General E-Rate Information
The Universal Services Program for Schools and Libraries, often called the E-Rate program, is directly funded from fees on telecommunications billing. The Federal Communications Comission (FCC) is the program 'supervisor'. The program is not a grant program, it is a DISCOUNT program where applicants can get 20% to 90% discounts on eligible telecommunications services. The amount of the discount is based on the free and reduced lunch eligibility percentage of attending students.
All K-12 public schools, public charter schools, and private schools with endowments under $50 million are eligible to participate. Preschool programs, such as Head Start, are eligible in some states. In order to participate, each school or district must have an APPROVED TECHNOLOGY PLAN for priority 2 applications and must APPLY for the discounts through a series of forms.
Detailed information can be found at the USAC website: http://www.universalservice.org/sl