University at Buffalo Crest.

Policy Information

Date Established: 12/1/1998
Date Last Updated: 1/20/2022
Responsible Office:
Financial Management
Responsible Executive:
Vice President for Finance and Administration

Policy Contents


General University Service Fee (GUSF) Policy


The General University Service Fee is assessed on revenue deposited in State Income Fund Reimbursable, State University Tuition Reimbursable, UB Foundation, Research Foundation, and Campus Dining and Shops accounts.

Policy Statement

The General University Service Fee (GUSF) is assessed on all funds generated through the use of university faculty or staff time or use of university facilities as outlined in the Disclosure of All Funds Policy. GUSF is a flat rate fee charged on external revenue deposited into Income Fund Reimbursable (IFR), State University Tuition Reimbursable Accounts (SUTRA), University at Buffalo Foundation (UBF), Research Foundation (RF), and Campus Dining and Shops (CDS) accounts. Transfers of revenue between funding sources are not assessed GUSF.

Certain external revenue is subject to other fees. GUSF is not assessed on the following types of revenue as this could result in a fee that is assessed twice:

  • Sponsored projects administered by the RF when a Facility and Administrative (F&A) fee is assessed
  • Dormitory Income Fund Reimbursable (DIFR) and apartment revenues include administrative, maintenance, and operation components
  • Revenue from affiliated external entities where an agency service fee exists
  • Gifts are subject to a gift fee
  • Revenues and transfers by recognized student clubs and organizations

GUSF Subsidies

Entrepreneurial Activities

University members are encouraged to develop new revenue generating programs in compliance with applicable university fee policies. If the revenue generated by the program is not sufficient to cover GUSF, the university may determine that financial support is warranted. Based on the benefit to the university, a subsidy may be provided by an individual unit, school, college, or the university Internal Financial Plan. The service fee will not be waived in lieu of a subsidy.

Third-Party Revenue

All deposits related to third-party revenue will be assessed GUSF. However, a third-party contractual agreement may require the university to remit the full amount of revenue received from specified activities (e.g., ticket sales) to the third party. Resource Planning will review third-party agreements, and if appropriate, provide funding for the GUSF assessment on third-party restricted revenue from the university Internal Financial Plan. Departments must provide appropriate documentation to Resource Planning including:

●  Copy of the third-party agreement
●  Total revenue received (e.g., ticket sales, services, facilities)
●  GUSF assessments
●  Amounts reimbursed to third-parties


The General University Service Fee was established in 1998 to replace the various administrative, maintenance, and operation fees assessed on IFR, SUTRA, UBF, RF, and CDS account activity. This policy provides consistency in rates and subsidies across funding sources.


This policy applies to external revenue deposited to IFR, SUTRA, UBF, RF, and CDS accounts.


Disclosure Policy

Requires any and all funds derived from or related to sponsored programs, projects, activities, and services which involve university employees in the course of their university duties, or which involve the use of university equipment or facilities to be deposited and expended through an account administered by the RF, UBF, CDS, or the university itself (IFR and SUTRA accounts).

External Revenue

Revenue received from any source other than the RF, UBF, or State University of New York (SUNY).

Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Rate

Overhead rate, calculated as a percentage of the direct costs of sponsored projects, used to reimburse the university for the infrastructure support costs associated with sponsored research and other sponsored projects.


Charitable donation made to the university without the expectation of receiving goods or services (quid pro quo) in return.

Recognized Student Organization

Student club or organization recognized:
● By one of the seven student governments
● As an independent entity (e.g., 501c, Limited Liability Company (LLC), Inc.)
● By a university department or approved affiliated entity

Restricted Revenue

Funds collected on behalf of a third-party that must be remitted to the third-party in full, in accordance with the terms of a contract.

Sponsored Project

Externally funded research, training, evaluative testing, or public service project directed by UB faculty or staff as part of their university work that requires the university to perform a specified program or deliver specified product.



  • Deposit cash receipts into an IFR, SUTRA, UBF, RF, or CDS account in accordance with the appropriate deposit procedures.
  • Submit a request to Resource Planning to include a commitment for GUSF assessed on restricted revenue in the university Internal Financial Plan, when applicable.

Business Offices (Financial Management, Sponsored Projects Services, UBF, and CDS)

  • Assess GUSF on external revenue deposits.

Resource Planning

  • Review departmental subsidy requests for third-party revenue.
    • Add a commitment for GUSF to the university Internal Financial Plan, as appropriate.

Contact Information

Contact An Expert
Contact Phone Email
Carrie Hutchins

Related Information

University Links

General University Service Fee Rate History

GUSF Rate History
Time Period Rate
November 1, 2011 to present   13%
July 1, 2010 to October 31, 2011 10%
July 1, 1998 to June 30, 2010


Policy Revision History
January 2022 Full review. Updated the policy to:
●  Specify that GUSF is assessed on SUTRA; added subsequent to Presidential signature with no material change to the policy
●  Remove reference to UBF when an F&A fee is assessed; UBF no longer accepts resources for Sponsored Projects
●  Exclude revenues and transfers by recognized student organizations from GUSF
●  Add a definition for Recognized Student Organization
January 2012 Updated to eliminate GUSF waivers.

Presidential Approval

Signed by President Satish K. Tripathi

Satish K. Tripathi, President