E-rate FY 2018 “Admin Window” is Open

December 5, 2017

Attached: Entering Enrollment-NSLP Data in EPC Profiles FY 2018
Attached: Oct 2017 NSLP DRAFT DATA

~ Schools and Libraries Should Update EPC Profile Data Now ~
~ Helpful Guide and Draft Enrollment/NSLP Attached ~

The Funding Year 2018 E-rate ”Admin Window” is now open!  That means it’s time that schools must update the enrollment/NSLP data in each of their schools’ EPC profiles and add any new schools/admin buildings (libraries do not enter NSLP data, but should update any changes to square footage of their buildings).  After the Admin Window closes, the data will be “locked down” and it will not be possible to update this data in the EPC profiles because that data will be linked to active library and consortia applications.  The Admin Window deadline has not yet been announced, but I expect it to be the first week in January, which means you should update this data before leaving for the holiday break.  As soon as the Admin Window closes, the Form 471 Filing Window for FY 2018 will open.

IMPORTANT AND GOOD NEWS:  The official PDE NSLP Data File will not be released until mid-January (at the earliest); but, the PDE Bureau of Food and Nutrition has provided us with the unofficial data that was submitted by each LEA on their October 2017 NSLP Claim Form (which is the month that goes into the official data file).  I made this request of PDE because I thought it would be easier than having every PA LEA contact their food service director to request the data that had been submitted.  Official disclaimer:  LEAs technically have until December 30, 2017 to make revisions to this data in the PDE PEARS system, and therefore there’s a chance that this data could change from the official data that is submitted to USAC.

Details about the Data: The data that you will use is on the 1st tab (named:  Oct 2017 NSLP Draft Data), which contains the Enrollment and NSLP that should be used in each school’s EPC profile.  If a school is a CEP-participating school, they will use the Enrollment and CEP Percentage shown on the spreadsheet (note, this is technically the Identified Student Percentage, but USAC calls it the CEP Percentage).

Some Missing Data:  There are 93 LEAs that have not yet submitted their October 2017 NSLP Claim Forms to PDE, and I’ve listed those entities on the 2nd tab in the spreadsheet file (named: No Oct 2017 Claim Form).  If your LEA’s name is on this “non-filer” list, you should contact your Food Service Director and remind them to file this October 2017 claim form ASAP, and then have them provide to you the data they submitted so you can enter it in your EPC profiles.  Of those 93 LEAs that haven’t submitted their October 2017 NSLP Claim Forms to PDE, 32 of those LEAs have CEP schools.  I’ve listed their CEP Percentages on the 3rd tab (named: CEP % but No Oct 2017 Claim Form), but because the October 2017 NSLP Claim Forms have not yet been submitted.

What To Do Now

  1. Review the entities in your EPC Portal and contact USAC at 888-203-8100 to have any new entities added, such as new schools, libraries, NIFs, etc.
  2. Update the Enrollment and NSLP (or CEP) data in each school’s EPC profile.  Although I encourage everyone to use the October 2017 data, schools are permitted to use alternative data (such as surveys, more recent data, etc.).  If you use data different from the Oct 2017 data, just be prepared to validate/prove this data during PIA review.   If a school is participating in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) program, “CEP” will be noted in the Free/Reduced Column (Column G) in which case that school’s EPC Profile should mark YES the Community Eligibility Provision and then enter the CEP% number from Column J in the required EPC field.
  3. Use the attached “Guide to Updating EPC Profiles” which contains screenshots of the EPC profile pages for both CEP schools and non CEP schools.  Use this Guide and you will succeed!

Where Should You Update EPC Profiles? 
You must access each school’s EPC Profile page to update this information.  Follow these steps:

> Log-In to EPC at: https://portal.usac.org/suite/.  Passwords are only good for 60 days so if it’s been longer than that, you’ll have to reset it.  If you don’t have an EPC account, call CSB at 888-203-8100 and have them create one for you.
> Go to your EPC Landing Page (home screen).  Always click on the USAC Logo in the top left side of the page to get to the Landing Page.
> Under My Entities, click on the School’s name for which you want to modify (tab through to see other schools as they only show 5 to a page)
> The next screen will show the school’s data currently in the system.  To modify this data, click on Modify Organization at the top right side of the page
> Scroll down to the School Information Section and enter the relevant data.  Note: The data currently in the fields is what you inputted for FY 2017.
> Note, the system will require you to fill in 0 for the part time fields if you only have full time students.  It also will require you to select NONE if you didn’t use an Alternative Discount Mechanism.
> After you click Submit, the system will ask you to assign a Nickname to this change.  You can just click the space bar to get past this page.
> To return to the list of schools, click on News, then the USAC Logo on the top left side of the page to return to your Landing Page. Start the process over for the next school in the list.
> After you’ve completed updating data for each school, double check the overall district discount.  To do so, from your Landing Page, click on the name of your district.  Then click Discount Calculations on the top toolbar. See the attached Guide for more information on how to find and interpret this data.

A Few Additional Notes:

  1. Please review your schools’ data carefully to ensure that it is accurate and if it is not, have your food service director update this data in the PEARS system before December 31, 2017.
  1. This spreadsheet only contains buildings that have students participating in the NSLP program.  If your school does not participate in the NSLP, they still must be included in your EPC Portal and have enrollment and NSLP eligibility data entered.  If you do not have the NSLP data and cannot obtain it from other sources, you can list 0 and receive the minimum 20% E-rate discount for that school.
  1. Don’t forget:  Your EPC profiles must contain ALL of the buildings that are receiving E-rate discounted services, including your non-instructional facilities (NIFs), such as bus barns, administration buildings, etc.  If you have not yet added those NIF buildings into your EPC Portal, call USAC at 888-203-8100 and have them added.
  1. Each school’s profile page has fields for State School and LEA Codes and NCES codes.  You are not required to enter this data.  If you choose to enter this data, and if the system gives you an error for these fields, just erase the data and hit Submit.
  1. Consortia will NOT enter this data for their member schools/districts.  In fact, they cannot enter this data for their members (it all has to be done at the district level).
  1. If you have any questions about your NSLP information, contact the PDE Bureau of Food and Nutrition at 717-783-6558.  If you have questions about your CEP information, contact Eliza Hanft at ehanft@pa.gov.

– Julie

Julie Tritt Schell
PA E-rate Coordinator
717-730-7133 – o
717-730-9060 – f

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