Funding Your Seminar


(Tuition prices have been adjusted due to our transition to virtual seminars during the pandemic. Please check the page specific to the seminar you'd like to attend to see an accurate breakdown of fees.)

Seminar Tuition ($350-$750):

Women, Law and Legal Advocacy • Women in Corporate and Nonprofit Leadership:

$350 for students from full and consortium member institutions

$450 for students from associate member institutions

$550 for students from non-member institutions

Women in STEM Policy • Women in Public Policy • Women and Congress • Women in Global Policy

$450 for students from full and consortium member institutions

$550 for students from associate member institutions

$750 for students from non-member institutions

*Note that the tuition includes a nonrefundable $125 registration fee.

Housing ($200-$700):

Through PLEN: For each seminar, PLEN provides the option of reserving a hotel room at the Kimpton Carlyle hotel.  Hotel reservations will be made by PLEN if you select that option during registration.  Prices will become available when registration for each seminar opens.

Additional fees: When you make a hotel reservation through PLEN, the prices includes the room only.  You are responsible for any additional charges to your room, including food, parking, and outgoing calls.

Alternative options: Staying in the the Kimpton Carlyle hotel is not required by PLEN.  Students have also found housing through AirBnB, hostels, and other hotels.  If you're looking for other housing options, please note that the majority of the seminar will be held in downtown, DC, and your transportation costs might differ from our estimated budget.

Transportation to and from DC (dependent on your location):

Most students fly into Reagan National Airport (DCA) or Dulles (IAD) and take the metro, Uber, or Lyft to the hotel.  If you're driving to D.C., the Kimpton Carlyle hotel has valet parking, and you will be responsible for parking costs.

Transportation during the seminar ($15-$35):

Throughout the seminar, we will be taking WMATA (DC public transportation.) You will need to purchase a SmarTrip card prior to the first day of the seminar.  You can purchase this online and have it mailed to you or purchase one at a machine when you arrive in D.C.  For five-day seminars, we recommend you putting $35 on the card and for three-day seminars, we recommend putting $15 on the card.  You can use the Trip Planner or refer to the charts on the farecard machines to get an exact price for each trip.

Note that there is an additional $2 to purchase the card.  You can put as much money as you want on the SmarTrip card, but you cannot be refunded if it's not used, so it's better to put less money and add it when you need to than to put on too much.

Meals during the seminar ($50-$150):

PLEN provides some meals during the seminar, as noted in your program schedule.  You can budget $50 for three-day seminars and $125 for five-day seminars.


PLEN scholarships 

PLEN scholarships  will assist students in funding a portion and/or all of the program and registration fees associated with attending the seminar. Student(s) awarded any level of scholarship will be responsible for funding their own transportation, meals and any remaining dues for program and registration fees not covered by the scholarship award. Preference will be given to currently enrolled undergraduate women, but current students and recent graduates are welcome to apply.  You can download the 2019-2020 scholarship deadline here.

The Ellie Shaw Scholarship is open to all students, with preference given to students attending PLEN seminars from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. Email for an application.

Further questions about the PLEN scholarship can be directed to

Finding Funding at your university

Potential Funders on your Campus

Office of the President, Office of the Dean, campus career center, academic departments, diversity and equity department(s), student government association, office of financial aid, class council, student activities department/association, alumni association, campus resource centers (LGBTQ+ resource center, disability resource center, women's resource center, ethnic resource center), campus newspaper, professional groups, social and/or academic sororities and fraternities, study abroad office.

School-specific resources:

Proposal for Funding

College women who want to attend a PLEN seminar have successfully applied for and received funding from their academic institutions and other organizations by writing and pitching a proposal for funding. A proposal is a document that contains all of the information that potential donors and sponsors will need to decide if you are a good candidate for funding.  Length and contents of a proposal will depend on the requirements of the department or sponsor.  Some proposals focus more on why attending the seminar will be beneficial to you, while other proposals might focus more on your financial need.

What to include in your proposal

Introduction: The first part of a proposal should include a short summary of what is going to be discussed in the document. It should outline who you are, what event or seminar you are interested in attending, and why you are writing the organization or business (in this case, to receive funding).

Description of the Organization: Give detailed descriptions of PLEN and the specific seminar that you are interested in attending. This section should be long enough to explain PLEN and the value of attending a PLEN seminar to someone who has no prior knowledge of the organization.

Self-Description: Give a detailed description of yourself, including your major(s) and your interests, activities, relevant job experience and goals. Be sure to include information that connects you in any way to the organizations that you will be applying for. For example, if you have been active with a campus organization or resource center that you are planning on sending the proposal to, be sure to highlight that activity.

Outcome Goals of Attending the Event: What are you expecting to gain by attending the PLEN seminar? Explain how the seminar plays into your academic and career plans and will benefit you in the short term and the long term.

Description of Need and Fund-Raising Efforts: Describe your level of need in order to attend the seminar and the efforts that you are making to meet that financial need. Be specific by listing all of the organizations, businesses, individuals, departments, etc. that you will be sending your proposal to and requesting funding from. This is important so that potential funders are aware that they are not expected to fully fund you. If you are able to personally pay a portion of the cost of attendance or will be asking family and/or friends to help finance you, be sure to include this as well. Specify that any amount of funding, big or small, is welcomed and appreciated. In addition, some organizations may request that you volunteer for them by putting on an event or an information session regarding PLEN when you return from the seminar. Including your willingness to give back to the organization in some way in exchange for funding may be appropriate for campus organizations, newspapers or businesses.

Detailed Budget of Expenses to Attend the Event: Create a detailed budget that includes all expenses associated with attending the seminar. Common categories are travel/airfare to get to Washington, D.C., lodging, transportation in the city, seminar registration, and food. Each category  should have a column with a detailed description of the cost and a column with the total cost associated with that category. Be sure to include a “Total Cost” line at the bottom.
Summarize the Proposal: Thank the reader for taking the time to consider your funding request and reiterate why it is important to you to attend the seminar. Include your contact information so that they may contact you later on with questions. If you are emailing the proposal, let them know that you would like to meet in person to further discuss what has been said in your proposal.

How to pitch a funding proposal
  1. Know the details about the event you are seeking funding for [dates, location, topics, organization in charge]
  2. Be ready to explain how the event will contribute to your personal and professional development.
  3. Point out experiences, classes, interests, and skills that have prepared you for this opportunity.
  4. Offer to use social media (twitter, Facebook, blogging) to keep the school updated on the event outcomes.
  5. Include how the community will benefit from your participation in the event. Be specific/concrete about how to bring the event back to campus.
  6. Express your excitement to share your experience with the broader school community once you return from the event.
  7. Request a specific amount of funding for specific expenses.

Social fundraising

Online crowdfunding tools like GoFundMe, IndieGoGo, and Kickstarter.

From The Plenary: 6 Tips to Crowdfund Your Way to a PLEN Seminar in D.C.