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Nebraska Scholarships and Financial Aid

Grants, Student Loans, & Fellowships

Nebraska’s location in the Great Plains made it a central part of America’s westward expansion. Many historic trails go through the state, including the Oregon Trail, the Pony Express Trail, and the Lewis and Clark Trail. Students who wish to pursue their post-secondary degrees in Nebraska have access to many of these historic areas. Students may also have access to financial aid and scholarship programs to help them finance their post-secondary education in Nebraska. Students may be eligible to receive financial assistance from several different programs.

Searching for Nebraska Scholarships and Financial Aid

The search for college funding starts as early as junior year in high school. To make it a little easier, here are the main groups of financial aid and scholarships:

  • Federal financial aid—grants and loans
  • Nebraska state financial aid—scholarships and grants
  • Nebraska university and college scholarships
  • Other scholarships in Nebraska
  • Private loans from banks and financing institutions

Federal Financial Aid for Nebraska Students

Students pursuing their post-secondary degrees in Nebraska may be eligible for federal financial aid. Federal financial aid is offered to students based on financial need. Submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid to see if you qualify. FAFSA applications are usually due on June 30 the year you need the aid. They open January 1 the year prior. Nebraska does not have a state deadline for the FAFSA, but check with your school to see if their financial aid office has a FAFSA deadline. Sooner is always better when it comes to submitting the FAFSA.

The financial aid/scholarship office at your institution will decide how much aid you qualify for, and will offer you a financial aid package. The financial aid package may include grants that do not need to be paid back as well as loans that do need to be paid back. You may accept as much as you want.

For more information on federal grants, see the StateUniversity.com Guide to Federal Grants. For more information on student loans, refer to the StateUniversity.com Guide to Federal Loans.

Nebraska State Financial Aid—Scholarships and Grants

There are two Nebraska financial aid programs to support students attending post-secondary education within the state’s borders.

The Access College Early Scholarship Program provides fee and tuition payment for high school students who are attending Nebraska universities and colleges. Students must have financial need to qualify. Click here for more information and current applications.

The Nebraska State Grant assists students with financial need who also qualify for the federal PELL Grant. Students must be Nebraska residents and must file a FAFSA to qualify.

Individual Nebraska University and College Scholarships

Another form of Nebraska financial aid is scholarships offered by individual Nebraska universities and scholarships. The best way to find out about this form of aid is to check with your financial aid/scholarship office. Most Nebraska institutions offer scholarships based on merit, need, ethnic background, special abilities, leadership/community involvement, major, and many more criteria. Most merit-based scholarships are offered through the admissions office and do not require a separate application. Simply submit your application for admission into the college or university. An example of this is the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, which offers merit-based scholarships to freshmen students through their admissions office. Scholarships based on other things, such as major and leadership/community involvement, may require separate applications and supporting documents. Some universities and colleges, such as the University of Nebraska-Omaha, require a general application for all scholarships while other universities and colleges require separate scholarships for each scholarship. Check with your financial aid/scholarship office for specific application procedures.

Other Scholarships in Nebraska

Several Nebraska businesses and organizations offer scholarships to college students, including:

The Sowers Club Scholarship Program
Award: scholarship
Requirements: Full-time student with a 3.0 GPA
Application: Download an application here.
Deadline: Contact the Sowers Club at sowersclub@neb.rr.com or (402)438-2244 for more information.

Lincoln Community Foundation
Award: 70 different scholarships
Requirements: Differs for individual scholarships. Please click here to choose a scholarship.
Application: Please refer to individual scholarships for applications.
Deadline: Please refer to individual scholarships for deadlines.

Nebraska Library Association (NLA) Scholarships
Award: The Louise A. Nixon Scholarship offers $1,000 and the Duane Munson Scholarship offers $250 to students who would like to pursue graduate library education.
Application: Click here for further information on the Louise A. Nixon Scholarship. Click here for further information on the Duane Munson Scholarship.
Deadline: April 15

Nebraska Lakes Association (NLA) Scholarship
Award: $500 to a student nominated by an NLA member.
Requirements: Applicants must be full-time students with at least a 3.0 GPA and must be studying a field related to water.
Application: Click here to download a current application.
Deadline: Check application for current deadline.

Mid-Nebraska Community Foundation Scholarships
Award: More than 150 scholarships from individuals.
Requirements: Each individual scholarship has a different set of requirements.
Application: Please refer to individual scholarships.
Deadline: Please refer to individual scholarships.

Nebraska Veterinary Medical Association Scholarships
Award: Scholarships between $100 and $4,500.
Requirements: Varies depending on individual scholarships.
Application: Click here to see a list of scholarships and applications.
Deadline: Please refer to individual scholarships.

Private Loans

Private loans should be taken out as a last resort. If you still have unmet needs and would like more financial assistance, you may be able to take out loans from private lenders or banks. Your school may have a list of lenders.

Three Things to Keep in Mind When Searching for Nebraska Scholarships and Financial Aid

  • Nebraska doesn’t have a state FAFSA deadline, so be sure to check with your school’s financial aid/scholarship office for your school’s FAFSA deadline.
  • There are many scholarships offered by in-state professional groups, businesses and foundations. Start locally before going national or state-wide. Local scholarships may be easier to win than scholarships that are available to everyone in the country.
  • Private loans should be considered after every other Nebraska financial aid resource has been depleted.

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