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About the Arts Endowment Fund

About the AEF

The Arts Endowment Fund (AEF) was established in February 2006 following a student referendum. In the referendum, students in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Waterloo agreed to a refundable fee of $12, which would appear on their fee statements every term.

The money raised through this Voluntary Student Contribution (VSC) is pooled, and a portion is set aside to earn interest. The rest can be used immediately to fund student initiatives.

This VSC was collected for the first time in September 2006 from all undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts, including those registered through St. Jerome's and Renison, but excluding students registered in the School of Accounting & Finance, which has its own fund.

The Board of Directors is the body through which Arts students control the overall direction of the AEF and how its money is spent.

There are 11 voting members of the Board of Directors. Seven are undergraduate students. The remaining four are the Dean of Arts (or designate), a staff representative, a faculty representative, and an alumni representative.

AEF mission

Since its inauguration in Fall 2006, the Arts Endowment Fund and its Board of Directors have been committed to the improvement of the Arts undergraduate experience.

If you have a great idea -- particularly one that will benefit a number of UW Arts students -- and you are in need of funding, the Arts Endowment Fund may the solution you need.

The Arts Endowment Fund is held in trust by the University of Waterloo. Granting decisions are made by the Board of Directors of the AEF.

AEF operating guidelines

AEF guidelines

The Arts Endowment Fund (AEF) Guidelines were approved by student vote, at a General Meeting held on November 8, 2011. Please follow the link below to review the current AEF guidelines.

Funding policy

  1. The AEF Committee gives priority to proposals that will have the greatest benefit for the highest number of undergraduate Arts students at the University of Waterloo over the longest period of time. Proposals may include (but are not limited to) the purchase of equipment, conference attendance and operations, publications, and student-led initiatives. Projects with a proven educational benefit are of particular interest.
  2. Applicants must be undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Waterloo or the affiliated University and University Colleges, who are Full Members of the Arts Endowment Fund, having paid the per-term fee in support of the AEF. Students in the School of Accounting & Finance do not pay the AEF fee and are not eligible to apply for funding support.
  3. Approved project funding is a one-time allocation. The Arts Endowment Fund does not fund multiple-year commitments.
  4. Applicants are encouraged to review approved proposal samples (available on the AEF web site) prior to completing a submission.
  5. The Arts Endowment Fund does not provide funding support to charitable organizations or charitable activities.
  6. Applications for funding must be submitted at least one (1) month prior to an event.
  7. The AEF Committee will not consider retroactive payments for events that have already occurred or purchases already made.
  8. Expense claims where applicable must be submitted within one (1)month of the event or purchase, consistent with policy established by UWaterloo Finance.
  9. Applicants will be required to provide a report on their project.

 If you have questions regarding the AEF funding guidelines, please contact us at


  • The applicant or a designated representative must attend an AEF Board meeting if requested to do so to respond to questions about their proposal.
  • Only Full Members of the AEF may submit a proposal.
  • Please ensure that a complete formal estimate of costs associated with your project is included with your submission. This may include invoices, on-line quotes or estimates provided by Plant Operations.
  • Two formal estimates must be presented with any funding requests for equipment or furnishings.
  • AEF funding will not be provided to cover ongoing operating costs related to a proposal.
  • The AEF Board provides an acceptance letter to successful applicants, which confirms the extent of funding to be provided. Funding decisions made by the Board are final.
  • Any unused funds will revert back to the AEF.
  • If the cost of your project is higher than you expect, you or your group must be responsible for the difference. The Arts Endowment Fund will not provide the additional funding.

Frequently asked questions

A: All undergraduate students in the faculty of Arts at University of Waterloo are eligible for funding through the AEF, with the exception of those students in the School of Accounting and Finance, for which there is a separate fund.

Q: I would like to apply for funds. How can I do that?

A: Please see our proposals page. The AEF Board will consider grant applications each term. Grant requests received after the deadline may be considered for the next granting period.

Q: How can I get help with my application?

A: The AEF has a liaison between the AEF and the student body. That person can be reached here:

Q: I have applied for funds. When will I get an answer?

A: The Board of Directors meets on a regular basis. You will receive a confirmation that your package has been received and an update of your application status once your grant request has been considered.

Q: My submission was approved, how long do I have to use the funds?

You have 12 months to use the approved funds. This includes submission of invoices for payment and submitting any receipts for reimbursement.

Q: I was turned down. Can I re-apply?

A: All funding decisions are final, but members of the AEF are never discouraged from applying. The letter you receive from the Board will indicate the reason your proposal was not funded. For example, the Board may receive applications for more funding than is currently available. In that case, feel free to apply again. On the other hand, the Board may feel that your project proposal was not consistent with the objectives of the Endowment Fund. In that case, you may wish to re-evaluate your project and submit a new proposal that better suits the spirit of the Endowment Fund.

Q: I haven't received my refund cheque. When will I get it?

A: Refunds are handled by UW's Finance department in the 10th or 11th week of term. Typically, if a student has requested refunds from other sources on campus (e.g., dropping a course), Finance will only issue one combined payment per term.

Q: I missed the refund period. Can I still get my refund?

A: No. In accordance with UW practices, refunds are only issued during the general university refund period in the first three weeks of each term.

...What are you waiting for? Submit your application by the next deadline.