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Student Life Enhancement Fund

Do you have a non-academic initiative that you intend to participate in or provide to University of Guelph students – one that will enrich the student experience? Are you in need of funds to bring your initiative, project, or event to life? Apply to the Student Life Enhancement Fund (SLEF) and University of Guelph Alumni Association (UGAA) Student Experience Fund!  

Approximately $100,000 is available through SLEF and the UGAA for the Fall and Winter allocation cycles for applications meeting the criteria. 

SLEF and Alumni Logos

Who can apply?

Recognized University of Guelph student organizations and clubs, registered students, and University departments are eligible.

What are the purposes of these two Funds?

The Student Life Enhancement Fund (SLEF) was established to support non-academic initiatives that enrich the student experience. 

In 2021, the University of Guelph Alumni Association (UGAA) established the UGAA Student Experience Fund to support student engagement. This fund is intended to nurture a culture of volunteerism, diversity, inclusivity, and civic engagement among the student body. 
Your application will automatically be submitted to both the Student Life Enhancement Fund (SLEF) and the UGAA Student Experience Fund. Both Funds follow the same timeline and use the same review committee for all applications.

Application Timelines 

There are two opportunities to apply to the SLEF/UGAA Student Experience Fund for the 2023-2024 academic year: 

Fall 2023 
  • Applications open: Friday, September 8, 2023
  • Application deadline: Friday, September 29, 2023, 9:00 a.m. 
  • Applicants notified approximately: week of October 30, 2023
  • Funds disbursed: As soon as possible in the week(s) to follow 
Winter 2024 
  • Applications open: Friday, December 15, 2023
  • Application deadline: Friday, January 19, 2024, 9:00 a.m.
  • Applicants notified approximately: week of March 4, 2024
  • Funds Disbursed: As soon as possible in the week(s) to follow 

We recommend applying in the Fall 2023 for any initiatives taking place throughout Fall 2023, Winter 2024 and Summer 2024.

Questions? Explore the tabs below and if you need further assistance, reach out to the Program Assistant, Student Experience via


SLEF and UGAA Student Experience Fund Proposals will be assessed based on the following criteria: 

  • Impact to and enrichment of the student experience 
  • Priority will be given to new initiatives and projects 
  • Priority will be given to inclusive initiatives and projects that benefit as broad segment of the student population as possible 
  • The number of students and others benefiting from or participating in the initiative 
  • The ability of the applicant to acquire funds elsewhere rather than rely solely on SLEF or UGAA Student Experience funding
  • Financial need, as evidenced by a comprehensive budget  
  • Environmentally sustainable delivery
  • Consideration of access (e.g.: Does the proposal increase access to the activity or does it consider and address barriers to access?)

Proposals that meet the below criteria are eligible for UGAA Student Experience Funding 

  • Priority will be given to initiatives that nurture a culture of volunteerism and civic engagement 
  • Priority will be given to initiatives that foster a culture of diversity and inclusion on campus

What SLEF and UGAA Student Experience Funds will not fund: 

  • The SLEF and UGAA Student Experience Fund are not intended to support the continued base operating expenses of existing programs or items of an on-going nature. 
  • Initiatives that are academic in nature.
  • Initiatives that duplicate existing programs.
  • Initiatives that take place outside September 2023 to August 2024 are ineligible.
  • Funds are not eligible to be used on expenses related to salaries/wages, gifts, give-a-ways, swag, merchandise and/or apparel, alcohol, unsustainable or single-use consumables, honoraria in lieu of salary/wages - although speaker honorariums can be requested.
    • Honoraria for judges or speakers will be considered. Decisions will be based on their expertise and the clarity in the application as to who will be involved, their roles and rationale for proposed honoraria amount(s).
  • Unsustainable consumables (plastic water bottles, single use plastics, disposable items, single use items that can be substituted, non-value added travel)
  • New applications from an organization/applicant will not be considered until all outstanding final report requirements for previously received grant funding have been completed.
  • Initiatives submitted by organizations/applicants where unused/surplus funding from previous initiatives has not yet been returned.  Any previously granted funding not used on approved budget items as reviewed by SLEF must be returned as soon as possible.


Funding Limit for Individuals: Funds over $200.00 will only be made payable to a department, club, group or organization. Applicants who are individuals can only apply $200 or less. 

Computer/Technical Equipment:  A maximum of $600.00 will be awarded for computer and/or technical equipment. Consideration for an amount exceeding the maximum may occur if it is demonstrated that a specific computer or technical equipment is necessary. Computer software funding will only be allocated for software supported by Computing & Communications Services (CCS) unless it is demonstrated as necessary. Funding will not be provided for personal electronic devices. 

Career Fair:  A proposal that involves a career fair must include a signed letter of support from the Experiential Learning Hub. 

Charitable Events:  Funding will not be allocated to support a donation directly to a charity. However, funding will be provided to support the cost of hosting an initiative that enriches the student experience where the profits of the initiatives are allocated towards a registered charitable organization.  

Networking Event or Event to Build Community:  Funding in support of events that are designed to facilitate networking or community development will be considered. Proposals submitted for purely social events will be considered at a lower priority. A maximum of $1,000 will be awarded for networking and community development events. 

Attending a Conference:  Funding in support of students attending a non-academic conference that enriches the student experience at the University of Guelph will be considered. 

Individual Attendance: For acceptable non-academic conference requests, a student can receive up to a maximum of $200.

Group Attendance: Students applying to attend a non-academic conference with a group must apply as a team of up to 10 students.  Special consideration may be made for international travel or for groups larger than 10 students. 

Hosting a Conference: A group coordinating and hosting a non-academic conference on campus is eligible to apply for funding. 

Applicants that submit more than one proposal must prioritize their submissions for funding consideration 

1) Proposal is clear and concise: 

  • Provides clear evidence of student involvement and consultation during the development of proposal 
  • Identifies clear objectives and impact on participants 
  • Indicates student involvement in designing, implementing, and evaluating project 
  • Provides a realistic timetable
  • Describes how the initiative will be evaluated in terms of meeting its objectives 
  • Describes how initiatives will be maintained after the funding is finished, if applicable  

2) Proposal aligns with the SLEF and/or the UGAA Student Experience Fund purpose  

  • Meets eligibility/ineligibility guidelines as stated 
  • In the case of applications that directly involve only one or a few students, the expectation is for the applicant to demonstrate how this activity will benefit the larger student body, as per the criteria. 

3) Proposers are eligible recipients 

  • Recognized University of Guelph student organizations and clubs, registered students, student government and University departments  

4) Budget is detailed with projected costs, revenues, and justification 

  • Applicants must complete the budget template provided 
  • Are projected costs/revenues realistic?
  • Are appropriate letters of support and quotes included (e.g. quotes for expenses)?
  • Are other sources of funding or requests for support identified?

Step 1. Prepare by downloading and completing the Application Guide
This document contains questions that are a guide to help you complete the online SLEF/UGAA Student Experience Fund Application. This is NOT the official application, but filling out this template in advance will help you prepare for your application. 

Step 2. Prepare by downloading and completing the Budget Template 
Use this form to complete an itemized budget listing that outlines each estimated cost and any estimated revenue. Indicate the total cost to host the proposed initiative by subtracting revenue from costs. Save your budget. When it comes time to submit your application through GryphLife, upload your Budget Template. 

  • Follow this Budget Naming Format: Organization_Initiative_Budget_yyyy 
    Example: Student Experience_Concert_Budget_2022 

Step 3. Ready to Submit an Application? 
Submit your application via this GryphLife Link. Applications are due Friday, September 29, 9 a.m. (Late applications will not be accepted)