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USDA Announces Second Application Window for Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program Funding

Release Date

$72 Million Available to Help Rural Residents Gain Access to Health Care and Educational Opportunities

WASHINGTON, April 3, 2020 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand today announced that USDA is opening a second application window for funding under the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) grant program.

“Due to the COVID-19 National Emergency, USDA is providing an additional window for those who cannot complete applications prior to the first application deadline,” Brand said. “This action will provide more time for applicants to complete their funding requests. Access to distance learning and telemedicine makes it easier for thousands of rural residents to take advantage of health care and educational opportunities without having to travel long distances or be among large groups of people.” 

Electronic applications for window two may be submitted through grants.gov beginning April 14, 2020, and are due no later than July 13, 2020. Paper applications will not be accepted under the second window. Additional information on how to apply will be available on grants.gov on April 14.

USDA opened the period for the first application window on February 10. That application deadline is April 10.

Applicants eligible for DLT grants include most state and local governmental entities, federally recognized tribes, nonprofits, and for-profit businesses.

Recent examples of successful applicants in Mississippi include:

  • Base Camp Coding Academy will use the investment to purchase equipment to connect their facility with the Northwest Mississippi Community College to improve educational opportunities available to Yalobusha and Tate County Residents using distance learning applications to offer GED programs and workforce or higher-education training that is currently unavailable anywhere else in Yalobusha County.  They will also connect local students to the college campus for additional access to advanced coursework in STEM, and give students access to the industry-leading computer-science and coding programs Base Camp offers at their Water Valley campus.
  • Coahoma Community College will use the investment to install distance learning equipment to connect the college to high schools in Coahoma, Tallahatchie, and Quitman counties to provide career focused programs leading to college credit and workforce certifications by enabling rural students to obtain college credits before leaving high school, helping to offset the costs of college.  The school previously received DLT funding for videoconferencing equipment that assists with regularly scheduled check-ups and mental health services provided remotely by UMMC in Jackson.

Rural Development was provided an additional $25 million in the CARES Act for the Distance Learning and Telemedicine grant program. USDA will make a separate announcement in coming weeks when these funds are available.

USDA Rural Development has taken a number of immediate actions to help rural residents, businesses and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. To learn more about Rural Development’s COVID-19 response, visit  www.rd.usda.gov/coronavirus.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

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USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.