Funding Policies

(Academic Research Fund, Discretionary Fund, Leadership Fund, Philanthropy Fund & Professional/Academic Fund*)

*As of December 2nd, 2016, funding applications will close for the remainder of the calendar year. Applications will re-open on January 1st, 2017 with review of applications beginning on January 9th, 2017, when school resumes. Please plan your events to occur on a date at least four weeks after January 9th, 2017*


  • Applications must be submitted by 12:00 noon at least two business days prior to the funding board’s meeting at which the organization will present its proposal. (e.g. if the meeting is Friday, a completed proposal must be submitted by Wednesday). For Philanthropy Fund, applications are due by 12:00 noon, three days before the funding board meeting at which you wish to present your proposal.
  • Organizations must present their funding proposal to the Board at least four weeks prior to the date when the first payment is due.
  • All applications must be typed and time stamped in order to be considered valid. Handwritten or late applications will not be accepted.
  • Recognized organizations are eligible to apply for funding. They are not entitled to funding just because they receive University recognition.
  • Do not spend your own money. Reimbursements are allowed, but must receive approval prior to the expense being made.
  • Please speak with the Director of each Funding Board for funding of events occurring in September.


  • Only undergraduate, student-run Recognized Student Organizations recognized by Campus Activities.
  • Undergraduate students who have paid the Student Programming Fee may receive funds even if they are not part of an organization if an organization sponsors the individual for a specific event. (This money would count towards the organization’s funding limit.)
  • Individual organizations/applicants cannot receive funding for the same event from any other programming fee monies (i.e. Academic Fund, Discretionary Fund, Leadership Fund, Philanthropy Fund, Professional Fund and all assemblies). Please see the Co-sponsorship section below for more information.
  • Students must complete the application, communicate with the Director, and attend meetings. No advisors, faculty, or staff members are permitted to be involved in this process.
  • Proposals received from organizations with access to other University mandated fees must disclose this information on the application.
  • It is strongly encouraged that all student organizations attend at least one Campus Activities Leadership Council meeting a semester. While this is not a requirement for funding, it is in the student organizations’ best interest to attend these monthly meetings.

Eligible Events

  • Conferences, seminars, retreats, workshops, recognition, community service, and other events at the discretion of the applicable funding board.
  • Events must be open to the entire student community. Closed programs are not eligible for funding. A closed program is one that is not open to the student community, in general, but only to members or invitees of the organization, or an event not held in University facilities. An exception may be considered, if the Board determines the program substantially benefits the USC student community.
  • Only planned programs with detailed cost breakdowns and vendor quotes will be considered.
  • An organization may resubmit a previously 100% rejected funding application to another funding board if the organization can meet the required deadlines.
  • Fundraising events are not eligible to receive funding.


  • Full funding is never guaranteed. No student organization is entitled to funding by virtue of being recognized as a student organization. Please do not assume your organization will get funding.
  • Please remember that funds tend to run out at the end of each semester. It is in your best interest to apply for funds as early in each semester as possible.
  • Student organizations may apply for funding until they receive the maximum funding allowance for a student organization which is 5% of the board’s total funding for the year (this is approximately $750 for Academic Research Fund, $4,100 for Discretionary Fund, $3,834 for Leadership Fund, $5,408 for Philanthropy Fund, and $4,000 for Professional/Academic Fund). Hundreds of student organizations receive money from each fund every year.
  • Organizations, under extenuating circumstances, may be permitted to request up to 10% of the funding board’s total annual allocation. These requests must be approved by the funding board director prior to being submitted. The funding board will make the final decision on the allocation amount.
  • Additional funds for the same event may not be received from any other programming fee funding sources (i.e. Academic Research Fund, Discretionary Fund, Leadership Fund, Philanthropy Fund, Professional/Academic Fund, and all Program Board assemblies).
  • An organization may resubmit a previously 100% rejected funding application to another funding board if the organization can meet the required deadlines.
  • No reimbursements will be accepted or supported.


  • If more than one organization sponsors an event, the entire event may only receive monies from a maximum of two funding sources that originated from the University Student Program Fee.
  • Funding is not guaranteed.
  • Money received will be applied to the applying organization’s yearly maximum funding allowance.

Items that will not be funded

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Food – except when deemed necessary and vital to the program by the funding board
  • T-shirts – unless vital to the program (only funded by the Discretionary start-up fund)
  • Any miscellaneous amounts
  • Reimbursements
  • Airfare for non-USC students (only funded by Academic Research Fund and only for USC students)

Obligations of the Organization

  • Organizations may not sign any contracts or agreements (including venue, catering, or speaker agreements). All agreements must be signed by authorized university personnel. Any agreements that contain an unauthorized student signature cannot be funded under any circumstances.
  • Communicate all pertinent information from the Board to the organization and/or other applicants.
  • Most, if not all, correspondence will be done via email. It is the organization’s responsibility to check email on a regular basis.
  • All correspondence between the organization and the Board or Director must be communicated by a student member. Advisors, faculty or staff members can not be the primary communicator.
  • Collect and disseminate all paperwork, methods of payment, and any other important materials for the organization or applicants.
  • A student representative from the organization applying for funds must present to the funding board prior to the review of the application. This person must be prepared to speak about the event and answer all questions. This person must have prior approval from the Director of the board to speak at the meeting—persons who show up at a meeting without an appointment will be denied the opportunity to speak.
  • The funding board Director will contact the organization with the funding results with 48 hours of proposing to the Board. Please do not contact the funding board Director.
  • Students may not sign any contracts. This includes Radisson contracts as well as contracts for food, performers or services. Any contract signed by a student places the liability of payment on the individual student.
  • Ensure that the logos of all funding sources are prominently displayed on all publications and promotional materials printed after the funding is approved. Logos can be found at
  • Submit all original receipts and invoices no later than 5 business days after the event occurs. Additionally, receipts and invoices not received will result in the immediate, yet temporary suspension of all student organization privileges until either the receipts/invoices are received or the student organization reimburses the fund for the monies spent. Privileges include funding, reserving space (all current reservations will be canceled), and the closure of email and web accounts.
  • Complete and turn in an evaluation form for the funded event within the Board’s guidelines.
  • Any unused funds must be returned to the funding board. No money may be carried over by the organization for use in future events.
  • Understand that failure to act responsibly and timely on behalf of the organization and/or applicants will result in everyone being held accountable to the Board.
  • In the event a student organization exceeds the requested amount on a Purchase Order and/or Internal Requisition, the organization will receive a temporary suspension of all student organization privileges until the student organization reimburses the fund for the unauthorized monies spent.
  • If your organization fails to fulfill any of these responsibilities, money approved to the organization for the event by any of the funding boards is not promised or owed to you or your vendors. Additionally, your organization may have its access to funding revoked for the next two academic years.

Rights and Obligations of the Funding Boards

  • Communicate with the organization in a timely manner.
  • Make the student organization aware of its funding status as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours after it has made its proposal.
  • Complete all necessary paperwork on time and in accordance with University Policies.
  • All funding boards will meet at least twice a month until the fund is depleted. They may meet more frequently, if needed.
  • All funding boards reserve the right to conduct closed meetings.
  • Funding boards can vote on proposals as long as they have quorum.
  • Boards will not judge the validity of a program solely based on its size or number of people that could realistically be expected to attend the program.
  • All funding boards reserve the right to reject, fully fund, or partially fund any application. Upon request, an explanation will be provided to all student organizations not receiving the amount requested.

Required Documentation

  • Completed application
  • Line item budget
  • Vendor quotes including vendor codes
  • Original invoices and receipts (no faxes or copies)
  • Evaluation form

*These guidelines are in addition to the specific requirements set forth by each individual funding board.
These guidelines do not apply to the Academic Research Fund.