Professional Development Funding


Multicultural Student Affairs defines professional development as attending regional, national, and/or international conferences, support for graduate and professional school admission tests, and student exchange opportunities that strengthen a student’s academic pursuits, develops student leadership skills, or enhances student ethnic /racial identity development.

Funds Available

Up to $150 maximum per student per academic year may be provided.

Funding amount will depend on the type of professional development requested including whether a student is presenting at an academic conference, requesting funds to support study abroad or graduate school admissions tests, or applying as a part of a larger group. Groups of students who are attending a conference or event should submit an application and identify all eligible students who are requesting funds.

MSA Staff will review submitted applications and determine the specific dollar amount which will be funded based upon the Professional Development Application that is submitted and available funding.  Applications will be reviewed once a month. Factors such as cost of attendance, availability of funds, and the number of applications received will vary the amount awarded and therefore, students may not be awarded the full amount requested.

Funding Priorities

  1. Conference registration
  2. Graduate and Professional School Admission Test Fees
  3. Study Abroad and National Student Exchange registration fees


  • Must be currently enrolled at Iowa State University;
  • Must be an undergraduate, U.S. domestic students that identity as American Indian or Alaskan Native, African American, Asian American, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, Hispanic or Latino/a, or Multiracial;
  • Must have a 2.0 Cumulative GPA, not be on academic/disciplinary probation, and not have a financial/registration hold on university records;
  • Students must document efforts to secure additional professional development funding from other departments on campus (Division of Student Affairs, academic colleges, major departments, external sources, etc.);
  • Students may receive funding a maximum of 1 time per academic year, up to 4 times through a student’s undergraduate academic career;
  • Applicants should expect to pay a portion of their own costs;
  • Students will receive an email response indicating whether ot not their Professional Development funding application was approved or denied;
  • The Professional Development awards are reimbursements made after the conference, event, or activity. The reimbursement process requires receipts, and reimbursements may take place 30-60 days after receipts are submitted.  Additionally, receipts need to show that the applicant paid for the professional development opportunity.                                                                       

Condition of Funding

  • Students who receive finding will be expected to generate a short post about their experience for the MSA Blog, The Hype.  This post will be no more than three paragraphs and will be an opportunity for students to highlight the professional development opportunity for peers.  More instructions will be provided upon the approval of the Professional Development funding application approval.
  • Students who receive funding to present their scholarly or creative work at an outside conference will be invited to also submit the presentation at the MSA Poster Session event that will occur in the fall and spring.  Details about that event and process will be sent to students individually.

Professional Development Requests which will NOT be considered include:

  • Travel expenses (including meals, lodging, and related expenses) for conferences. Registration fees for non-university sponsored or related activities.  Costs associated with service learning trips.
  • Membership fees for organizations/clubs, graduate and professional school application fees.
  • Textbooks, software, electronic equipment, magazine/book subscriptions, or other course related materials.

Complete the application form and submit it online.