The filing window for E-rate funding is now open through March 26th and includes an additional $1.5 billion to assist schools and libraries in improving their Internet access. Funds for Learning has compiled a list of do’s and don’ts for applicants who have filed their 470 Forms and are waiting for the 28-day waiting period to pass.
Don’t: Work on what you shouldn’t
The 28-day bidding period is taken seriously by the USAC, which will not tolerate exceptions. If you begin selecting service providers listed on your pending 470 before the conclusion of your 28-day waiting period, you are out of compliance and risk losing funding.
Do: Work on what you can
While you count down the minutes of your Form 470’s 28-day waiting period, get a jump on other aspects of the E-rate process, such as compiling certain components of Form 471 or gathering information on your library’s or school district’s student information to determine your discount percentage.
Don’t: Be selective with Information
It is imperative that the E-rate program maintain an open and honest bidding process. You cannot be selective about which vendors you share information with. All potential bidders must maintain an equality of knowledge and information to ensure competitive bidding.
Do: Be fair
Be honest and fair in your treatment of bidders and in your correspondence with providers.
Don’t: Go it alone
The application process can be cumbersome. Make sure to have an extra set of eyes review all aspects of the process, from reviewing bids to proofreading submissions for errors. You don’t want a foolish mistake to jeopardize your funding.
Do: Recruit help
If you are falling behind in gathering data or in the review process, do not hesitate to seek assistance from others, whether it be from colleagues or from professional resources.
For more info on E-Rate funding , visit http://www.fundsforlearning.com/resources.php