Schools and Libraries (E-Rate)

Step 3 Applying for Discounts

Updated September 2015


To apply for Schools and Libraries Program discounts, file an FCC Form 471 to provide USAC with information about the services you are requesting and the discount(s) for which you are eligible. USAC will review your request, may ask for additional information, and will then issue a funding decision.

Filing an FCC Form 471

The FCC Form 471 must be filed during a specific application window each year. In general, the application filing window opens about six months before the start of the funding year and is open for about two and a half months. All applications certified before the close of the filing window are considered as having arrived on the same day, and have priority over those certified after the filing window has closed. The specific opening and closing dates of the filing window are published in advance on this website.

If a consultant is assisting you with the application process, provide the appropriate information, including the consultant registration number, in the "Basic Information" section of the form.

After the FCC Form 471 is certified, USAC will issue an FCC Form 471 Receipt Acknowledgment Letter (RAL) in an entity's E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) account. This letter contains links to the applicant profile and the form, provides a means to correct certain errors, and discusses the next steps in the application process.

Information required on the FCC Form 471

The system will populate the following information from your profile in EPC into your form when you file it online:

  • Entity numbers, also called Billed Entity Numbers (BENs), for all entities receiving service, together with specific information for each entity ("Basic Information," "Discount Calculation" and "Funding Request" sections)
  • NCES and/or FSCS codes for entities receiving service ("Discount Calculation" section)
  • Student counts used for calculating discounts, the total number of students and the total number of students eligible for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
  • For libraries, the square footage of the library, the main branch of the library, and the entity number of the public school district in which the library is located
  • An alternative discount mechanism 

For each funding request you must also provide the following:

  • Information on telephone and Internet access connections and speeds ("Funding Request" section)
  • A detailed description of services
  • Specific information on each service or set of services you are requesting:
    • Name and Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN) of the service provider
    • Cost of the service
    • Contract number and other contract details (if there is a contract)
    • Start and end dates of service
    • Worksheet(s) identifying the entity or set of entities receiving each service

Your certified FCC Form 471 is due on or before the close of the application filing window.

Next Step

Once you have submitted your FCC Form 471, USAC's Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) group can begin the review of your application.