Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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The Daily Explains: How student groups receive funding from NU

The+SAFC%E2%80%99s+budget+deficit+grew+from+about+a+%24500%2C000+minimum+to+about+a+%241.1+million+minimum+this+year.
Daily file illustration by Beatrice Villaflor
The SAFC’s budget deficit grew from about a $500,000 minimum to about a $1.1 million minimum this year.

Northwestern’s Associated Student Government, Student Organizations and Activities, and other organizations offer funding to student groups. The Daily broke down the funding sources for NU student groups.

Student Activities Finance Committee

ASG’s Student Activities Finance Committee allocates about $1.8 million annually from the ASG Activity Fee to registered student organizations.

SOA-registered student organizations with a Student Organization Finance Office account can apply for SAFC funding. Applications are open from March 28 to April 5.

“ASG grants are open year round for student organizations to apply to on a rolling basis,” said SESP sophomore and incoming ASG co-President Caleb Snead. “This separate pool of funding gives student organizations the opportunity to supplement the cost of unpredicted expenses or new programs.”

ASG Executive Grant

A combination of ASG’s Wild Ideas, Community Building and Affinity grants, the Executive Grant distributes $23,000 to registered student groups with a SOFO account per quarter. A student group may receive up to $1,000 in funds per quarter.

The Executive Grant — launched in Fall 2023 — supplements the SAFC, funding expenses not covered by yearly SAFC requests. Although the Executive Grant and SAFC have similar funding requirements, Snead said ASG is more flexible.

“It’s looking at how much money can go towards the most students and have the most student benefit,” said Weinberg junior and ASG Executive Officer of External Relations Alexis Schwartz.

ASG’s Executive Cabinet reviews grant applications on a rolling basis, and applications are open all year.

ASG Sustainability Grant

ASG’s Sustainability Grant distributes $2,000 to sustainability-oriented organizations each quarter, with a $500 limit per group.

“We’re looking for something that’s original, beneficial to the Northwestern community and provably sustainable,” said Medill junior and ASG Sustainability Chair Sam Bull.

Applications are reviewed by the Sustainability Committee every two weeks throughout the year, and unused funds roll over to the next quarter.

The application asks student groups to explain the costs and benefits of their sustainability project.

“The factors for prioritization are creativity — if it’s something we haven’t heard of before and something that’s really impactful on campus — and impact,” Bull said. “It’s even better if you have a proposal that’s community-oriented and serves the student body more than just the club itself.”

New Student Organization Support Fund

Created in Fall Quarter, the New Student Organization Support Fund supports student organizations established within the past two years.

“The purpose of the NSOSF is to provide a space for new student organizations to be introduced to funding at Northwestern and evaluated without the expectation that they have the profiles of established groups on campus,” Snead said.

The fund allocates $5,000 per quarter with no maximum per group. Funds are allocated at a Funding Senate meeting at the end of each quarter.

Student Activities Assistance Fund

The Student Activities Assistance Fund allocates up to $750 per student annually and allows low-income students to participate in events and extracurricular activities.

“The Student Activities Assistance Fund is supported by donors and intended to support students with financial need who have personal expenses to be fully involved in a student organization,” SOA Associate Director Joe Lattal said.

Unlike other funding sources, the SAAF is designed for individual students and accounts for financial need.

Applications are open each year until the fund runs out of money. SOA typically responds to funding requests in about a week, according to Lattal.

SOA Barrier-Free Grant

SOA’s Barrier-Free Grant provides up to $500 per group each year, focusing on organizations that host activities open to all students. Applications can be found on Wildcat Connection and closed Sunday for Spring Quarter.

“We always prioritize the groups that welcome students who want to be involved at any point in the school year,” Lattal said.

Performing arts groups submit many applications, but SOA also tries to support academic, professional and cultural organizations, Lattal said.

InclusionNU Fund

During weeks two, four and six of every quarter, Multicultural Student Affairs accepts applications for its InclusionNU Fund.

The grant reimburses up to $2,000 in expenses per SOFO-registered group each year.

“Proposals must align with one of InclusionNU’s priority areas of identity development, wellness, education and awareness,” Director of Multicultural Student Affairs Alejandro Magaña said in an email to The Daily.

The fund aims to support marginalized communities and create an inclusive campus, according to Magaña.

Senior Leader Fund

The Senior Leader Fund, managed by the Offices of the President, Vice President for Student Affairs and Provost, allocates about $33,000 per quarter to SOFO-registered student organizations. The maximum award is about $2,500 per group.

While SAFC requires detailed expenses for the following year, the SLF provides funding to groups that encounter surprise costs or unexpected interest, according to Vice President for Student Affairs Susan Davis.

Applications are due by week three of each quarter, and applicants receive their funding decision by the end of the quarter.

Email: [email protected]

X: @IsaiahStei27

Related Stories:

ASG launches new Executive Grant to support student orgs and initiatives

‘An incredible burden’: ASG leaders, NU administrators detail efforts to reform student group funding transaction process

Student Activities Assistance Fund helps with club participation but leaves some students in need

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