Cost Share

For those awards subject to OMB A-21 guidance can be found within the Circular on the Office of Management and Budget A21 page

Download sample cost sharing worksheet.

UM Cost-Sharing Policy [Replaces VIII-10.40(A)]


This is an overview of the University's Cost Sharing policy and procedures. View the Policy, IV-4.00(A), in its entirety. The view of cost sharing changed significantly after the implementation of the Uniform Guidance on December 26, 2014 and previously in OMB Circular A-21 in April 1996 which included Cost Accounting Standards (CAS). 

Cost sharing or matching refers to that portion of a project or program costs not paid by the sponsor and/or is explicitly required by the program or solicitation, without which an application would be ineligible. These costs represent an implied or explicit agreement on the part of the University to assure that non-sponsor resources are contributed to a project, either from sources within or external to the University.

Cost Sharing:

  • Should be limited only to those situations where it is mandated by a sponsor by explicit statements in the funding announcement and, if federal funds, mandated by the federal awarding agency regulations, or where UMD has determined that such a contribution is deemed appropriate under unique circumstances
  • Must be accounted for even if only mentioned in a quantifiable manner in proposal text and not specified in the budget 
  • Imposes a substantial burden on the PI to account for and provide supporting documentation 

To be acceptable as cost sharing, an expenditure must satisfy all the following criteria (Uniform Guidance):

  • Be verifiable from the official University records (KFS)
  • Not be used as cost sharing for any other sponsored program
  • Be necessary and reasonable for accomplishment of the project or program objectives
  • Allowable under the applicable Uniform Guidance cost principles as direct costs
  • Be incurred during the effective dates of the grant
  • Not paid by the federal government under another award
  • Are provided for in the approved budget when required by the Federal awarding agency and conform to other provisions of the Uniform Guidance as applicable

Cost Accounting Standards Impact: CAS 501:

  • Consistency in estimating, accumulating, and reporting costs
  • Cost sharing effort must be certified
  • Cost sharing must be funded if specified in the proposal

Actual cost must be accumulated and reported at a level which permits sufficient and meaningful comparison with its estimates.

(January 2015)


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