The Center for Life Beyond Reed

Career Advancement Fund 2023–24

Note to applicants: Please read this entire page. It contains information you'll need to know about the application and funding processes for this award. Applicants to the Legal Education Access Fund (LEAF) and the Thomas Daniel Sophomore Exploration Fund should use this application process as well.

Students may apply to receive funding of up to $500 per academic year (or in the summer after each year) in support of a range of professional development pursuits, including:

  • Travel to internships, shadow opportunities, or professional interviews for full-time employment
  • Career-related conferences, training, and related events
    • Conferences/events must have a career-related component with a clearly established connection between the event and your professional goals
    • If you are presenting research at a conference, then apply to the Opportunity Grants first.
    • The funds can be used to cover travel expenses, registration expenses, or relevant membership dues
  • Travel to graduate/professional school interviews
  • Purchase of professional attire for a specific and scheduled career related event (interview, conference, etc).
    • Applicants should provide a reasoning for the selections included in the budget
    • Requests for clothing for potential and unscheduled events are unlikely to be funded
  • Standardized test registration or test prep fees for GRE, LSAT or MCAT
  • Graduate or professional school applications
  • Other categories of expense may be eligible, as determined by the review committee on a case-by-case basis

GRE, LSAT, and MCAT Fees

Applicants requesting funding for graduate/professional school applications and or standardized tests must first investigate eligibility for fee waiver and reduction programs offered by the organization administering the tests.

Class or Course Fees

You may not use the CAF to pay for the cost of courses taken elsewhere to satisfy Reed graduation or distribution requirements. Any classes or courses should have a connection to your professional goals.


Two week limit: you may apply for funds to reimburse you for expenses which you have already paid for, as long as you paid for them no more than two weeks prior to the date of application. Expenses which you paid for more than two weeks prior are not eligible expenses for this fund. There is no guarantee that your application will be funded, so it's best to apply for funding prior to paying for something.

Application Deadline

The 2023–24 CAF application will close on Monday August 5th, 2024 at 12:00am pacific time, or when funds are exhausted.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the academic year and summer and must be received in Handshake by Sunday night at midnight for the application to be considered at the next CAF committee meeting (that Monday or Tuesday).


Eligible applicants are:
  • currently enrolled full time at Reed (study abroad is okay);
  • regular Reed students;
  • undergraduates.
Eligible applicants remain eligible to apply for funding during the summer after graduation.


Applicants may receive a maximum of $500 (see below for an exception for LEAF applicants) from the Career Advancement Fund per academic year. You may apply more than once if you have not yet reached the $500 limit. Funding requests will be reviewed and, if approved, may be fully or partially fulfilled depending on the applicant’s financial need, strength of application materials, and availability of funds. All approved funding requests will be paid through the Business Office as a cash advance. Receipts are required, and unused funds must be returned. Funding for awarded applications can sometimes be received by Friday that week, but often not until the following Friday, so please plan ahead. Holiday weeks can also delay receipt of funds.

Application Process and Materials

The Career Advancement Fund is a funding application in which you must specifically address the prompts provided. The more clearly you explain how this funding will support your future career pursuits, the better. Please provide context for your request, bearing in mind that the readers may not know your financial circumstances or how your request fits in to your larger career goals.

Apply via Career Advancement Fund in Handshake including:
  • Responses to two short essay prompts (250 words max for each response). Be thorough and detailed in the words allotted; we need a thoughtful response to both questions in order to consider your request.

    • Prompt one: What are your professional goals and how will this funding help you achieve them? Please be explicit about how this activity is related to career exploration or development. Note: If you are presenting at a conference, explain why you're not seeking funding from the Opportunity Grants. If you're requesting funds to pay for grad/professional school fees, you must investigate fee waivers and mention this here.

    • Prompt two: Describe your financial circumstances, particularly as related to the resources available to fund the activity for which you are requesting Career Advancement Funds. Within this response, please indicate whether you receive financial aid from the college.

  • An itemized budget detailing how you will spend the funds and any relevant documentation supporting the request. Be sure to include a total in your budget request, and indicate how any expenses in excess of your CAF request will be covered. Combine the budget with the document containing your responses to the prompts.

  • A one-page resume or CV

We strongly recommend that you have your resume and application reviewed before you submit (see the right-hand sidebar of the CLBR website for Drop-In Advising hours and locations).

Budget Guidance

  • If requesting a meal allowance while traveling, CLBR recommends a maximum of $55 day to cover travel and food
  • If your request includes travel, please include a budget line for transportation, which may cover commuting costs, airport transfer, and plane/train/bus tickets
  • Use of public transportation rather than taxis or rideshare services is highly recommended
  • If using a personal vehicle for travel, use the estimated cost of gas in your budget
  • Remember that this fund is offered as a cash advance, and that you'll need to save and submit your receipts

Thank You Note and Receipts

Refer to the CAF Terms and Conditions for details. These are detailed in the Etrieve form, and are also sent separately via email for reference. Images of all receipts should be emailed directly to the business office at The thank you note and any photos should be sent to CLBR at

Funding Sources

The Career Advancement Fund is made possible by generous gifts from alumni and friends of the college. Additionally, funding for specific opportunities or populations comes from the following sources:

Thomas Daniel Sophomore Exploration Fund

The Thomas Daniel Sophomore Exploration Fund is a fund for sophomores to make it easier for you to explore your purpose and is generously funded by Reed parent and Trustee Thomas Daniel. Funding for sophomores who receive funding from the CAF will come from this fund.

LEAF (Legal Education Access Fund)

The Reed Legal Network of alumni have established a small fund to help students with LSAT and LSAC related costs, law school application fees, and travel to law school interviews. If you apply to the CAF for any of these expenses, you may be funded by the LEAF instead. When funds allow, it is possible that expenses in excess of $500 per year may be funded. If you have already received maximum funding through the CAF, and if you have further law school related expenses, please apply again to the CAF. Further funding is not guaranteed, but we'll continue to consider law school-related requests from all applicants for as long as funding remains available.

Please email with any questions.