On May 26th, USAC released the first funding wave of FY2010 sending 18,200 funding commitment decision letters totaling a record $426+ million. Crunching the numbers, this figure represents over 40% (43,000+) of all applications received by the filling deadline, but there is still a considerable amount of funds left to be distributed. So, let’s crunch the numbers a little more.
According to a Funds For Learning analysis, here is a breakdown of FY2010 and Wave 001:
- FY2010 has over 109,000 FRNs totaling over $2.1 billion for priority one applications alone. Priority two requests constitute an additional $2.04 billion;
- Though the $426 million in Wave 001 represents 40% of the total FRNs, it only comprises 20% of the total funds requested;
- Of the funds committed in Wave 001, 47% and 37% were allocated to schools with 1-499 and 500-2,499 students respectively. Schools with 2,500 or more students comprised less than 16% of the total percentage of schools receiving funding commitments in Wave 001;
- Of the schools to receive commitments in Wave 001, 62% of the applicants had a discount rate of over 70%;
- 85% of the applicants saw no change from the original requested amount and the amount committed in Wave 001.
Looking at the analysis, it appears that the $3.92 billion in requested funding reported to the FCC on March 10, 2010 may not be enough to cover the over $4 billion in FY2010 requests. Currently, over $1 billion in priority two requests are from schools with a discount rate of 90% and another $866 million in requests from schools with discount rates from 80%-89%. Given that the figures remain constant, it does not appear that the funded discount rate for priority two will drop to the 78% level again, unless USAC releases unused monies from previous year’s funds to supplement FY2010.
Another conclusion that can be drawn from the analysis is that USAC was efficient in processing a great number of FRNs for smaller applicants, but even with the admirable amount of applications approved, over 80% of the funds are yet to be committed. The subsequent funding waves may not eclipse the 43,000 FRN mark again, but many of the large commitments are still in the queue.
And that’s how the numbers crunch.