Award Cost Share Accountability

Cost sharing or matching means that a portion of the project or program costs are not borne by the sponsor. It includes all contributions, including cash and in-kind, that a recipient makes to an award. If the award is federal, only acceptable non-federal costs qualify as cost sharing and must conform to other necessary and reasonable provisions to accomplish the programs objectives. Cost sharing effort is included in the calculation of total commitment effort. Effort is defined as the portion of time spent on a particular activity expressed as a percentage of the individual’s total activity for the institution.

Cost sharing is auditable and must be allowable under the cost principles outlined in OMB New Uniform Guidance (see section 200.306) and verifiable to records.


Know what Banner account is going to be used to cover the cost share expenses. It is recommended that the PI/PD review cost sharing arrangements with the Special Funds Accountant to avoid confusion when it comes time to complete financial reports.

Plan ahead to know how the cost share will be fulfilled and to ensure that the cost share commitment will be met by the end of the sponsored agreement.

An item that is reported as part of one grant’s cost share may not be reported as part of another cost share agreement.

Cost sharing was included as part of the OMB Circular A 110 – Uniform Administrative Requirements and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-profit Organizations, and has been further updated under OMB’s New Uniform Guidance.

For more information, please see the Contracts & Grants section of the Finance Forms page.