Convention Scholarship Program

The OAC wants to make attending the Your Weight Matters National Convention a reality for any individual with a desire to learn more about their weight and health, and this includes those who may not have the financial means to cover all the costs associated with taking part in an in-person meeting. The OAC is proud to offer the Convention Scholarship Program, an initiative designed to help individuals by awarding grants to fund or offset the associated expenses in attending the Convention.

The OAC believes in the high-quality education presented at the meeting and the powerful impact that connecting in a community like ours can have on an individual’s life. While attending the OAC’s National Convention is a great investment in your health, we understand it is often a hardship for many who attend/wish to attend. The Convention Scholarship Program is designed to open the doors up to give any individual the ability to gain the knowledge they need, without letting the expense get in the way.

The Convention Scholarship Program was launched just last year and in its first-year, the OAC was able to award more than $10,000 in scholarships to attend the 3rd Annual Convention. This year, the OAC aims to match and award more scholarships to help individuals attend YWM2015.

How the Convention Scholarship Program Works
The Convention Scholarship Program will award a limited number of full and partial scholarships to individuals who submit an application by the deadline date – Tuesday, March 31. Applications received after this date will not be reviewed.

Convention Scholarships are awarded as stipends and specific areas for reimbursement may be indicated on the application. Scholarship Awards do not have a cash value and grant monies will not be awarded directly to the recipients. Grants will be awarded in the form of reimbursement for airline/mileage expenses and/or event registration fees (travel receipts will be required and capped amounts apply). Rooms in the Convention Room Block at the Marriott have already been reserved for scholarship recipients. Complete information may be found below, and any questions about the program may be directed to the OAC by calling (800) 717-3117 or emailing

Eligibility: The OAC invites any individual interested in receiving financial assistance in the form of a grant to submit an application for consideration by the deadline date. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older (or travelling with a parent or legal guardian) and have plans to attend the 2015 OAC Convention. Applicants not eligible to receive a scholarship include: health professionals seeking CE Credits; and relatives of OAC staff, National Board Members, or OAC Committee Members (or actual members of these groups).

Number of Scholarships Awarded: The number of scholarships granted will be based on the total number of applications received, along with the total expenses requested on the scholarship application. The OAC will award full and partial scholarships.

How to Apply: All applications must be completed and sent to the Scholarship Review Committee (George Washington University) by Tuesday, March 31. Applications received after this date will not be considered. The Scholarship Application is available in both a PDF format and online link.

Online: To complete the Convention Scholarship Online Application, please CLICK HERE.
PDF Application: CLICK HERE to view, download and print the application.

The Convention Scholarship Application is available as a downloadable PDF and can also be completed by filling out the fields directly on the form. Please send completed PDF application to:

Fax: (813) 873-7838 – Attention: Convention Scholarship Program
Mail: Obesity Action Coalition
Attn: Convention Scholarship Program
4511 North Himes Ave., Suite 250
Tampa, FL 33614

Review Criteria for Scholarship Awards: Applications will be evaluated based on a weighted scale, according to the following criteria – Statement of Financial Need (50%); Impact of Obesity on Your Life (35%); and Your Intent for Attending the Your Weight Matters Convention (15%).

Evaluation Process: In order to ensure the most objective decision-making process, the OAC has selected an outside third-party to handle the review/evaluation of all Convention Scholarship applications. The OAC’s National Board, staff, and committee members do not have any involvement in the evaluation/decision process for awarding scholarships. The Obesity Research Team at the Milken Institute School for Public Health at the George Washington University will serve as the Convention Scholarship Review Committee and will handle reviewing and receiving all applications. Applications mailed or faxed will be handled by the OAC, but forwarded directly on to the Scholarship Review Committee. Given a third-party’s participation in the process, the OAC maintains its strict privacy policy and your personal information will not be shared with any outside entity other than members of the Obesity Research Team at George Washington University. In addition, your information will not be used for research purposes but will strictly be used in awarding Convention Scholarships.

Application and Review Deadlines:

    • Deadline to Receive Completed Applications: Tuesday, March 31
    • Application Review Period: April 1 – April 30
    • Scholarships Announced/Awarded: No later than May 1

Scholarship Awards Notifications: Once the review process is complete, Convention Scholarship award recipients will be notified by the OAC via email no later than May 1. Recipients will receive a form that acknowledges the details of the scholarship, including next steps.

All individuals who submitted an application for a Convention Scholarship will be contacted by the OAC with the status of their application once the review process is complete and recipients have been notified.

Questions about the Convention Scholarship Program? Please contact the OAC directly at
(800) 717-3117 or