Rural Postsecondary & Economic Development (RPED) Program
Program Office: Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education
CFDA Number: 84.116W Program Type: Discretionary/Competitive Grants
Also Known As: RPED Program
The purpose of the Rural Postsecondary & Economic Development Grant Program is to improve rates of postsecondary enrollment, persistence, and completion among rural students through development of high-quality career pathways aligned to high-skill, high-wage, and in-demand industry sectors and occupations in the region.
Types of Projects
Grant(s) awarded under this program is for a period of three years. Required grant activities include:
- Increasing the number and proportion of rural students who enroll in and complete postsecondary education programs through activities and strategies related to college preparation, outreach in rural communities, awareness of postsecondary options, recruitment of students from rural communities, support throughout the college application and selection process, and long-term college and career advising relationships with middle and high school students to support them through their transition to postsecondary education;
- Supporting the development and implementation of comprehensive student success programs that integrate multiple services or initiatives across academic and student affairs, such as academic advising, structured/guided pathways, career services, student financial aid, and transfer support from two- to four-year programs, and other wrap around services;
- Supporting the development and implementation of high-quality and accessible learning opportunities for rural students that cater to their unique needs and geographic distance from postsecondary education institutions, and align with career pathways to high-need occupations, including learning opportunities that are accelerated; hybrid online; work-based; or flexible for working students;
- Supporting the development or implementation of evidence-based strategies to promote rural students’ development of the knowledge and skills necessary for success in the workforce and in high-need occupations, including career training that leads to good jobs in fields relevant to the regional economy, and to raise awareness of, and access to, paid internship, fellowship, apprenticeship, and job opportunities; and
- Implementing a sustainability plan to maintain programs and services after completion of the grant.