Student Organization Budget Guidelines

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There is a pool of funds allocated to each school from students' fees by GAPSA. As in most other grad schools at Penn,  Student Government decides how to spend those funds. At GSE, our Student Government divides the pool into three equal "pots."

1. Funds to support students to attend or present at professional conferences
2. Funds to support GSE student organizations
3. Funds to build community at the school level, for example, the fall Taste of the Harvest dinner and the GSE Formal in April.

GAPSA is another source of funding you may wish to consider if your organization serves student populations at Penn other than just GSE. Graduate and Professional Student Association (GAPSA) is the University-wide government for graduate and professional students, interacting regularly with the President, Provost, Board of Trustees, and other University officials. GAPSA is governed by elected representatives from each of Penn's twelve schools and a student executive board. GAPSA also works with the student governments of individual schools and with other specialized student governments at Penn. For GAPSA's homepage, click here.

All GSE student organizations are strongly encouraged to collaborate with other GSE student organizations when appropriate.You'll find a list of our organizations and contact folks here.

Here are some basic guidelines and tips for successfully submitting a budget request to the GSE Student Government (GSESG):

  1. In order to be eligible for GSESG funding, membership in a group must be open to all students in the GSE community.
  2. Fill out the budget request form completely.  Missing information may jeopardize or delay your request.
  3. Funding of any budget is contingent on at least one student member of the organization's governing body attending, during the current academic year, either (i) the GSE Student Leadership Training, or (ii) those workshops from the Graduate Student Center's LET'S GO series which correspond to the training sessions included in the GSE Student Leadership Training.
  4. Do not request more money than you plan to use for the year.  Unused funds are forfeited and do not carry over to the next year.
  5. Do not overinflate your requested budget. We compare organizations’ requested budgets and actual expenditures from previous semesters to ensure they are realistic.
  6. Examples of projects and items that are typically funded include administrative supplies, speakers, conference/ competition registration, service projects, refreshments, group outings, and advertising expenses.
  7. Here are some general costs per participant/event for a number of commonly funded budget requests:
    • Advertising ($10/event)
    • Light refreshments ($3/attendee)
    • Light lunch/dinner, such as pizza ($10/attendee)
    • Happy hours ($10/attendee). 
  8. A list of attendees must be kept and submitted with the reimbursement request for every event for which funding is requested. 
  9. Any GSE-wide event must be publically advertised (email, flyers, etc.).  Events open to all of GSE and/or co-sponsored by student organizations will be given highest priority. The GSESG is happy to help advertise such events.

Feel free to contact Student Government with any questions, comments, or concerns: gse-sg@gse.upenn.edu