Funds For Learning has completed a study of E-rate funding utilization rates and is publishing its report on FundsForLearning.com. The report, which examines utilization of funding commitments for the past several years, shows that there are many factors that can affect an applicant's ability to use the funding they have been committed.

From the report:
The most remarkable factor affecting funding utilization is the amount of time after the start of the funding year that the applicant receives a funding commitment decision. An analysis of Funding Year 2002 – 2006 commitments and utilization shows that utilization drops as the days beyond the start of the funding year (July 1) pass.

This means that the more time into the funding year that passes prior to the issuance of a funding commitment, the fewer dollars are utilized. Commitment utilization rates drop more for Priority Two commitments than others in the Priority One service categories.

Other factors that affect utilization include:

  • Pricing reductions
  • Overestimation of applicant needs for technology, and
  • Lack of understanding of program rules and deadlines

The complete report can be downloaded from this link.