While a large majority of applicants waited until the last minute to file their FY2015 Form 471 applications, an analysis of the first FY2015 funding wave shows that the tired old mantra still applies:  those who file early are more likely to get funded early.

Fast Facts:

  • One-third of the committed dollars in Wave 001 were for applications that were filed after the original 471 deadline.
  • Of the top ten applications funded in Wave 001, four were filed on the last day of the window.
  • Applications filed in the first few days of the filing window were over six times as likely to be funded in the first wave as applications filed in the last week.

In the first Wave of FY2015, a majority of the funding decisions that were issued were for applications that were filed in the latter half of the Form 471 filing window.  In fact, in Wave 001 there were over 1,200 funding decisions for applications filed in the last seven days of the window, while there were under 200 decisions for applications filed in the first ten days:

Given that a lot of applications that were filed in the final days of the filing window were included in the first wave, it would seem at first glance that the old adage “early filers get early commitments” isn’t holding true this year.  But remember – the number of applications filed late in the window was substantial.  USAC couldn’t issue 1,200 commitments for applications filed in the first week of the window, because only 267 were filed.  So when we look at the percentage of applications funded in the first wave as compared to the numbers filed, we seek that in fact, applicants are over five times more likely to be funded in the first wave if they file in the first few days of the window, as opposed to the last:

 

There you have it:  while we knew for certain that early filing greatly reduces stress levels and makes school E-rate coordinators impenetrable to the criticisms of their immediate supervisors, we can say with certainty that early filers’ chance of receiving an early funding commitment are greatly increased as well.