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E-Rate Eligibility Requirements
Eligibility Requirements

To be considered eligible for E-Rate funding, four requirements must be met:

  1. Must be an eligible product or service
  2. Must be used by an eligible entity
  3. Must be used at an eligible location
  4. Must be used for an eligible purpose
Requirement 1: Eligible Product or Service

USAC publishes an Eligible Services List for each funding year. This list indicates the products and services that can receive funding, and the acceptable uses for those products and services.

Eligible products and services are designated as either Category One or Category Two.

Category One Services        LEARN MORE Learn more about Category One Services

  • Data Transmission Services and Internet Access
  • Voice Services

Category Two Services        LEARN MORE Learn more about Category Two Services

  • Internal Connections
    cabling, routers, switches, and other equipment needed to deliver broadband
  • Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections
    repair, upkeep, maintenance, technical support
  • Managed Internal Broadband Services
Resource Type
Eligible Services Lists   USAC website
 
Requirement 2: Eligible Entity

Eligible entities include public and most non-profit K-12 schools as well as all public and many private libraries.

To be eligible for discounts, the entity must meet the program definition of a school or a library.

School Eligibility

To be eligible for E-Rate funding, schools must meet the statutory definition of elementary and secondary schools found in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (20 U.S.C. ยง 7801(18) and (38)):

  • An elementary school is a non-profit institutional day or residential school, including a public elementary charter school, that provides elementary education, as determined under state law.
  • A secondary school is a non-profit institutional day or residential school, including a public secondary charter school, that provides secondary education, as determined under state law, except that such term does not include any education beyond grade 12.

Schools are ineligible if:

  • they operate as for-profit businesses
  • they have endowments exceeding $50 million

Library Eligibility

To be eligible for E-Rate funding, libraries must:

  • meet the statutory definition of library or library consortium found in the 1996 Library Services and Technology Act (Pub. L. 104-208) (LSTA) and must be eligible for assistance from a state library administrative agency under that Act
  • have budgets completely separate from any schools (e.g. elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities)

Libraries are ineligible if:

  • they operate as for-profit businesses
Requirement 3: Eligible Location

Eligible locations are considered to be locations that are school or library property. School or library property includes a district office or similar facility, but does not include businesses or organizations separate from a school or library organization. For example, the facilities of a business that has contracted with a school to provide bus service do not constitute a location eligible for E-Rate support.

Requirement 4: Eligible Purpose

Services must not only be eligible, but must also be delivered to eligible locations and used for eligible purposes. The customary work activities of school or library employees and customary activities that occur on school or library property are presumed to be integral, immediate, and proximate to the education of students or the provision of library services to library patrons.