How to Allocate C2 Budgets for Shared Equipment

March 13, 2019

~ And what to do if one/several of the schools don’t have enough C2 funding remaining ~

If a piece of Category 2 equipment is utilized by two or more schools, the cost of the equipment must be allocated from the C2 budgets of the schools sharing the equipment – regardless of where the equipment is physically located.  Core switches, firewalls, and wireless controllers are good examples of shared equipment.  After you enter the costs in the FRN Line Item and identify the schools utilizing 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 $30,000 and there are 3 schools sharing the equipment, the system will take $10,000 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

You are free to develop your own cost allocation based on a method that is defendable.  This could be % of enrollment, % 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.


The most common method of weighted allocate ion is by % of enrollment.  Here are the steps and an example:


  • 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 MS 256 0.24 $7,231.64
Franklin HS 581 0.55 $16,412.43
1062   $30,000.00

How to Handle Schools with Too Little (or no) Remaining Category 2 Budgets

As I’ve said previously, never ever request more funding than is available in a school’s C2 budget.  If you find that a school with no remaining C2 budget will be sharing a piece of equipment, the best thing to do is list the total amount of the equipment, then list the amount that is over the C2 budget as ineligible.  Then allocate the remaining eligible amount to the schools sharing the equipment, according to your cost allocation calculations (or an equal allocation).  Do not include the impacted “no C2 budget” schools as Recipients of Service.

Enrollment % Enrollment % Enrollment x Cost of Shared Component Remaining C2Budget Eligible Amount Ineligible Amount
Plainfield Elem 225 0.21 $6,355.93 $6,000 $6,000 $355.93
Jacksonville MS 256 0.24 $7,231.64 $8,789 $7,231.64
Franklin HS 581 0.55 $16,412.43 $18,250 $16,412.43
1062   $30,000.00   $29,644.07 $355.93

In this example, if a district’s discount is 50%, E-rate will pay $14,822.04 (50% of $29,644.07) and the District will be responsible for the other 50%, plus 100% of the ineligible amount ($14,822.04 + $355.93 = $15,177.97).  Plainfield Elem would be included as a Recipient of Service because they have some C2 funding remaining.

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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