Announcements: November 26, 2020

USDA seeks applicants for energy program

U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand Tuesday invited applications for loan guarantees and grants for renewable energy systems; and to make energy efficiency improvements, conduct energy audits and provide development assistance.


The funding is being provided through USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program, which was created under the 2008 Farm Bill and reauthorized under the 2018 Farm Bill. This notice seeks applications for fiscal year 2021 funding. The deadlines to apply for grants are Feb. 1 and March 31, 2021. Applications for loan guarantees are accepted year-round.

The program helps agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and consumption by purchasing and installing renewable energy systems and making energy efficiency improvements in their operations.

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Community college application deadline extended

The University of Hawaii Community Colleges have extended the deadline to apply for admissions to Dec. 29.

Prospective students now have more time to consider the benefits and convenience of attending one of seven community colleges: Hawaii Community College, which has campuses in Hilo and Kona, Honolulu Community College, Kapiolani Community College, Kauai Community College, Leeward Community College, UH Maui College and Windward Community College for the spring 2021 semester.

Financial aid is available, along with the Hawaii Promise Scholarship, which covers 100% of unmet tuition needs for qualified students. Other financial aid is accessible through the Kulia Scholarship for qualified residents whose employment has been impacted by COVID-19 and through Round Two, Stronger You, a campaign encouraging former UH students to return and complete their degrees.

“It is not too late to consider starting 2021 in college, headed toward a degree or professional certificate,” said UH Vice President for Community Colleges Erika Lacro. “It does not matter whether you never attended or are coming back after years away. All of the data shows that people who earn a college degree or certificate earn more money over their lifetimes, are less likely to become unemployed, live longer and healthier, and their children are more likely to pursue a higher education and experience these same benefits.”

The spring semester at UH will primarily be taught online except for those courses and course activities where in-person instruction is necessary, such as labs and shops. Classes start on Jan. 11, 2021. Appropriate physical distancing, facial coverings and sanitization protocols, per the UH COVID-19 guidelines, are strictly followed. Reported positive cases of COVID-19 on UH community colleges campuses have been extremely low.


UH leadership is optimistic about the fall 2021 semester and a gradual return to normal with a greater mix of in-person, hybrid and online instruction.

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