Event Approval, Payment, and Reimbursement Policies for Student Events

Pre-Approval Process for Club/Group Events (must be completed to receive funding for your event)

Off-site student events, as well as on-site events with alcohol (unless purchased through Kafe Kellogg), must be pre-approved through the Student Affairs Office and comply with Northwestern University’s processes and policies. To do so, choose either On-Campus or Off-campus below and follow the processes and policies listed on that page for submission. Please allow a minimum of 15 business days for approval to be granted.

First, choose one:

  1. Plan an On-Campus Event (includes outdoor events on-campus)
  2. Plan an Off-Campus Event


A contract is used for payments for personal services provided by an individual (or entity) who is not employed by Northwestern University.

Because a contract is between the University and the person(s) contracted, there are three preliminary items to keep in mind:

1. Students are not allowed to sign contracts. If a contract is signed by a student, it will make them personally responsible for fulfilling the terms of the contract and remove the University from having any responsibility or liability.

2. An authorized University Official must sign all contracts.

3. Personal funds should never be used to pay for contracted services. Under no circumstances will they be reimbursed.

A Contract Should Be Used For:
• Any payments to individuals or services
• An artist, performer, or entertainer (DJs, exercise instructors
• Caterer, sound/light company, equipment rentals (photo booths, AV), balloon delivery and set-up, ambulance services
• To purchase tickets for an off-campus event or show (sporting events, comedy shows)

Contract Approval Process

Student event contracts (anything with a signature line) need to be reviewed and approved by the University through the Student Affairs Office before a payment can be made. It takes a minimum of 15 business days to process contracts.

Deposits and final payments on contracts must  be done directly from your group SOFO or KSA account and approved by your group treasurer and will take an additional 10-15 business days to cut a check after a contract is fully approved. Please be sure to take the check processing time into account when booking your event and submitting for approval/contract review.

NU does require that we get a contract for any services (e.g. DJs, referees, bands, dance instructors,  etc.):

  1. If the performer/individual/vendor provides a contract, use the same approval process as the contracts section above.
  2. If the performer/individual/vendor does not provide a contract, please use one of the following NU contract templates and submit it through the approval process.You will also need them to submit this W-9 form signed in this current year.
Contract Template for Individuals
Contracts Template for Vendors
Once approval is granted, deposits or payments on contracts can be done. Please see below to learn how to pay a vendor/venue once approval of your event has been granted.

Payment & Reimbursement Requests

Reimbursement requests must adhere to all University policies and procedures. Failure to do so will result in a denial of reimbursement.

Please note: Students cannot be reimbursed for payments to individuals or vendors for contracted services. A University Check is required.
  1. To file for reimbursement, follow this link.
  2. To pay a vendor by University Check, follow this link