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Federal Distance Learning Grants

by Melissa on May 23rd, 2014

Schools and Healthcare Facilities in Region 6W

 Access to public funding resources is important to the development of the region. Many of our communities lack time and staff to research ideas apply for public grants and loans to help finance their projects. Plus, funding sources and their programs frequently change. As your liaison to state and federal agencies, UMVRDC has direct, on-going contact with a variety of funding sources and can help you:

•    Assess your project’s needs and help organize goals and objectives
•    Target the most appropriate sources of funding
•    Prepare and submit loan and grant application proposals

We have even set up a cost share program designed to assist with the cost of some of our services!

 Below are some resources & opportunities that you might find useful. Please pass on this information to others you know. If our office can help in any way please do not hesitate to contact us!

The 2014 DLT Competition has begun, marked by the publication of the Notice of Funding Availability in the Federal Register.

Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program

Administered under the Rural Utilities Service – a Rural Development Agency of USDA

Advanced telecommunications services play a vital role in the economic development, education and health care of rural Americans. The Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program is  specifically designed to assist rural communities in acquiring distance learning and telemedical  technologies so that local teachers, and medical service providers who serve rural residents can link to  other teachers, medical professionals, and other needed expertise located at distances too far to access  otherwise. Since 1994, the DLT Grant Program has helped to establish hundreds of distance learning  and telemedicine systems improving quality of life for thousands of residents in rural communities all  across the United States.

To be eligible for a grant, your organization must:

 1. Be legally organized as an incorporated organization or partnership; an Indian tribe or tribal organization; a state or local unit of government; a consortium; or other legal entity, including a private corporation organized on a for profit or not-for profit basis with the legal capacity to contract with the United States Government. Specific legal definitions and citations can be found in 7 CFR 1703.103(a)(1) & 1703.125(k). Many applicants for DLT Grants are informal consortia. This means that they are an assemblage of individual legal entities, such as school districts, that are working together specifically for the purpose of applying for a grant. However, as a group they do not have a  separate legal existence. For additional guidance about applying as a consortium, please turn to Legal  Eligibility under Section IV.

 2. Either operate a rural community facility directly, or deliver distance learning or telemedicine  services to another organization that operates a rural community facility.

 3. Currently deliver or propose to deliver distance learning or telemedicine services for the term of the  grant. Competitive proposals demonstrate an ability to sustain a project beyond the three-year term of  the grant. To receive a grant, the purposes must meet the grant definition of distance learning and/or telemedicine. The DLT program is focused on financing projects that will be sustainable. Planning  studies, research projects, and short-term demonstration projects will not be considered.

Equipment vendors, system integrators, and other businesses whose purpose in the proposal is to sell equipment or technological services to support applicants cannot themselves be applicants or affiliates  of the applicant.

Note: Electric or telecommunications borrowers financed through the Rural Utilities Service are not eligible for grants, but are eligible for loans.


 The 2014 Application Guide and Toolkit are posted on the Resources Page Website:

Link to prior MN awards:


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