Frequently Asked Questions

What is the schedule of events?

Focus is an immersive four days held the weekend before the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Accepted participants should plan to dedicate the entire time to taking advantage of the many activities provided during the program, including department and lab tours; academic, research, business, and government workshops; admissions and financial information sessions; networking opportunities; one-on-one faculty meetings; engaging dinners and socials with graduate faculty, alumni, students, and staff; and much more. A detailed schedule will be provided to accepted confirmed participants closer to the program date.

When will I be notified of my application status?

Applicants will receive application status notifications no later than the end of November 2024. After careful review of your application by the respective department, you will receive a notice of accepted, denied, or waitlisted. Your application may be reviewed at an earlier date and notifications may be received any time in November based on the application submission date.

What costs are covered by Georgia Tech?

Georgia Tech covers and/or reimburses hotel accommodations, workshop fees, meals, materials, and transportation (based on the travel guidelines provided below).

Who is responsible for making travel arrangements?

Each student is responsible for making his/her own travel arrangements. Focus does not make travel arrangements. We will reimburse you for travel based on the guidelines provided below. The Focus program team will make student hotel arrangements for confirmed participants.

How much will I be reimbursed for my travel expenses?

If you are currently a Georgia Tech student living on campus, your meals will be provided. However, you will not be reimbursed for transportation, and hotel will not be provided.

If you are a participant living within the state of Georgia, your meals and hotel will be provided. In addition, you will be reimbursed up to $200 depending on your mode of transportation.

If you are a participant living outside of the state of Georgia, your meals and hotel will be provided. In addition, you will be reimbursed for airline travel according to the following list of states based on the state of your current institution:

  • $500 for AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MN, ME, MT, ND, NH, NM, NV, OR, WI, UT, VT, WA, WY, and Puerto Rico
  • $350 for AR, CT, DE, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, OK, OH, LA, MA, MD, MI, MO, NE, NJ, NY, PA, RI, SD, TX, WV, VA, Washington, D.C.
  • $275 for AL, FL, MS, NC, SC, TN

You must provide one of the following:

  • Airline receipt for fare & mandatory taxes/fees (original only)
  • Bus ticket (original only)
  • Gas receipts and car registration
  • Rental car receipt.

Note: All receipts must show “paid” or completed credit card transactions when a credit card is used. All receipts must have the form of payment (i.e. the last four digits of the card used) on the receipt permitted). Travel insurance is NOT a permissible reimbursement, however scholars may purchase travel insurance for their trip at their own expense.

When do I complete the forms needed for my travel reimbursement?

You will have at least two opportunities to submit your travel reimbursement statement:

  • When you complete your travel confirmation form. You will have an opportunity to upload travel receipts directly
  • During Focus check-in and registration on Thursday

Reimbursement checks are mailed to students roughly 45-60 days after Focus ends.

How do I get from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to campus?

You may take a taxi, van, shuttle, or Atlanta’s public transportation system called MARTA. We can reimburse those expenses up to your maximum amount of total trip expenses mentioned above. MARTA costs $2.50 per trip and is the most efficient way of getting from the airport to Midtown. The MARTA rail station is located inside the Atlanta airport past baggage claim. Pay $2.50 (cash or credit card) at the kiosk machines.

Take the train north to the Midtown train station, which is about a 20-minute ride and does not require any transfers or exits until you get to the Midtown station.

Walking: Exit the North Avenue (exit at north exit to Ponce de Leon Ave.) or Midtown (exit south to Peachtree Place) stations. The Georgia Tech Hotel is positioned exactly between the two stations, 5 blocks south of the Midtown station or 5 blocks north of the North Avenue station. 

Shuttle Bus Connection: Exit the Midtown station facing south at the Peachtree Place exit. The Tech Trolley is a free shuttle that picks up passengers at the Midtown station outside the Peachtree Place exit and travels down 5th Street to the Georgia Tech Hotel. Be sure to tell the driver to let you know when you are at the Georgia Tech Hotel.

When should I plan to be in Atlanta?

Plan to arrive between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on the first day of the program. Please be sure to forward us your travel itinerary once it is finalized.

When should I plan to leave Atlanta?

Plan to depart Atlanta the afternoon of the final day of the program. Hotel check-out is 11 a.m. If you plan a return flight on Tuesday morning before 9 a.m., you may have to establish and pay for your own transportation to the MARTA train station or the airport if the Georgia Tech shuttle is not operating that early.

If I want to come earlier and/or stay later to explore Atlanta, is that allowed?

Your lodging is paid for three nights in the designated hotel—Thursday, Friday, and Saturday ­– with check out on Sunday morning before 11 a.m. You are responsible for any lodging prior to and beyond these days. You are also responsible for any incidentals charged to your room upon checkout.

How will I receive updated information regarding the Focus program?

Direct correspondence to applicants will be distributed through email. It is important that you provide an email account, which you access regularly, on your application. Once accepted, applicants should check their emails (including spam) frequently between November 22, 2024, and January 11, 2025, for Focus correspondence.