The EmpowerED™ Program

T-Mobile’s EmpowerED program aims to narrow America’s homework gap by providing off-campus devices and data plans to students at eligible schools and districts.

The application period for this program is now closed.
Program details.

The challenge.

The challenge.

Many families in the U.S. don’t have high-speed Internet at home. This problem is called the Digital Divide. But to succeed academically and compete in today’s digital world, every student needs equal access to online learning. Without this access, disconnected students can fall behind their wired peers, creating the Homework Gap.

The opportunity.

The opportunity.

Mobile access has the power to close the Homework Gap. T-Mobile plans to narrow the divide with EmpowerED™, a program that provides wireless devices and service plans to help students and schools succeed.

Program offer.

EmpowerED Mobile Equipment includes:

  • Free mobile Internet devices ranging in value from $80 to $200; or
  • A subsidy of up to $200 per mobile Internet device, for devices over $200.

EmpowerED Mobile Data Plans include:

Two-year contracts for one of the following discounted education data plans:

  1. 2GB for $10: Up to 2GB of high-speed data, followed by data at reduced speeds up to 128kbps. T-Mobile will waive the $10 service charge for the 2GB plan for the applicants that demonstrate the highest need. T-Mobile will award a limited number of waivers at its sole discretion.

  2. Unlimited LTE plan for $20 with unlimited on-device 4G LTE data.

Video typically streams on T-Mobile device at DVD quality (480p). On all T-Mobile plans, the small fraction of customers using over 50GB/mo. may notice reduced speeds until next bill cycle due to data prioritization. Tethering at max 3G speeds. Sales tax and regulatory fees included in monthly service price.

EmpowerED Service & Support includes:

  • Planning, implementation, and deployment support.
  • Content filtering, which helps prevent access to adult content. EmpowerED participants may choose one of these options at no additional charge: (1) Web Guard filters http web page content on our network; or (2) WebTitan by TitanHQ™, a thirdparty product which can filter even secured (https) traffic at the domain level. Schools that do not use a T-Mobile-facilitated filter thereby acknowledge that they will provide their own CIPA-compliant filter on all EmpowerED devices for the duration of their use.

Students and their families will not be required to pay any money for devices and/or wireless service received through this program.

Eligibility criteria.

The criteria for participation in this program are:

  • Required:


    ✓  At least 40% of students receive free or reduced lunch at each school.

  • ✓  Each school is located in an area where T-Mobile has 4G LTE coverage over at least 80% of the school’s geographic enrollment zone. T-Mobile will validate eligibility for this requirement; to see coverage in your area please check our coverage map.

  • Preferred criteria:


    ✓  At least 15% or more of students are dropping out of high school (aggregate for all high schools if a school district is applying).

  • ✓  At least 15% of students are not grade-level proficient in math and reading by the 9th grade (aggregate for all high schools if a school district is applying).

 
How to apply.
The EmpowerED program is now closed for new applicants.
Apply for the EmpowerED 2.0 program
 
Your responsibilities.

T-Mobile is committed to the success of this program, and that means measuring impact. If your school district is approved, T‑Mobile will work with you to collect data from all students with access to off-campus mobile broadband access. Your school district will need to:

  • Commit to training relevant teachers and administrators on how best to utilize the devices and service.

 

  • Provide annual aggregated data by grade level at each school, including ELA proficiency, math proficiency, and tardiness/attendance. Your school’s current data collection process and metrics are sufficient. T-Mobile is not asking for new metrics that are not already part of your reporting process.
  • Conduct two anonymous online surveys, created by T-Mobile, about student technology usage with students and teachers. The first survey will be administered prior to the student receiving access and the second will be held at the end of the school year.
Got questions?

What are the eligibility criteria for participation?

School districts nationwide that meet the following criteria are eligible to participate in this program:

Required:

  • At least 40% of students receive free or reduced lunch at each school.
  • Each school is located in an area where T-Mobile has 4G LTE coverage over at least 80% of the school's geographic enrollment zone. T-Mobile will validate eligibility for this requirement; to see coverage in your area please check our coverage map.

Preferred:

  • At least 15% or more of students are dropping out of high school (aggregate for all high schools if a school district is applying).
  • At least 15% of students are not grade-level proficient in math and reading by the 9th grade (aggregate for all high schools if a school district is applying).

Can private/charter schools apply for this program?

Yes, as long as they meet the eligibility criteria.

Does this program have any grade-level requirements?

No, the program is available for students in grades K-12 as long as all school sites meet all eligibility criteria.

What type of equipment will be in included in this program?

Free mobile Internet devices ranging in value from $80 to $200; or a subsidy of up to $200 per mobile Internet device, for devices over $200. Equipment will vary based on availability at the time of the program award. School districts will select equipment based on their technology needs.

Does this program have any minimum or maximum students served for each school or district?

The minimum number of students served from each school or district is 25. The maximum number of students will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Will T-Mobile provide any technical deployment support as part of this program?

All schools/districts will receive planning, implementation, and deployment support.

Do the mobile broadband services include access to a content filter?

Yes. EmpowerED participants may choose one of these two options at no additional charge: (1) Web Guard to filter http web page content on our network; or (2) WebTitan by TitanHQ™, a third party product which can filter even secured (https) traffic at the domain level. Schools that do not use a T-Mobile-facilitated filter thereby acknowledge that they will provide their own CIPA-compliant filter on all EmpowerED devices for the duration of their use.

Does this program have a minimum contract term commitment?

Yes, school districts or individual schools are required to participate in the program for 24 months.

What are the program reporting requirements?

All participants in this program will be required to submit annual or biannual reports to T-Mobile. Reports will contain quantitative and qualitative data to measure the effectiveness of increased access on student achievement. LEAs or individual schools shall provide data that it already collects through standardized testing or benchmark reports. All reports submitted to T-Mobile should not include any student names, and the LEA or school should incorporate anonymous identifiers where necessary. In addition, teachers, administrators, students, and parents will be required to participate in anonymous biannual surveys used to measure perception, adoption, and support/resistance levels to the program.

What are the costs associated with this program?

Schools may select from one of two discounted education rate plans:

  • 2GB for $10: Up to 2GB of high-speed data, followed by data at reduced speeds up to 128kbps. T-Mobile will waive the $10 service charge for the 2GB plan for the applicants that demonstrate the highest need. T-Mobile will award a limited number of waivers at its sole discretion.
  • Unlimited LTE plan for $20 with unlimited on-device 4G LTE data.

On all T-Mobile plans, during congestion, the small fraction of customers using >50GB/mo. may notice reduced speeds until next bill cycle due to data prioritization. Video typically streams on T-Mobile device at DVD quality (480p). Tethering at max 3G speeds. Sales tax and regulatory fees included in monthly service price.

Are any of the devices or service plans included in this program E-Rate eligible?

No. The lines of service through this program are intended to support off-campus use and are not eligible for discounts from the E-Rate program. For more information about E-Rate programs, including eligible services, see (http://www.universalservice.org/sl/applicants/beforeyoubegin/eligible-services-list.aspx).

T-Mobile is the E-Rate provider for my school. May we participate in EmpowerED?

No. Schools that select E-Rate with T-Mobile are not eligible for EmpowerED. Similarly, T-Mobile will not be able to serve as your E-Rate provider if you are selected for EmpowerED.

What is the deadline for submitting an application?

This is a multi-year program and applications are being accepted on an ongoing basis.

How can I tell if my application has been received by T-Mobile?

T-Mobile will send the primary contact a confirmation email acknowledging receipt of the application.

How long will it take to review my application?

Applications will require at least 7-14 business days to review. If the application meets all eligibility criteria, T-Mobile will contact the applicant directly via email to schedule a phone interview.

Can students take devices home?

Yes. Students must be permitted to take home the devices offered through EmpowerED.

 

Additional questions?

1-844-301-2667