Schools and libraries posted 1,200 Form 470 applications January 19, the second-to-last day in which an application could be posted and still leave enough time for the requisite 28-day posting period before the close of the filing window for the 2005 funding year.
That marks the first time in this application cycle that applicants posted more than 1,000 Form 470 applications in a single day, according to data compiled by Funds For Learning’s E-rate Manager service. That compares with 1,460 for the comparable date in the last filing window. As of January 19, applicants had posted a total of 30,109 applications, compared with 32,434 that had been posted by the comparable date in the 2004 funding year. (Because applicants are free to organize their Form 470 applications any way they choose, and some applicants may already be covered by eligible multi-year agreements, a lower number does not necessarily suggest that the total volume of funding requests for 2005 will drop proportionately.)
This year, the Schools and Libraries Division and E-rate program trainers had encouraged schools and libraries not to wait until the last possible date to file their Form 470 applications because of heightened enforcement of the requirement that they wait 28 days before choosing a vendor, signing a contract and submitting their Form 471 application. The data, however, suggest that many schools and libraries will still be required to continue to accept bids in the weeks leading up to the filing deadline.