Budget Guidelines

Important Steps ⎥  Allowable and Non-Allowable Items  ⎥  Budget Review Process

All CUSE grants must include a detailed and itemized budget. Please download and fill out the student budget form and upload it with your application (please make sure to use Excel's "wrap text" feature so all of your information is saved properly).

Note: All of the campus funding agencies have different budget guidelines. You MUST include this form with your URApply application (by saving the completed form as a PDF file) for CUSE to consider your application complete. Please check with other funding agencies that you are applying to in order to see if you need to submit additional or different information.

Important Steps to Consider When Crafting a Budget
  1. Be sure to list every potential expense that you may incur during the project. If it is not listed on your original budget, CUSE cannot provide grant money to cover it. The most commonly overlooked expense is driving to/parking at an airport for the duration of your project.
  2. If you are applying to several different funding agencies on campus, DO NOT divide your budget up between agencies. Submit a full and complete budget to each agency. CUSE is collaborative and will work with other funding agencies to help determine the best way to fund eligible projects.
  3. If your expenses are projected to go over the funding limit for your project type, still submit a budget for all expected expenses. Do not simply stop budgeting when you reach CUSE’s limit.
  4. Remember to keep receipts for EVERYTHING. CUSE cannot cover expenses for anything that you do not document with a receipt. If you are traveling to a country where receipts aren’t common, we suggest you buy a receipt book like this to have vendors, such as taxi drivers, sign when you make a purchase.
  5. If you are traveling to a country with a different currency, we suggest you keep track of the exchange rate while you are traveling, and record it. You must submit your final expense report in US dollars and indicate the exchange rate you calculated with each day in order to receive accurate disbursements from CUSE.
  6. If you do not end up spending the initial 75% allocation of your grant, or cannot document that you did so with receipts, you will be expected to reimburse CUSE for the undocumented amount.
  7. All students traveling internationally MUST purchase GeoBlue Health Insurance for $14/week while abroad. The group access code for short-term (less than a semester) Notre Dame projects is GQB-9847. Please make sure to include this expense on your budget or CUSE will not be able to cover the cost.
  8. If you are not able to undertake your project (for whatever reason), your CUSE grant will be rescinded and you will be required to return any funds you have received in full.
  9. You can view a student budget example here. 

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CUSE allows the following items to be included in your budget:
  • Round trip airfare, ground transportation to get to the airport or train station, train travel, and public transportation.
  • Mileage, if using your personal car, at the rate of 15 cents per mile. (Total must not exceed cost of airfare or train travel to destination.)
  • Rental car + gasoline. The per mile rate does not apply if using a rental vehicle.
  • Lodging.
  • Meals. Actual and reasonable costs for meals, with itemized receipts, not to exceed $35/day per diem for short term projects, or $80/week for groceries for longer term (2 weeks +) projects. Please be sure that the submitted receipt includes the tip. (Please note: The $35/day rate cannot be divided over multiple days. If you spend $20 one day, you cannot spend $50 the next day.)
  • Conference registration fees and/or related conference preparation expenses, such as  photocopying, poster printing, etc.
  • Vaccinations and universal medical insurance. CUSE may fund Visa and passport fees for longer term projects, internships and service learning.
The following items are NON-ALLOWABLE on CUSE grants and will not be funded:
  • Tuition or any “program fees” charged to students by volunteer, immersion or service learning organizations that do not apply to direct costs. (Please note: sometimes these fees include the costs of lodging and meals. We must see a breakdown of the program fee that shows exactly what is being paid for and the total amount that goes to each portion in order to fund these parts of a program fee.)
  • Gasoline or any car repair or maintenance costs that are incurred, e.g., flat tire replacement, oil changes, etc., if you’re using your personal car.
  • Personal care items such as toiletries or laundry supplies.
  • Crowdsourced travel or accomodation services, such as Uber, AirBNB, etc.
  • Meals for anyone other than the grant recipient, unless relevant to the project purpose. In that event, name, title, organization, and project-related purpose of the meal must be provided in the originally submitted budget. Still may not exceed per diem. (Please note: we encourage you to always pay separately for your meals so that you can get an itemized receipt of only your costs.)
  • Durable equipment such as audio and video recorders, books, computer software or hard ware, digital cameras. etc.
  • Alcohol.

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CUSE Budget Review Process

We encourage you to schedule an appointment with the Administrative Coordinator before you submit your proposal to review your budget before submitting it officially, especially if you have never crafted a grant budget before. Upon official submission of your budget, it is reviewed by CUSE’s Administrative Coordinator to ensure that the most economical choices and decisions are being made. If/when the opportunity to save resources is identified, the budget will be adjusted. Some items in your budget may be non-allowable. Also, partial awards may be made due to limited funds. If you wish more clarity or specific adjustment information, please contact the CUSE Administrative Coordinator.  If you are awarded a grant, CUSE will provide you with an updated budget so that you know exactly what your grant will and will not cover.


Please review the budget FAQs for frequently asked questions.  We also have a guide of travel resources to help you in your budget planning.

Questions? Contact the CUSE Administrative Coordinator for more information. 

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