meet the following criteria:

1.4.1 The travel is central to the mission of the RSO.

1.4.2 The travel has an educational component. The RSO must have defined plans to make what was learned during the travel available to other UW-Madison students.

1.4.3 The travel has a defined purpose, agenda, and timeframe as set forth by an external event organizer that is not the RSO.

1.5 Prohibited Travels. The following travel requests are prohibited from being funded by the Grant Allocation Committee:

1.5.1 Any travel where the RSO is the sole or primary participant.

1.5.2 Any travel with a focus on job or internship searches.

1.5.3 Any travel with a focus on social activities, if the social focus of the trip exceeds the educational component.

1.5.4 Any travel where participants receive academic credit, either at UW-Madison or another institution.

1.5.5 Any travel that is revenue-producing for the RSO or that the RSO has specifically fundraised for.

1.5.6 Any travel prohibited by any UW-Madison, local, state, or national policy.

2. What the Travel Grant Can Fund

2.1 Maximum Travel Grant Award. The maximum amount for any Travel Grant award is $3,000. No individual traveler shall receive more than $500 in grant funding.

2.2 Registration Fees. The Travel Grant can fund registration fees associated with the travel, with the exception of membership dues.

2.3 Lodging. The Travel Grant can fund lodging costs associated with the travel.

2.3.1 Lodging funds shall be allocated in an amount per room in line with the federal maximum for hotels in the city of travel.

2.3.2 The RSO shall maximize the number of travelers per room.

2.4 Transit Costs. The Travel Grant can fund transit costs associated with the travel. Transit costs include (but are not limited to) expenses associated with airline, bus, or train travel, vehicle rental, parking, or mileage reimbursement.

2.4.1 Any transit costs paid for by ASM, but not used by the traveler(s), shall be reimbursed by the RSO to ASM.

2.5 Other Expenses. The Travel Grant can fund travel-related needs not outlined in II.2.2, II.2.3, and II.2.4 that are not prohibited by other sections of the Travel Grant policies.

3. What the Travel Grant Cannot Fund

3.1 Expenses Already Paid For. The Travel Grant is prohibited from funding any expenses incurred prior to grant approval and a meeting between the RSO’s leadership and ASM Financial Staff.

3.2 Food and Related Items. The Travel Grant is prohibited from funding food or beverages, or items associated with food or beverages.

3.3 Gifts and Donations. The Travel Grant is prohibited from funding expenses related to gifts, donations, fundraising, contributions, and financial aid.

3.4 Other Prohibited Expenses. The Travel Grant is also prohibited from funding expenses related to:

3.4.1 Costumes, or the supplies used to make costumes.

3.4.2 Legal services.

3.4.3 Elections of any kind (including national, local, or campus elections).


4. Application Process

4.1 Application. The Travel Grant application will be made publicly available on the Grant Allocation Committee website.

4.2 Application Deadline. RSOs must submit their applications at least 6 weeks (42 full calendar days) prior to the departure date of the travel. No exceptions shall be made to this deadline.

4.3 Timeline. The Travel Grant application shall open and close at a date determined by the Chair, in consultation with the ASM Financial Staff, and considering both the academic calendar and the amount of funding remaining. In accordance with UW-Madison’s fiscal year, the committee is prohibited from funding travels with dates of return after May 31st.

4.4 Required Budget. RSOs are required to submit a complete budget for their travel at the time of their grant application. The submitted budget must:

4.4.1 Clearly describe all travel-related expenses, including expenses the RSO is not requesting ASM funding for.

4.4.2 Contain accurate, reasonable, and correctly added funding amounts that are within ASM funding guidelines for travel.

4.4.3 Clearly explain how the requested funding will allow the RSO to meet its travel needs and accomplish its goals

4.4.4 Show that the RSO is seeking funding support outside ASM – either through other grants or its own funds – but not through fundraising specifically for the travel.

4.5 Required Itinerary. RSOs are required to submit a complete itinerary for their travel at the time of their grant application. The submitted itinerary must:

4.5.1 Provide the dates of travel and the activities the RSO will participate in while on the travel.

4.5.2 List all members of the RSO that will participate in the travel. Only members of the RSO registered on the WIN system and listed on the application shall be allowed to access Travel Grant funds.

4.5.3 Show that the majority of activities undertaken on the travel serve the primary purpose of travel.

4.6 Incomplete Applications. Applications that are filled out incorrectly or that are missing any part of their application, including a complete budget and itinerary, shall be considered incomplete. The Chair shall request and receive any missing information from the RSO before a grant hearing is scheduled for an incomplete application. Failure to provide any of the information in II.4.4 and II.4.5 is grounds for denial of a Travel Grant application.

4.7 Application Amendments. Emergency amendments to the application must be submitted by the RSO in writing to the Chair before their grant hearing.

4.7.1 Amendments to the application during the grant hearing shall be accepted only by a majority vote of present Grant Allocation Committee members.

4.8 Assistance with Application. Any RSO may contact the Chair (or a Grant Allocation Committee member) with questions about filling out the Travel Grant application.

GAC hearings for 2021/2022 will be held virtually (Zoom) on Mondays at 5pm.


5. Hearing Process

5.1 Scheduling. Hearings for complete applications will be scheduled in the order they were received, except at the discretion of the Chair. The Chair shall notify RSOs at least 72 hours before their hearing.

5.2 Hearing. Each RSO shall send its primary financial officer and another leadership member to attend a hearing before the committee to present their grant application and to reasonably answer questions of the committee.

5.3 Failure to Attend. Failure by an RSO to attend its scheduled hearing without prior notification to the Chair shall result in the immediate rejection of their grant application.

6. Decision Process

6.1 Viewpoint Neutrality. All decisions shall be made in a viewpoint neutral fashion.

6.2 Evaluating Applications. The committee shall check for mistakes, policy violations, and other discrepancies in the application when evaluating the application. The committee may adjust amounts within an application. When making funding decisions, the committee shall take into consideration the amount of money it has to allocate.

6.3 Approval. Approval requires a majority vote of present Grant Allocation Committee Members. Failure to obtain a majority shall be considered a rejection of the application.

6.4 Notification. The Chair (or a member of the ASM Financial Staff) shall notify the RSO of the committee’s decision within 24 hours, barring extraordinary circumstances.

6.4.1 The Chair is exclusively responsible for sending denial notices to RSOs that were not approved for funding. This denial notice should include the reason for denial.

6.5 Appeals. An RSO may appeal a funding decision of the committee on the grounds of a viewpoint neutrality violation or a procedural deficiency. All appeals must be filed with the Chief Justice of the Student Judiciary within 10 business days of receiving the decision from the committee.

If a grant is approved by the GAC, the grant contacts will need to attend a grant workshop with ASM staff. Grant workshops will be held virtually. The grant contacts listed on the application will need to complete a canvas module with an independent portion and a virtual meeting portion. More information will be provided in the RSO award notice, following GAC hearing and approval.

Apply for the ASM Travel Grant