Washington University’s Student Union turned a long-standing vision into a reality through the implementation of the Student Union Opportunity Fund. The fund, jointly administered by the Office for Student Success and Washington University’s Student Union helps qualifying students access the full suite of Washington University extracurricular experiences by removing financial barriers.
The fund was first implemented in November 2017, and the 2017-2018 school year served as the pilot year for this program. The Opportunity Fund Task Force, alongside Student Financial Services, closely tracked utilization trends throughout the pilot year and modified the fund as a result of that information and student feedback.
In previous years, eligible students have been able to support their extracurricular involvement through the use of Bear Bucks cards pre-loaded with a certain amount of funding, as well as an opportunity to apply for supplemental funding through the online Opportunity Fund application. Now, the fund will be made available exclusively through the online application. Qualifying students may apply for financial support to cover the costs of Student Union-affiliated extracurricular activities, thereby increasing access to meaningful opportunities both on- and off-campus.
In order to be eligible for this fund, students must:
- Qualify for the Opportunity Fund and have received an email invitation from the Office for Student Success, which will be sent out during the first week of classes each semester
- Be using funds for a Student Union-affiliated extracurricular activities
- Submit the request at least two-weeks prior to the event or deadline for payment**
For the upcoming academic year, the Student Union Opportunity Fund application will be made available on September 1, 2020 and the funding period will begin September 7, 2020. The Office for Student Success will stop accepting new applications for the Fall semester on January 8, 2021 and the Spring semester funding period will open January 18, 2021 – barring any significant changes to the academic calendar.
For general inquiries or questions about one’s applications, students should reach out to the Student Success Fund Coordinator, Lucy Chin. For the duration of the Fall semester, Lucy will be working remotely, so you are welcome to connect with her via email or set up a meeting during her virtual Drop-In Hours (Sundays, Mondays, and Wednesday from 3-6pm) using her Calendly.
To ensure that your request falls within the Student Union-affiliated activity requirement, you may check a complete list of active student groups here.
If a student applies for funding to reimburse an SU-related purchase that they have already made, request will be considered only on the basis of available funding and may be subject to a longer processing time. Though it is possible for us to issue reimbursement, the heavily preferred method of application is in advance of a purchase or deadline for payment.