E-Rate Advantage is a full service E-Rate consulting company.
We believe that success with the E-Rate application process
begins with thoughtful planning before the first application is filed.
Why Choose E-Rate Advantage?
Best In-Class Customer Service
What Is E-Rate?
Education Rate, more commonly known as E-Rate, is a Federal program that provides schools, libraries, and consortia funding for two types of categories of services: Category I (Internet Access) and Category II (Internal Connections, Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections and MIBS).
This amount of funding is dependent on how many students your school has as well as how many of your students are eligible for free and reduced lunch. The more students who are eligible for free and reduced lunch, the more money your Organization is entitled to. These discounts range from 20% (no students eligible for free and reduced lunch) to 90% (over 75% of your students are eligible for free and reduced lunch) for Category I Services and from 20% (no students eligible for free and reduced lunch) to 85% (over 75% of your students are eligible for free and reduced lunch) for Category II Internal Connections and Services. For more details on E-Rate discounts please see the USAC Discount Matrix below.
In order to be eligible to receive E-Rate discounts, schools and libraries must meet certain eligibility criteria. In general, elementary schools, secondary schools, private schools, and religious schools are all eligible to receive discounts as long as they have an endowment less than $50 million and are not-for-profit. Public libraries and library systems are also eligible to receive discounts as long as they meet the eligibility requirements for libraries. Eligible services of the E-Rate program are broken down into two Categories: Category I and Category II.
+ Category I*
Category 1 is internet service including, but not limited to:
- Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)
- Broadband over Power Lines
- Cable Modem
- Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
- DS-1 (T-1), DS-3 (T-3), and Fractional T-1 or T-3
- Leased Lit Fiber
- Leased Dark Fiber
- Self-Provisioned Broadband Networks (applicant owned and operated networks)
- Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS)
- Switched Multimegabit Data Service
+ Category II*
Category 2 is internal connections, basic maintenance of internal connections and MIBS including, but not limited to:
- Wireless Access Points
- Firewall Services and components
- Wireless Controller
- Wi-Fi Software
- Managed Wi-Fi Services
- And the maintenance of these eligible products
* This is a list of some of the services that are eligible under Category I and Category II services. This is not a comprehensive list, nor does the inclusion on the list guarantee approval. Please contact us for a complete copy of the current Eligible Services List."
Determining your Discount Percentage
using the E-Rate Discount Matrix
Every school or library that participates in the E-Rate Program should know their Discount Percentage. The discount percentage for an E-Rate applicant is based on student eligibility for free and reduced lunch. The minimum that any entity could receive on Category One (internet service to the school or library) is 20% and the maximum is 90%. In other words, if none of your students are eligible for free and reduced lunch, your organization could still receive a 20% discount on your organization’s internet services. If over 75% of your students are eligible for free and reduced lunch, your discount would be 90% off of your organization’s internet services.
In addition, E-Rate also funds discounts for Category Two (Internal Connections Equipment and Services) that range from 20% to 85% – also dependent on the percentage of your students who are eligible for free and reduced lunch. Schools do not have to participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) in order to validate their discount level, they only have to have a mechanism for determining how many of their students qualify for free and reduced lunch. There are many ways to do this: Surveys, Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, Federal public housing assistance or Section 8, LIJEAP (Direct Certs).
|% of students in your school that qualifies for the National School Lunch Program is…||Urban Discount||Rural Discount||Urban Discount||Rural Discount|
|Less than 1%||20%||25%||20%||25%|
|1% to 19%||40%||50%||40%||50%|
|20% to 34%||50%||60%||50%||60%|
|35% to 49%||60%||70%||60%||70%|
|50% to 74%||80%||80%||80%||80%|
|75% to 100%||90%||90%||85%||85%|
Services and Fees
E-Rate Advantage charges one comprehensive fee that includes the services necessary to plan, approve, and secure funding approval from the E-Rate Program.
These services include:
- Review of prior years’ applications.
- Assisting in validation of students for Free and Reduced Lunch.
- Review of the school’s CIPA compliance and internet safety policies and training.
Program Application Filing and Compliance
- Assist the school in determining their program needs.
- Review discount numbers to ensure compliance with program rules.
- Filing the school’s 470 and 471 applications.
- Serve as the single point of contact with USAC for all Program Reviews – PIA Reviews, Selective Reviews, Program Compliance Reviews, and Audits.
- Interact with Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) on all application approval issues.
Post Approval Services
- Filing the school’s Form 486 to certify service start date.
- Assisting the school with the discount and reimbursement process.
- Serve as the single point of contact for audits and post approval reviews.
Meet Our Team
A Word from E-Rate Advantage
“E-Rate Advantage has served as our single point of contact on all things E-Rate for nearly a decade! Knowing that we can reach out at any time with questions or concerns has streamlined our whole application process. Their consultants are attentive, professional, and extremely knowledgeable about the E-Rate program. Trusting them to manage our E-Rate process has enabled us to focus our time on other important tasks for our schools.”
“E-Rate Advantage is a breath of fresh air. Without their deep knowledge and constant diligence, I would not be able to successfully navigate the complex world of E-Rate! They make sure I am 100% compliant while getting timely maximum rebates which help us to deliver the best services and support to our students. It’s so nice to work with such a competent team who are also some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.”
“E-Rate Advantage has been doing our District’s applications for over 15 years. We have never had a reason to consider using anyone else.”
“We had been utilizing the services of another consultant for a number of years but then we found ourselves in a maze of Selective Reviews and Cost Effective Reviews. Navigating that confusing process was a challenge and our funding was in jeopardy. The burden had gotten so large that we almost temporarily stopped applying for E-Rate funding. We reached out to E-Rate Advantage and they were able to give us a better picture of the entire E-Rate program and they worked with us to establish policies and procedures that ensured we were in compliance with E-Rate program rules. They also provided best practices on Category 2 funding, which provided a new level of savings for our schools. We view them not as a vendor for our schools but as a real partner who has our best interest at heart. We would recommend E-Rate Advantage to any organization looking to apply for E-Rate.”
Contact Us Today!
Whether you are looking for a consultant or just have questions about the E-Rate program, we would love to hear from you and help in any way that we can. There is no obligation in giving us a call to see if our services would be a right fit for your Organization.
We are a full-service E-Rate consulting company, and we have been helping Schools and Libraries with their E-Rate applications for over 15 years. We take our clients from the beginning stages of the E-Rate application process all the way through to receiving a Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL) and getting the funds deposited into the school’s account.
Please reach out to us, and one of our dedicated consultants will return your message within 24 hours. Thank you.