In Funding Year 2012, discounts were requested on products and services that serve a total student population of over 52 million. E-rate applicants’ discount rates are determined by the percentage of students at a school location who qualify to participate in the USDA’s National School Lunch Program. The percentage of students who qualify for NSLP is compared to the E-rate program’s Discount Matrixto determine a school’s E-rate discount rate.

Of the total students served, roughly half attend school at sites where – at a minimum - 50% of the students enrolled at the school qualify for free or reduced-price school lunches. Seven percent of the students in the country attend school at sites where at least 75% of the site enrollment qualifies for free or reduced-price lunch. As a result, almost 60% of students in the country attend school at sites that qualify to receive a 70% E-rate discount on eligible products and services: