Student Org Grant

Through our grants program, MESA helps fund University of Michigan student organization events that promote social justice education through the lens of race and ethnicity.

Learn more below about the application, eligibility, process, and requirements.

⚠ The MESA grant application is now closed for this academic year. Please reach out to us at [email protected] if you have any questions.


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To apply for funding, you must:

  • Be a registered student organization with the Center for Campus Involvement in the current academic year (at time of application) with authorized signers
  • Have an active University Fund Account through the Student Organization Account Service (SOAS) in good standing**

If you are not a registered student organization but believe your event/initiative is in alignment with the grant funding criteria, please reach out to [email protected] to discuss funding opportunities!




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Application and program requirements

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  • Application must clearly articulate its connection to advancing MESA's mission 
    • For example, your event should promote social justice education through the lens of race/ethnicity. This could be achieved through events that focus on dialogue, identity exploration, cultural education/awareness, cross-cultural initiatives, or community building that supports positive growth and relationships within the U-M community. 
  • Application must demonstrate a strong educational component that is aimed at educating the broader community about a particular subject
  • Event must be open to the entire university community with an emphasis on providing programming for participants or an audience comprised of currently enrolled U-M students 



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Budget and funding guidelines

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An eligible organization may request up to $1,500 per semester, and up to $3,000 across the entire academic year. These figures are subject to change at any time based on available remaining funds.

Be sure to review the commonly-requested permitted and prohibited expenses.

  • Rooms rental through U-M Conference and Event Services (Michigan Union, the League, etc.)
  • Foods that comply with building policies (M-dining and preferred vendors)
  • Program supplies and materials
  • Marketing needs such as website domains (no funding will be given for printing expenses) 
  • Technological needs to make events virtual or hybrid
  • Events that do not comply with the law 
  • Events that require travel such as transportation and lodging expenses, registration fees, etc. 
  • Honorariums such as speaker fees or gifts. This also applies to honorariums or gifts for UM affiliated staff and faculty. This includes funding for hosting and accommodations (travel/hotels) for speakers
  • Gifts and prizes
  • Events where alcohol is present 
  • Events that have already occurred or are not happening during the current academic year 
  • Events where the primary audience is non-University students 
  • Events submitted solely by student fee-generated groups, such as the Michigan Student Assembly, Residence Hall Councils, and school/college student governments. Proposals submitted in conjunction with Voluntary Student Organizations may be considered. 
  • Events promoting a political agenda 
  • Events/Programs for academic credit or class projects 
  • Events that judge individuals on physical appearance or talent 
  • Religious services; note that educational programs centered on religion and spirituality are permitted 
  • Any “break” trips (including but not limited to spring break, alternative break, winter break, etc.) 
  • Funds cannot be used to directly benefit charity or fundraising efforts
  • Pre-Collegiate programs, including but not limited to recruitment and mentorship of minors 
  • Programs where the primary engagement method is through fashion and/or fashion shows. We welcome you to talk with our office about eligibility, prior to filling out an application, if you feel your program does meet our mission of social justice education



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Process and timeline

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Our grants application is an interactive process. Applicants are required to: 

  • Submit a completed online application (this includes the event flyer and budget) no later than 14 days prior to the date of your event (the earlier the better!) 
  • Attend a pre- and post-event meeting with MESA staff 
  • Provide feedback on the grants process 
  • Attend an end-of-the-semester celebration in the semester in which the event occurred


More resources

Find out more about zero-waste events (Office of Campus Sustainability) and additional funding sources outside MESA.

Office of Campus Sustainability

A zero waste event is one that aims to reduce waste, recycle and compost as much as possible to divert waste from the landfill. Office of Campus Sustainability can provide free compostable paper plates, utensils, bowls, and cups for student-led events.

Campus Involvement
Photo of checkbook

Offices and departments that regularly fund student organization events, plus the Student Organization Guidebook, which outlines funding policies and resources across campus including fundraising, donations, raffles and university support. 

Happening @ Michigan
Happening tile

Add your event to Happening @ Michigan—U-M's event's calendar—directly or through MaizePaiges. This opt-in tool expands the reach of your event through its feeds and tagging. Accessible fields for links, occurrences, locations, and other content.


Have any questions?

MESA staff is available to help clarify and work with you prior to submitting a proposal. We are always happy to consult with you about your program or suggest other sources of funding. Please reach out to us at any time if you have questions at [email protected] or call us at (734) 763-9044.