Pathfinder FAQs For Coaches

Q: We had student-athletes apply. One received confirmation of scholarship and the other applicant has not received any notification of acceptance or denial. Should we have heard one way or the other by now?

A:  Yes. If they received a scholarship, returning Pathfinders were notified on April 3rd, and first time recipients were notified on April 4th.  There were only a handful who were notified on the 5th. Those who were not selected were also notified within that time frame. Coaches were CC’d on the acceptance email and those who applied and didn’t get the scholarship were notified directly.

If you have questions regarding specific applicants that may or may not have been notified, please consult with your LD or PPP. They have access to the final list and can verify for you who has been awarded the scholarship league-wise.

Q: I seem to have missed the email about applying for scholarships this year. Is it too late to apply at this point?

A: Yes. The application period closed March 15 for fall leagues, and all scholarships have been awarded. 

Q: If I provide a name, can you tell me why their application didn’t get a scholarship?

A: No. We are unable to provide feedback regarding applications submitted. We received many competitive and compelling applications and have a limited number of scholarships to award.  Where we draw the line differs from year to year, and it is entirely dependent upon the quality of applications that particular year. Generally speaking, over the years, the applications that are carefully and thoughtfully completed tend to score higher. Ultimately, once all the applications are scored and ranked, the committee draws a line after the best 150 (for fall leagues) applications.  We simply cannot award a scholarship to everyone who applies.

Q: What is a PPP (Pathfinders Point Person)?

A: Beginning with 2023 spring leagues, we established the Pathfinder Point Person role in each league. PPPs are league volunteers that we rely on to work with the head coach and help navigate the fulfillment process and meet all stated deadlines. In some cases, the PPP is the League Director.

The Pathfinders Coach Instructions page (Fall Leagues or Spring Leagues) lists each League’s Pathfinders Point Person (PPP). If no PPP is listed, then it is the League Director listed.

Q: What is the $365 stipend for?

A: The stipend of $365 will be used to pay for each student-athlete’s NICA registration in the Pit Zone, regardless of their intent to race, in order for them to participate in any NICA event, including practices. It is also to be used towards their League registration and Team registration in the Pit Zone. The stipend can also be applied to race fees. Any remaining funds can be used towards needed items such as clothing or transportation.

Q: The scholarship recipient on my team already registered in the Pit Zone before we received notice about the scholarship. What should I do?

A:  You still need to fulfill all requirements, including submitting the Scholarship Disbursement Form, in order for the Pathfinder to receive all items and the stipend. You can reimburse the recipient’s family upon receipt of the stipend.

Q: I don’t need to pay for the student-athlete registration if they aren’t going to race, right?

A: Wrong! Initially the student-athlete Pathfinder should be registered in the Pit Zone to the point of payment. Upon receipt of the stipend, their NICA registration is to be paid for in order to complete their NICA registration.

Q: I need to register the Pathfinder(s) on my team by a certain deadline in the Pit Zone. Will the stipend be sent to me in time to cover those student-athletes? Am I expected to cover all costs until the stipend arrives?

A: Student-athletes should be registered to the point of payment in the Pit Zone. Once all requirements are met, including registration in the Pit Zone to the point of payment, then the bike, gear and stipend will be sent. Upon receipt of the stipend, you pay for the student-athletes registration in the Pit Zone. Coaches are not expected to cover costs this out-of-pocket until the stipend arrives.

Q:  Does the student choose the bike model based on price or does everyone get the same model?

A:  Everyone gets the same bike. The bike is a Marlin 7.

Q: I think we have it all covered. Please let me know if I miss something. 

A: If you are unsure of your status in terms of fulfilling requirements, you should consult with the PPP (Pathfinders Point Person) or the League Director. You will be contacted by Mike at Trek in regards to gear and the bike as you take care of the listed requirements. If you haven’t heard from anyone, review those requirements to make sure you have everything squared away on your end before contacting the PPP to ask what is left.

Q: What are the requirements I need to take care of in order for the Pathfinder on my team to receive their bike, gear and stipend?

A: All requirements/instructions and deadlines are listed on the Pathfinders Coach Instructions page (Fall Leagues) which also lists each League’s Pathfinders Point Person (PPP). If no PPP is listed, then it is the League Director listed.

 Here’s a similar breakdown:

    1. The Coach working with the Pathfinder(s) reviews and fills out the Coach Agreement
    2. The Team AND Head Coach/Team Director are registered with current licenses in the Pit Zone
        1. Student-athlete scholarship recipients are registered in the Pit Zone to the point of payment
          1. Pathfinders Scholarship Fulfillment Form for all Pathfinders on your team
            1. Download, fill out and then the Coach uploads via the Pathfinders Upload Portal
            2. Link to Trek sizing guide
          2. For each Pathfinder, parent and student-athlete review and sign the Trek Student-Athlete Commitment Form 
            1. Download, fill out and sign, then the Coach uploads via the Pathfinders Upload Portal
          3. Complete the Scholarship Disbursement Form
            1. Select how you will want to receive funds, by check or electronically
              1. Disbursements are made through our payment vendor, 
              2. You will receive an invitation to set up your account for - so review the Account Set Up instructions first.
              3. E-mail communication from and mailed checks have been mistaken for spam/junk mail.
            2. Upon receipt of funds, pay your student-athlete registration (to complete registration in the Pit Zone), refer to Page 7 of Registering in the NICA Pit Zone - For Pathfinder Recipients.

          Q: If a team has unused scholarships can they be reassigned to a team that needs one?

          A: These requests will be reviewed on a case by case basis and are at the discretion of NICA ( and Trek (

          Q; Where do we find the surveys for the coaches to complete?

          A: The surveys will be sent to the email address provided on the Coach Agreement and will be the one we use to communicate with you. You will get an email when the surveys come out. 

          The Start-of-Season Report will most likely be in August (Fall Leagues) or January (Spring Leagues) and the Post Season Coach Report in mid-November (Fall Leagues) or mid-May (Spring Leagues). Parents and student-athletes will also be emailed a survey in mid-November (Fall Leagues) or mid-May (Spring Leagues).

          Q: I have pictures and video to share of the Pathfinder(s) on my team. How can I share them?

          A: You will have an opportunity to upload pictures and video when filling out the Start-of-Season Report and Post Season Coach Report.  Mike and Nargis also enjoy a nice warm fuzzy in their inbox from time to time!

          Q: Any Spanish translation or assistance I can have to communicate with parents who are primarily Spanish speakers?

          A: To provide an overview of the program, there is a one minute video, in Spanish, on the Trek NICA Pathfinders Scholarship landing page. Some coaches have also reported success in using Google Translate on their phone for Spanish or other languages. 

          Coach Licensing has pointed out there are several documents already translated to Spanish, including the Quick Start Guide which is aimed towards parents:

          Spanish Language Resources

          Q: What happens if I have almost everything in by the final date on the timeline? Can I request an extension?

          A: No. Extension requests will not be granted. If the process is incomplete by the deadline, the scholarship for the student-athlete will expire. It’s important to follow the deadlines posted, especially getting your Coach Agreement submitted, your Team registered and your Coach license up-to-date ASAP. This allows you more time to then focus on the rest of the requirements (#3-#6 listed above).

          Q: What is the Pathfinder Tune Up?

          The Pathfinder Tune Up is a program we designed last year for our returning Pathfinders who did not need a new bike but needed a tune up on their existing bike.  This is a program that allows a Trek retailer (yes, it has to be a Trek retailer) to provide a Level One, or the equivalent, tune up at no cost to a Pathfinder recipient.  This program also includes replacing any wearables at no cost.  In the context of this program, wearables consist of tires, tubes, chains, and cables.  Once the shop completes the tune up, they can follow a process that will trigger reimbursement from Trek.

          This program is designed for returning Pathfinders who have had their bike for more than one year.  Keep in mind that at Direct Owned Trek Stores, all new bikes receive a free tune up within one year from date of receipt.  Thus, even new Pathfinders have access to a free tune up within the first year.