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Saint Paul Public Schools, District 625
360 Colborne Street
Saint Paul


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Allowable Costs

Allowable Costs


There are very few universal rules about allowable costs, and each grant differs. The grants management coordinator (GMC)  will provide a project-specific Allowable Costs guide to the managers of each federally funded grant.

To be allowable, grant-funded purchases must meet all the following criteria:

  • Have a public purpose
  • Be necessary and reasonable for the implementation of the project
  • Be allocable (if the grant pays for 100%, only the grant program can use it)
  • Charged based on actual costs (taking all rebates into consideration)

May be Allowed, Dependent on Grant

  • Personnel
  • Benefits
  • Fees for service
  • Supplies
  • Travel

Generally Not Allowed

  • Food purchases
  • Gift cards
  • Equipment
  • Construction

When unsure if something is allowable, refer to the budget administrator, project director, district procedures, and the agreement SPPS has with the federal agency funding the work. Additional resources include the grants management coordinator (GMC), the purchasing manager, and the grant's accountant.

Why This Is Important

  • It’s the law (see 2 CFR 200.403-406, 2 CFR 200.421-475)
  • Using federal money for unallowable costs can result in unfavorable audit findings and the requirement to repay the funder.

Related Topics

Family Transportation to Title I Events

Field Trips/Student Admissions

Food Purchase Regulations

Gift Cards

Monitoring contracts