Budget Office
Guidelines for Self-Supporting Programs

 1. Definition of Self-Supporting Programs

Self-supporting programs are unrestricted accounts that record revenue and expenditures related to regular Education and General (E&G) activities. They are deemed self-supporting because the revenue must support the direct and indirect costs related to the programs.

 2. Purpose of Self-Supporting Programs

The main purpose of creating a self-supporting program is to track and evaluate the performance of a new project or course, or/and account for one-time unbudgeted event such as a conference. In cases where a grant does not cover all costs of operations, a related self-supporting fund can be requested.

 3. Criteria for Evaluating Self-Supporting Programs

The College will evaluate whether or not self-supporting programs should remain self-supporting. Evaluation of programs will occur during the budget development process.  Financial and Administrative Operations in consultation with the respective budget head will apply the following criteria during the evaluation:

  • Performance and viability of program

  • The program operates at break-even at a minimum

  • Longevity of program

    If the program has been in existence for two complete fiscal years, the administration will evaluate on an annual basis whether to budget in the subsequent institutional budget.

  • Purpose of self-supporting programs is to act as a contingency fund for institutional fund, cover costs not funded by the corresponding grant:

  • If the purpose of the program is a contingency fund for a related institutional account, the self-supporting program will become an institutional budget with a budget adjustment to the related institutional account.

    If the purpose of the self-supporting program is to cover costs not funded by a corresponding grant, due to its temporary nature, the program will remain as self-supporting only to fund those expenditures related to the grant and only during the duration of the grant. (When the grant ends, the remaining fund balance will be transferred to the general fund).

  • Commitment by the College to the program for community service purpose, thereby budgeted in the general fund.

    The College has committed certain programs as a service to the community. They are not meant to be entrepreneurial and should not qualify as self-supporting. Therefore, those programs should be set up as institutional accounts and the existing self-supporting programs should be transferred and budgeted in the institutional fund.

 4. Budget Process for Self-Supporting Programs

A) Current Programs

  • All programs budgets must be based on realistic revenue expectations and justified by the needs of the program. Budgeted expenditures have to be directly related to the specific purpose of the program and are subject to the same criteria as outlined in the Budget Development instructions for the institutional fund.

  • The budget head must follow the budgeting process outlined in the Planning/Budget Guide for the Budget Development year.

B) New Programs

  • Any request to create a new self-supporting program needs to be forwarded to the Budget Office with the appropriate approvals.

  • The request needs to include the complete Banner Fund request including the rationale and justification for the creation of the new program. Budget forms must be attached to the request.

  • The new program budget must be based on realistic revenue expectations and justified by the needs of the program.


C) Overhead Recovery Rate

Self-supporting program budgets should have a realistic revenue amount.  Most self-supporting programs are currently charged an overhead recovery rate of 15% based on the actual revenue generated by those self-supporting programs.

D) Budget and Accounting Monitoring

Budget heads will be responsible to make sure that only expenditures related to the program are charged to the respective self-supporting budget. By the same token, self-supporting program expenditures may not be charged to any institutional account. Budget heads will be responsible for monitoring the programs by reviewing the Banner expenditures either online (screen FGIBDST) or thru monthly reports (FGRBDSC/ODTA). Budget heads are required to report any discrepancies to the program’s assigned accountant for research and work with them to resolve the issues.

 Program Deficits:

Any budget deficit (difference between budgeted and actual expenditures) or negative fund balance (difference between revenue and expenditures) need to be explained in writing to their respective Vice President.

Budget deficits may necessitate a budget amendment to be approved by the Board of Trustees.

Overall budget deficit within the executive area will be covered by the executive areas institutional budgets as is already the practice for grants and contracts.

 Excess of Revenue Over Expenditures:

Prior to closing the fiscal year, excess of revenues over expenditures within the individual programs will be used to cover deficits within the executive areas self-supporting programs.

Net surplus in the respective funds will be evaluated by the Vice President of Financial & Administrative Operations and respective area Vice President for either carry forward to next fiscal year in the individual fund or transferred to the respective area’s contingency fund at the discretion of the respective Vice President.