Update on Pending FY 2016 Funding Requests
December 20, 2016
Over the past several months we have been hearing concerns from applicants who still have not received their 2016 funding commitments. This is not just an issue in our state but is a nationwide concern. In PA, we have 228 Form 471 applications (641 FRNs) not yet funded, that request $36,350,245 million in funding. This represents nearly 45% of the state’s funding as pending.
On Friday, December 16, the State E-rate Coordinators’ Alliance (SECA) had a conference call with USAC management to review this issue. Here are some important points from the call:
- USAC staff acknowledged the concerns and frustrations many applicants have with the slow pace of 2016 funding commitments.
- One of the major causes of this has been with the processing of applications in the new EPC system. USAC is making needed software fixes to help speed the processing of applications. Additionally, in some situations, PIA reviewers may reach out to applicants outside of EPC to speed processing.
- USAC expects to process a majority of remaining applications by the end of January.
- USAC will likely be more proactive in the coming weeks and provide more information to applicants on the status of the pending applications.
- While not discussed on the call it is important to know that any delay in getting your funding is not related to the overall amount of E-rate funding available. There are sufficient funds available to fund all requests.
It is very important to respond ASAP to any PIA requests for more information on any pending requests. Some of these requests will come over the holidays so please keep monitoring your application status in EPC and your email. To see USAC’s procedures for PIA deadlines during the holidays, please see: http://usac.org/sl/tools/news-briefs/preview.aspx?id=735.
Looking ahead, USAC officials indicated they don’t foresee any major changes to the FY 2017 Form 471. In terms of the FY 2017 Form 471 filing window dates, these have not yet been established but we do know that there will be a short “Administrative Window” prior to the regular filing window opening when applicants can update their EPC profiles (such as updating enrollment/NSLP data, adding entities, etc). My best guess is that the 471 window will not open before late February or early March.
I hope the above information provides some reassurance to applicants with pending FY 2016 applications that their applications will be funded in the next few weeks. In the meantime, please begin preparing for FY 2017 if you haven’t done so already.
As usual, if you have any questions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday filled with love, memories and plenty of cookies!
Julie Tritt Schell
PA E-rate Coordinator
717-730-7133 – o
717-730-9060 – f