Program Description

The purpose of the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program is to encourage and improve the use of telemedicine, telecommunications, computer networks, and related advanced technologies to provide educational and medical benefits through distance learning and telemedicine projects to people living in rural areas and to improve rural opportunities. This is accomplished by providing grant funds to eligible entities through a competitive award process. Details of the program may be found at:

General Program Requirements

To be eligible to receive a grant, loan and grant combination, or loan, the applicant must 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. The applicant must have legal capacity to contract with RUS. The applicant also must propose to utilize the financing to: (i) operate a rural community facility; or (ii) 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. The applicant must not be delinquent on any Federal debt. RUS electric and telecommunications borrowers are not eligible for grants. Generally, applicants are organizations such as schools, libraries, hospitals, medical centers, or other eligible organizations that will be users of a telecommunications, computer network, or related advanced technology system to provide educational and/or medical benefits to rural residents.

Your Next Steps

The following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this program.

Application Process

The program opens under funding windows established under a NOFA/NOSA process annually. Pre-application costs are not eligible, costs incurred after submittal of an application may be eligible.

Applications are competitively selected each fiscal year for which funding is made available. Applicants whose application was not selected in one year may resubmit an updated and improved application in a subsequent year in the competition.

For additional information please use the following link:

Program Contact Information

Shawn Arner
Deputy Assistant Administrator, Loan Origination and Approval Division

Additional Information

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number10.855
Current Method of Tribal EligibilityNo Set-aside; Tribes Eligible with Other Entities
Can the funding from the program be renewedNo
Funding TypeDiscretionary
Entities Eligible for Grant AssistanceFederally Recognized Tribes and Tribal Organizations, Non-Tribal Entities
Matching Funds RequiredYes
Number of People Served by this Program (Approximate)50-1,000 per award. Approximately 70 awards made yearly.
Length of Program3 years
Recurring Base Funding for TribesNo
Do Tribes compete with other entities for funding from the program?States, U.S. Territories, U.S. local governments, Private for-profit entities, Private non-profit entities, Other non-tribal/non-native entities
Tribes Funded by this ProgramVaries on a yearly basis, in recent years, approximately 40% of grant awards made were to serve tribal areas.

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