Business Office

Student ​Activity Fees

What are Student Activity Fees?

Student Activity Fees are paid by enrolled students at UGA, and this fee is dedicated to student programming and services that enhance all aspects of student life at UGA. Students are the only beneficiaries of this fee. The Student Activity Fee is stewarded by the Student Government Association and leadership within the Division of Student Affairs, who recommend and support annual allocations to various student-led groups, organizations, and initiatives.

What are Student Activity Fee Guidelines?

Student Activity Fees can be allocated to registered student organizations that request funding through established allocation processes. The Student Activity Fee Guidelines outline how these funds are managed. Organizations that receive allocations of Student Activity Fee Funds must adhere to these guidelines for all financial transactions.

View a Printable PDF of the Guidelines

1. Each student organization requesting funding must supply requested information in a process developed by the Dean of Students Business Office. 

2. Any registered student organization may request Student Activity Fee funding. Categories of clubs and organizations have been established with different request processes and operating procedures in order to accommodate the diversity of size, complexity and purpose of the various campus organizations and programs. Each club or organization requesting funding should submit a budget proposal to the appropriate office and must comply with the request process established by the applicable recommending committee.

  • Academically-related clubs and organizations should obtain Student Activity Fee Budget Requests packets from the office of the dean of their respective school or college. Graduate student organizations should apply through the school or college that directs the program of study. Organizations must follow the request dates and any specific funding guidelines established by the school/college committee.
  • International clubs and organizations should contact the Department of International Student Life in Memorial Hall and follow the request process established by that department.
  • Programs and activities with campus-wide program emphasis and non-academically related clubs and organizations not included above will follow procedures established by the Student Activity Fee Allocation Committee. Funding requests must be submitted through the Dean of Students Business office located in Room 320. Organizations that have not received funding in the past must apply to the Small Clubs Allocations Committee and/or the Student Affairs Diversity Fund for two consecutive years prior to submitting a request to the Student Activity Fee Allocation Committee. Financial records and/or documents must be submitted to the Dean of Students Business Office in order to verify and develop a budget. The organization must be willing to comply with all of the general guidelines described elsewhere.
3. Programs and activities funded in whole or in part by Student Activity Fees must be open to any interested student.
 
4. Student Activity Fee Funds may be used to fund programs of clubs and organizations. This does not include charitable causes. However, any registered organization may request program assistance funds for programs that are directed to the campus as a whole, open to any interested student, and are deemed to serve, benefit, or be of interest to a significant segment of the University community.
 
5. Student organizations whose active membership includes non-university students (this is not to exclude duly elected faculty advisors) shall receive Student Activity Fee funds allocated only for student members.
 
6. All organizations which receive Student Activity Fee funds/revenue must deposit all receipts through the Dean of Students Business Office and make all expenditures through that office. This specifically precludes organizations from maintaining private bank accounts if they receive a Student Activity Fee allocation. Organizations affiliated with schools or colleges (see 2a above) are permitted to have an Agency Account through the Dean of Students Business Office. See “Additional Guidelines for Organizations with Allocated & Agency Accounts” below for details.
 
7. Any allocated organizations which generate income from fund raising, dues, ticket and/or merchandise sales must use the Dean of Students Business Office as the sole point-of-sale and are prohibited from selling such items on their own or through other outlets.
 
8. All expenditures from Activity Fee accounts must comply with University System of Georgia (USG) and UGA policies and procedures as well as the guidelines contained herein:
  • Scholarships: No Student Activity Fee funds shall be used to fund scholarships.
  • Charitable Events or Fundraising: Organizations cannot fundraise or host charitable events to make donations to third party organizations. No Student Activity Fees or generated income in Fund 13000 can be used for charitable contributions or donations.
  • Capital Outlays or Equipment: Student Activity Fee funds earmarked for programs and activities shall not be used routinely for capital outlays or to purchase equipment with a value greater than $100. Payment for equipment maintenance is allowable. All equipment (regardless of cost) must be purchased via UGAmart.
  • Costumes: Any costuming purchased for performances or events must be reusable and stored on campus. All costuming purchased using Student Activity Fee funds must not be construed as personal in nature and/or for one-time use.
  • Compensation for Services Provided by Individuals: Individuals that provide services to an organization (such as speakers, entertainers, lecturers, etc.) can be paid for their services rendered. If the organization does not want to pay the individual with money (a check), they can be paid with an item. The value of the item should be $100 or less. All items purchased for this purpose must be pre-approved via the UGAMart purchasing process.
  • Gifts/Awards: Generally, purchasing gifts and awards is not allowable using Student Activity Fee funds. In the following special circumstances, these purchases are allowed:
    • Annual Recognition: Gifts/awards purchased for one-time annual recognition for student members are allowable. All gifts/awards purchased for this purpose must be pre-approved via the UGAmart process. Acceptable purchases include plaques, frames, graduation stoles/cords, etc. The individual value of the gift/award should not exceed $30/item. Under no circumstances should gift cards or clothing/apparel items be purchased for this purpose.
  • Promotional Items: These items are associated with promoting student organizations and/or events sponsored by student organizations and must include the name and/or logo of the sponsoring student organization or the event. All promotional items must be pre-approved via the UGAmart purchasing process. Acceptable purchases include pens, phone wallets, notepads, cups, etc. The value of the promotional item should not exceed $30. All printed promotional items including t-shirts, polos, or other apparel must be purchased through UGAMart as well as the acceptable purchases previously listed.
  • Gift Cards: No gift cards may be purchased using Student Activity Fee funding.
9. As outlined below, organizations are encouraged to collaborate with one another and sponsor one another’s events. However, no budgeted Activity Fee allocations may be transferred from one account to another without the approval of the Vice President for Student Affairs.
  • Collaborations: Collaborations among student organizations on an event/program for the benefit of students should have the following characteristics:
    • More than one organization has responsibility for planning the event/program.
    • All organizations involved in the collaboration must have equal billing on promotional materials for the event/program.
    • More than one organization commits funds for specific purposes (room rental, speaker fee, etc.).
  • Sponsorships: Organizations can use their funds to sponsor other events/programs under the following conditions:
    • The sponsoring organization must pay for specific benefits (advertising) associated with being a sponsor of the receiving organization’s event/program.
    • The receiving organization must develop pre-determined sponsorship benefits that are consistent for all organizations or individuals seeking to sponsor the event/program.
    • Organizations cannot spend more than $1000 annually in sponsorships.

10. Unexpended fund balances as of June 30 of each year will be recalled to the Student Activity Reserve & Surplus account.

Additional Guidelines for Food & Student Travel

EXPENDITURES FOR FOOD

Student Activity Fee funds may be used to fund food as part of a sponsored program or event. However, food purchases must be specifically requested and budgeted for any program or activity funded in whole or in part by Student Activity Fee funds.

Organizations can spend no more than 20% of their Activity Fee Allocation on food. Organizations can spend 100% of their Generated Income on food.

No increase in the food budget will be allowed during the fiscal year without the expressed permission of the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs through the Dean of Students Business Office.

All food purchases must comply with the university’s food policy, including any applicable per diems.

EXPENDITURES FOR STUDENT TRAVEL

Student Activity Fee funds may be used to fund student travel to conventions, conferences and team competitive events. However, student travel funds must be specifically requested and budgeted for any program or activity funded in whole or in part by Student Activity Fee funds. Expenditures may include reasonable amounts for transportation, lodging, and meals associated with attendance as a delegate or representative.

Guidelines may be developed by the various allocation recommending committees that limit the number of individuals funded to attend a single conference or convention, the number of trips funded, and the dollar amounts reimbursed. They may also restrict the types of travel expenses funded. However, travel reimbursements may not exceed the applicable University travel expense limitations.

Individuals seeking to use allocated or agency accounts for student travel expenditures must receive pre-approval and supply requested information in a process developed by the Dean of Students Business Office. 

Reimbursement Limitations

A maximum daily allowance for meals will be $28.00 (recommended as $6.00 for breakfast, $7.00 for lunch, and $15.00 for dinner but not held to these breakdowns). For travel to areas deemed “high cost,” as determined by state travel guidelines, this allowance may be increased. In such cases a request must be made in writing to the Dean of Students Business Office. Itemized meal receipts must be submitted for reimbursement.

Travel proposals should not exceed 10% of the Student Activity Fee allocation. Exceptions may be made when student travel is a significant element of the organization’s mission and purpose. These requests must be made at the time the budget is presented to the Student Activity Fee Allocation Committee. Registration fees are not included when calculating the 10% spending limit. Organizations can spend 100% of their Generated Income on travel.

No increase in the Activity Fee portion (not to include generated income) of the travel budget will be allowed during the fiscal year without the expressed permission of the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs through the Dean of Students Business Office.

Additional Guidelines for Organizations with Allocated and Agency Accounts

Organizations affiliated with schools and colleges are permitted to have both an allocated account and an agency account through the Dean of Students Business Office. Organizations must have written approval from the academic dean of their school or college in order to have both an allocated account and an agency account.

Deposits/Generated Income: The Dean of Students Business Office will evaluate each deposit to determine if the income belongs to the student organization (agency account) or belongs to the university (allocated account). If an organization uses its allocated funds to pay expenses for programs/activities that generate income, the resulting generated income must be deposited into the allocated account. Funds generated without the use of Activity Fee allocations, including dues that students pay, will be deposited into the agency account.

Expenses: All reimbursements and vendor payments must be done via the electronic check request system or a university purchasing card (per university policy—current policy does not allow for the use of a p-card on an agency account). Petty cash cannot be used by organizations that have both an agency and an allocated account.

Organizations must maintain identical approval paths for the allocated and agency accounts in the electronic check request system.

Recall of funds: Funds remaining in the allocated account at the end of the fiscal year will be recalled to the Student Activity Reserve & Surplus account. Funds remaining in the agency account at the end of the fiscal year will remain in the agency account for future use.

Revised: August 2020