UNK launching ‘New Nebraskan’ scholarship for out-of-state students

KEARNEY – The University of Nebraska at Kearney just became a lot more attractive to out-of-state students.

Beginning in fall 2021, on-campus undergraduate students from anywhere will get a discount that brings them to Nebraska residents’ tuition rate. It’s an offer equal to a 54% decrease – from the current $455 to $209 per credit hour.

University of Nebraska President Ted Carter today, in his investiture address outlining a five-year strategic vision, remarked on the urgent need for workforce development and the affordability of quality University of Nebraska education as Nebraska priorities. With that, an emphasis on “new Nebraskans” becomes a promotion strategy in which UNK can play a lead role.

“Nebraska’s workforce needs are urgent and growing,” Carter said. “One of the best ways we can grow our population and workforce is by recruiting new talent to live, work and raise a family here in Nebraska. I commend UNK for this bold effort to meet the needs of students and our state, and I can’t wait for these new Nebraskans to experience all that our university and communities have to offer.”

The New Nebraskan Scholarship also applies to currently enrolled out-of-state students beginning in fall 2021.

“UNK tuition has always been a tremendous value, especially when looking at the quality experience here with an affordable tuition rate,” said UNK Chancellor Doug Kristensen. “Many students and their families from outside Nebraska will now find that their education is more affordable than the options they may be looking at in their home state. This is good for Nebraska – improving access to attract diverse newcomers to Nebraska who will love it here, find jobs here and settle down here.”

In fall 2019, 586 undergraduate students were non-Nebraskans. Of that number, 99 out-of-state students were first-time freshmen, or about 11.5% of the total freshman class. Over the past 10 years, 2012 was the highest number of out-of-state students at UNK, at 956, which included 201 first-time freshmen, or 17% of the total freshman class.

Kearney will be the only University of Nebraska campus to offer the new tuition discount. In 2018, UNK began offering a similar in-state tuition discount to residents of Colorado and Kansas, which resulted in enrollment increases from those two states. Through a Midwest Student Exchange, residents of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio and Wisconsin have for many years received a discount equal to 150% of the in-state rate, or $313 per credit hour.

The New Nebraskan Scholarship does not apply to eCampus (distance) courses or to graduate courses. Transfer and re-enrolling undergraduate students will qualify.

“Students are increasingly ‘value-conscious,’” said Kelly Bartling, vice chancellor of Enrollment Management and Marketing. “UNK’s value proposition starts first with quality, at an affordable price. Over the past academic year in particular, UNK has enhanced our experience by increasing our traditional emphasis on hands-on and experiential learning, adding flexibility and increasing online programs and streamlining the general studies curriculum to also improve transferability. The Nebraska Promise initiated by President Carter assures that Nebraska families earning $60,000 or less have their tuition covered. These bold initiatives demonstrate UNK’s commitment to our mission and meet market demands.”

The application for enrollment for 2021 opened Aug. 1.