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USDA Distance Learning Grant Available
July 15, 2013

I hope our schools, libraries and IUs in rural PA will consider applying!

The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announces the availability of $17,531,000 in grant funds and is soliciting applications for the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 competition. DLT grants are specifically designed to provide access to education, training and health care resources for people in rural America. The DLT Program provides financial assistance to encourage and improve telemedicine services and distance learning services in rural areas through the use of telecommunications, computer networks, and related advanced technologies to be used by students, teachers, medical professionals, and rural residents.

The grants, which are awarded through a competitive process, may be used to fund telecommunications-enabled information, audio and video equipment and related advanced technologies which extend educational and medical applications into rural locations. Grants are made for projects where the benefit is primarily delivered to end users that are not at the same location as the source of the education or health care service.

What is the application deadline?
August 12, 2013

Where can the FY 2013 Application Guides and materials for the DLT grant program may be obtained?
(1) The DLT Web site: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/UTP_DLTResources.html and
(2) You may also request application guides and materials from RUS by contacting the DLT Program at 202-720-0665.

What are the maximum and minimum funding amounts?
The Administrator has determined the maximum amount of a grant to be made available to an applicant in FY 2013 is $500,000, and the minimum amount of a grant is $50,000, subject to
availability of funding. The Agency will make awards and execute documents appropriate to the project prior to any advance of funds to successful applicants. DLT grants cannot be renewed. Award documents specify the term of each award. The Agency will make awards and execute documents appropriate to the project prior to any advance of funds to successful applicants. Applications from existing DLT awardees are acceptable
(grant applications must be submitted during the application window) and will be evaluated as new applications.

Who is eligible for a grant?
1. Only entities legally organized as one of the following are eligible for DLT financial assistance:
a. An incorporated organization or partnership,
b. An Indian tribe or tribal organization,
c. A state or local unit of government,
d. A consortium, as defined in 7 CFR 1703.102, or
e. Other legal entity, including a private corporation organized on a for-profit or not-for-profit basis.
f. Libraries are eligible recipients as well.

What are the basic eligibility requirements for a project?

1. Grant applicants must demonstrate matching contributions, in cash or in kind (new, non-depreciated items), of at least fifteen (15) percent of the total amount of financial assistance requested. Greater amounts of eligible matching contributions may increase an applicant's score.
2. The DLT grant program is designed to bring the benefits of distance learning and telemedicine to residents of rural America. Therefore, to be eligible, applicants must:
a. Operate a rural community facility; or
b. Deliver distance learning or telemedicine services to entities that operate a rural community facility or to residents of rural areas, at rates calculated to ensure that the benefit of the financial assistance is passed through to such entities or to residents of rural areas.
3. All projects proposed for DLT grant assistance must meet a minimum rurality threshold, to ensure that benefits from the projects flow to rural residents. The minimum eligibility score is 20 points.

Julie Tritt Schell
PA E-rate Coordinator

717-730-7133 - o
717-730-9060 - f

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