Category 2 Budget Calculations and Calculators

April 12, 2016

To determine your remaining Category 2 budget by school, you must multiply each school’s current enrollment by $150, then subtract the pre-discount amount of any C2 E-rate funding awarded to each school in FY 2015, if any.   For example:

  • School A had 250 full and part time students in FY 2015.  Their C2 budget was $37,500 ($150 x 250).
  • The school applied equipment costing $25,000 in FY 2015 (this is the pre-discount amount, not what was requested from E-rate).
  • The remaining budget available for the next four years would be $12,500 ($37,500 – $25,000).
  • School A’s enrollment for FY 2016 increases to 275, thus giving them an additional $3750 ($150 x additional 25 students).
  • Therefore School A’s remaining C2 budget, adjusted for FY 2016 enrollment, is $16,250 ($12,500 + $3750).

There are two tools available to help you determine a school’s C2 budget:

1)  If a school received C2 funding in FY 2015:  USAC has a Category 2 Look-Up Tool at which is designed to help determine what the available balance is by school, if that school received C2 funding in FY 2015.  It uses last year’s enrollment data, so if your enrollment has increased or decreased for FY 2015, you’ll want to adjust the results accordingly using the math shown above.

2)  If a school did not receive C2 funding in FY 2015:  If you would like to simply knowthe C2 budget for a school that didn’t receive C2 funding in FY 2015, you can use this C2 Budget Tool by Funds for Learning at:  The data returned uses the enrollment from your FY 2015 application.  There also is an option to enter current enrollment data.  Keep in mind that this tool does not subtract any C2 committed funds from FY 2015.

Remember:  Category 2 budgets are calculated by school and are based on the pre-discount amount.  The applicant is then responsible for paying the non-discounted share of that cost.  For example:

If the pre-discount amount is $25,000 and the E-rate discount of the district is 50%, E-rate would pay $12,500 and the District would be responsible for the remaining $12,500.  The school would not actually receive $25,000 from E-rate.

If a piece of equipment is shared by two or more schools, you must use the C2 funding of the schools sharing the equipment.  I’ll provide detailed information regarding cost allocating C2 budgets between those schools in a separate message.

If you were committed C2 funding in FY 2015 and did not invoice for the entire amount, you must submit a Form 500 to return the unused commitment to your C2 budget.  Your C2 budget is depleted when the funding commitment is made — not when funds are disbursed through the invoicing process.  In other words, if you are committed $25,000 and then only use $10,000, you have actually used $25,000 of your C2 budget – not just $10,000 — unless you submit a Form 500 to “decommit” the funds.

If you have any questions about C2 budgets, please let me know.

– Julie

Julie Tritt Schell
PA E-rate Coordinator

717-730-7133 – o
717-730-9060 – f



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