Form 471 is filed after a minimum of 28 days has past between the filing of the form 470, advertising for service or the posting of an optional RFP, whichever was later.
Important Reminders about Services Selected
- Do not accept offers for free items or services, even if they are not directly connected to your E-rate services.
- Do not accept assurances that a service provider can help locate sources of funding for an applicant to use for paying its undiscounted portion of a bill. NEVER accept an offer to have the applicant’s share of the bill waived.
Early actions to take in preparation
- If needed or desired, survey district families to determine program eligibility. See Discounts section of this webpage.
- Locate your PIN. If you have ever previously signed a Form 470, 471 or Form 486, you will be mailed a PIN number for an electronic signature to be used in certifying your forms. If you have never certified a USAC form before, you will need to paper certify this form so that a PIN may be issued to you.
- Go online at the USAC entity search page to be sure that all of your school sites and non-instructional facilities are there and have Entity Numbers assigned to them. Call 1-888-203-8100 to make any corrections needed.
- Go online to check your filed 470 and use the Search Posted button in the Form 470 column. Look for the Allowable Contract Date listed at the top of Block 1. Do NOT file a 471 or sign contracts before this date.
- Download a paper copy of the Form 471 and its directions. Begin a rough draft of your application.
- Find or apply for NCES numbers for each of your sites. Also be sure that each one has an FCCRN number. Links to obtaining NCES or FCCRN numbers can be found in the Helpful Links section of this webpage.
Documents and info to have at hand when you begin filing
File online – only file a paper application if absolutely necessary.
- The rough draft paper copy of the Form 471 and its instructions.
- A copy of the latest Eligible Services List.
- Files from previous years containing Form 470s which were used to begin funding for any long term contracts for which you still want funding.
- Copies of all contracts (both old and new) and of the largest bill during the past year for any services which fluctuate monthly charges (if it is impossible to have contracts signed by this time….you may substitute “legally binding agreements” so long as they contain both a district or library and a vendor signature with dates beside each).
- School by school enrollment figures and student eligibility numbers for every school in the district.
- A list of the NCES codes for each of the entities in your district. You can find these code numbers in downloadable formats on this website.
Completing the form 471
Getting ready to file form 471? Ask yourself these questions
- Did you wait 28 days for the posting of your 470, or the posting of an RFP (if one exists), whichever is later? You MUST wait 28 days.
- Does your technology plan mention everything that you will request in your 471? Did you mention these same items in your 470? There needs to be a thread of continuity that runs through all of these documents.
- Are you now ready to work with your service provider? Once you have selected your vendor you no longer need to keep space between the two of you.
- Do you have an existing contract for any services you are requesting funding for? If so, you will reference the 470# where you advertised for that contract. Have that 470 # ready to supply in the FRN(s) where a contract exists.
- How did you calculate your discounts? Document everything relating to your discount calculations. If you are using the survey method, be aware that they are receiving increased scrutiny from PIA and must have the 4 minimum points of information.
- Do you know where your PIN is? If it is lost and you need another, call SLD to have it deactivated. Paper cert and they will push another PIN out to you.
- Have you disabled Pop-Up Blockers? There are many helpful hints that will appear to you as you go through the online form, including new 2-in-5 pop-ups that will warn you about potential mistakes.
- How are you going to file? Your state coordinators recommend that you file online and use the CREATE rather than the Interview method of filing. When you file online the system will keep you from making common errors that occur when filing on paper. Block 4 will be calculated for you and pop-up blockers keep you on track.
- Are you requesting any Priority 2 services? Separate your Priority 1 and Priority 2 Services onto different 471 forms.
The online form 471
- Go to CREATE Form 471.
- It is strongly encouraged that you file online, and certify online as well. If you have to paper certify because of PIN issues, use Delivery Confirmation with a legible postmark and tracking.
- Record the form 471 application number and security code in a safe place with your paperwork. Losing these 2 numbers may require you to create another form. If you want Valerie to look at your form before you submit it, these are the numbers she will need in order to access that form.
- You may save and close an unfinished form 471 application. When you later log back in to that saved form, verify that no boxes have become checked or unchecked during the saving process.
- Notice the Navigation buttons on/within each form. Rather than using the forward/backward arrows for an internet website, use these navigation buttons to move around the form. Save your work as you progress through the application.
- Any contract must be signed before form 471 is submitted. A contract contains 2 signatures (SP and applicant) and both signatures are dated.
Filling in your information
- Block 1 is where you will supply your Billed Entity Information. This BEN is the one that is assigned to the entity that will PAY THE BILLS. If you are a library, it may be your city government.
- Once you supply your BEN you will be presented with your entity’s information. Read carefully over the information that pre-populates in 1-4 of Block 1. If anything is incorrect, you can not change it on the screen but will need to call the 1-888# and notify them of a change.
- In 6a-f, under the contact information that you will supply in this box, choose either e-mail or FAX as your preferred mode of contact so that you have written documentation of any inquiries that are made. Be sure to leave summer contact information on 5f.
- Block 2 and Block 3 Make good, honest estimates, but do not do a complete inventory. This is not auditable. In block 3 the Before column asks for what you have RIGHT NOW. The After column wants to know what the numbers will be IF you are funded for everything you ask for.
- Block 4.
- For Libraries you will look to the school district in which your library resides to obtain discount information. The number of students eligible for discount, divided by the total number of students enrolled in the district, will give you a % which can be applied to the discount matrix.
- Remember that all sites, with the exception of Anchorage, are considered rural on the matrix.
- If your district has pre-K students enrolled you must subtract these students from both numbers before arriving at your percent. You do not need school-by-school numbers, just district totals. Your total discount will be an even (increment of 10%) number which you will enter into block 4. The 20% that shows in the percentage box is not a number that has been calculated for you!! You need to arrow down and select the appropriate percentage, using the above method.
- For school districts (we are all school districts, even if there is only one school) you will have to have on hand the entity number for every school and non-instructional facility in your district. If you are missing any numbers, call 1-888-203-8100 to request any missing numbers.
- Juvenile justice students are eligible in discount calculations, but Pre-K students are NOT. All pre-K numbers will have to be subtracted out before doing your discount calculations.
- Make your first Block 4 worksheet with EVERY building that has students enrolled, including any NIF that has intermittent student use. Those figures will give you a sheet with a weighted average discount. Remember this number.
- You can then either modify your worksheet or make an entirely new one with everything from the first sheet, PLUS your remaining NIFs. This modified/new worksheet will be used for everything that will be applied for district-wide.
- You will create additional sheets, separating out sites that are either getting service from a specific company for those particular district sites only. You will use the entity number of sites to identify them on block 4 worksheets as being considered in those services.
- Separate out P1 and P2 services and place any Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance on a separate 471. Remember that if you are applying for Internal Connections, an entity can only appear on a funded block 4 worksheet 2 out of 5 consecutive years.
- Block 5: You will create a separate funding request for every service you are requesting. You may have multiple FRNs on one application. You are encouraged to talk with your service provider at this point, and questions you have on Block 5 can be answered by the SP. It is important that you shorten the distance with your SP here in order to have continuity.
- Original FRN:
- Category of service should match the 470 where you advertised. If you are getting Internet Access-type services from a phone company, use the Telecom category.Check to be sure that every telecom company you are using has a Y at the end of the reference line on the SPIN search site.Advanced phone services, like DSL and ISDN, are uniformly Telcom service
All Interactive video services should be requested under Telcom
Newly eligible mobile internet connections are considered under Telcom
- Be sure you are using the 470 number from the correct year, if you have multi year contracts this 470# will be from the original year the services were advertised for.
- You can locate a SPIN number from the SLD website or contact your SP for their SPIN.
- Use the SP name that is on file.
- a. Unless it is a co-op, most of our pure phone service is tariffed. If you use a co-op (except MTA which is tariffed) it will be month to month.
c. We have no State Master Contracts in Alaska.
d. Is this an ongoing contract? Copy the FRN under which it was funded from the FIRST year.
- b.This asking for actual bill numbers, not phone lines that are delineated on a single bill.
- This will fill in for you, based on the 470 number you referenced in item 12. If it does not look right to you, go back to #12 and check the 470 number you entered there.
- This date MUST be later than ITEM 17!!
- a. This date is usually the start of the funding year, 7/1/xx, unless you have arranged for later delivery.
b. Unless you are applying for P2 Internal Connections, this is the end of the funding year 6/30/xx. Internal Connections have an ending date of 10/30/xx.
- You will use either 6/30/xx if you don’t have a contract or the actual contract expiration date if you do have a contract.
- This does not have to be done at the time of submitting the form 471. It should be done soon after filing the form 471. You will not be awarded funding until this attachment is done. You can give your attachment any name you wish that has meaning to you. It is strongly suggested that you work with your SP to create the wording on this attachment so that your actual bills share the same language as your attachments.
- Same Entity Number listed in #2 of Block 4
- Be sure to list any ineligible charges that need to be taken off your contracts, whether they are monthly (i.e. filtering on e-mail) or non-recurring.
- J you will return to Block 4 and use the discount for the entities requesting here.
- Block 6 Be sure to read everything that is here. This is a legally binding agreement.
- a-c will fill in based upon your previous responses.
- d-e you will look at your BIA forms and supply the amount you have allocated to support technology within your organization.
- f. NEVER check this box.
Certifying your form 471
Make sure that the individual certifying is someone who has financial authority for your organization.
If you certify by mail, make sure that your application number is on each and every page you send it. Get delivery confirmation.
You can save your form, share your application number/security code with your State Coordinator to look over before hitting submit and certify if you would like.
Know when the filing window closes don’t wait until the last minute! Aim for mid-January to complete this form, submit it, and have it certified.
Creating a Document Trail
Retain the following for 8 years, in case of an audit
- Billing statements for E-rate funded services
- All Forms 471
- All Item 21 attachment documentation
- Any Contracts or related agreements
- All scoring materials for vendor selection