Wisely Allocate C2 Budgets for Shared Equipment

March 9, 2018

If a piece of Category 2 equipment is shared by two or more schools, the cost of the equipment must be allocated from the C2 budgets of the schools sharing the equipment (core switches and wireless controllers are good examples of shared equipment).  After you enter the costs in the FRN Line Item and identify the schools sharing the equipment, the 471 will ask “Are the costs shared equally among all of the entities?”.   How you answer this question is important!

  • If you answer “Yes,” the system will split the costs of this line item equally among the recipients identified.  For example, if the equipment costs $25,000 and there are 4 schools sharing the equipment, the system will take $6250 from each school’s C2 budget.  This is not the method that most applicants will want to choose, even though it’s very tempting to click “Yes” and let the system do the math for you.
  • You may want to answer “No,” and use a weighted allocation, performing the math offline.  Note:  This can only be done for a piece of equipment that is shared by two or more entities.  You can’t do a weighted allocation if equipment is just being used by a single school.

Weighted Allocation Options

Which method of weighting is up to you!

1)  By % of Enrollment
This is the weighted allocation option most commonly used by schools.

  • Take total enrollment for all schools being served by the shared equipment.
  • Divide school enrollment by total enrollment to obtain % enrollment for that school.
  • Multiple school % enrollment by total cost of equipment.
Enrollment % Enrollment % Enrollment x Cost of Shared Component
Plainfield Elem 225 0.21 $6,355.93
Jacksonville HS 256 0.24 $7,231.64
Franklin HS 581 0.55 $16,412.43
1062   $30,000.00

2)  By % of Devices Connected

This method calculates the cost based on the # of devices in each school that are connected to the shared equipment.  For example, if the shared equipment is a wireless controller, you could count the number of WAPs at each school and do a weighted calculation by % of total WAPs.

# of WAPs in School % WAPs % WAPs x Cost of Shared Component
Plainfield Elem 55 0.23 $7,021.28
Jacksonville HS 65 0.28 $8,297.87
Franklin HS 115 0.49 $14,700.00
235       $30,000.00

3)  Other

You are free to develop your own cost allocation based on a method that is defendable.  This could be % of usage, # of total users (not just students), etc.  Whichever method you choose, keep your calculations so you can easily show your math to USAC or an auditor.

Remember, after you answer No, to this question, the system will allow you to enter the costs manually for each school:


If you have any questions about cost allocations for shared equipment, please let me know!

– Julie

Julie Tritt Schell
PA E-rate Coordinator

717-730-7133 – o
717-730-9060 – f


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