While the modernization of the eRate filing system is in progress there have been many questions and the answers are starting to flow. One big change is that ALL filing will be online so that districts that are using paper forms will need to move to a paperless system for the next eRate filing.
The determination of discount is also in the process of changing and will be a significant change as well. ERate Central suggests that “applicants should begin to calculate, or at least estimate, their discount rates for FY 2015 as soon as possible. This is particularly important for school districts that now have to use matrix discount rates. In the past, the difference of a percentage point of student eligibility at a school level might affect a district’s discount average by a percent or two. Going forward, the same magnitude difference in student eligibility may affect the district’s rate by ten percent. Any district with a student eligibility percentage currently close to a matrix breakpoint should take special care to maximize its overall NSLP percentage.” To find out more about this change, go to USAC’s 9.14.14 S&L News Brief.