Graduate Funding Board Overview


About the Graduate Funding Board

The Graduate Funding Board is designed to allocate funds to Graduate Student Organizations (GSO) for on campus programming and conference travel. Each GSO has one voting representative as a part of the Funding Board meetings to assist in making funding decisions. This support is made possible by the Student Life Fund and the process is guided by the Graduate Funding Board Bylaws.  This is one of several funding opportunities available to graduate students.

GSA Funding Request Video

Funding Overview 2023-2024

GSA Funding Request Overview

What you need to know BEFORE submitting your GSA Funding Request:

  1. Registered Student Organizations and students are required to obtain documentation of relevant costs and deadlines. These documents are expected to be submitted at the time that the funding request is submitted via Laker Link.
  2. Consult GSA Funding Bylaws for information about what can and cannot be funded.
    • For conference travel requests: Verify registration deadlines and plan your request submission accordingly, and research and document hotel costs and travel costs.
    • For event requests: Consider and be prepared with documentation regarding the following:
      1. Food: Secure quotes from Laker Food Co. 
      2. Event promotion (design, printing, campus posting, and other promotional services): Secure quotes from the Promotions Office.
      3. Speakers and other contracts: Do not sign contracts. Request a quote and contact the Graduate School or GSA advisor regarding signing contracts. 
  3. *GSA will not fund expenses that have been paid for before being approved for funding.*
  4. Meeting with the GSA Finance Chair ([email protected]) or GSA Staff Advisor ([email protected]) to discuss your request is strongly encouraged. Please plan to meet a minimum of 2 weeks prior to submission deadline to ensure adequate time for scheduling, feedback and  any necessary revisions to your request.
  5. Submit your request at least 7 days before a GSA Funding Board meeting or it will not be considered.


How to Submit your GSA Funding Request:


    • Log in to LakerLink
    • Graduate organizations will use "Graduate Orgs - Conference Fees" or "Graduate Orgs - Campus Programming" forms. The other forms are for undergraduate student organizations.
    • Only the Financial Officer or President of an organization can access the forms to create a funding request on behalf of the RSO.
    • Once you have signed in, click on the grid next to your icon.
    • Click "Manage" in the pull-down menu.
    • Under "My Memberships" on the Manage page, click the organization you are making the request for.
    • On your organization's manage page, click on the three bars to display a pull out menu.
    • Scroll down to "Finance".
    • Click "Create New Request".
    • Select which type of Funding Request you are making:
      1. Graduate Orgs - Campus Programming: This budget is only to be used by GRADUATE student organizations for campus programming related purposes. In order to be reviewed, supporting documentation (i.e. catering quote, room reservations, and contracts) must be uploaded to this form when appropriate.
      2. Graduate Orgs - Conference Fees: This budget is only to be used by GRADUATE organizations for conference related purposes, including virtual conferences and travel.  
    • Follow the steps of the form when prompted.
    • Review the form and make sure that all required fields are completed for each section.
    • Submit Request.



  • FOR INDIVIDUAL GRADUATE STUDENTS submitting a Funding Request:
    • Log in to LakerLink
    • Individual Graduate Students who do not have an RSO connected to their major must request to become members of GSA via Laker Link before submitting a request.
    • Individual Graduate Students will use the "Individual Graduate Student Travel Registration & Transportation" form.
    • Once you have signed in, click on your user icon.
    • Scroll down on the pull-out menu and click "Submissions" 
    • Click the "Budgeting" tab on the right side of the "My Submissions" page.
    • Click "Create Request".
    • Select the Individual Graduate Student Individual Travel Registration & Transportation form. This budget is only to be used by individual graduate students whose program does not currently have a corresponding graduate student organization for them to be affiliated with to request funds for conference or travel related purposes linked to their program. Each individual requesting funding must upload the corresponding travel expense documentation (screenshot of registration and transportation) to the budget request in order to be scheduled for review.  
    • Follow the steps of the form when prompted.
    • Review the form and make sure that all required fields are completed for each section.
    • Submit Request.


What to expect after submitting your Funding Request: 

  1. The GSA Finance Officer will acknowledge the receipt of funding requests, review funding requests and may give recommendations, as needed, in a timely manner.
  2. The GSA Finance Officer will call a monthly GSA Funding Board meeting to discuss approval of any proposed funding requests.
  3. The graduate RSO asking for funds will present their proposal at the GSA Funding Board Meeting. 
  4. GSA Funding Board Committee may ask questions and propose changes to the proposal(s), if needed. 
  5. Requests will be passed by a majority vote. 
  6. Requests will be approved on Laker Link by GSA Finance Officer after the vote.
  7. GSA Finance Officer will contact the Financial Officer or individual student approved for funding with the next steps, including an introduction to the Graduate School Professional Support Staff for processing. 
  8. Graduate RSO should choose one representative to discuss the details/logistics of receiving the funding with Graduate School Professional Support Staff.
  9. Graduate Student Organizations need to fill out an online event assessment form within 14 days after each specific program, event or conference. Event and travel assessment forms can be found on the LakerLink profile of GSA under forms.


Presenting your Funding Board Request


Common Questions

During the GSA Funding Board meeting, you will most likely be asked the following questions (that relate to your request). Please review them below and be prepared to answer them.


Conference Travel Requests

  • How does this conference relate to your graduate field of study?
  • How will your RSO (if applicable) benefit from your attendance at this conference?
  • How will the GVSU Graduate Student community benefit from your attendance at this conference?


Event Requests

  • How will this event benefit Grand Valley State University and the Graduate Student community?
  • Has your organization done any fundraising?
  • What funds are your organization paying for?
  • Do you have a set number of participants that want to attend?
  • Why is this event so important to your organization to get funding?
  • Has the GSA Funding Board funded this event in the past?
    • If so, how much did we fund?
    • If not, why did we deny the request?


Additional Resources

Visit LakerLink or the Registered Student Organization Handbook for additional information or to access any forms, such as rental/travel forms, event assessment forms, or reimbursement forms

Contact Laker Food Co. for Student Organization Menu.

Food Waiver

Contact the GSA Finance Officer at [email protected] for additional funding information or questions.

Page last modified October 3, 2023