Nebraska Student Grants for College

Fund Your Education with Free Grant Money

If you are college-bound in the state of Nebraska, you will be pleased to know that there is money available to you at no cost for your undergraduate or graduate education, if you will make the effort to find it. Each year, every state government, including that of Nebraska, sets aside a large portion of money specifically for college students. If you do the research to find grants that are right for you, and apply completely and on time, this money can go straight to your college tuition or other expenses.

The Nebraska state government will determine how much, if any, of this government grant money you are eligible for, based on need, income, and family circumstances. Obviously, everybody’s situation is very different, so the amount that any one person receives can differ widely from the next person’s award. In some special cases, you do not even have to apply for these grants. In fact, they are already given to you if you show a need for the money by filling out the FAFSA.Nebraska grants

FAFSA’s Findings

A student’s actual need for college funding is based on the FAFSA form or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is a key application that every person attending college in the United States must fill out each year. Find the deadline for the submission of a Nebraska-originated form on the FAFSA website.

If you have an EFC or Expected Family Contribution that is close to zero or at zero, this means that you and your family are expected to contribute nothing to your college education. The closer the EFC is to zero, the needier you are and the more funds will be available to you in the form of grants.

Check out some of Nebraska’s grant offerings below, determine which awards you are eligible for, and you will be on your way to putting together a total financial package to pay for college.

General Nebraska State Grants

These grants are available to people that show a serious economic need for college funding. If you receive these grants, you will probably have an EFC of zero on your FAFSA form. To get these need-based grants, you must fill out the FAFSA and be eligible for the Federal Pell Grant, which necessitates that you be significantly low-income.

You do not have to apply separately from the FAFSA for this need-based grant, which makes it easy for the right applicant to receive. If you are eligible for the Pell Grant, a qualification which the U.S. government decides for you, then you will automatically be given this general Nebraska grant. Qualified students must be a Nebraska state resident and attending a four year college or university in the state of Nebraska.

College Access Challenge Grant Program

The aim of this state-funded program is to up the number of underrepresented students who get into, thrive in, and graduate from college institutions in Nebraska. The state’s incentives to accomplish this goal are monetary funds under the College Access Challenge Grant towards several state-run scholarship programs, college initiatives, and education development centers.

For example, the Access College Early Scholarship Program allows high-school students to enroll in college early, thus giving them a head start on an exemplary secondary education and a chance to get into a career as soon as possible. A number of Nebraska colleges participate in this program and high-schoolers are welcome to apply here for state funds to do this.

Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship

This award is termed a scholarship by name, but is actually more of a grant than a scholarship since there is no specific essay or such requirement. The Robert C. Byrd Scholarship is a state funded prize that awards any and every high school student in the state of Nebraska an automatic $1,500 gift for their hard work and achievement.

To be eligible for this scholarship, you must be attending a Nebraska high school and have a GPA of 3.5. You must also have been accepted to a four year college or university anywhere within the United States, not just Nebraska. ACT scores of 17 or higher are also required. Students attending a military college such as West Point are not eligible for this scholarship.

American Legion Grants

These grants and scholarships have a very specific target audience. They are available to students that have a parent or guardian that were service men or women that passed away during the September 11, 2001 Twin Tower bombing.

The American Legion Grant is a highly particular gift, but if you are eligible you will be rewarded greatly. Qualified students will receive a full ride to any Nebraska college or university of their choice.

Academic Competitiveness Grant

The Academic Competitiveness Grant is exactly what it sounds like from its name. It is available to students that have excellent grades and have taken challenging coursework throughout high school. In other words, it is awarded to the most academically competitive future college students.

This grant pays up to $1,300 to any individual that can prove academic excellence and who merits the reward. This grant can be applied for each year as long as you continue to take challenging courses and do not let your grades slip or lose their edge.

Nebraska Opportunity Grant

This Nebraska Opportunity Grant, formerly called the Nebraska State Grant, is only for the neediest of the low-income candidates who need the money to fill in the gaps of their Pell grant monies. This grant is only available to those students that have already received a Pell Grant but still show need for further funding to pay for college. Students must be a resident of Nebraska and have already been accepted to an accredited Nebraska college, technical school or university.

The money is given directly to your school of choice’s financial aid department and they separate the money into equal parts for the quarters or semesters you attend during any given year. You are eligible for this grant each year that you attend college as long as you still qualify for a Pell grant.

Nebraska Loan Repayment Grant for Medical Students

This grant is a great example of a state-specific program dedicated towards filling in the shortcomings of its state and meeting its citizens’ particular needs. The award deserves special mention because, as many Nebraskans know, there is a huge shortage in medical professionals throughout the state, and this award is targeted towards any student serious about pursing medicine.

The grant is available to any person that has been accepted into a medical school or physician’s assistant program throughout Nebraska. The recipient of the grant must also agree to work in an area that is considered under-served and is selected by the state of Nebraska itself.

Be aware that there is a three-year practice obligation to be awarded the grant. In the end, the three year service will award you up to $30,000 to repay your initial student loans. If it serves your interest and you do not mind the work commitment, this grant could be very helpful in your pursuit of medicine in Nebraska.

Nursing Student Grant Program

This grant is awarded to any students that are currently enrolled in a nursing program in the state of Nebraska and willing to apply for the program. The grant is not to exceed $2,000 a year and comes in the form of loan repayment.

In order to receive the grant, you must show some financial need and be engaged in a full time nursing practice in the state of Nebraska. Once you have completed three years of full time work at said practice, then a sum totaling up to $6,000 will be wiped from your total amount of tuition owed. Contact the financial aid office of your nursing school to find out more about the program. If you are hunting for other grants for nursing students, see here.

Norman and Ruth Good Educational Endowment

This endowment is particular in that it is neither a scholarship nor is it a grant, but it is free money for education nonetheless. Therefore, it deserves a special mention due to its unique nature. This is a very limited endowment sponsored by the Lincoln Community Foundation and given to only fifteen underprivileged undergraduate students attending a four year college or university in the state of Nebraska.

Endowment amounts vary from the minimum of $500 to the maximum of $3500. It does not need to be repaid, and will only be awarded once in a lifetime to each individual. The student recipient must be in good academic standing.

Nebraska National Guard Tuition Credit

In this case once again we find an award that is neither a grant nor is it a scholarship. It has a very specific target audience, though. To be eligible for this money, you must be a member of the Nebraska Air Force National Guard or the Nebraska Army National Guard.

This money is only awarded to 1,200 students enrolled in an undergraduate program. The credit offers between 75% of tuition payment and a full ride for the recipient and is a great opportunity to make a huge difference in the lives of deserving students. Contact your school to see how to apply for this award.

Raise the Nation Foundation Grant

This grant is only offered to single mothers trying to go back to school to get into a specific and practical career. There are certain programs that do not apply such as theoretical academic applications like philosophy.

An interesting note about this grant is that not only will it help single mothers meet their individual financial challenges, but it will also repay old, outstanding loans that you may have that are education related. In this way, it can help single mothers clear their debt and get started on a new, bill-paying and promising career. Find out more information through the Single Parents Alliance of America.

Association of American-Indian Affairs Grant

This grant financially supports American Indians of the Nebraska tribal areas. To be eligible for this grant, students must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

A student essay and a minimum of three letters of recommendation are required to be considered for the grant. If you are not selected for this grant, the Association of American-Indian Affairs will helpfully notify you of other programs, scholarships and grants for which you may qualify.

Loan Forgiveness for Teaching in Shortage Areas or Low Income Schools

This opportunity is not a scholarship nor is it a grant. Instead, it is a loan forgiveness program, which serves essentially the same function as a grant. In order to be eligible for this loan forgiveness, you must be teaching in an area of Nebraska that is underprivileged or teaching at a tribal school.

If you are teaching at a tribal school, you are automatically enrolled in the loan forgiveness program, which will serve to considerably lessen your student loans and possibly pay them off completely. Find out more through the Federal Student Aid website.

EMU National Scholars Grant

This grant is awarded to any Nebraska resident that has chosen to go to school in a different state. The grant is a four year award that will cover up to thirty credit hours a year of out-of-state tuition. To be eligible, you must be a freshman entering a college or a university for the first time.

Applicants must have a GPA of 3.5 and are required to live in college housing for the first two years of their college career. This grant is currently valued at $12,601 a semester. Find out more through the financial aid office of your college or university.

AQHF Christopher Junker Memorial Nebraska Grant

This grant is awarded exclusively to members of the American Quarter Horse Foundation of Nebraska. The deadline to apply is December 1, annually. The award given is based on financial need, academic achievement and involvement in the American Quarter Horse Association.

The education you seek with this award does not have to be related to horses. This is a $2,000 four year award.

Nebraska Elks Association Vocational Grant

This quite specific grant is available to any high school senior in Nebraska that plans to attend a community college, trade school, or technical school. The grant will pay for any vocational or technical program that is less than two years or exactly two years. With this grant, you can earn a certificate, diploma or Associates Degree.

You cannot use this grant to transfer to a four year college at a later date. Only one girl and one boy from each Elks chapter will be given the grant. To be eligible, a parent or guardian must be a member of the Nebraska Elks Lodge. The deadline for this scholarship is January 10, annually.

Childhood Cancer Survivor Grant

This grant is eligible to any college student in the state of Nebraska that is a childhood cancer survivor. The deadline to apply for this award is March 13, annually. You must already be accepted to an undergraduate, trade or vocational school.

There is no limitation on the type or severity of the cancer that you had to have survived. The number of awards given is dependent on the amount of funding in any given year. To be eligible, you must have been diagnosed with any type of cancer before the age of 21 and you must currently be under the age of 25.

Nebraska Pell Grant

Any person that shows a significant financial need to attend school is eligible for a Pell Grant. This is the grant the federal government gives to each state to dole out to students that show a need. The Pell Grant can be used at any technical school, vocational or trade school, community college or any four year college or university that is enrolled in the National Financial Aid Program.

To be eligible for this grant all you have to do is fill out the FAFSA application. You must have a family contribution lower than $3,850 a year, a figure which takes into account your parent’s income.  In order to receive a Nebraska Pell Grant, you must be a resident of Nebraska as well as attending a school located within the state.

Final Tips on Grants in Nebraska

As you can see from the smorgasbord of grants available to those from Nebraska or wanting to study in Nebraska, there should be something available to every college student desiring an education in the state. Many of the Nebraska programs are directly point towards filling in gaps where there is great and specialized need in the state, such as awards for medical practitioners, nurses, and teachers. This is fairly unique to Nebraska, and speaks loudly towards the deficits there are there in absolutely necessary professionals in certain fields and the education that is needed to fulfill that weakness for the sake of the well-being state’s citizens.

The most fantastic about all of these plentiful grants is the nature of the grant itself – that if you apply for it and are awarded the money, you do not have to pay it back. For many, this is a huge redeeming quality, and more than enough of an incentive to merit the work that goes into each and every application. As most students who are fresh out of college, regardless of their age, do not have the money to start paying for loans that are almost as expensive as the rent of their first apartment, grants are a life-saver.

Pay attention to the stipulations and small-print text that comes with every grant. In order to keep your grant for your college career, you must comply with all laws and requirements that come with it. In Nebraska, you need to take care to keep your actions and behavior outside the classroom in check and legal in order to keep your educational funding.

For example, according to Nebraska State Education Laws, if you are caught using or dealing drugs or doing any other criminal activity while receiving a grant to go to school, you will forfeit your grant. You may additionally have to pay a penalty depending on the grant that you were given and the personal rules of the organization from which you received the grant. Be careful to stay within the lines of rules like this one, and you will enjoy a successful and paid off college education without breaking your bank.


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