The Funding Year 2012 Form 471 filing window is officially open and applicants can now begin submitting applications.

EDMOND, OKLA. (Jan. 11, 2012) – The Funding Year 2012 Form 471 filing window is officially open and applicants can now begin submitting applications for the upcoming funding year. The FY2012 filing window will be open for 72 days, closing at 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, March 20, 2012.

Participating in its 15th filing window, Funds For Learning, the nation’s largest E-rate compliance firm, is set to eclipse $1 billion in submitted E-rate funding requests since the program’s inception.

“We have had the privilege to help many applicants across the nation benefit from technologies supported by E-rate funds,” said Cathy Cruzan, president of Funds For Learning. “We are committed to E-rate stakeholders and to the continued success of the E-rate program. We don’t want to see any (schools or libraries) left behind in the race for E-rate funding.”

Funds For Learning’s concern stems from recent demand for E-rate funds outpacing available funding. In FY2011, over $4.6 billion was requested – nearly double the amount of available funds. Demand for FY2012 is also likely to surpass the amount of available funding, as demand for E-rate funding has increased by 108 percent since 1998.

“E-rate has helped the most impoverished schools in the nation receive funding for much needed technological upgrades,” said Cruzan. “We want the success stories to continue, and this is why (Funds For Learning) has been proactive in requesting that the FCC provide more funding for the E-rate program.”

In November, 2011, John Harrington, CEO of Funds For Learning, penned an open letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski requesting that the commission increase the available funding in the E-rate program. Funds For Learning invites E-rate stakeholders and supporters to sign the online petition before it is delivered to the FCC in 2012.

In addition to the petition, Funds For Learning offers filing window tools and assistance for schools and libraries. Funds For Learning’s award-winning E-rate Manager for Applicants can relieve some of the stress and assist schools and libraries that have yet to file their Forms 471 for Funding Year 2012. The web-based tool helps schools and libraries secure vital technology funding through the E-rate program, by enabling applicants to generate E-rate forms and paperwork, track pending applications, receive notifications of upcoming deadlines, and stay compliant with document retention requirements.

About Funds For Learning

Funds For Learning, LLC, is an E-rate compliance firm specializing in guiding E-rate applicants and service providers through the complex and ever-changing E-rate regulatory process. With more than 150 combined years of experience in providing professional advice and assistance relating to the E-rate program, Funds For Learning exists to provide high-quality solutions for the needs of E-rate stakeholders. The company was established in 1997 and is headquartered in Edmond, Okla. For more information, visit www.fundsforlearning.com or phone 405-341-4140.

About E-rate

The E-rate program provides discounts on certain services and products that are essential for classrooms and libraries to receive voice, video, and data communications. The amount of the discount depends on the level of poverty and location of the applicant, ranging from 20 percent to 90 percent of the cost of eligible services.