International ACAC Opportunity Grants

The International Association for College Admission Counseling is proud to offer Opportunity Grants. The goal of this program is to support our members at schools or universities in the excellent work being done around the world to assist students and families in the search for higher education. Projects, programs and professional development funded by an Opportunity Grant should serve as a role model to the profession.

Opportunity Grant Recipients  Eligibility Application Requirements
& Selection Process 

2020 Opportunity Grant Recipients

The selection committee believes that the motivation, reach and spirit of these four programs serve as role models within our profession. Thank you to all who applied.

Congratulations to our 2020 Round I Opportunity Grant recipients!

Susana Aguilar de Urruela - APDE Schools in Guatemala
Funding to support lunches for university representatives attending a college fair.
Shannon Bracken - Ontario Tech University in Canada
Hosting a joint Canadian higher education event for counselors in Doha.

Neeraj Mandhana - The Next Genius Foundation in India
Funding flights for counselors to attend Next Genius Training in Mumbai.
Heather Thompson-Cavalli - Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz
Creating workshops that support regional counselors with the intricacies of the Swiss college application process.


The selection committee also awarded 17 membership fee waivers for the 2020 year.

*Read about the 2019 Opportunity Grant Recipients here.


Eligibility for Opportunity Grants: International ACAC membership is required to apply for an Opportunity Grant, as these are a member benefit. Please note that Opportunity Grants are separate from Conference Bursaries, and thus should not be used to cover the cost of attendance to the International ACAC summer conference or Regional Institutes. Instead, the hope is that these Opportunity Grants will be used to support the innovative programming and thinking of our members.

  • The following membership categories are welcome to apply: high school, university, individual or CBO members.
  • Applicants must be members in good standing of International ACAC for at least one year.
  • Proposed Opportunity Grant applications must align with International ACAC’s Mission hence excluding direct funding of student expenses (eg: tuition, travel, fees, supplies).
  • Only one application per round, per year, is allowed
  • Applicants who wish to design a new program or initiative, as well as those seeking to attend a professional development activity for the first time, are encouraged to apply.  

Eligibility for an International ACAC Membership Fee Waiver: International ACAC membership is not required to apply for a membership fee waiver; the purpose of these fee waivers is to engage our less-resourced colleagues around the globe. Up to 100 fee waivers per year are available for distribution to qualified applicants.

  • All applicants must meet International ACAC membership criteria to be awarded a fee waiver.
  • Applicants must provide a signed supervisor agreement.
  • The membership fee waiver is a one-year/one-time award.
  • Applicants may be asked to provide a letter of reference from a current International ACAC member.

Application Requirements for 2020 & Selection Process


  • Applications must be submitted using the online application system.
  • Applications must be submitted by:
    • Round I Grants: December 16th (Notification by January 30th)
    • Round II Grants: May 29th (Notification by June 30th)
  • Although multiple applications may be submitted, only one person per institution or organization may be awarded a grant for a specific professional development activity per calendar year.
  • Current members of the Executive Board may not apply for Opportunity Grants.

Application Content

  • A detailed description of the need the grant will satisfy.
  • An action plan outlining how the grant will be used.
  • A complete and detailed budget—applicants are encouraged to seek additional funding from their home institution, and/or other sources and include that information on their application. Applicants must notify International ACAC if additional funds are secured after the application has been submitted.


The goal of the Opportunity Grant selection committee is to distribute the available funds to provide opportunities for as many people and projects as possible. Applicants may access up to $3,000 USD in funding. Members are encouraged to seek additional external funding support, if possible.

Examples of Opportunity Grant Proposals

  • Expenses associated with the development and implementation of special projects such as design, printing, postage, venue rental, audio-visual equipment, transportation, event food, etc.
  • Workshops for counselors in your region to support Professional Development.
  • Buses to bring students from an under-resourced or under-served school to your college fairs or programming.
  • Programming that aligns with and promotes International ACAC’s Mission and Guiding Principles, and promotes global interaction among counselors and institutions in support of secondary students transitioning to higher education.


A selection committee consisting of a committee member from: Finance, Professional Development, IAS, Diversity, Advocacy and Outreach, and the Leadership Team. The potential positive impact and number of individuals served by the grant will be taken into account, with priority given to applicants who meet the following criteria:

  • The application is complete, detailed, and thoughtful.
  • The application provides a detailed plan for the use of the funds.
  • The applicant has sought additional funding or matching funds from other sources. (Not required, but encouraged).
  • The request provides assistance to under-served constituencies.
  • The application includes details about sustainability of the project or program in future years (if applicable).


Following selection as an Opportunity Grant recipient (grantee), the grantee must:

  • Sign an agreement with International ACAC to use the funds, as intended, within one year of being awarded the funding.
  • Once the funds have been spent and after the conclusion of the event or project (but no later than 30 days after the event or program), the grantee must submit an International reimbursement form and receipts to International ACAC Headquarters for processing. 
  • International ACAC will reimburse recipients of the grant (within one month) of receiving a detailed expense report and all required receipts and documentation.
  • If funding is required up-front, please inform International ACAC and special arrangements will be considered individually.
  • Any air travel arrangements must be made using the International ACAC travel agent.

Questions? Contact [email protected].