Student Life Fee

What You Need to Know

The student life fee was $280 in Fiscal Year 2019 and Fiscal Year $316 in 2020. The total SLF budget during the fiscal year 2019 was approximately $1.2 million ($1.4 million for FY-2020) is allocated by SGA through financial board to fund events, initiatives, and services for students. Other schools’ SLF are: MIT $312, Holy Cross $330, RPI $347, Clark $350, Northeastern: $398.

Mandatory Transfers

Mandatory Transfers cover the annual costs for a variety of student services on campus. Some of these services are SNAP, Club Sport Coaches, Campus Labs, City Ride, International Leadership Programs, SAO and Club Sport Interns, Goat’s Head Programming, and Greek Life Programming. Mandatory transfers for FY19 totaled $273,302.

Organization Budgets

Organization budgets for FY19 totaled $823,527.27.

Class One, Two, and Three organizations can request a budget for items or events that are an annual cost. These items must align with our bylaws, fit the purpose of the club, and have been previously approved through a funding request. The classes are as follows

  • Class One: These organizations revolve around special interests, like hobbies and community outreach. This makes up 34.3% of budgeted funds.
  • Class Two: This classification is reserved for all club sports, competitive and recreational. This makes up 21.3% of budgeted funds.
  • Class Three: Organizations that fall into this category provide programming and services open to all of campus. This makes up 44.3% of budgeted funds.

Sponsorship and Rollbacks

For FY19 there was approximately $400,000 to allocate throughout the fiscal year.

The sponsorship is the remaining student life fee budget after mandatory transfers and budgets have been allocated. Rollbacks are any funds leftover from club budgets at the end of the previous fiscal year. These two amounts combined is the maximum funding that can be allocated through Financial Board for the fiscal year.

Funding requests are meant to supplement club budgets or to provide funds for organizations that cannot receive an annual budget. Funding requests are heard by financial board.

Fiscal Year 2019 Budgeting Summary

$1.2 million was available to be allocated in the 2019 fiscal year. $1.09 million was requested in budgets, while $823,500 was approved. For mandatory transfers, $296,700 was requested while $273,300 was approved. This sums to a total allocated budget of $1.096 million.

Reasons to Raise the Student Life Fee

The growth in WPI population does not bring enough funding for the rapid growth of expenses required to support clubs and events on campus. In the 2019 fiscal year, 25% of total budgets had to be cut. Services covered by the Student Life Fee, including facilities and transportation, continue to increase annually. Since 2015 there have been 39 more organizations to receive a budget added to our community, and 80 new clubs in total since 2010. The change in tuition from a Student life fee increase is only 0.007% and is on par with inflation since 2010.

SGA Operating Budget: Year Over Year

The SGA Operating Budget is what we use for our organization. This funding covers supplies for our office, our goal-setting retreats, and our annual faculty meet and greet. We make sure to reevaluate our budget each Fiscal Year and follow the guidelines we set for other organizations.

  • FY2017: $18,000.00
  • FY2018: $8,000.00
  • FY2019: $6,500.00

Steps for our Improvement

We understand that this past year has been difficult for clubs; we are making efforts to improve our financial process while getting more feedback from campus. Some of the steps being taken are listed below:

  • Analyzing our fiscal trends.
  • Evaluating and restructuring our budgeting process.
  • Communicating with other SGA Treasurers in the consortium.
  • Improving communication with campus to be more transparent.
  • Reevaluating our bylaws and rules of thumb.
  • Developing our resources and guidelines for treasurers.

If we had approved the requested amount in full during FY19 budgeting SGA would have over allocated by $200,000. Financial board would have been unable to hear requests for an entire year.

Tough decisions had to be made in order to be fiscally responsible and to continue hearing funding requests. Without funding requests, SGA cannot financially support new events, new clubs, and non-budgeted clubs.

Want to get more out of your Student Life Fee?

  • Join a club
  • Go to events
  • Attend SAO events

Want more information?

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Join Senate by filling out an Honorary Application that can be found on SGA’s Techsync page!

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Here is a downloadable flyer with all of the information