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Tips for using USAC’s Apply Online Tool

Applicants:  beware if you are filing E-rate applications using USAC’s Apply Online tool. Many applicants previously reported errors and a series of site crashes while trying to post Forms 470. Due to the size and complexity of the Form 471, applicants can anticipate many of those same errors in a magnified capacity.  If you have experienced technical difficulty using USAC’s Apply Online Tool, we offer the following tips:

  1. Before you start, turn off all pop-up blockers or set your browser to allow pop-ups.
  2. The USAC site is only fully compatible with Microsoft Internet Explorer version 6.0 or greater. Applicants are reporting significant errors and the inability to use other common browsers, especially on the electronic certification page.
  3. If you are filing more than one Form 471 you MUST clear your cookies between submitting each form.  (No, not chocolate chip cookies.)  Clear your web browser cookies from temporary Internet files before you start the next application.
  4. Use only one browser tab in one browser window.  Do not have other tabs or windows open while using USAC’s Apply Online tool.
  5. Do not work on applications during peak traffic hours.  Applicants are reporting that the USAC site works best at low traffic hours, either early in morning or late at night.  Business hours have higher traffic and seem to have a higher rate of reported crashes.
  6. Check that your PIN matches your most up-to-date contact information before using it. Some applicants have reported that the USAC site is accepting PINs that are attached to old or incorrect name spellings and email addresses. Also, misspelling your name or e-mail address on a form can result in a new PIN being automatically generated and mailed to you.


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Our mission is to provide high-quality consulting and support services for the needs of E-rate program participants. We consult with applicants to help them understand, effectively utilize, and maintain compliance with E-rate rules and regulations. We help prepare and submit paperwork, and interact with program administrators on our clients’ behalf.

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