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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Wave, not waive

The first wave for 07-08 is out! OK, it came out yesterday, and vendors and state E-Rate coordinators seem to have gotten the information before that, but today is the first day that it's available through the Data Request Tool, so it's the first time it's available to applicants.

It's no tsunami, but it's a very nice start. And from the inundation of PIA requests I'm getting, I would say that the pace is going to keep up. Could we be getting back to the days where almost all Priority One requests are decided by June 30?

I haven't downloaded the data for all states yet, but I did take a look at NJ. The Garden State did well, with over 25% of FRNs (1238 out of 4578). It gets even more striking when you take out Priority Two FRNS: almost a third of NJ's Priority One FRNs have been approved.

Since the PIA reviewers sit in NJ, could it be home-court advantage? I don't think so. I see what others have noticed: PIA seems to have focused on simple (small) applications. With over 600 school districts, NJ has more than its share of small applications. So we got more than our share of approvals in the first wave.

Did PIA really focus on smaller applications? Well, here's a factoid for you: in NJ, the average value of FRNs already approved is $8,154.10, while the average value of Priority One FRNs not yet approved is $13,637.89.

But maybe it's just a result of larger FRNs taking longer on average. I certainly hope that PIA procedures call for more scrutiny for a request for $200,000 than a request for $200.

If PIA would lighten up on their requests, maybe I'd take a look at national statistics, but I don't see it happening any time soon.

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