Edmond, Okla. (Jan. 8, 2014) – The Funding Year 2014 Form 471 filing window will officially open at noon EST on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, and will close at 11:59 pm EDT on Wednesday, March 26, 2014. The filing window, during which schools and libraries can apply for E-rate funding, will be open for 77 days.
Participating in its 17th filing window, Funds For Learning, the nation’s largest E-rate compliance firm, helps applicants across the nation benefit from technologies supported by E-rate funds.
“While there has been important discussion about sorely needed E-rate reform, the application process remains unchanged for 2014,” said Cathy Cruzan, president of Funds For Learning. “We are committed to the continued success of the E-rate program, and we want to be sure schools and libraries recognize the funding opportunities available to them.”
Funds For Learning reminds applicants the last date to post a Form 470 and start the competitive bidding and procurement cycle is Feb. 26, 2014, as FCC rules dictate that Form 470 responses need to be evaluated for a minimum of 28 days. If applicants request Priority Two services, they will need to have a signed and dated contract by the time the Form 471 is submitted. The Item 21 Description of Services Attachment will need to be submitted by the time the Form 471 window closes on March 26.
Funds For Learning has been an active participant in E-rate reform processes, most recently presenting the FCC with recommendations for updating the landmark funding program.
According to Funds For Learning leadership, rising demand for Internet access, combined with 1990’s-era regulations, has shifted the program away from its core mission of connecting students. The E-rate program now routinely denies funding for important networking infrastructure, such as Wi-Fi hot spots. On the program’s current course, the majority of E-rate applicants could be denied funding for any services within two years.
“E-rate funds are vital to quality education in today’s connected, online and media-rich classrooms and libraries,” said Cruzan. “Ensuring the immediate and long-term viability of this program is critical to preparing our students for the global competitiveness that awaits them.”
For more details about the Funding Year 2014 application filing window dates, visit the Universal Service Administrative Company site.
About Funds For Learning
Funds For Learning, LLC, is an E-rate compliance firm specializing in guiding E-rate applicants through the E-rate regulatory process and is an advocate for the use of educational technologies and student Internet access. Formed in 1997, Funds For Learning provides professional advice and assistance relating to the E-rate program to clients in all 50 states. For more information, visit www.FundsForLearning.com or phone 405-341-4140.