Student Activities Funding Commission - Tier System


Maximum allocations are determined by an organization's tier. Each academic year, SAFC places student organizations in tiers based on their historical spending. Each semester, SAFC sets the maximum allocation for each tier after considering the number of organizations applying for funds, amount of funds applied for and spent historically, and the amount of funds available to SAFC. The Tier System was introduced in 2012.

On this page:

What Are Maximum Allocations for Each Tier

Tiers for 2015-2016  
Performance Tier 1 Cap of $7,500
Tier 2 Cap of $5,000
Tier 3 Cap of $4,000
Tier 4 Cap of $3,000
Tier 5 Cap of $2,000
Tier 6 Cap of $1,000
New Group Tier Cap of $500

Who is in Each Tier

  2013-2014 2014-2015
Performance Tier 1 10 13
Tier 2 35 39
Tier 3 61 31
Tier 4 51 65
Tier 5 101 75
Tier 6 323 396
New Group Tier 38 N/A

Numbers represent actual numbers of clubs in each tier. 

How Groups Move Between Tiers


  • Groups advance into a higher tier* — if they spend allocated funds efficiently in each semester (efficiency spending) and are allocated a significant amount of funds relative to the maximum allocation allowed for its tier in at least one semester (tier spending).
  • Groups stay in the same tier* — if they meet efficiency spending requirements in each semester, but do not meet the tier spending threshold in at least one semester.
  • Groups move down a tier — if they do not meet efficiency spending criteria in each semester.
  • SAFC places new groups** into the new organization $500 tier for the first semester that it submits a regular budget request. New groups advance into Tier 6 once they meet the requirements for moving up listed above.

* Note that groups must submit an annual performance report that is approved by the Commission to advance into or stay in the Performance Tier.
** New groups are any organization that either did not receive or did not spend any allocated funds during the previous two fiscal years.

An Illustration:

An Example from 2013 – 2014:

  • Assume a group is in Tier 5 and can receive up to a maximum of $2,500 (tier cap)
  • Group receives $2,200 each semester (group is allocated $2,200 each semester)
  • Group spends $1,900 each semester
  • Group stays in same tier for next year


Spending Percentages

  • Efficiency spending percentage = 85%
  • Tier spending percentage = 90%

How Groups Enter the Performance Tier

Organizations seeking to remain in or advance to performance tiers are required to submit an annual performance report. To facilitate such reporting, the Commission provides means for organizations to submit information about their activities over the previous academic year. The annual performance report will allow organizations to submit responses about their membership, awards, honors, contribution to the Cornell community etc. The commission then evaluates who will be eligible to move into the Performance Tier based on a set of criteria. Note that groups must first meet the efficiency and tier spending criteria.