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UW Finance

UW Funding Sources

Fund Types

The University of Washington classifies fund sources into five major fund types.  Each type varies in the degree of discretion for its use, ranging from restricted to essentially full discretion. Fund type terms are defined below along with examples of the sources used to support them.

General Operating Funds (GOF)

Funds over which the UW has significant discretion. Composed of:

  • State appropriations (tax support) and
  • Operating fee revenue (portion of tuition)

Designated Operating Funds (DOF)

Funds over which the UW has unlimited discretion, though the university, as a matter of internal policy, may restrict their use. Composed of:

  • Interest income
  • Summer quarter revenue
  • Clinical revenue
  • Administrative overhead
  • Miscellaneous fees

Research Cost Recovery (RCR)

Allocation of funds back to academic units that generate indirect cost from grant and contract expenditures.

Restricted Operating Funds (ROF)

Restricted operating funds are funds over whose use the University has little or no discretion. An example would be gift or endowment funds designated for specific school or college programs.

Other Operating Funds (OOF)

  • Program renewal funds
  • Funds over which the UW has little or no discretion

Unit Fund Sources in Addition to GOF, DOF and RCR

Grant Funds

The UW receives grants and contracts whose use is restricted to the purposes outlined in the grant or contract.

Gifts, Endowments

UW schools,  colleges and units receive gifts and earnings from endowment funds whose use is limited to the donor's intent. Schools and colleges have local gift funds which allow more flexibility for units in terms of use.

Discretionary Funds

Most units have discretionary funds which are given to the Dean to be used at the Dean's discretion. These funds are less restricted than gift funds, and are typically used for hosting and entertaining.

Self-Sustaining and Fee-Based Funds

Many UW units have self-sustaining operations and fee-based programs whose revenues may derive from services provided both internally and externally to the UW.


Many units have developed patented discoveries that have resulted in royalties and  other income through the UW Center for Commercialization, which may not have different restrictions.


Each organization has its own unique blend of funding sources and may have additional sources not mentioned here.