Budget Glossary

Direct Costs - All costs that are directly associated with the project such as wages, fringe, stipends, materials and supplies, printing costs.

Salary/wages - Salaries for full-time employees are available from the Human Resources department.- Also, please check with them on hiring procedures for full and part-time employees.

Fringe rates - Fringe rates for full and part-time benefitted employees usually include health insurance and payroll taxes.- This rate changes on July 1 for all state employees so please check with the Business Office before calculating.

Travel -The federal mileage reimbursement rate is 56.5 cents/ mile.- Air travel paid for by a federal grant must be on a U.S. Flag Air Carrier.- To estimate air fare please check domestic carriers- fares for the time of year you expect to travel and then increase this amount by 3% annually. Check STCC-s travel policy for the college-s per diem rate.

Equipment - Is defined as an item that costs $5,000 or more per unit and has a useful life of more than 2 years.- Computers are generally not considered equipment, unless they are needed to run a certain piece of equipment.

Materials and Supplies - those items that are needed for the project but do not meet the definition of equipment and are allowable costs according to the funder and federal regulations.


  • Consultants lend their expertise and advice in their given field without actually "working" on the project.- Consultants do not conduct independent research nor do they have intellectual property or publishing rights.
  • Subcontractors work directly on the project; such as, evaluators, professors at another college or university who will be independently performing a portion of the research using their own facilities.

  •  Stipends are not considered wages and are only subject to payroll taxes.

Indirect costs - a charge applied to certain costs in your budget in order for the institution to keep functioning.- At STCC we charge 56.5% of the total wages, salary, and fringe.

Unallowable costs - There are different rules for state, federal, and foundation grants.- Federal grants do not allow the purchase of alcohol, office supplies (printer toner, paper) or computers for general use.- State and foundation grants generally will allow the purchase of office supplies and computers for use on the project.