On February 2-4, 2018, the Unrig the System Summit will bring together the brightest minds from the right and the left to New Orleans to fix our broken political system. It’s a first-of-its-kind Summit, and I promise it won’t just be a bunch of talking about problems with no solutions. You’ll hear specific ways forward and will have the chance to dig in and get your hands dirty. Students like you and I have been on the forefront of democratic struggles throughout history, Unrig will put you on the front lines.

As an undergraduate at the University of San Francisco, I had to make sure that attending the Summit would be economically feasible on my depressing college student budget. The good news — it is!

Here are the steps you can take to make that happen, too:

1. Identify your budget:

  • Ticket to the Summit — $85, a special discounted student rate from the usual $300 Summit pass.
  • Travel — The Summit is 3 to 5 hours from Houston, TX, Shreveport, LA, Jackson, MS, Birmingham and Montgomery, AL, Tallahassee, FL, and more. Driving from these locations will cost under ~$50 in gas (based on 25mpg and $3.00 a gallon). Take a couple of friends along, and split the cost! If you’re flying, StudentUniverse.com is a great resource. Flights from New York City are as low as $268. Flights from Washington DC begin at $254. From San Francisco, $347. You can also beg ask your parents, older friends or rich neighbors to donate their unused miles!
  • Food — $90, with a $30 per day budget. That’s like four po’ boys a day.
  • Housing — There are twelve hostels in New Orleans to choose from via Hostels.com. Prices as low as $20 per night, for three nights, ~$60 total.

2. Identify grant options:

Many community colleges and universities offer funding to students in the form of grants – both to individuals and to student groups. If you’re fortunate enough to have access, it’s essentially free money. Each case will be different, but below are some good places to start:

  • Organizations you are a part of — student government, honor societies, academic departments that can provide grants.
  • Career or Internship Office grants for work related to your major
  • Alumni grants
  • Community College Foundations
  • Development Offices in private schools
  • Ask your advisers and professors!

3. Submit grant proposal:

The next step to take is submit your grant proposal. Using the budget above (specified to your travel needs), draft a grant proposal stating why you or your group should attend and your desired budget. You can use the sample grant proposal below as a jumping off point:

Grant Proposal Template

4. Purchase your tickets:

If you’re able to do so, the best time to book your trip is now. Lock in the student early-bird rate by purchasing your ticket to the Summit. If you’re flying, book your flights, then secure a hostel reservation before the cheap ones are full.


If you need help with any of this, you can contact [email protected] or chat us using the widget on the Unrig the System Summit website (click the orange speech icon in the bottom right). We’re here to help.

You can reach me directly at [email protected] so please send me your tips or feedback. How can we support you in making it to Unrig?

See you in New Orleans!

Jeremy Baril is a RepresentUs Digital Campaigns Intern and a Junior at the University of San Francisco.