Thursday is 471 Deadline for Consortia and Libraries

July 18, 2016

This is a friendly reminder that the Form 471 deadline for consortia and libraries is Thursday, July 21.  The main reason there was a special filing window for these two entity types is because their discounts are based entirely on other entities’ data and so it was important that schools and districts had their data “set” in EPC so that these “reliant” entity types could file successfully.

Problems with Discount Calculation Section?

Many entities have reported that their discount calculations are still not calculating because of underlying problems with school data.  If this happens, please let me know and I will try to get USAC to correct it quickly.  It is extremely important that you hit submit on your application by the July 21 deadline.  For consortia with discount problems, if you can’t get it corrected by tomorrow, USAC is advising to leave the entity off your consortium application in order to move passed the discount calculation section, and then state in the FRN narrative section that there is a missing consortium member that needs added to your application.  PIA will take care of this during their review.  Likewise, if a library can’t move beyond their discount section of the Form 471 because of underlying district data issues, select a different school district, then explain in the narrative section that the school district of the main library needs to be changed to a different district (and list the correct district name).

Some other tips:

  • If you get stuck in the 471 (besides the issues referred to above), refer to this document:  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.

Need help?  I’ve compiled all of my helpful guides on a single page in the PA E-rate website:  There you will find links to the following materials:


Form 471:

If you need anything, please e-mail me at

– Julie

Julie Tritt Schell
PA E-rate Coordinator

717-730-7133 – o
717-730-9060 – f


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