APA National Planning Conference - May 6-9, 2017

Thinking about attending the APA national conference in May? Here's what you need to know: 

Each year, UPPSA and the UPP department team to offer UPP students a reimbursement for a portion of the cost of attending the American Planning Association's national conference

The 2017 conference is May 6-9 in New York, and we will be able to reimburse $300 per student for 30 students. Funding is available to UPPSA members on a first-come, first-served basis until we reach a maximum of $9,000 distributed. 

Take our student survey of interest to help us plan for the conference!

We hope to send a large contingent of UIC planning students to the conference, to raise the profile of our university and to give students an opportunity to network with planning professionals in our nation's largest city.

Please read our FAQ section below to learn more about conference registration and the reimbursement process. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the reimbursement amount and what does it cover? 

This year we are able to reimburse $300 per student, up to the first 30 students to register. This amount may change depending on the number of students who register and any additional fundraising we accomplish.

Eligible costs for reimbursement include conference registration, hotel/lodging, and transportation between Chicago and New York. Realistically, $300 will cover the cost of conference registration and most or all of a roundtrip flight. 

How do I get the UPPSA reimbursement for conference costs? 

1. Make sure you're an UPPSA member to be eligible. If you are not a member, sign up here.  If you aren't sure if you're a member, email us at uppsainfo@gmail.com to confirm. 

2. Complete the form to the right to register for reimbursement from UPPSA. It will collect information needed to transfer money to your student account. 

3. Submit receipts to uppsainfo@gmail.com by 5 p.m. Friday, March 31. Please submit receipts as PDFs with your last name in the file name. UPPSA will submit registrant information and receipts to the UPP Department and Center for Student Involvement, and it will take about 30 days before the money is sent to your student account. To set up direct deposit from your student account to your bank account, go here.

How do I register for the conference? 

Conference registration is now open on the APA website. Student registration costs $125 through Thursday, March 2. After that it will cost $145, and on April 7 the student price increases again to $165. 

Registration includes access to all sessions and session recordings, the awards luncheon, keynote addresses, a welcome reception, and a seven-day MTA MetroCard. Additional events, mobile workshops, and more can be purchased on top of your registration.

What is there for students to do at APA National? 

A lot! This is a great opportunity for students to expand their learning beyond the classroom, network with planning practitioners, and learn more about the planning profession. Additionally, a Student/Young Planners social mixer will give you a chance to network with peers from 6-9 p.m. Saturday, May 6. View the entire program here.

The APA conference has a Career Zone, which will offer a resume clinic, mock interviews, an employer connection, and lots more. Check out the Career Zone website for more information.


There is also an Emerging Professionals Institute on Saturday, May 6 from 11 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. It costs an additional $50 but will cover topics including skills employers want and tips to interviews. More details here and see all Emerging Professionals events here.

Are there volunteer opportunities for discounted rates?

Yes! But instead of discounted rates, student will be paid $100 for volunteering, which can help cover conference costs. 

Students interested in volunteering must first register for the conference. Each Monday, APA emails new student registrants an invitation to volunteer. If all volunteer spots fill up, you can add your name to a waiting list by emailing Kate Calabra at APA.​

Do you have transportation recommendations?

Most students will be traveling  by plane, but New York is also accessible by car and Amtrak train. The APA conference website provides details about getting to the conference. Once in New York, you can use the seven-day MTA card included with your conference registration. 

Some students have expressed interest in booking group travel. We will discuss options at our January 20 info session, but in the meantime you can explore individual rates.

Do you have hotel/lodging recommendations? 

APA has arranged discounts on lodging at three hotels near Times Square — about a 20-minute subway ride from the conference hotels to the Javits Center — but the cheapest price is $249/night. Learn more here

Our recommendation is staying at the Chelsea International Hostel, which is within walking distance of the conference center. There are room options for one, two, or four people, and with shared or attached bathrooms. A single-bed, shared bathroom room is about $77-$82 per night. Another cheaper option is The Jane, which costs $99 per night for a single bed, or $125 for a bunk bed. 

Besides hotels, another option is Airbnb. The conference is at the Javits Convention Center, 655 W. 34th St. in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. Airbnb spots in Chelsea currently run about $180-$280 per night. Couch-surfing could be the cheapest option if you have friends in New York. UPPSA is also reaching out to student organizations in the New York area to see if they have leads on extra beds/couches. 

What if my question isn't answered here? 

Email us at uppsainfo@gmail.com!