Pointers Going Into the Form 471 Home Stretch
May 20, 2016
We’re just six days away from the FY 2016 Form 471 filing deadline for schools and school districts and I can feel the excitement! Here are some last minute tips based on the questions I’ve been receiving:
- Some applicants are receiving system errors when creating PDFs of their draft 471s. USAC is aware of this problem and working hard to fix it.
- If you receive other system errors, let me know right away, and also call CSB at 888-203-8100 to memorialize it in your EPC file.
- If you get stuck, refer to this document: http://e-ratepa.org/?p=12841. I can almost guarantee you that your problem and the solution are included in this document. The most common one relates to the Connectivity Questions (#9).
- Be sure not to list quantity of 1 for WAN circuits and phones (if you have more than 1 line). The form specifically requires you to list the cost/line or cost/circuit. Internet, however, would be a quantity of 1. For example, if you have 25 phone lines and your total bill is $1200, you would list $48/month and quantity of 25. If you list a quantity of 1, you will receive a PIA inquiry telling you to break it out.
- On the Certification page, be sure not to list $0 where it asks how much you plan to spend on technology next year. Just list the amount of your technology budget.
- Also on the Certification page, be sure to choose No and No under the certifications.
- If you’re applying for cellular service that contains data plans, select Cellular Voice in the drop down menu, and then do a cost allocation on the 471. List the total amount/line, then the ineligible amount (for data and text messaging) per line, then the total # of lines. We’re finding that where applicants listed Cellular Voice with Data Plans, even where an amount was entered as ineligible, PIA interprets this to mean that you’re requesting E-rate discounts on cellular data, which we know is almost always ineligible.
As of today, here is a status of PA’s 471 filings:
Need help? I’ve compiled all of my helpful guides on a single page in the PA E-rate website: http://e-ratepa.org/?page_id=754. There you will find links to the following materials:
- Updating Each School’s EPC Profile
- PA Enrollment/NSLP/CEP Data
- Answering the Connectivity Questions
- Completing a General Contract Module
- Completing a PEPPM-Related Contract Module
- IU Discount Calculation Guidance
- Schools with Part-Time Students Enrollment Guide
- Category 1 Filing Guide
- Category 2 Filing Guide
- Category 2 Budget Calculations and Calculators
- Category 2 Cost Allocation Guide for Shared Equipment
- PA Library Classification Options
- Getting “Unstuck” in the Form 471
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you need help!
Julie Tritt Schell
PA E-rate Coordinator