Troubleshooting for libraries and consortia, Part 1

Post 52 - Troubleshooting for libraries and consortiaNow that the filing window for schools and school districts is over (and their discount rates are locked in to EPC), their information should be available to use for library and consortium discount calculations.

But some library and consortium applicants might discover that their discount rates are still partially blank (incomplete). Today we’ll talk about how to find out if that’s the case for your application, and what to do if it is.

Make sure your discount calculation works

To make sure your discount calculation works properly, visit your entity’s profile page. On the left side, navigate to “Discount Rate.” A complete discount calculation will have data in every column, like this:

The discount calculation is complete if all fields are populated.

A complete discount calculation has data in every column.

A problematic discount calculation will have blank columns, like this:

If any fields are blank, the calculation won't work!

If any fields are blank, the calculation won’t work!

If there’s a problem, you’ll also see an error message like this at the top of your screen:

FAWM error message

Error message for incomplete discount calculations.

If the discount rate has a blank space, please contact USAC immediately for assistance. Without complete discount information, you will not be able to work on your application past the “discount calculation” screen, and you will not be able to submit the form.

How to fix it

If your discount calculation is missing information, or you encounter problems submitting your form for any other reason, contact USAC immediately for help troubleshooting. Sometimes the issue preventing you from submitting the form is more complex, and requires a manual override.

Why it’s not working

If your discount calculation isn’t working, it’s probably because of one of these reasons:

Your local school district’s NSLP numbers are missing

Library discounts are based on whether its location is urban or rural, and the local poverty level. The poverty level is based on the school district the library is located in (specifically, its participation in the National School Lunch Program).

Reminder: Library systems with multiple library branches must use the NSLP information from the school district where the main branch is located.

Once you select the school district in your profile, the NSLP numbers are supposed to automatically link to your profile (and auto-populate into your application). But if the local school district didn’t enter its NSLP numbers, there’s nothing to link.

Other reasons for missing discount information

The NSLP numbers could be blank for other reasons as well, including:

  • Your school district doesn’t apply for E-rate funding,
  • Your school district may not have updated their NSLP numbers,
  • Your school district is incorrectly categorized as an educational service agency (ESA) or other organization type (so discount information is not requested).

Next on the blog, we’ll cover a few more reasons you may experience issues with a library or consortium application. Again, we want to emphasize that we recommend attempting to file your form right away. This will leave enough time between now and July 21 to uncover any problems, and work with USAC to identify and address any issues preventing you from completing your application.

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