The level of E-rate discounts available to a particular school or library
applicant is governed by the affluence of the community as determined by the
percentage of students eligible for the National School Lunch Program (or an
equivalent measure). Income eligibility guidelines for the NSLP generally
increase each year.
Income eligibility guidelines for current and prior school years can be found
The basic E-rate discount schedule is shown below:
School and Library Discount Matrix
for Lunch Program
< 1 %
The key to maximizing E-rate discounts for any applicant is to recognize that
its discount rate is determined by student lunch program eligibility,
NOT by lunch program participation.
Public schools calculating their discount rates on lunch program participation
are not only shortchanging themselves, they are also shortchanging any local
public libraries that are relying on the schools' E-rate eligibility data for
their own discount rate calculations.