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Allowable / Unallowable Costs


All grant/contract expenditures must be based on the cost principles outlined in the Office of Management Budget Circular A-21 guidelines. Allowable costs can be charged to the grant fund, however, unallowable costs must be charged to the department. Following is a list of unallowable costs listed in OMB Circular A-21:

  1. Advertising and Public Relations Costs
  2. Alcohol
  3. Alumni Activities
  4. Bad Debt
  5. Commencement and Convocation Costs
  6. Contingency Provisions
  7. Defense and prosecution of criminal and civil proceedings, claims, appeals and patent infringement
  8. Donations and Contributions
  9. Entertainment Costs
  10. Fines and Penalties
  11. Fund Raising and Investment Costs
  12. Goods or Services for Personal Use
  13. Housing and Personal Living Expenses
  14. Idle Facilities and Idle Capacity
  15. Interest
  16. Lobbying
  17. Losses on Other Sponsored Agreements or Contracts
  18. Pre-agreement Costs unless allowed by Sponsor
  19. Selling and Marketing
  20. Student Activity Costs

For further details, click on the White House - Office of Management and Budget link: CIRCULAR A-21: Cost Principles for Educational Institutions.