LEF/ARCADE Descriptions & Guidelines

Both LEF and ARCADE draw from the Student Life Fee and are administered by the ASA on behalf of the Division for Student Life and the Graduate Student Office. All ASA-recognized groups as well as Club Sports, FSILGs, and dorms are eligible to apply to LEF and ARCADE. Currently, LEF/ARCADE receives $157,000 every academic year to allocate over 4 funding cycles.

LEF/ARCADE Funding Cycles and Deadlines
Funding Cycle Summer Fall Winter Spring
Events Occurring Jul-Sep Oct-Dec Jan-Mar Apr-Jun
Deadline Jun 1 Sep 1 Dec 1 Mar 1
Late Application Deadline Jun 8 Sep 8 Dec 8 Mar 8
Report Deadline 30 days after event
Final Report Deadline Oct 31 Jan 31 Apr 30 Jul 31

Note: The deadlines for each cycle may change, but the actual deadlines will not be earlier than those listed above. Please refer to the notification from ASA-official for details.

Philosophy and Restrictions

  • Both funds are intended to bring events to the MIT community that would otherwise be unable to exist without additional funding. For this reason, you are unable to use LEF-ARCADE funds should your event be making a profit. For example, if an event brings in ticket/entrance-fee revenue that exceeds the events total expenditures, it will not be granted funding. Further, if an event brings in revenue, it must go towards covering the event’s expenses.
  • Our goal is to fund events that are unique and accessible for MIT students to attend. Thus, all events must be open to, and advertised to, all students. In addtion, events should be held on campus.
  • Events should target all MIT students. Events that will draw only members of the sponsoring organization, either in theory or in practice, will not be funded.
  • LEF only: Events must appeal to a large audience (at least 150 MIT students). Although this is not a requirement for ARCADE, you are encourgaged to apply for other funding sources for smaller events.
  • ARCADE only: Events need to occur annually (e.g. celebration of an annual festival).
  • Events should be of a social, not academic, nature.
  • Events requiring large space must demonstrate space availability.
  • Events have demonstrated broad appeal (e.g. similar events in the past with a large number of attendees, especially attendees that are not members of the organizing group) may have higher priority. Groups whose previous LEF/ARCADE events generated lower attendance than expected may receive lower priority for future applications
  • Direct or indirect philanthropy will not be funded, as in direct or indirect channeling of funds into a charity. Events sponsored by LEF/ARCADE for the purposes of generating donations for charity are okay, but the funds must be used towards event costs, only. These events will be given a lower priority.
  • Events that are initiated, planned, or run by an MIT department or administrative unit, including student groups that are recognized by them, do not qualify for LEF/ARCADE funding.
  • Groups that have alternative sources of revenue/funds (student governments that receive annual funds from MIT, dorms that collect house taxes, groups that have endowment accounts, etc.) should clearly outline how they are spending their other funds and why they should be considered for funding. In general, these groups have lower priority than groups that do not have alternative funding sources.
  • Groups with a large account balance may receive a lower priority.
  • Events must be alcohol-free (even if funding is not used for alcohol).


Fundable Items


  • Because we want to focus on the event itself, we rarely grant funding for items to be given away (e.g. prizes) or items that will be kept by individuals or groups after the event (t-shirts, costumes, cameras, etc).
  • Please consider using free on-campus spaces provided by CAC. These spaces also come with free furniture and setup. We do not fund space or furniture rental by defaut. If you have compelling reasons to host events in non-CAC spaces and need us to cover rental fees, please explain why in the application.
  • By default, we do not provide service fees/honoraria, to performers, speakers, photographers, videographers, or DJs. If these are absolutely required, please explain why they are essential in your application.
  • Complete, itemized event budgets are required and applications that are submitted without itemized budgets will not be considered for appeals. Incomplete proposals will not be considered.




  • No group is guaranteed funding for an event and should not spend money they have not yet been allocated.
  • Late applications (after the application deadline but before the late application deadline) may have an additional deduction applied to their allocation, or not be funded at all. The LEF/ARCADE board reserves the right to set the deduction percentage at will.
  • Groups that submit a late application cannot appeal their allocation.
  • Groups that submit an incomplete budget cannot appeal their allocation.
  • ASA reserves the right to set an LEF/ARCADE funding cap for any cycle. In addtion, ASA may establish a more detailed cap for particular expenses (e.g. food, decoration, etc.). These caps will be based on funding availability and the number of applications, and may vary across cycles.
  • If partial funding is given to an event which is actually a series of multiple events, then the group is still held to hold all events listed in their application. Exceptions can be requested to ASA, but groups who do not follow the resulting decision will be required to return the funds.
  • If a series of events have similar content and/or attendee profile (e.g. monthly coffee hours for members but open to non-members), then the event series may be considered a single event, and be subject to relevant funding caps.