Funding for Graduate Student Organizations

Support for Graduate Student Organizations

By registering an organization with the Graduate College, student groups on campus are given the recognition and resources they need to become active members of the larger university community. However, we recognize that there is more to building a sense of community than a place to gather.

To this end, the Graduate College offers two types of funding to support Graduate Student Organizations: operational budgets and supplemental event funding.

Operational Budgets

Operational budgets supply funds for the general operation of your organization. Examples of operational funding categories may include:

  • group promotional materials
  • catering for group meetings
  • social or other events for group members
  • software or other materials needed for the operation of the organization, etc.

GSOs in need of operational funding must apply each academic year. Please note that the maximum operational budget award is $800 per year (October-September). Any request may be funded at a prorated level. Each organization should plan its operating budget wisely and may need to engage in its own fundraising.

To receive an operational budget for the academic year, your organization must be in good standing with the University. GSOs must update the organization’s information each year to remain active and in good standing.


Operational Budget Decisions

The funding committees will hold two rounds of review for operational budget requests, one in the fall and one in the spring. Organizations that apply in the fall do not need to re-apply in the spring as the award received in the fall is for the entire year. The spring deadline is designed for new organizations, those who miss the fall deadlines or those who only need funds during spring and summer.


Fall Operational Budget Timeline

Application opens in August and is due Sept. 15.

Decisions will go out at the end of September.

Spring Operational Budget Timeline

Application opens in January and is due Feb. 15.

Decisions will go out at the end of February with the prorated operational budget amount for spring and summer only.

Funds from the preceding year do not carry over and are dropped Sept. 30. GSOs should keep this in mind as they plan welcome events and budgets for the new academic year.

Supplemental Event Funding

Event supplemental funding is currently unavailable.

Graduate Student Organizations may not use organizational funds for items or events that conflict with policies of the University and/or the Code of Conduct, nor can the Funding Committee provide supplemental funding for such items or events. Items (or events with below items) covered by this policy include but are not limited to:

  • Alcohol
  • Candles, lighters or other open flame devices
  • Drugs or drug paraphernalia
  • Explosives
  • Fireworks/sparklers
  • Listening devices or any type of “spyware” that would invade the privacy of others
  • Tobacco products or devices for smoking tobacco or other herbal products
  • Weapons, such as rifles, guns, crossbows, swords (even for display purposes), martial arts items that may inflict harm, as well as ammunition for weapons, such as bullets, arrows or pellets.


Restrictions on prizes and awards: GSOs are permitted to use their Graduate College funds to purchase up to $100 in gift cards per academic year to be used for prizes, awards, or guest speaker gifts. The group’s treasurer must purchase the gift card with the GSO’s declining balance card. In the Concur report under “business justification,” include the recipient’s full name, student ID# (if a student), and the purpose for which the person received the gift card. GSOs cannot purchase gift cards that act as credit cards (American Express, Visa, etc.).

Receipt Requirement: For each purchase of any amount that utilizes Graduate College funds, the GSO treasurer is required to submit a report in Concur with (1) an uploaded itemized receipt and (2) detailed explanation of the purchase under “business justification.” A well written business justification will clearly explain what was purchased, why it was purchased, when it was purchased, and for whom it was purchased. Example: Water and chips purchased for the January 2024 "Title of GSO" Meeting with 10 students in attendance. Concur requests submitted without itemized receipts may not be approved.

GSOs may submit a request for additional funds beyond operating budget; however, no funds, operating budget or supplemental event funding may be issued to student organizations that conduct any activities prohibited by the Charter of the University of Delaware or the Internal Revenue Code.

Delaware Code Title 12, Section 5013 states, “The University shall never be managed or conducted in the interest of any party, sect, or denomination.”

In describing the activities of organizations eligible for tax-exempt status, the Internal Revenue Code, Section 501 (c)(3) states “… no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and which does not attempt to participate or intervene in (including the publishing and distribution of statements) any political campaign.”

During the event promotion period, the hosting GSO must explicitly state that its views and positions are attributable to the student organization and do not represent the official views of the University.

The Funding Committee reserves the right to amend these policies with the approval of the Graduate College at any time.


Every active GSO in good standing with the University is eligible for funding. Please refer to the Funding Criteria and Restrictions tab to learn what can and cannot be done with the funding.

For every academic year, GSOs that apply for an operational budget may receive up to $800 in funding to be used by Sept. 30 of the following year. Any balance remaining as of Sept. 30 will be deducted from the next year’s funds so that the available operational budget for any academic year will not exceed $800. 

Supplemental funding requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Requests must be submitted at least 30 days prior to the proposed event. Depending on the request, the Graduate College and the Funding Committee may choose to provide partial funding. 

It depends on how you plan to use the funding. Operational budgets supply funds for your organization's general operation and various other member-specific activities. Supplemental funding is event-specific funding that should only be applied for if your GSO’s current budget cannot accommodate all expected charges and you plan to open the event to the entire UD graduate student community. More specific details on the distinction between the two types of Graduate College GSO funding can be found above.

No, you can submit both the New GSO application and funding request at the same time. Please note, however, that we must process your application to become a recognized GSO before you can receive a purpose code for your organization.

When you submit a funding request, a message will go to your advisor for approval. Once this approval is received, the Graduate Student Government’s Operations Committee will review your application. Final decisions will be subsequently made by the Graduate College. The Graduate College and the GSG Operations Committee will consider the number of members in the organization and the frequency of group meetings, among other factors in the approval process.

Funding requests are reviewed as described in the funding timelines above. You will receive notification of your status as soon as possible after it has been reviewed.

Once a decision is made on your application, you will be notified by the Graduate College via email. Your funding will be reflected in a purpose code for your GSO and expenses can be charged to the code using a declining balance credit card.

A declining balance credit card is a UD credit card that is open for a finite amount of time for a specific amount of funds. The card should be under the GSO treasurer’s name.

Groups can use this credit card to carry out transactions for meeting/event expenses, such as catering orders, decoration purchases, etc. When using this credit card to carry out transactions, please make sure that you save all itemized receipts. An itemized receipt includes a breakdown of the cost associated with each item purchased, as opposed to a non-itemized aggregated total amount of an event or meeting. Concur requests submitted without itemized receipts may not be approved.

More complete information will be communicated to the GSO upon approval.

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