The term “computer” encompasses all information technology equipment, including high-end mainframes, minicomputers, personal computers (microcomputers used by a single user such as desktops and laptops), and smartphones regardless of whether the item meets the $5,000 capital equipment threshold. Computers are generally used for various activities such as instruction, research, administration, and personal use. It is therefore difficult to ensure their allowability or allocability as a direct cost to one specific sponsored project or program. Most federally funded sponsored awards disallow purchases of general purpose equipment, such as desktops or laptop computers, except in unique circumstances. For further details, please refer to the "Direct Charging Computers" section of the University’s Direct and Indirect Costs on Federally Funded Sponsored Projects & Programs Policy .
If an individual computer purchase is less than the $5000 capital equipment threshold but will be clustered with several computers as specified in the project scope of work, the individual computer purchases can be considered capital equipment.