Student Financial Aid in Nebraska
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Nebraska has a sizeable college and university system considering the fact that much of the state is rural. There are 5 campus locations that make up the University of Nebraska; three state colleges; eight regional community and tribal colleges with campuses spread out across the state; 16 private colleges; and dozens of professional/technical schools that teach students anything from cosmetology to auto repair.
The Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education administers the state-funded scholarships and grants.
General Scholarships and Grants
Nebraska State Grants have been designed to provide funds to those students who can prove serious economic need. Most recipients will also qualify for the federal Pell Grant. Qualified applicants must be state residents and attending a Nebraska college or university.
EducationQuest's "Reaching Your Potential" Scholarship was established to offer the most socially and financially disadvantaged students a leg up in pursuing a degree. Scholarships are available to qualifying students attending a college or university in Nebraska. Earn between $2000 and $8000 to go to school. Level of financial need is equivalent to those receiving Pell Grants. Students must be referred for this program.
The Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship is a federally funded program that awards $1500 scholarships to the most academically talented graduating high school seniors each year. Dozens of students are recognized from each state. Nebraska students must meet academic and personal requirements including GPA of 3.5 or higher, top ACT scores and be accepted to a four-year college or university in or outside Nebraska. The only exception is those students pursuing programs at military academies.
The Lincoln Community Foundation administers many small and specialized scholarships and endowments. The foundation is one of the most active organizations in providing scholarships to Nebraska students. It was founded in 1955 from family and community interests in the Lincoln County area. Qualified scholarship applicants may be awarded gifts from generous donors in amounts between $200 and $2000 depending on funding status. Programs may feature specific criteria for students including such stipulations as place of residency, area of study and career commitments.
Student migrants with significant financial need and academic potential may qualify to receive the Elizabeth Alfred Memorial Scholarship. Eligible candidates must be migrants, graduating from a Nebraska high school and pursuing a four-year program at a Nebraska college or university. Recipients may earn up to $250 a semester.
Specialized Studies Programs
The Nebraska Department of Education conducts an annual analysis of public and tribal schools to determine underserved areas and facilities. Based on this data, teachers with outstanding student loans may be eligible to participate in the Loan Forgiveness for Teaching in Shortage Areas or Low Income Schools. Students pursuing teaching in Nebraska at a tribal school may automatically qualify. See other national tribal scholarship options.
Medical facilities in many rural areas continue to be challenged by critical shortages in qualified health professionals. The Nebraska Office of Rural Health administers the Nebraska Student Loan Repayment Program that provides loan reimbursement for medical, dental, mental health, and physician assistant students. In exchange, graduates must practice for a specified length of time in a rural underserved facility in Nebraska.