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Before you begin the process of applying for Schools and Libraries Program discounts for the upcoming funding year, you should review the description of the Schools and Libraries Program and the application process flow chart. These documents provide an overview of the program and the sequence of activities you must complete to receive funding. You can also look up unfamiliar acronyms and terms.
Many commercially available telecommunications services are eligible for discounts, as are basic conduit access to the Internet and some equipment that allows access to these services. The Eligible Services Overview gives you a general understanding of eligible products and services. You should also review the Eligible Services List (ESL) for the appropriate funding year because the entries in this list, and their eligibility, can change from one funding year to another.
To be eligible for discounts from the Schools and Libraries Program, you must meet the program definition of a school or a library. If you are not sure of your eligibility status, you may need to contact your higher-level administrative agency - your state department of education, your state library, or other organization - to assist you.
Discounts range from 20 to 90 percent of the cost of eligible services. You can refer to the program's discount matrix for basic information on discount percentages and review information on calculating your discount to find out what your discount would be.
Note: Schools and libraries can apply on their own or they can form consortia to aggregate demand and thereby negotiate lower prices. The entity leading the consortium may or may not be eligible for discounts.
It is also possible that certain school or library students and/or facilities may also be eligible for discounts:
If you do not have an entity number (also called a billed entity number or BEN), you will need to obtain one. In general, each school and school NIF in a school district and each library outlet/branch and library NIF in a library system must have its own entity number if it will receive discounted services. You can submit a question or call us at (888) 203-8100 to obtain entity numbers and to get more information on when they are required.
Once you have reviewed the information above and obtained an entity number, you can go to Step 1: Technology Planning, to learn how to prepare a technology plan and get it approved.