Integrated CSU Administrative Manual



Section 11000 Policies

Policy Number:  11000.003.007

Policy Title: Cost Sharing

Policy Effective Date: December 1, 2011

Last Revision Date: December 1, 2011

(see revision history)


It is the policy of the California State University (CSU) that each campus shall establish and maintain procedures to properly monitor and document any committed cost sharing in compliance with applicable regulations and agreements. In general, cost sharing shall be offered in a proposal only when it is a requirement of the request for proposal or the program announcement.


Each campus conducting research, instruction, and/or other sponsored work under grants, and other agreements with the Federal government must comply with the specific guidelines required by the external sponsor of a project and the general guidelines established in 2 CFR Part 220 and Part 215 (formerly OMB Circulars A-21 and A-110) with regard to cost sharing and related matters, as applicable.

Cost sharing refers to the portion of the sponsored project not borne by the external sponsor. At times cost sharing is also referred to as “match.” For the purposes of this policy, “cost sharing” and “match” shall have the same meaning.

The campus President or designee must ensure that:

  • The campus has written policies and procedures for cost sharing that are consistently applied in proposing, accumulating, and reporting costs both to external sponsors and within the campus. Policies shall include any exception criteria, including delegation of authority, for offering voluntary cost-sharing not required as part of the request for proposal or program announcement.
  • All cost shared expenditures are treated similarly to direct grant expenditures, in accordance with the policy on Allowable Costs (11003.05).
  • The campus policy must define roles and responsibilities of various offices and individuals at the campus. Project directors/principal investigators are responsible for providing sufficient documentation to substantiate the actual cost sharing contribution to the appropriate office for reporting.
  • When cost sharing is a requirement of sub-awards, such commitment is included in sub-award documents, monitored and appropriately reported to the sponsor.

Regardless of the source, all cost-shared expenditures must be allowable in compliance with 2 CFR Part 215 and as more specifically stated in Part 220.  Cost share must be:

  • verifiable from university or auxiliary records.
  • necessary and reasonable to accomplish the project’s objectives.
  • identifiable in the approved budget when required by the prime sponsor.
  • provided during the project period.

Cost share may not be:

  • utilized as cost sharing on any other project.
  • federal funds except where authorized by federal statute.
  • earned income under the project except when expressly authorized by the prime sponsor.


Benjamin F. Quillian
Executive Vice-Chancellor/Chief Financial Officer

Date: October 31, 2011




  • February 28, 2014 (Annual Review conducted with no change to policy.) 


Useful Guidelines:

  • Factors to consider prior to offering cost-share:
    • If resources are committed to a project unnecessarily, then they are not available for instances when cost sharing is required.
    • Cost sharing – including faculty and staff effort, and non-labor cost sharing dedicated to organized sponsored projects – must be appropriately classified for the calculation of an institution’s Facilities and Administrative (F&A) cost rate. Cost sharing can have the effect of eroding the campus F&A cost rate.
    • All cost-sharing, even voluntary, must be tracked and accounted for in campus records. Failure to appropriately account for cost-shared expenditures increases audit risk.
    • Documenting and managing cost sharing activities is time consuming and expensive.
    • Faculty members who have multiple awards could become over committed, resulting in an inability to substantiate the promised levels of effort.
  • Clarification of OMB A-21 Treatment of Voluntary Uncommitted Cost Sharing and Tuition Remission Costs,



  • Cost sharing/Matching: Represents that portion of project or program costs not borne by the sponsor (generally the federal government). Cost sharing can be voluntary or mandatory (that is, required by means of a statute or law), and can take the form of either cash contributions or in-kind contributions.
  • Cash Contributions: Represents the recipient’s cash outlay, including the money contributed to the recipient by non-Federal third parties.
  • In-kind Contributions: Represents the value of all noncash contributions, including services and property, provided by the recipient and/or non-Federal third parties.
  • Mandatory cost sharing: Required by the sponsor or funding agency supporting the sponsored project. Some sponsors require that the recipient of an award provide some level of cost sharing or matching costs as a condition of receiving the award.
  • Voluntary cost sharing: That portion of the project costs that the campus provides on its own initiative when the sponsor does not require cost share or the amount of cost share provided is more than the sponsor’s mandatory requirement.
  • Voluntary committed cost sharing: Quantified and included in the proposal budget and award. It must be reported and documented.
  • Voluntary uncommitted cost sharing: Effort that is over and above that which is committed and budgeted for in a sponsored agreement.
  • Third party cost sharing: That provided by an entity or individual other than the prime sponsor, the University or the Foundation. The third party must agree to use the resources provided as cost sharing. Such cost sharing can only be used on one project.
  • Direct costs: Costs that can be attributed to a specific sponsored project. Such costs can be contributed and accounted for as cost sharing.
  • Facilities & Administrative costs: Costs that cannot be attributed directly to a particular sponsored project but, rather, are more associated with general costs that may be pooled into costs generally supporting sponsored projects. Such cost may be contributed and accounted for as cost sharing when the direct costs associated with the project are those of the recipient of the prime award.  Third party indirect is generally not acceptable as cost sharing.


Related Principles:

Sound Business Practices:

Laws, State Codes, Regulations and Mandates:


CO Manager:

Ms. Sue DeRosa 
Director, Sponsored Programs
CSU Office of the Chancellor

Subject Expert:

Ms. Monica Kauppinen

Ms. Renee Lechner

Ms. Laramee Lyda-Craft

Ms. Alison Sanders


Affinity Group: