School and Library Eligibility

All of the schools, libraries, and consortia of schools and libraries that are eligible for support under the E-Rate program are also eligible for support through the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) Program. Schools and libraries that are not current E-Rate participants can also participate in the ECF Program. Eligible entities that have not applied for E-Rate support should be prepared to demonstrate eligibility as a school or library under Emergency Connectivity Fund Program rules during USAC’s application review.

Definition of a School

Schools must meet the statutory definition of elementary and secondary schools in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (20 U.S.C. § 7801).

  • An elementary school is a non-profit institutional day or residential school, including a public elementary charter school, that provides elementary education, as determined under state law.
  • A secondary school is a non-profit institutional day or residential school, including a public secondary charter school, that provides secondary education, as determined under state law, except that such term does not include any education beyond grade 12.

Definition of a Library

Libraries must be eligible for support from a state library administrative agency under the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) (20 U.S.C. § 9122). The definition of a library includes:

  • A public library.
  • A public elementary school or secondary school library.
  • A Tribal library.
  • An academic library.
  • A research library, one that makes publicly available library services and material suitable for scholarly research and not otherwise available to the public, and is not an integral part of an institution of higher education.
  • A private library, but only if the state in which such private library is located determines that the library should be considered a library for purposes of this definition.
  • A “library consortium” is any local, statewide, regional, or interstate cooperative association of libraries that provides for the systematic and effective coordination of the resources of schools, public, academic, and special libraries and information centers, for improving services to the clientele of such libraries. For the purposes of Emergency Connectivity Fund Program rules, references to library also refer to library consortium.