Financials

This section outlines the policies and procedures for student group and individual student funding requests, spending, and financial processing. All students are responsible for understanding and adhering to these policies.

All student group purchase requests need to be approved internally (through student group budget officers). After receiving approval, the appropriate financial processing forms can be submitted by any student with the required documentation.

All student funding requests need to be approved through OSA with support from funding committees. After receiving approval, the appropriate financial processing forms can be submitted by the student awarded funding with the required documentation.

Review the terms, policies, and procedures for financial processing below. Reach out to OSA (osa@yale.edu) with any questions.

Terms

General Allocation
Recognized student groups receive budget allocations from the Student Representatives (for student organizations) or OSA (for projects and competition groups) in the summer for the following academic year. This YLS general allocation funding is to support student group activities for the July 1 - June 30 fiscal year and does not roll over from year to year. Any outstanding bills are billed to the following year's budget, and all errors in billing or accounting are irrevocable once the fiscal year has closed. Student groups that overspend beyond their available funds will have the difference deducted from their General Allocation budget in the following fiscal year and this infraction may affect the organization's status and future funding eligibility. General allocation spending has some restrictions, which can be reviewed on the "Policies" section of this page.

Discretionary Funds
Recognized student groups may also choose to fundraise, and funds raised independently by student groups are routed to the group's discretionary fund. These discretionary funds roll over from year to year. Recognized student groups are an entity of Yale University. Therefore all gifts made to a student group are actually made to the University and they are subject to a 12% assessment fee. This is imposed by the University to cover accounting, tax reporting, and other stewardship costs. This is not a YLS charge.

PCards (Purchasing Cards)
OSA encourages students to plan spending in advance of making a purchase. Please allow enough time to secure spending approval through the Student Group Purchase Request form or the Student Funding Request form before scheduling an appointment to use an OSA PCard. Use of Yale's departmental credit card alleviates the financial burden on students who would otherwise make purchases from personal funds and seek reimbursement. Details outlined below.

Student Group Purchase Request form
Fillable pdf that each student group member needs to submit to their designated Budget Officer(s) for approval when requesting to make a purchase using student group funds. This form includes purpose/memo, amounts, and appropriate documentation. If a student group would like to split a payment with other student group(s), all budget officers for the student groups need to sign the Student Group Purchase Request form.

Yale Connect Student Funding Request form
Yale Connect form that covers the full scope of OSA-connected funding sources (OMR, ZOR/DP, Student Competitions, etc) so OSA can explore many possible funding sources to best support students. The Student Funding Request form will be reviewed on a monthly basis by the appropriate committee connected to the most relevant funding source(s) for each request.

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Policies

Alcohol
Yale funds cannot cover hard liquor. There is a two-drink maximum per student. Details and full policy listed under Alcohol Policy in Event Planning section of the YLS Student Handbook.

Banquets, Galas, and Retreats
Banquets and galas are larger, more formal meals and celebrations that fall outside of the more modest framework that the YLS general allocation supports each year. Retreats include student group travel, lodging, and activities away from campus. YLS is unable to apply general allocations towards banquets, galas, or retreats. These events must be paid for by discretionary funds.

Cash or Prepaid Cards
YLS is unable to provide cash or prepaid cards to students. Please plan ahead to use the OSA PCard for any advance purchases and keep itemized receipts to submit documentation for reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses after traveling.

Contracts
If a venue or service provider requires a contract, you will need to complete the Yale Connect Contract Submission form. Students are not allowed to sign anything on behalf of Yale. Please submit this form and OSA will share the information with the YLS Business Office and Yale Procurement Office for review. The Yale Connect Contract Submission form should be completed as early as possible because the review process can take up to 2-3 weeks.

Meals during Travel
Students can be reimbursed up to $50/day for actual meal expenses when traveling, depending on available funds and funding source restrictions.

Gift Cards
Yale University funds cannot be used to purchase gift cards. This is a University policy and there are no exceptions.

Gifts
Per Yale University policy, gifts (including student-to-student gifts) must be under $100/person in total per fiscal year. Gifts can only be paid for out of discretionary funds; YLS general allocations cannot be used for this purpose. Non-cash gifts of $100 or greater and cash gifts at any dollar amount must be reported to the IRS for tax purposes since this is reported as taxable income for the gift recipient.

GrubHub Credits
GrubHub credits can only be assigned to students for use if there is a completely virtual event and all attendees are online. Please contact OSA (osa@yale.edu) if you want to explore this option for an upcoming virtual event or meeting. GrubHub credits can only be assigned to YLS students. You must allow a minimum of three days to complete the GrubHub credit process.
If you require reasonable accommodations that necessitate GrubHub credits for an in-person or hybrid event, contact Assistant Director of Student Affairs Caitlin Dougherty (caitlin.dougherty@yale.edu) to support you by working with Student Accessibility Services (SAS) and exploring next steps. You must allow a minimum of five days to explore GrubHub credits for accommodations.

Honoraria
YLS is unable to provide honoraria to speakers for student events. Speakers can be compensated by providing direct invoices for payment. Another way to support speakers is to cover reasonable travel expenses as outlined in Yale's travel policies and taking into account student group budgets.

Merchandise/Swag
Merchandise or swag purchases can only be paid for out of discretionary funds; YLS general allocations cannot be used for this purpose. Merchandise or swag spending is limited to a maximum of $100/person per fiscal year. Students must submit proposed merchandise or swag designs through the Yale Connect Merchandise form. If creating a new logo, students must submit the Yale Connect Logo Design form. Both YaleConnect forms will be reviewed by OSA, Yale Licensing, and the Office of Public Affairs (OPA). Please allow 2-3 weeks for merchandise design and logo review.

Non-Profits
Student groups are required to operate as non-profit organizations that do not generate income for individuals and/or the organization itself. Student groups cannot donate funds to non-profit organizations.

Tipping Policy
Table Service: up to 15% (up to 20% for exceptional service). Review receipts carefully before tipping to check if there is automatic gratuity already included.
Delivery: up to 10%
Pick-Up: up to 5% (only appropriate for large orders)

Yale Funding
All expenditures incurred by student groups with Yale funds must advance the core mission of the group. Funding should be used to support many members, instead of only a few students, and should focus on group experiences and outreach. When purchasing food and drinks (no hard liquor), amounts should be appropriate for the size and nature of the event.

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Student Group Finances

Budget Officer(s)
Each Student Group Board will need to identify Board member(s) who will serve as the Budget Officer(s) to review Student Group Purchase Request forms and track student group budgets. As the Student Group Purchase Request forms are received and approved, the Budget Officer(s) will need to sign the form, assign a code (Student Group Abbreviated Name followed by number – 01, 02, 03, etc to support tracking), and send back to the student to move forward with the purchase. The approved Student Group Purchase Request forms with assigned codes should be saved in a folder to support documentation of student group spending. Budget Officers are the only Student Group members who can provide spending approvals on behalf of each student group. Each student group must submit Budget Officer and financial tracking information with OSA in August to support financial processing for the upcoming academic year. Access Yale Connect Budget Officer(s) form here to complete this step.

Follow the steps below for all registered student organizations and journals as well as all approved student-led conference groups making purchases with YLS funds.

  1. 1

    Student Group Purchase Request

    Student group members submit the Student Group Purchase Request form to their Budget Officer(s) by email. This fillable pdf includes purpose/memo, amounts, and appropriate documentation.

  2. 2

    Student Group Approval

    The Budget Officer(s) review the Student Group Purchase Request form. If approved, they sign the form and assign a code (Student Group Abbreviated Name followed by number – 01, 02, 03, etc to support tracking).

  3. 3

    Student Group Purchase

    Once approved, the student group can move forward with the requested purchase through one of the payment options outlined below. Students will need to attach the signed and coded Student Group Purchase Request form to complete purchases.

Payment Options

OSA PCard Purchase

Schedule a time through the Yale Connect PCard Appointments Calendar to coordinate making a purchase using an OSA departmental credit card. Students can select an appointment by Zoom or in-person to complete the purchase. The approved Student Group Purchase Request form must be attached when scheduling. The proof of purchase receipt and itemized receipt from the purchase must be shared back with OSA during the PCard appointment for documentation.

Reimbursement

If you choose to use a personal credit card or cash, you will need to save the appropriate information and documentation - including proof of purchase (with last four digits of credit card) and itemized receipt (for all purchases) - to upload into the Yale Connect Reimbursement Request form for financial processing. Purchases that violate university spending policies will not be reimbursed. Review the "Policies" section of this page and, when in doubt, contact OSA for clarification before making a purchase.

Direct Vendor Invoice

If a vendor provides an invoice for payment, you will need to complete the Yale Connect Direct Vendor Invoice form. The approved Student Group Purchase Request form must be attached when submitting this form for payment. Standard Payment Terms are Net 45 (approved transactions disbursed within 45 days of invoice date). Net 45 is the default, unless otherwise negotiated and agreed to by the Procurement Department.

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Student Funding Requests, Spending & Financial Processing

Students may seek funding outside of student group activities for student competitions, academic research related to YLS papers, conference presentations, and community building activities by following the steps below. All students who are awarded funding are responsible for adhering to the policies and procedures outlined by Yale Law School's Student Handbook, Yale Law School, and Yale University.

  1. 1

    Student Funding Request

    Individuals seeking funding need to submit the Yale Connect Student Funding Request form. This form covers the full scope of OSA-connected funding sources (OMR, ZOR/DP, Student Competitions, etc) so OSA can explore many possible funding sources to best support students. The Student Funding Request form will be reviewed on a monthly basis by the appropriate committee connected to the most relevant funding source(s) for each request.

  2. 2

    Student Funding Approval

    If approved, OSA signs the Student Funding Request form and assigns a code to support tracking.

  3. 3

    Making Purchases

    Once approved, the student(s) can move forward with the requested purchase(s) through one of the payment options outlined below.

  4. 4

    Donor Report
    (for specific funding sources)

    There will also be a Yale Connect Donor Report form that all OMR and ZOR/DP funding recipients need to complete by early summer. Those funding recipients will be notified of this requirement when funding is approved through these sources.

Payment Options

OSA PCard Purchase

Schedule a time through the Yale Connect PCard Appointments Calendar to coordinate making a purchase using an OSA departmental credit card. Students can select an appointment by Zoom or in-person to complete the purchase. The approved Student Funding Request form must be attached when scheduling. The proof of purchase receipt and itemized receipt from the purchase must be shared back with OSA during the PCard appointment for documentation.

Reimbursement

If you choose to use a personal credit card or cash, you will need to save and submit the appropriate information and documentation - including proof of purchase (with last four digits of credit card) and itemized receipt (for all purchases) - to upload into the Yale Connect Reimbursement Request form for financial processing. Purchases that violate university spending policies will not be reimbursed. Review the "Policies" section of this page and, when in doubt, contact OSA for clarification before making a purchase.

Direct Vendor Invoice

If a vendor provides an invoice for payment, you will need to complete the Yale Connect Direct Vendor Invoice form. The approved Student Funding Request form must be attached when submitting this form for payment. Standard Payment Terms are Net 45 (approved transactions disbursed within 45 days of invoice date). Net 45 is the default, unless otherwise negotiated and agreed to by the Procurement Department.