TUC Sponsored Programs

Cost Sharing

Read the Letter of Provost Harry Hellenbrand, regarding the new cost sharing policy. (October 2, 2006) (pdf)

Download the Cost Sharing Budget Form (excel)

1. Definitions

If cost sharing or matching is required or it is negotiated within the grant agreement, the University is required to expend funds from its own resources, or obtain third-party in-kind contributions, for the types of costs that would be allowable if federal funds were expended on them.

Cost Sharing

'Cost Sharing' refers to the sharing of actual program or project costs. Whenever required, the University will show in the approved budget or other appropriate document which program or project costs will be borne by the University and which will be borne by the sponsor.

Cost Matching

'Cost Matching' is a specific form of cost sharing in which, as a condition of funding, the institution must provide additional resources for the program or project expenses in some proportion to the amount to be externally funded.

2. General

Cost Sharing is agreed upon in advance of proposal submission. When the award budget differs from the submitted budget, the Pre-Award office must review the award prior to its acceptance by the Corporation.

The University and The University Corporation must ensure that cost sharing commitments for grants and contracts are recorded on proposals, accounted for, and reported in a manner consistent with the terms of the individual award and the general requirements set forth in federal or other applicable regulations. Care must be taken during the proposal preparation process to ensure that all potential cost sharing commitments are recognized and approved. All cost-sharing commitments must be clearly stated in the budget explanation of the proposal.

Generally, the University and The University Corporation will not approve the offering of cost sharing on a voluntary basis. Resources of the University and The University Corporation should only be committed in those instances where cost sharing is mandated by a sponsor or is necessary to make a proposal competitive. In all instances, the use of cost sharing should be kept to reasonable and necessary levels.

Throughout the life of the project, the Principal Investigator/Project Director, the University, and The University Corporation must maintain sufficient documentation to substantiate the actual cost sharing contribution and report the cost sharing to funding agencies upon request. Documentation on cost sharing is subject to audit in accordance with sponsor, University, and The University Corporation's policies.

3. CSUN Cost Sharing Policy

Cost sharing commitments should only be made when required by the sponsor and then only to the extent necessary to meet the specific requirements of the sponsored project. It is generally not necessary, from a competitive standpoint, to provide an over-match, or to provide any match at all unless specifically required by the sponsor. Proposals that include cost sharing commitments must have a separate schedule included with the proposal that specifically details the resources used to meet the cost sharing claimed and the approvals necessary to authorize fiscal commitment.

4. Criteria for Cost Sharing Sources

Cost sharing contributions, both cash and in-kind, which require compliance to 2 CFR 200 (Uniform Guidance), must be:

  • Verifiable from the recipient's record
  • Not be included as contributions for any other federally assisted project or programs
  • Be necessary and reasonable for proper and efficient completion of the project or program objectives
  • Be allowable under the applicable cost principles (Uniform Guidance, or other sponsor regulations if the sponsor is non federal)
  • Not be paid by the federal government under another award, except where authorized by federal statute to be used for cost sharing or matching
  • Be provided for in the approved budget when required by the sponsoring agency
  • Conform to other provisions of Subpart D of Uniform Guidance, 200.306, cost sharing and matching

5. Allowable Elements

5.1 General Cost Sharing Elements

Cost sharing or matching may consist of the following elements used to further project objectives:

  • Salaries of University faculty or staff who are paid by the University/Corporation, and who devote a percentage of their compensated time to a sponsored project, without receiving reimbursement from the sponsor
  • Fringe benefit costs associated with contributed effort
  • Other direct costs, such as supplies, equipment, non-capitalized assets, or travel that are paid for from allowable funding sources
  • Project costs financed by cash contributions by the recipient, or by cash from third parties
  • Contributions of services and property donated by recipient or third parties (non-federal public agencies and institutions, private organizations and individuals) provided that the values are established in accordance with applicable cost principles
  • Forgone indirect costs (waived IDC), including rent and occupancy costs, where the Corporation requests less than the federally approved negotiated rate and where the sponsor does not prohibit the use of indirect foregone as cost sharing. Per Uniform Guidance 200.306(c), unrecovered indirect costs, including costs on cost sharing or matching may be included as part of cost sharing or matching only with prior approval of the Federal awarding agency.

5.2 Third Party In-Kind Contributions

Subpart D of Uniform Guidance, 200.306 allows for the use of volunteer services as cost sharing, but only when such services are provided by non-federal third parties. The budget, budget narrative, and scope of work must all be carefully reviewed to determine if any cost-sharing was offered.

  • Volunteer services by professional, technical, consultants, and other skilled and unskilled labor can be counted as cost sharing or matching if the service is an integral part of an approved program.
    1. Rates for volunteers should be consistent with those paid in the recipient's organization [CSUN/TUC]. When that is not possible, rates should be consistent with those paid for similar work in the labor market.
    2. When an employer furnishes the services of an employee, those services are valued at a comparable employee's regular rate of pay;
  • The value of donated expendable personal property may be included but shall not exceed the market value of the property at the time of the donation.
  • The value of donated non expendable property may be shown by either of the following methods:
    1. The total value of the donated property can be claimed as cost sharing if the purpose of the award is to assist the recipient in the acquisition of equipment, buildings, or land;
    2. In the absence of specific federal approval, only the depreciated or use charge of equipment, buildings, or land can be used if the purpose of the award is to just support the activities that require the use of equipment, land, or buildings.
  • The value of donated land and buildings may not exceed its fair market value at the time of donation, as established by an independent appraiser.
  • The value of donated space shall not exceed the fair rental value of comparable space in the same locality.
  • The supporting records for in kind contributions from non-Federal third parties are as follows:
    1. Volunteer services must be documented and, to the extent feasible, supported by the same methods used by CSUN/TUC for its own employees.
    2. The basis for determining the valuation for personal services, material, equipment, land, and buildings must be documented.

    Note: It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to ensure that all third-party cost sharing meets these requirements.

5.3 Waived Indirect Cost (Foregone F&A)

The budget approved by the sponsoring agency must contain waived indirect costs as a part of the cost-sharing requirement to be able to use this method for cost sharing of funds. If waived indirect costs were not included in the approved budget, prior written approval from the sponsor must be obtained before it can be documented as cost sharing.

A grant was awarded with an IDC rate of 38% MTDC, while the current approved IDC rate of TUC/CSUN is 45%. If waived indirect cost were included in the approved budget or prior written sponsor approval has been obtained, the difference of 7% can be documented as waived indirect cost.

6. Procedure

6.1 Proposal Submission

The Principal Investigator prepares the documentation required by the granting agency, including:

  • cost sharing budget
  • cost-sharing commitment from the colleges
  • cost-sharing commitment from third-parties and submits it to the Dean (or designee).

The Dean (or designee) approves the cost sharing as part of the proposal and commits the college to provide the necessary cost sharing if the granting agency awards the project. 

 6.2 Award of the Grant

During award setup, the Post-Award prepares a ‘Cost Share Budget’ form, based on the cost share information in the award document. TUC then forwards the form to the Principal Investigator

The Principal Investigator verifies and signs the ‘Cost Share Budget’ form.

The Dean (or designee) verifies the college’s cost share commitment and signs the ‘Cost Share Budget’ form.

TUC enters the information from the ‘Cost Share Budget’ form into the ‘Cost Share Monitoring’ spreadsheet and uses it the basis for its monitoring activities. 

6.3 Changes during the Course of the Grant

The Principal Investigator must report any changes to the project that impact cost sharing to the Post-Award office. Post-Award staff modifies the Cost Share Budget form for the project and processes it according to the above procedure (6.2).

6.4 Recording of Release Time as Cost Share

At the end of each semester, the Post-Award sends an email with an attached ‘Faculty Cost Share Effort’ form to the Director of Finance and Operation of the colleges with cost share projects and asks them to report release time of faculty members used for cost sharing in sponsored programs. 

The Director of Finance and Operations completes the ‘Faculty Cost Share Effort’ form, reporting all release time of faculty members used for cost sharing in sponsored programs. With the signature, the Director of Finance and Operations certifies that the release time:

  • is cost sharing paid by CSUN for the above listed project(s)
  • has not been reimbursed by any sponsored program
  • has not been used as cost sharing in any other project.

The Director of Finance and Operations signs the form, attaches copies of supporting documentation (PEAS report, etc.) and sends it to the Post-Award.

The Post-Award verifies that the release time is allowable cost sharing based on:

  • The cost share expenditures are within the project period
  • The cost share expenditures are budgeted
  • All required signatures are included

6.5 Recording of College Operating Expenditures as Cost Share

As cost share expenditures occur, the Principal Investigator collects, stamps and signs copies of the supporting documentation, verifying that college expenditures were in support of the particular project and forwards them to the Dean (or designee).

 By signing and certifying on the supporting documentation, the College Dean (or designee) verifies that:

  • The document represents a true copy of the original documentation, which is kept in the college or at CSUN
  • The expenditures are made by the college as cost sharing in support of the particular project
  • The expenditures have not been used as cost sharing for any other project

The document is then forwarded to TUC

The Post-Award office verifies that the expenditures are allowable as cost sharing based on:

  • The cost share expenditures are within the project period
  • The cost share expenditures are budgeted and/or
  • The cost share expenditures meet the same criteria for allowability than regular project expenses
  • All required signatures are included

6.6 Recording of Third Party Contributions

The outside organization provides documentation substantiating their effort in support of the project to the Principal Investigator.

The Principal Investigator certifies and signs the supporting documentation from the third party thereby, verifying that to the best of his/her knowledge, expenditures were in support of the particular project, and forwards them to the Post-Award offices. It is the responsibility of the PI to ensure that the contributions are appropriately valuated.

Post-Award offices verifies that the expenditures are allowable as cost sharing based on:

  • The contributions are appropriately valuated
  • The cost share expenditures are within the project period
  • The cost share expenditures are budgeted and/or
  • The cost share expenditures meet the same criteria for allowability than regular project expenses
  • All required signatures are included

6.7 Reconciliation

The Post-Award office enters the verfied release time, cost share expense, and third party contributions in the ‘Cost Share Monitoring’ spreadsheet and files the supporting documentation in the 'Cost Share' File.

If applicable, TUC calculates and records any forgone indirect costs that can be used as cost sharing.

During the course of the project, TUC will reach out to the Principal Investigator to submit semi-annual financial status reports on cost-sharing and will record cost share expenses appropriately. 

On an annual basis, the Post-Award office reports the actual cost share expenses for the release time and college operating expenditures to the CSUN Office of Financial Services.

The CSUN Office of Financial Services books the actuals of the cost share expenses related to release time and college operating expenditures in the cost share projects set up in the CSUN Accounting system, thereby preventing the funds to be used for other cost share projects.

6.8 Implementation Date

The new procedure will be effective April 1,2019.

7. Contact Information

Mahyar Sadri

Administrative Compliance Analyst
(818) 677-2698

Mail stop: 8309

Grace Slavik

Post-Award Manager
(818) 677-3498

Mail stop: 8309