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Rural Postsecondary & Economic Development (RPED) Program

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ED Programs – Rural Postsecondary & Economic Development
Corrected Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for FY 2021 to be published in the Federal Register on November, 19, 2021.

Program Office: Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education
CFDA Number: 84.116W
Program Type: Discretionary/Competitive Grants
Also Known As: RPED Program

Program Description

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:

  1. 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;
  2. 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;
  3. 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;
  4. 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
  5. Implementing a sustainability plan to maintain programs and services after completion of the grant.
  6. Monitoring rural student enrollment; transfer and/or completion; and placement in paid internships, apprenticeships, or employment.
  7. A grant under this competition must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).
  8. At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multiyear award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to

Last Modified: 11/17/2021