On the afternoon of March 6th, Funds For Learning created an applicant survey centered on the possibility of extending the Funding Year 2015 E-rate application deadline beyond the current date of March 26th.
Over the course of only four days, a mix of over 350 E-rate individual school and library, district, library system and consortium applicants weighed in with their opinions (approximately 1.5% of E-rate applicants).
Here are some summary highlights from the results that we received:
- Applicants representing every state responded, with urban and rural applicants chiming in evenly.
- Over half of the respondents have a discount rate of 80% or 90%, representing student populations with the highest poverty levels.
- Virtually every applicant indicated they will be applying for Category One discounts, and almost 70% plan on applying for Category Two in Funding Year 2015.
- Only 6% of the applicants had already submitted all of their Form 471 applications, and over 70% have not yet submitted a single Form 471 for FY 2015.
- 89% of the respondents support a deadline extension, with 80% voting for extension time frames between 2-4 weeks. The most popular extension length, selected by 38% of respondents, was for two weeks.
The chart below gives a list of factors that may justify extending the filing window deadline, and the percentage of applicants that selected each reason:
Survey respondents were also given an opportunity to give free-form comments about the application process and deadline. Their anonymous responses can be found here.