William E. Simon Olympic Endowment for the Support Athletes

By USOC | June 01, 2012, 9 a.m. (ET)

William E. Simon Olympic Endowment for the Support of Athletes General Information and Instructions

What is the William E. Simon Olympic Endowment for the Support of Athletes?

The William E. Simon Olympic Endowment for the Support of Athletes was established in 1998 by Mr. William E. Simon, Sr., former U.S. Olympic Committee President and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. Grants for training and competition are awarded to athletes showing financial need. By creating this fund, Mr. Simon recognized the importance and many personal benefits of participating in sports.

How is the endowment administered?

Application information is distributed and processed by the USOC’s Sport Performance and Paralympic Divisions. General responsibility for management of the endowment, including all award decisions, resides with a Board of Trustees. Awards are made once a year.

What can the grant be used for?

Grants are intended for training and competition expenses.

Are the grants sufficient to pay all training and competition costs?

Because training and competition costs vary widely, these grants are intended to provide only partial support.

Can grants be received more than once?

While this is possible, multiple grants to a single individual would be rare. The Trustees would like to help as many athletes as possible.

Who is eligible?

General athlete eligibility requirements:

  • U.S. citizenship and eligible/intend to compete for the United States
  • Currently in training and competition
  • Demonstrated financial need in order to continue training

Preference will be given to athletes who receive minimal or no support from the USOC, U.S. Paralympics or sport national governing body. Preference is also given to athletes who have not made a previous Olympic or Paralympic Team.

What are the chances of receiving a grant?

The chances of receiving a grant depend on the number of applications; however, the Trustees have complete discretion in selecting grant recipients and award amounts.

If a grant is awarded, how much can an athlete expect to receive?

The endowment does not have a set grant amount. The endowment funds are invested, and a portion of the interest is used for awards. Amounts will vary depending on available funds in a given year, the number of qualified applicants, and the meritorious circumstances of a particular applicant. There are years where the grant may not be awarded due to declines in the value of the endowment.

How does an athlete apply?

Athletes must complete the online application (please see “Online Application Process” below) and upload the following:

  • A personal essay of up to three typed, double spaced pages. Please include your name in the filename of the uploaded document.
  • Two letters of recommendation. Please have your name included in the filename of the letters of recommendation.

Recommendation letters may accompany the grant or be sent separately as long as the reference’s contact information is included on the letter.

Additionally, athletes may submit by uploading supporting documents such as newspaper articles, statistics and other pertinent information in an electronic format such as Adobe PDF or a picture file. Please use your name in the filename of the uploaded document(s).

What should be included in the essay?

The essay should address why the athlete is a worthy grant recipient. In particular the athlete should explain:

  • His or her background in the sport, including competition results 
  • Financial need/circumstances affecting the athlete’s ability to train and compete
  • How this grant, if awarded, would “make a difference”
  • What it means to be able to practice/participate in the chosen sport

Who should write the letters of recommendation?

This is entirely up to the athlete but teachers, counselors, coaches, and employers are good choices since they can usually comment on overall character, achievement, and promise. The recommendation letters must contain the name, address, and telephone number of the writer; and if not uploaded with the application, must arrive by email (below), by the application deadline. The USOC is not responsible for late, misdirected, or undeliverable applications.

How much does it cost to apply and what is the deadline?

There is no charge to apply for this grant. For Fall 2012, completed applications, including letters of recommendation, must be received by 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time on Monday, October 8, 2012; no exceptions, as the system will no longer receive applications or letters of recommendation after this time.

Please note under “Online Application Process” below, that the last day to request a password is Wednesday October 3, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time. Incomplete applications will not be considered, including but not limited to: missing essay; missing letter(s) of recommendation; missing financial information, etc... Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early as it is not always possible to verify receipt of complete applications in time for the deadline. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure recommendation letters have been sent and are received by the deadline, if not attached to the application.

When will applicants be notified?

Award nominations are reviewed by the Trustees annually, usually at year-end. We anticipate that award decisions will be finalized and applicants notified by January 31.

Terms and Conditions of Grant

An award will be paid in two installments. If selected, the applicant will receive a notification letter and half of the award will be processed when a W-9 is received by the USOC. In addition to an acknowledgement to the Trustees, the athlete will be asked to submit a progress report later in the grant year, describing achievements in training and competition before the second payment will be processed. Awards will be made payable only to the applicant. Because awards may impact athlete eligibility for high school or collegiate athletics, applicants should verify, before applying, whether winning such an award would jeopardize eligibility.

Online Application Process

An online application process is in place for 2012. Interested athletes should send an email that includes their name and email address to simon.grant@usoc.org. Within 2 business days, a password will be sent to the athlete to access the secure online application. The deadline to request a password is Wednesday, October 3, 2012, 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time, no exceptions. The athlete will have the ability to edit and/or add information, utilizing the password provided, until the application deadline established above. For this reason, please keep the password handy through the application deadline. Please ensure you have read and understood this document before completing the application.

Please email any questions to simon.grant@usoc.org.