Expedite E-rate Reimbursement: For Starters—Offload it To Your E-rate Partner!

As a school administrator, you may not have the time to navigate the E-rate reimbursement process.

The last thing you have on your mind each day is navigating the E-rate reimbursement process. You’ve already had three parent meetings, are scheduled to chaperone an after-school event, and need to send about a dozen emails, all within the next 3 hours. You’ve got a lot on your plate that has little, if anything, to do with technology, much less a federal reimbursement process.

Receiving federal funds to offset your planned E-rate expenses can be a challenging exercise. From filling-out your BEAR form to filing your Form 472 and obtaining an applicant ID, the reimbursement process requires schools to navigate a complex, multi-step protocol.

At this point, your thoughtful selection of an E-rate service provider begins to pay serious dividends. Not only can the provider handle the reimbursement process on your behalf, but they also have the requisite expertise to know which services are eligible for reimbursement, to begin with, saving you the additional headache of having to confirm which of your purchases you can expect to supplant with federal funds. 

Working with an experienced service provider cuts down on the number of forms or other data you’re required to submit for E-rate reimbursement.

If you’ve chosen to work with a capable E-rate service provider, then you’re already ahead of the game. Providers with substantial experience navigating the annual E-rate bidding process have almost certainly only included items in their bids that meet E-rate funding and therefore reimbursement, requirements. In less fortunate circumstances, schools can be left paying out of pocket for services they were initially told were covered by the E-rate program.

As with the bidding process, the E-rate reimbursement process isn’t a walk in the park. From filling out additional forms, managing correspondence with your E-rate consultant, and maintaining a firm grip on any associate invoices and purchase orders, the reimbursement process threatens to drain valuable time from your already busy day. 

By selecting an effective E-rate service provider, the reimbursement process can run like clockwork, humming away in the background as you tend to the immediate needs of running your school each day for students, teachers, and families. In addition to providing your school with high-quality tech services, effective E-rate service providers know when to engage the school, and when to take care of any necessary action steps themselves. 

Eliminate financial headaches by having the E-rate service provider obtain reimbursements for services.

Failing to successfully navigate the reimbursement process on your own can lead to significant financial headaches, particularly if you accidentally apply for reimbursement for non-eligible services. In this case, not only are you faced with tough budgetary decisions due to unforeseen costs, but you may also have to re-evaluate your technology programming as a whole.

If it turns out you can’t receive reimbursement for a particular piece of software, for example, it may not make sense to purchase the associated hardware or other tech accessories you had initially selected. In a worst-case scenario, you may be faced with having to re-evaluate next year’s technology design altogether, forced back to the drawing board to determine, once again, which internal connections, other hardware, or software your school wants to purchase for the upcoming year. 

These snafus can even extend to instructional planning. If the educational software you decided to purchase isn’t eligible for reimbursement, you may end up paying out of pocket for something you thought was federally funded. Now, instead of investing additional money in your classroom libraries, you’re forced to fill a newly discovered gap in your school’s budget.

CTS takes care of the reimbursement process for our clients, allowing them to focus on the unique mission of their school. 

At CTS, we know you don’t have time to waste when student learning is on the line. That’s why we take care of the E-rate reimbursement process for our clients, ensuring your school makes the most of every dollar in a way that supports your unique mission.

Having secured more than 400 E-rate funds valued at $10 million, we have the experience and know-how to make sure your school receives the maximum available reimbursement for all of your services. Rather than cobbling together a one-size-fits-all package of services, we thoughtfully approach each client and help them use technology to make the most of their unique mission. Contact us today to learn more about our E-rate services and how we can take the headaches out of the E-rate reimbursement process.