Revenue-Generating Activities

San José State University engages in many revenue-generating activities. Revenues from tuition are the university’s primary form of financial support, followed closely by State support, but many other revenue streams play an important role in enabling SJSU to fulfill its mission in a more meaningful way. For example, there are a number (how much $1.5 million) of scholarships and grants available each year to students that are provided by donors.

Maintaining and expanding SJSU’s revenue base is important to maintaining the quality of education the university offers. On the other hand, as a public university, San José State must approach developing new revenue streams in a way that is compliant with the public policies that govern the CSU and non-profit businesses. This document is intended to assist SJSU departments in evaluating potential new revenue streams under applicable laws and policies, and provide guidance in how to properly initiate new revenue streams. Its scope is limited to fees charged to willing participants (sometimes called “fee for service”).

Important Note:All money in support of ANY official University activity must be deposited in one of the Auxiliaries or the University accounts.  All campus funds must be deposited through the Bursars Office into our campus approved bank account and reported as part of our financial records. (Refer to Integrated CSU Administration Manual Centralized Management of Cash and Investments)  Should you know of any situation that may involve an authorized off campus bank please call Marna Genes, AVP Finance, as soon as possible at 408-924-1550 or extension 41500 from campus.

Categories of Revenues and Related Guidance

The California Educational Code (§89721) specifies the types of monies that CSU campuses may collect. Included are "optional (non-mandatory) fees and charges for services, materials, and facilities". The Code requires that "All fees that are deposited shall be used solely to meet the costs of providing these services, materials, and facilities." Following are descriptions of the most common revenue-generating activities and guidance specific to each.

I. Sales of Goods and Services from Educational Activities.

Formal instruction is occasionally supplemented to ensure students receive a quality educational experience. Additional services, activities and laboratory experiences may be needed to supplement traditional instructional offerings. Examples of educationally-related activities might include publishing newspapers or magazines, producing agricultural products, or providing technical services. In some cases, these activities may be ongoing and reach a scale that requires dedicated staff support. At this point, they become established campus activities.

The revenues from these activities should be deposited to a San José State trust fund (not an auxiliary). For infrequent or small-value activities, the SJSU Miscellaneous Trust Fund (65183) may be used without any preparation by a campus unit. Larger activities may require a dedicated fund – the university Budget and Financial Management Office can provide guidance for these situations. Revenues from Educational Activities should be deposited to account code 580020 – Sales & Services of Educational Activities. Some key things to remember when providing services for a fee:

  • Accounting Services will prepare your customer invoices. Instructions for providing billing information are listed on their website. Units should not prepare bills.
  • Check with the Risk Manager to ensure the University's insurance coverage extends to the activity – we want to keep our students, faculty and staff protected!
  • Contact the Purchasing Manager if any non-routine goods or services will be acquired to support the activity so she can provide guidance on procurement pathways.
  • The Bursar's Office offers e-Market Storefronts that allow customers to pay online with a credit card.

II. Campus Events

Examples of campus events include:

  • Music and Dance Concerts
  • Conferences
  • Intramural Sports
  • Youth Activities
  • Athletic Camps
  • Academic Ceremonies (e.g., convocation)
  • Debates
  • Academic Competitions
  • Workshops

In the case of campus events, an important "ownership" determination must be made, which will guide where event revenues will be deposited. Any time a campus event is hosted by an academic unit, the activity is deemed owned by SJSU and all revenues and expenses should be run through San José State. However, when an individual faculty member serves as conference chair or coordinates meetings of an external professional association, the activity is deemed owned by the Research Foundation, which has been charged with offering professional conferences on the University's behalf. In the case of events hosted by administrative or student services units, all campus events are considered owned by SJSU.

Revenues from campus events are generally deposited into a miscellaneous trust fund (65XXX). The SJSU Miscellaneous Trust Fund (65183) may be used for infrequent or small-value activities without any preparation. Please contact the Accounting Services department regarding which account code to use for these deposits.

III. Rental Receipts

Rental of University facilities is governed by Presidential Directive 2011-01. A lease agreement is required to ensure renters are aware of applicable policies and proper insurance is provided for the event.

Facilities Development & Operations is authorized to issue facility leases and collect rents. In cases where specialized equipment or facilities are made available for rental, such as a specialized lab or equipment, an appropriate fee must be developed on a case-by-case basis. Please refer to the Campus Fee Program on the Finance website for guidance in fee development and approval.

Incidental/infrequent use of specialized equipment or assets (such as works of art owned by the campus) may be collected by campus units and deposited to a dedicated miscellaneous trust fund (65XXX), or the SJSU Miscellaneous Trust Fund (65183).

IV. Sales of Assets

University assets may be sold when they have reached the end of their useful life, but still have market value. Per CSU policy, the proceeds from the sale of assets must be deposited to the same fund that purchased the asset, especially if it was purchased with SJSU Operating Funds.

V. Donations

The Tower Foundation is charged with accepting gifts and donations on the University's behalf. Gifts and donations should be deposited with the Tower Foundation so that donors receive a receipt for tax purposes.

VI. Sponsored Projects

The Research Foundation is charged with managing sponsored research activities for the University. Some educational activities might also be sponsored (e.g., educational internship programs funded by governmental agencies), but these must be reviewed by the Research Foundation on a case-by-case basis in order to determine ownership (Research Foundation or SJSU).

VII. Student Fees

There is a very specific CSU policy regarding students fees contained in Executive Order 1102. Additionally, since the inception of the Student Success, Excellence and Technology Fee in Fall 2012, many student fees were discontinued, such as course fees and the Instructionally-Related Activities (IRA) Fee. However, fees may still be collected for field trips, and SJSU has some specialized (participation-related) student fees that are still collected.

Please refer to the Campus Fee Program for information about proposing a new student fee.

Applicable Policies & Laws