Dedicated Student Fees for Sustainability

Appalachian State University

In March 2004, 81% of voting students at Appalachian State University supported a $5 per semester increase in student fees to fund the installation of renewable energy technologies on campus. The increase was approved by ASU's Board of Trustees in fall 2004, and by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors in spring 2005. The fee went into effect at the beginning of the 05/06 school year, and generates between $120,000 and $150,000 annually. The funds are administered by a Renewable Energy Initiative Committee, comprised of six students selected by the committee through an application process, one member from Student Government Association, three faculty members, one staff representative, and a representative from ASU Design and Construction. The fee increase is to be collected for three years, meaning that it will expire before the 08/09 school year unless an extension is approved.

Auraria Higher Education Center

In April 2004, 95% of voting students at each of the three institutions that share the Auraria Higher Education Center campus - University of Colorado at Denver, Metro State University and Community College of Denver - supported a $1 per semester increase in student fees to fund the purchase of wind power and the installation of an on-site solar energy system. The fee went into effect at the beginning of the 04/05 school year, and generates approximately $80,000 annually. The fee is to be assessed for three years, with a requirement that students vote again, in 2007, on whether to renew it.

Bellevue College

SESF Mission: The Student Environmental Sustainability Fee is intended to provide resources that are sustainable for student use and education while enhancing BC’s efforts to continue to create a campus that is environmentally responsible. History: In 2008, the students of Bellevue College assessed themselves a quarterly fee (up to $10 a quarter) to create a “sustainable” fund called the Student Environmental Sustainability Fund (SESF). The purpose of this fund is to provide sustainability resources for students, promote sustainable education and help create a sustainable learning environment. Updates: In Fall 2012, the SESF helped fund a small solar array and an energy monitoring dashboard accessible to the campus community.

Bemidji State University

Beginning in the fall of 2008, a new student fee at Bemidji State University will empower students to make the Bemidji State campus a more environmentally friendly place and assist in the University's efforts to hire its first full-time sustainability coordinator. The fee, which is expected to generate approximately $35-40,000 per year, will fund student projects and will support 50 percent of the salary for the sustainability coordinator. Beginning in 2010, the green fee will subsidize 100 percent of the sustainability coordinator's salary.

Bowling Green State University

The Student Green Fund is a pool of money which is available for application by BGSU students to fund a variety of “green” and environmental projects on campus. During the spring semester of 2009, interested BGSU students met and determined there was an interest on the part of the student community to create a fund from an opt-out $5.00 per semester fee that would be used to finance environmental and “green” projects to help BGSU become more of a leader in the area of environmental sustainability. After obtaining the support of USG, GSS, other student organizations, and many signatures of students on petitions, a proposal was submitted to and approved by the Board of Trustees in June of 2009. Since January of 2010, the fund has been available for application green projects which are proposed by BGSU students. A committee of students reviews all applications for projects, making the selections for funding on a rolling, continuous basis. Thank you for your interest in the Student Green Initiative Fund! The following pages provide information about how to complete and submit an application for funding for a project that will make BGSU an even “greener” place. We encourage your applications and hope that you will share this site and information about the fund with others. For questions about the Green Fund, contact Dr. Nick Hennessy, Sustainability Coordinator at

Central Oregon Community College

In May 2006, 72% of voting students at Central Oregon Community College supported an increase in student fees of $0.25 per credit hour up to $3 per semester to purchase renewable energy. The fee went into effect at the beginning of Summer term 2006 and generates around $8,500 per term.

Centre College

In spring 2008, 82 percent of students at Centre aproved a $20 annual fee to support green energy production through the purchase of renewable energy credits from a local provider. In October 2008, the Centre Board of Trustees unanimously accepted the student approved green fee.

Coastal Carolina University

The CCU Student Green Fund provides students with an opportunity to receive funding for sustainability projects and activities on campus to improve CCU's environmental performance and reduce campus emissions. An initiative of two students in 2011 and supported by the Student Government Association and the Campus and Community Sustainability Initiative, the CCU Green Fund was designed to seed innovative ideas from CCU students with one-time grants for their green projects. The Student Green Fund asks for voluntary donations of $5 per semester to support student green projects.

College of William & Mary

In the fall of 2008, the College of William and Mary (VA) implemented a $15 per semester green fee. The green fee, initially proposed by the Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC), allows for facilities upgrades, student research grants for sustainability-related projects, and the creation of a green endowment to fund further actions in the future. A student referendum showed 85 percent support for the measure, and the College's Board of Visitors approved the proposal in May of 2008. The fees are administered by the College's Committee on Sustainability.

Colorado Mesa University

In Fall 2002, the Fee Allocation Committee of Mesa State College's Student Government Association approved a $1 per semester increase in student fees to fund the purchase of renewable energy.

Connecticut College

In spring 2001, over 75% of the students at Connecticut College signed a petition supporting a $25 per year increase in student fees to fund the purchase of renewable energy. With support from the Connecticut College Student Government Association, Connecticut College's Board of Trustees approved the increase in May 2001. The fee went into effect at the beginning of the 2001 fall term.

East Tennessee State University

Since 2008, a Campus Sustainability Fee of $5 per semester has been paid by each ETSU student to fund environmentally, socially and economically sustainable initiatives and infrastructure at the university.

Evergreen State College, The

In January 2005, 91% of voting students at Evergreen State College supported a $1 per credit fee increase (up to $20.00 maximum per quarter) to purchase renewable energy and fund the installation of renewable energy and energy conservation technologies on campus. The increase was approved by Evergreen's Board of Trustees in June 2005, and went into effect at the beginning of the 05/06 academic year. The fee generates approximately $240,000 annually. $10,000 of the money raised is used to cover administrative overhead and to maintain a Clean Energy Committee, including the provision of stipends for student members of the committee. 90% of the remaining revenue is used to purchase renewable energy, while the other 10% is put into a fund for on-campus renewable energy and efficiency projects. The fund is administered by the Clean Energy Committee, which is comprised of 4 students, the Director of Student Activities, the Director of Facilities, and one member of the faculty.

Georgia College & State University

The Georgia College Student Green Fee was initiated in 2010 to develop collaborative research between students, staff and faculty that will make our campus more sustainable and promote sustainable practices in our community. Each semester, students contribute $5 to support this fee. A student-led committee solicits and reviews student /student organization proposals to implement and evaluate sustainability practices. This fee allows Georgia College student researchers an opportunity to develop effective strategies for to improving the environmental sustainability of our campus and local community. Alternative funding opportunities are available for staff, faculty, alumni, and others who want to contribute to the Georgia College Green Initiative.

Harvard University

In February 2004, 58% of voting students at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government supported a $5 per semester increase in student fees to purchase renewable energy. The fee was collected during the 04/05 academic year, after which the Kennedy School of Government administration decided to pay for renewable energy out of the School's administrative budget and the student fee was discontinued.

Lakehead University

In 2007-2008, the Sustainability Initiative successfully spearheaded a student referendum that asked students to pay $3 each, per year, toward environmental causes. That fee amounts to approximately $18,000 a year.

Mercyhurst College

The Green Team at Mercyhurst College passed the Student Green Energy Fee in October 2011. This fee will take $5 from each student’s account every term to increase Mercyhurst’s commitment to renewable green energy.

Middle Tennessee State University

In fall 2005, 89% of voting students at Middle Tennessee State University supported an $8 per semester fee increase to purchase renewable energy and fund the installation of renewable energy and energy conservation technologies on campus. The increase was approved for a one year trial period by the Tennessee Board of Regents in June 2006, and went into affect at the beginning of the 06/07 academic year. $5 of the fee is used to purchase renewable energy, while the remaining $3 is used to finance on-campus energy efficiency and conservation projects.

Missouri State University

Quick facts: - In March 2009, students voted to implement a $2 per semester fee to go towards sustainability on campus. - This fund is to be used solely by students for students. - The only requirement for submitting a proposal to use the fund is that you are a student. - The Sustainability Commission, made up of five students and non-voting faculty and staff members, will evaluate all proposals submitting and allocate funds accordingly. How to utilize it: - Formulate an idea for a sustainable project (see sample list below). - Compile basic research of what, where, how, how much, when, who, etc. of the project. - Reference the Student Government Association website ( for guidelines and the linke below* for a sample proposal. - Seek out members of the Sustainability Commission or other knowledgeable students and faculty if you have any questions. - Submit your proposal to the SGA Director of Sustainability at any point during the semester. - Be prepared to present, explain, and defend your proposal.

Mount Allison University

In the spring of 2009, students at Mount Allison University voted via a Students Administrative Council referendum in favor of levying a $10 green fee aimed at reducing carbon emissions in the community, both on and off campus.

Northeastern Illinois University

The Northeastern Illinois University Board of Trustees voted to approve a student referendum to create a Campus Green Fee of $3 per semester to fund clean energy installations on campus effective Fall 2007. The referendum passed by an overwhelming 75% of student votes. The Green Fee will help fund clean energy improvements on Northeastern's campus.

Northeastern University

The Renewable Energy Fund (REF) was created in 2008 with the intent to show student initiative towards climate neutrality at Northeastern. The REF is intended to be allocated by students for the creation and purchase of renewable energy for use on campus. For more information see:

Northern Arizona University

In March 2010, two-thirds of the voting students at the Northern Arizona University at Flagstaff supported a mandatory $ 5 fee per semester towards a student controlled Green Fund. The NAU Green Fund was approved by the Arizona Board of Regents and will take effect in the Fall 2010 semester. The Green Fund is financed by a $5 per student, per semester, mandatory student fee (at the Flagstaff Mountain Campus only). The Fund will support projects on campus that develop renewable energy use, increase energy and water efficiency, reduce waste, and establish a culture of sustainability on campus. The Green Fund will meet the priority objective to reduce NAU's carbon footprint, emphasizing strong student participation, high visibility, and leveraged funding. The Fund is managed by 6 students and 3 NAU faculty and staff.

Northland College

Appalachian State University

Portland State University

Portland State University (PSU) May 12 joined a growing list of schools initiating a jump in student fees to cover sustainability initiatives. Voting students came out 72 percent in favor of the Green Initiative Fund (TGIF), a referendum that puts in place a $5 per term "green fees" expected to raise more than $500,000 to support initiatives the reduce the school's impact on the environment. It includes a $10-$15 Flexpass subsidy for students who use TriMet, and creates a student-run special sustainability projects fund to support small student-led sustainable projects, such as building new bike parking stations or installing water bottle refilling stations, around campus.

Sewanee - The University of the South

In March 2004, the Sewanee Student Assembly passed a resolution calling for student fee increases of $15/student in 2005, $30/student in 2006, and $45/student in 2007 and thereafter to fund the purchase of renewable energy. The Sewanee Board of Regents approved this plan in February 2005, and collection of the fee began in fall 2005.

Southern Oregon University

In 2007, 85% of the SOU student body voted to pass a proposal to add a $15 fee to offset all of the University's electricity and natural gas consumption. In 2008, SOU purchased 15,500 MWh of green tags from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF). In the 2008-2009 College & University Green Power Challenge, SOU ranked first in the Cascade Conference. In May 2011 SOU received a $23,000 refund from BEF (20% of the total amount received by BEF is refunded back to the school for its own projects.)

Tennessee Technological University

In fall 2005, 89% of voting students at Tennessee Tech supported an $8 per semester fee increase to purchase renewable energy and fund the installation of renewable energy and energy conservation technologies on campus. The increase was approved for a one year trial period by the Tennessee Board of Regents in June 2006, and went into affect at the beginning of the 06/07 academic year. $5 of the fee is used to purchase renewable energy, while the remaining $3 is used to finance on-campus energy efficiency and conservation projects.

Texas A&M University

The Aggie Green Fund Advisory Board — which contains mostly students but also faculty and staff members — reviews and decides on proposals, which are open to any Texas A&M student, staff or faculty member. The fee came about after a group of student organizations pushed for it two years ago, and a student referendum passed with 57 percent of the vote. It generates more than $300,000 a year.

Texas State University, San Marcos

Texas State University - In 2000, Texas State University's student chapter of the National Association of Environmental Professional (NAEP), sponsored by the department of Geography, conceived the Environmental Service Fee. The President of the student organization worked with two Associated Student Government (ASG) senators and introduced state legislation enacting a student fee that applies to environmental projects and education on campus. These student leaders originally drafted a broad bill that defined the idea of a campus environmental fee which was passed by the ASG. NAEP members administered a poll in fall 2000 to see what the campus interest would be and received tremendous support. The bill was approved by President's Cabinet and the Texas State University System Board of Regents. In 2003, during the 78th Legislative Session, the Texas Legislature approved the bill and it was signed into law by Governor Rick Perry. In March 2004 it was presented to the student body for a vote and was approved by an overwhelming 82.9 percent. The fee generates $73,000 annually. The funds are administered by the Environmental Service Fee Committee, comprised of 7 students, 3 faculty members, and staff from Housing and Residence Life, Facilities, and Finance and Support Services. The fee may be increased by the Board of Regents and by a majority vote during a student government election. Projects approved by the Committee include: a vermicomposting program, installing duel flush toilets in an older administrative building, Bobcat Blend (winner of the Texas Environmental Excellence Award, a program of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality), rain water collection systems for the departments of biology and agriculture, development of the Sustainable Farm, installation of water hydration stations in the residence halls and other campus buildings, installation of a Food 4 Thought Organic Garden, and many other projects.

University of Alaska Anchorage

The Green Fee is the $3.00 you pay along with your student government fee at UAA. This promotes sustainability efforts in the university community by funding student initiatives defined by environmental stewardship, economic pragmatism, and social responsibility.

University of Alaska Fairbanks

In the Spring of 2009 the students of UAF voted to have a $20 fee levied upon all students in the interests of sustainability. The fee is what is now the Student Initiative for Renewable Energy Now, otherwise called the SIREN fee. The SIREN fee was created with the specific intent that it operate quickly. The fee will retire in the Spring semester of 2020 after ten years of activity. With over 5,000 students funding this movement, there will be enough revenue to install alternative energy systems, encourage greener purchasing, establish sustainable programs and change the way we look at energy on the UAF campuses.

University of California, Berkeley

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) provides funding for projects that reduce UC Berkeley's negative impact on the environment and make UC Berkeley more sustainable. TGIF will allocate funds to projects that increase the amount of renewable energy used on campus, increase energy efficiency, and reduce the amount of waste created by UC Berkeley. Portions of the fund will support education initiatives, student aid (via return to aid), and internships. TGIF is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority governance board.

University of California, Los Angeles

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) is a grant-making fund for sustainability projects on UCLA's campus. Roughly, $200,000 per year is available for student-initiated sustainability projects on campus. Projects will be selected for funding by an annually appointed Grant Making Committee consisting of students, faculty, and staff in which students have the majority vote. TGIF is funded by a $4 per quarter student fee beginning in Fall 2008 and persisting for 10 years. The fee referendum was overwhelmingly approved by the student body during the May 2008 USAC elections with 75% voting in favor.

University of California, Santa Cruz

In spring 2006, 69% of voting students at UC Santa Cruz supported a $3 per quarter fee increase to purchase renewable energy. The increase went into effect in Fall 2006, and covers both undergraduate and graduate students. The fee generates approximately $135,000 annually, of which 25% (approximately $34,000) goes to assure that lower income students have Financial Aid assistance in paying the fee. The fee is a permanent fee with no ending date. Money collected supports the student-run Carbon Fund, which funds sustainability projects on and off campus.

University of Colorado Boulder

In April 2000, 83% of voting students at CU Boulder supported a $1 per semester fee increase to purchase renewable energy. The fee went into effect at the beginning of the 00/01 academic year, and continued for 4 years.

University of Colorado Colorado Springs

In April 2008, 76% of voting students at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs voted in favor of a $5 fee per semester to fund the installation of solar panels on university buildings.

University of Denver

In spring 2005, students at DU supported a $6 per quarter fee increase to purchase renewable energy. The fee went into effect at the beginning of the 06/07 academic year.

University of Illinois at Chicago

A refundable $4.00 per semester Campus Sustainability Fee was approved in January 2012, effective Fiscal Year 2013. The fee was proposed by students to assist UIC in aligning its operations and academics with the principles of sustainability. It was unanimously endorsed by the Student Fee Advisory Committee. A student-led committee, supported by faculty and staff, will make the allocation decisions for student-driven initiatives.

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

In Spring 2010, students passed a referendum that raised the Sustainable Campus Environment Fee from $5 to $14. The measure passed by 77% approval, and established University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as having the largest funding pool like it in the United States.

University of Kentucky

In the Student Government election of late March 2006, two-thirds of the students casting ballots supported a new fee of $6 to $8 per semester to be used for energy conservation and renewable energy initiatives on campus. After support systems were in place to accommodate administration of the funds, the Board of Trustees agreed to levy a mandatory Environmental Stewardship Fee of 75 cents per semester to begin the 2009-2010 academic year. The newly established Student Sustainability Council will administer the funds, which will total about $35,000 per academic year.

University of Maryland, College Park

Students at the University of Maryland have contracted goats to combat weeds in a proposed garden area near the School of Public Health. More than 30 goats grazed for three days, clearing the way for fruit and vegetable growing. Also aimed at bringing attention to the new garden, the $13,00 initiative was funded by an Office of Sustainability grant from mandatory student sustainability fees.

University of Memphis

All full-time students pay a $10 Sustainable Campus Fee, commonly known as the Green Fee, each fall and spring semester. This fee was initiated by students and began in 2007. The purpose of the fee is to support projects and practices that make our campus more energy efficient, environmentally friendly and sustainable. In the spring of each year, the Sustainable Campus (Green) Fee Committee, with representation from students, faculty and administration, invites proposals for use of the fee. The committee then makes recommendations for funding, which must be approved by the president. The committee has also invited all students, faculty and staff to submit ideas on how the fee could be used to make our campus more sustainable. In 2010 approximately 70 members of the campus community submitted ideas, many of which are represented in funded projects. For more information on the Green Fee, contact the Office of the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students, 901/678-2188.

University of Missouri

The Student Sustainable Initiative Fund is intended to provide funding for student-oriented projects that promote environmental sustainability at the University of Missouri. SSIF funds come out of the Student Sustainability Fee, a $1 per student per semester fee that was passed by campus-wide referendum in February 2009.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

In February 2003, 75% of voting students at UNC-Chapel Hill supported a $4 per semester fee increase to fund the installation of renewable energy technologies on campus. The increase was approved by UNC-Chapel Hill's Board of Trustees in January 2004, and by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors in March 2004. The increase went into effect in Fall 2004, and covers both undergraduate and graduate students. It generates approximately $185,000 a year, which is administered by the Renewable Energy Special Projects Committee (RESPC). RESPC comprised of 7 students appointed by the Student Body President (2 students), the Speaker of Congress (1 chair and 2 members), and the Graduate and Professional Student President (2 members). Members are advised by ex officio members including the Sustainability Coordinator, the Director of Energy Services, the Vice Chancellor of Campus Services, and other faculty and staff. The original referendum stipulated that students would revote on the fee increase within two years. In February 2005, 85% of voting students re-approved the fee, and in February 2009, 83% of voting students re-approved and expanded the fee to allow funds to be used for energy efficiency projects as well

University of Oregon

In April 2005, 81% of voting students at University of Oregon supported a fee increase of up to $2 per semester to purchase renewable energy and fund the installation of renewable energy and energy conservation technologies on campus. The University administration then approved an increase of $0.60 per semester. The increase went into effect in Fall 2005, and generates $36,000 annually. A portion of the funds are used to purchase wind power for the University's student union. The remaining funds are distributed to on-campus energy conservation, alternative energy, and awareness projects by the Energy Conservation and Alternative Futures Fund.

University of Utah

In March 2003, the Associated Students of the University of Utah unanimously passed a bill supporting a $1 per semester fee increase to purchase renewable energy. The increase was approved by Utah Board of Trustees in March 2004, and went into effect at the beginning of the 04/05 academic year. The fee will be re-evaluated after four years.

University of Vermont

The Clean Energy Fund (CEF) was approved in May 2008 by UVM's Board of Trustees. A $10 per semester student fee supports the fund, generating about $225,000 annually. The CEF first gained momentum as student-led intiative in 2005, and was endorsed by the Student Government Association in 2007, after a randomized survey of 419 students showed that 68 percent would pay $10 per semester for the development of clean energy on the UVM campus. Twenty-one projects have been financed between 2008 and 2012.

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

In December 2005, UW-Green Bay's Student Senate supported a $1.69 per semester fee increase to purchase renewable energy. The increase was approved by the Student University Fee Allocation Committee in January 2006, and went into effect at the beginning of the 06/07 academic year. UW-Green Bay Chancellor Bruce Shepard committed to matching the students' funding with an equal amount that will be used for energy conservation and energy efficiency upgrades on the campus. The student fee generates $17,000-18,000 per year, and is set to expire after 4 years.

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

In April of 2008, students were asked if they wanted to invest five dollars per semester in renewable energy and energy efficiency on campus. The answer, with 2222 votes and from 89% of students voting, was a resounding, "Yes."

Utah State University

Students at Utah State University have approved a student-proposed $3 per-semester fee that will create an office of sustainability on its Logan campus and fund student projects geared toward conserving resources. The Blue Goes Green fee was modeled on a small fee approved by University of Utah students two years ago and has since funded a variety of projects including the resurrection of an old fruit orchard and research into low-water irrigation for campus landscaping.

Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Green Fund was established in the spring of 2011 as a way of connecting student sustainability ideas with the means to implement them. We are looking for ideas that are both visible and educational in nature. Past projects awarded have involved solar panels, light sensors, and shower timers.

Western Michigan University

The Student Sustainability grants are available to students paying the campus Sustainability Fee, which students approved by vote in 2010. WMU's Student Sustainability Grant Program awarded $10,928 to four projects during the spring round of funding to help foster a campus culture of sustainability. Coupled with the $31,803 that was awarded to six projects in the fall semester, the program has dispensed a total of $42,731 during the 2011-12 academic year.

Western Washington University

In spring 2004, 85% of voting students at Western Washington supported a fee increase of up to $19 per quarter to purchase renewable energy credits and finance student projects devoted to increasing energy efficiency, decreasing energy consumption, and generating renewable energy. A fee increase of a to-be-determined amount less than $19 per quarter was approved by the WWU Board of Trustees in February 2005. In June 2005, the Board approved a Green Energy Fee of $1.05 per credit with a maximum of $10.50 per quarter. Collection of the fee began in fall 2005. The fee generates approximately $355,000 annually. It may be renewed for up to four years with appropriate annual adjustments in the level of the fee based on projected costs for renewable energy. In 2010 WWU students voted to expand the green fee to continue to finance the University’s renewable energy certificates. As of 2011, students pay $21 per academic year toward the Green Energy Fee.