First-time Annual Conference Attendee Scholarship

At this time, all scholarships allotted to applicants from the states of California and Texas have been awarded. There are still scholarships available for applicants from all other states and provinces.


The Annual Conference is an incomparable opportunity for professional growth, and we want all GFOA members to have the chance to attend. For that reason, GFOA’s Executive Board implemented the First-Time Annual Conference Attendee Scholarship program. In five years, the scholarship has enabled more than 2,200 GFOA members to attend their first Annual Conference.

As in prior years, up to 50 First-Time Annual Conference Attendee Scholarships will be awarded per state or province on a first-come, first-served basis. At this time, all scholarships allotted to applicants from the state of California have been awarded. There are still scholarships available for applicants from all other states and provinces.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the eligibility requirements?

  • Applicants must be GFOA active government members.
  • Applicants have never attended a GFOA Annual Conference before. Attendance at other training seminars or state/provincial association conferences does not impact eligibility.
  • Applicants must submit a credit card valid through June 2019, which will be charged $125 ONLY if the applicant is awarded a scholarship but does not attend the Annual Conference, unless they contact GFOA before April 30, 2019, to withdraw from the program prior to the conference (no penalty for withdrawal)

    GFOA charges this no-show fee to discourage anyone from taking up one of the 50 spots allotted for their state/province if they do not intend to attend the Annual Conference. If you need to cancel for any reason, please contact us so we can offer your scholarship to an applicant on the waitlist.

How do I apply for the scholarship?


  • The scholarship covers the full conference registration fee. All scholarship recipients are responsible for their travel and lodging. The scholarship does not include registration for preconference seminars held before the start of the Annual Conference.
  • Scholarship recipients will participate in GFOA’s mentorship program during the Annual Conference as an introduction to the event and also the many ways to become more involved with GFOA.
    • As a mentee, you and a small group of other scholarship recipients will be paired with an experienced GFOA member leading up to the Annual Conference. That mentor will be able to give you lessons learned from GFOA conferences that they have acquired over the years, tips on how to get the most out of GFOA and the conference, and a friendly face to connect with at GFOA social events and throughout the conference. GFOA makes an effort to connect mentees and mentors with similar career interests and backgrounds, so it’s also a great opportunity to connect with your peers.
      The mentorship program will allow the mentees and mentors a chance to participate in a conference call prior to the conference and connect at the Welcome Breakfast as a group to build upon the initial phone connection.
  • Scholarship recipients are invited to kick-off their experience during the Welcome Breakfast on Sunday, May 19, from 8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m., at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Attendees will have the opportunity to network with their peers, mentors, GFOA’s Executive Board, and GFOA staff. There will be an exclusive program for First-Timers following the breakfast at 10:30 a.m. 

Looking for information on GFOA's local student scholarship? Click here.