Step 1 – Getting Started

First, determine how much E-rate funding your school is eligible. You will need to be able to answer 3 questions:

1. What is my district’s/school’s total student enrollment?
2. What percentage of students are eligible for the NSLP (National Students Lunch Program)?
a. For private schools who do not know their percentage, you can use the Alternative Funding Mechanism (AFM) survey:
3. What is my Urban/Rural classification?
a. You can use this online tool on the USAC site to find this:

Next, plug the answers to questions 1-3 above into the online E-rate calculator to determine your E-rate budget:

Note that E-rate provides two options to pay for the technology: 1) as a Purchase, where you own and operate the equipment; and 2) as a Service, where a service provider manages the equipment. You will need to select one or the other option in the E-rate calculator.

Next determine the scope of your project:

  • Review your school’s technology needs for coming school year and beyond.
  • For assistance with this process, contact a Core Vision associate at:

Finally, ensure you have an account in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC):

  • EPC (commonly referred to as ‘Epic’) is on online portal used to manage the overall E-rate application process and to submit questions. If you do not already have an account, contact USAC’s Client Service Bureau at 888-203-8100. You will need your Billed Entity Number (BEN) to get set up with access. The Client Service Bureau can help you with this too if you do not have one. For more information on EPC:
  • Bookmark the EPC log in page: