FCC Increases Category 2 Budgets Slightly

March 20, 2017

Last week the FCC increased the Category 2 per-pupil (schools) and per square footage (libraries) budget amounts to account for inflation.  In fact, they raised it for FY 2016 (1%), and also for FY 2017 (1.3%).  The revised C2 budget factors are as follows:


2016 = $151.50 per student, or minimum of $9,292.00/school

2017 = $153.47 per student, or minimum of $9,412.80/school

Non-Urban Libraries (serving less than 250,000 patrons)

2016 = $2.32/square foot, or minimum of $9,292.00/library

2017 = $2.35/square foot, or minimum of $9,412.80/library

Large Urban Libraries (serving 250,000 patrons or more)

2016 = $5.12/square foot, or minimum of $9,292.00/library

2017 = $6.05/square foot, or minimum of $9,412.80/library

I realize there were a few schools that were required to reduce their FY 2016 Category 2 funding requests because they had hit their budget caps using the $150 per pupil formula.  We are currently discussing with USAC whether applicants can file appeals to have such funding commitments adjusted.  Stay tuned…

How to Calculate your FY 2017 Category 2 Budgets
When calculating your FY 2017 Category 2 school budgets, you should use the enrollments currently in EPC, multiplied by $153.47.  Then subtract any Category 2 pre-discount amounts that have been committed in FY 2015 or FY 2016 for that school.  USAC is slated to release a Category 2 budget tool in early April to assist applicants with keeping track of exactly what C2 funding has been committed so far for each school, thus enabling applicants to better calculate the amount of C2 funding remaining per school.  Unfortunately, this tool is not expected to take the added step of factoring in your FY 2017 enrollments , multiplied by the FY 2017 C2 per student budgets and subtracting amounts that have already been committed in FY 2015 and FY 2016.  Those calculations will have to be done off-line.  Further, this tool will not be embedded into the FY 2017 Form 471 to show you when you’ve exceeded your remaining C2 budget.

While I want everyone to maximize their C2 budgets, please be sure not to request more than your remaining C2 budget because this will just push your application to the bottom of the review pile because it requires more manual processing.  Where can you currently obtain data showing what C2 funding was committed per school for FY 2015 and FY 2016?  Here are some helpful resources:

FY 2015:  https://sltools.universalservice.org/portal-external/budgetLookup/  – If you enter building entity numbers, this tool will show what C2 funding was committed for each of those entities in FY 2015.

FY 2016:  https://data.usac.org/publicreports/Forms/Form471Detail/Index  – This tool will allow you to download all FY 2016 Form 471 data, including Recipients of Service, for each FRN.  The “Current” version shows only committed FRNs (the “original” version shows all FRNs as they were originally submitted).  You must download by state, but you can then select the “Recipients of Service” Tab at the bottom and filter for your schools.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at jtschell@comcast.net.

- Julie

Julie Tritt Schell
PA E-rate Coordinator

717-730-7133 – o
717-730-9060 – f


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