Although the number of Form 470 applications posted to date for 2005 is lagging behind the number posted by the comparable date last year, a Funds For Learning analysis suggests that many applicants may be ahead of schedule.
The number of applications posted two months before the end of the filing window is higher this year (18,140) compared to the 15,617 applications that had been posted 62 days before the close of the filing window last year, the analysis shows.
As of early December 17, 2004, 18,140 Form 470 applications had been posted for the 2005 funding year, compared with 21,964 by that same date the previous year.
This year, the Form 471 filing window will close on February 17, 2005, about two weeks later than in recent years. Consequently, January 20, 2005 will become the last date on which a Form 470 could be posted and still allow enough time for the requisite 28-day posting period.
For 2005, the Form 471 filing window also opened five weeks later than in recent years, and it has been reported that many applicants thought they had to wait until then to start posting their Form 470 applications.
At the same time, however, the Schools and Libraries Division has been stressing that applicants are expected to have signed contracts in place before they file their Form 471 applications. That requirement may be encouraging some applicants not to wait until the last minute, translating into a faster pace of application posting when the numbers are compared, based on the number of days remaining before the end of the filing window.