Web-Based Tool Simplifies E-Rate Application Process

Schools can now easily and quickly receive E-Rate funds with the help of Funds for Learning's E-rate Manager (www.eratemanager.com). The site helps participants of the E-Rate program reproduce the many forms needed to receive payment. It also monitors the progress of the forms as they are sent to their designated vendors. Traditionally, applicants complete the five-page Form 486 to authorize the Schools and Libraries Division to disburse discounts to its vendors. The vendors then have to file additional forms to receive the discount payments before the discount can be passed on to the applicant. This lengthy process results in many late and unused payments each year.

E-rate Manager provides a meeting place for applicants and vendors to quickly and easily fill out the necessary forms to speed up the process so that funds are used as they were intended. Free for schools and libraries, the site prevents applicants from missing deadlines and offers a review of forms to correct typographical errors that delay processing.

This article originally appeared in the 11/01/2003 issue of THE Journal.

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