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, our goal is to notify all applicants of acceptance or denial. It is possible that the applicant entered an invalid email address on the application or the email notification went to spam.

All scholarship acceptances are sent by mid-April (Fall Leagues) or by mid October (Spring Leagues). Those who were not selected were also notified within that time frame. Coaches are CC’d on the acceptance email as well.

If you have questions regarding specific applicants that may or may not have been notified, please consult with your listed League Director (LD) or Pathfinder Point Person (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 by March 15 for Fall leagues and September 15 for Spring leagues and all scholarships have been awarded.  All Coaches who participated in previous seasons were sent a Post Season Coach Report at the end of the season along with a reminder of when the application will open again for their season.

Q: Who is eligible to apply for this scholarship?

A: Student-athletes of color, in grades 6-12, who wish to participate in NICA are eligible to apply for a scholarship for the school year listed in the application.

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

A: Unfortunately, we are unable to provide feedback regarding applications submitted. Many competitive and compelling applications were received and there are  a limited number of scholarships to award.  Generally speaking, over the years, the applications that are carefully and thoughtfully completed tend to score higher. 

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

A: Beginning with the 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. Being a NICA registered student-athlete is a requirement of the scholarship program.

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 then pay for the student-athletes registration in the Pit Zone. Coaches are not expected to cover costs out-of-pocket until the stipend arrives. The Pathfinders Coach Instructions page (Fall Leagues or Spring Leagues) provides documentation on how to register to the point of payment and how to pay their registration later.

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 Trek Marlin and the particular model of Marlin may vary season to season.

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 aTrek representative  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 or Spring Leagues) which also lists each League’s Pathfinders Point Person (PPP). If no PPP is listed, then it is the League Director listed.

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 at, if contacted well before the final deadline listed on the Pathfinders Coach Instructions page (Fall Leagues or Spring Leagues). 

All scholarships will automatically expire if all requirements are not met by the listed date posted on the Pathfinders Coach Instructions page. Extension requests will not be granted.

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 be notified by email when the surveys come out. 

The Start-of-Season Report will be sent in August (Fall Leagues) and January (Spring Leagues). The Post Season Coach Report will be sent in mid-November (Fall Leagues) and mid-May (Spring Leagues). Parents and student-athletes will also be emailed their own survey in mid-November (Fall Leagues) and 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.  

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.

Q: What is the Pathfinder Tune Up?

The Pathfinder Tune Up is a program designed in 2022 for returning Pathfinders who did not need a new bike but needed a tune up on their existing bike that they’ve had for more than one year.  This program 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.

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. [Note: this Trek program may change in the future so contact the Pathfinder Trek representative for more information.]