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E-rate Top 10 Tips

For two decades, E-rate funds have made technology more affordable for schools and libraries across the U.S. In that time, many have discovered how to make the most of the E-rate dollars available to them. We’ve taken their input, as well as recommendations from E-rate consulting firm Funds for Learning, and developed this list of best practices: our top tips for E-rate success.

E-rate Top 10 Tips

1. The E-rate program is strong!

After years of decline, the number of applications has stabilized.

E-rate Top 10 Tips

4. Create a tech vision for your school or library.

Engage your stakeholders, take a step back, and consider the
big picture.

E-rate Top 10 Tips

5. Assess needs and prioritize.

1. 88% of applicants say their Wi-Fi network is critical to fulfilling
their mission.

2. 75% of applicants will need to upgrade their Wi-Fi within
three years.

E-rate Top 10 Tips

8. Know the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC), and mind your deadlines.

44% agreed that it took less time to prepare and file applications
last year.

E-rate Top 10 Tips

2. At least $4B will be available in funding year 2020. Calculate what you can receive.

Most schools and libraries are entitled to some support.

E-rate Top 10 Tips

6. Plan + design your network to align with your vision, goals,
and priorities.

See where you are today and what’s needed to achieve your vision.

E-rate Top 10 Tips

9. Identify matching and other funding sources.

84% of applicants report that
E-rate funds are not sufficient to meet their needs.

E-rate Top 10 Tips

3. Assess resources, and decide who will manage your application.

66% of schools and libraries brought in outside consultants
in 2019.

E-rate Top 10 Tips

7. Use a competitive bidding process.

1. 28 days of open bidding.

2. Cost is the highest-weighted factor.

E-rate Top 10 Tips

10. Manage the process
year-round.

Manage deadlines and document work to stay ahead of the game and keep E-rate funds flowing.

Source: Funds for Learning 2019 survey

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