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The Complexities of the Erate Form 471

The 2023 Erate Form Erate 471 deadline is March 22, 2022. This is a short time frame from today to do a lot of work. Pace yourself for the multiple steps, rules and procedures. 

 An important distinction is that separate Form 471’s are required for Category 1 and Category 2. What do categories have to do with this? Well, I’m glad you asked!

Category 1 is for Internet services. This can be delivered via coax, fiber, DSL or several other transmission methods. There is no budget or ceiling for Internet services. 

Category 2 This is for equipment, and ongoing maintenance services of Erate eligible equipment. There is a specific budget for this category. As of this writing, schools receive $167 per student or $25,000, whichever is higher, over a five-year period to spend on equipment and maintenance. For example, if a school has 200 students, they have $33,400 to spend over five years (200 x $167=$33,400). Choose your equipment and services carefully to stretch your budget over the five-year period. If your student count increases then the budget can increase once updated in the EPC.

Yes, the budgets and categories are confusing. Take a deep belly breath, perhaps try some yoga on the beach, and then read on…

Welcome back 😉 

As noted in last week’s Service Provider Selection post, a contract is required to be uploaded for equipment and services, unless the Internet service is on a month-to-month basis without a contract. 

The Form 471 requires information such as the monthly or overall cost of services/equipment, applicant and service provider identification numbers (BEN and SPIN), and each piece of equipment needs to be input separately with the make/model information. 

The prep work leading up to filling in the Form 471 can take months, and the forms themselves can take several hours to complete online depending on the amount of services and equipment being requested. Pace yourself, and reward yourself with more beach Yoga, chocolate or whatever keeps you going.  

Grant Consulting Services has helped file hundreds of Form 471’s for schools. Connect with us to learn more about our services at (760)237-8327 or

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