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University Budget

CUE is growing—we are consistently welcoming high numbers of students to our campus and are on track to reach our goal of 4,000 students in the near future. Additionally, we are creating and entering new partnerships, and developing programs that require additional space and resources.

Our budget is developed each year to consider how to support CUE’s growth, while ensuring the we remain financially sustainable and accountable for how we use our resources. Learn more on this page about our budget process.

Where does CUE’s money come from and how is it spent?

As an independent post-secondary institution, the majority of our revenue comes from student tuition and fees. The second largest source of revenue is from annual Government of Alberta grants. This sets CUE apart from the publicly-funded post-secondary institutions, who often receive higher levels of support from government funding.

This money we receive is used for salaries and benefits, supplies and services, and for costs associated with maintaining and running the campus.

Projected operating revenue and expenses for April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024:



Detailed financial reports from previous years can be found within CUE’s Annual Reports

How does Concordia University of Edmonton (CUE) plan its budget each year?

Each winter, CUE plans two budgets for the upcoming fiscal year (April 1 – March 31):

  1. An operating budget, which is a detailed projection of what we expect the University’s revenue and expenses will be over the year.
  2. A capital budget that includes plans for major projects or investments such as new buildings and infrastructure improvements. This budget includes funds for renovations to existing space, information technology equipment, lab equipment, furniture and other maintenance and equipment expenses.

CUE’s Annual Budget Timeline

Why does CUE budget for a surplus each year?

In order to support our growing campus needs, CUE needs to make capital improvements. Budgets that provide for new infrastructure and buildings, and upgrades to existing infrastructure, are called capital budgets. 

As an independent university, CUE does not receive funding for maintenance and infrastructure improvements from the provincial government like publicly-funded post-secondary institutions do. We need to budget with an operating surplus so we can invest in capital projects for current and future years. This is essential so we have the infrastructure to support our current and increasing student numbers.

Some funds from our operating surplus are also saved in a rainy day reserve fund that would be used if our expenses exceed revenue in a given year. This is critical to CUE’s contingency planning and long-term financial sustainability.

How does CUE avoid unnecessary spending and ensure the budget process is aligned with the University’s strategic goals?

CUE uses a zero-based budget process where all expenses must be justified every year. The budgets start with a base of zero and are built around what is needed for the upcoming year, regardless of what was budgeted in previous years.

This methodology is used to ensure decision makers assess the organization continuously with fresh eyes, free from the limitations of past assumptions and targets. Every function within an organization is analyzed regularly for needs and costs to support strategic business goals. 

How does CUE ensure accountability with its finances?

Every quarter the CUE Board Finance Committee and the Board review the quarterly financial statements, comparing actual expenses to budget. At the end of every fiscal year, CUE’s financial statements are audited by an independent third party auditor to ensure that they are prepared according to high accounting standards, and that CUE can continue to be financially sustainable. 

CUE demonstrates fiscal prudence with all of our operations and is in a strong financial position. We have the reserves and savings needed to support CUE’s growth and the needs of our campus community.

What are donations to CUE used for? 

Our community relations department has produced strong financial results and has fostered healthy and positive donor relationships, especially when compared to previous years. At CUE, most of the funds raised from donations are used to support students through bursaries and scholarships, and mental health programs.