Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata


  • Allows general computing devices to be charged as direct costs if they are essential and allocable, but not solely dedicated, to the performance of a Federal award if the acquisition cost is less than $5,000.
  • This does not mean, however, that a laptop or IPad can be charged to every funded project. 
  • To be charged to a project a computing device must be: (1) essential for the purposes of carrying out a specific aim of the funded project, (2) above and beyond what is normally provided by the department for academic use, and (3) charged to the grant in some reasonable proportion relative to how much it is used for the funded project. 
  • Same as before as with the costing principles in A-21, a computing device will only be an allowable expense if it is necessary, reasonable, consistently treated, and properly allocated.

Action Plan

  • Computing devices should be itemized in your proposal budget and their use in the project clearly justified in the budget justification.

  • The project must not have reasonable access to other devices or equipment that can achieve the same purpose. Devices may not be purchased for reasons of convenience or preference.

  • Be prepared to justify if 100% is charged to a single grant.

  • Update reference material to reflect Uniform Guidance information regarding computing devices. (Shannon Robinson)





  • Division of Research is updating reference material referring to previous OMB guidance to refer to the Uniform Guidance information.
  • PI quick guide to be completed. 

Section 200.20 defines a computing device as a “machine used to acquire, store, analyze, process, and publish data and other information electronically, including accessories (or ‘peripherals’) for printing, transmitting and receiving, or storing electronic information.”  To be considered a supply cost, the cost of the computing device may not be equal to or exceed $5,000.