E-Rate Funding 

Each year the FCC commits one billion dollars to schools and libraries for digital learning tools through the E-Rate program. By connecting students to technology resources in STEM concentrations, future generations are preparing to compete in a global economy. Mobile learning and the expansion of device based curriculum are driving new waves of education that comes with high price tags, leaving many schools behind the curve. The E-Rate program is the only education technology funding source in the US with committed money behind the initiative to move our classrooms into the 21st century.

 

 

E-Rate Application Process

 

Step 1: Determine Discount Rate

First, you will need to know your District or School’s free lunch participation rate as a percentage of student enrollment . Use this figure to determine your Category 1 and 2 discount rates.

Discount Rate Matrix

Step 2: Determine Budget Balance

The Category 2 budget is a pre-discount dollar amount alotted to each facility based on student counts in the case of schools and square footage for libraries. Use the budget lookup tool to determine remaining dollars for each entity.

Category 2 Budget Lookup Tool

Step 3: File Form 470

The Form 470 application begins the E-Rate process by informing vendors and service providers that you are applying for funding on a project.

Download Form 470

Form 470 Instructions

Step 4: Choose a Vendor

Once  your Form 470 has been submitted, vendors will have 28 days to respond with a bid for your project. Once you choose a vendor you will submit a Form 471 to indicate your chosen bidder and costs.

Download Form 471

Form 471 Instructions

Step 5: Program Integrity Audit

While your E-Rate application is being reviewed for compliance you will be issued a series of questions as part of the Program Integrity Audit (PIA) process. Response to these questions in a prompt and thoroough manner is required, concluding with a Funding Commitment Decision Letter sent to all parties detailing the funding status and amount.

Step 6: File Form 486

Once you have the project authorized a Form 486 must be filed to begin funding allocation. Upon receipt by the FCC a notification letter is sent to all parties and the project may commence.

Download Form 486

Form 486 Instructions

Step 7: Invoicing

Once you recieve notice that the Form 486 has been processed the service provider or school/library may begin the process of invoicing for the discount share of approved eligible services. There are 2 invoicing methods:

Form 472: Reimbursement

Form 474: Service Provider Invoice