Strategies to Save: A Graduate Student Planner for APA Convention

APAGS would like to see as many graduate students as possible attend the APA's 2015 Annual Convention, Aug. 6-9, Toronto, Ontario. Concerns about travel expenses, however, may limit participation in the upcoming convention. To reduce financial obstacles, cost-saving and funding tips can help budget-conscious students plan for and attend convention.


Begin saving from the start. Register for convention before the early bird discount deadline passes. Also, consider submitting a program or poster proposal. Any APAGS members who present as first authors will have their convention registration fee waived. Volunteer openings through the APA Continuing Education (CE) Office and the APA Convention Office provide additional opportunities that waive the registration fee.

Travel, Lodging and Meals

Once you have registered for convention, schedule your travel plans and make reservations as soon as possible. Most airlines offer lower fares for tickets booked well in advance of travel dates. Further maximize your saving by using a travel site — try, or — to reserve hotel and airfare together and receive additional deductions.

Before booking a hotel, compare costs and research alternative options. Keep in mind that many hostels and motels offer discounted lodgings, and some universities rent out their dorm rooms during the summer.

Splitting expenses with a roommate is another way to reduce the cost of attending convention. Check with other students in your program or send out inquiries on social media sites, as well as Division or APAGS email lists, to coordinate travel and accommodation plans with other graduate attendees.

Don't forget. This year, convention is in Canada, which will require U.S. citizens to travel with a passport. If you do not have a passport, or your passport has expired, be sure to avoid additional rush fees by applying for your passport or renewal as soon as possible. Contact the U.S. State Department for more information. 

Also, consider purchasing an international plan for your U.S. (or other) cell phone carrier to avoid expensive roaming charges while you are at convention.

Keep in mind that once at convention, you can cut meal costs by taking advantage of the numerous events and sessions that provide free food and drinks.


Look for funding opportunities that could support your participation at convention. Some universities offer financial assistance for students to travel to trainings. Likewise, some divisions provide funding for their student members to attend convention.

Apply to the Graduate Student Ethics Prize, and you could be one of two winners awarded $1000, a roundtrip ticket to the APA Annual Convention, three hotel nights and free registration. The winning papers will also be presented at a convention session. With additional grant opportunities through APAGS, APA and Psi Chi, there are many strategies to help fund and reduce the cost of your attendance at the convention.