Deadline for UNL Rural Fellows program extended to March 1

The application deadline for communities to participate in the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s 2021 Rural Fellows program has been extended to March 1.

Founded in 2013, the program places Nebraska college students in rural communities for 10 weeks over the summer. Students work closely with local leaders on projects focused on economic and business development, entrepreneurship, early childhood development, marketing and promotion, and other areas critical to the sustained success of rural communities. Students typically work in pairs. Students’ work, on average, results in a $28,000 economic impact per community.

Communities that apply for the 2021 program will be eligible to receive $2,000 per student fellow to offset the $5,000 stipend each student intern receives. In some cases, communities may be eligible for grants in excess of $2,000. In all, the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Nebraska will provide $100,000 in grant funding to participating communities.

“The students who serve as Rural Fellows have been contributing in real, tangible ways to the success of Nebraska’s rural communities since the program’s inception,” said Mike Boehm, NU vice president and Harlan Vice Chancellor for the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “At the same time, the program has been a transformative experience for many of the students who have served as fellows. It is a priority to grow this program, and it is a priority to make participation accessible for Nebraska’s rural communities.”

Samantha Guenther, Rural Fellows program leader, encourages communities to contact her if they are interested in the program but want guidance through the application process, want to discuss the feasibility of a potential process or had other questions. In addition, a recorded webinar that includes answers to frequently asked questions by community leaders and application guidelines is available at

“We are happy to walk communities through the details of the program and answer questions,” Guenther said.

Community leaders with questions can contact Guenther at [email protected]. For more information on the program or to apply, visit