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Scholarship program helps UNL meet workforce needs

Scholarship program helps UNL meet workforce needs

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LINCOLN — Students interested in working where Nebraska needs them most could be awarded scholarships of at least $8,000 per year under a new program being launched at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and other University of Nebraska institutions.

The new scholarships will be available as early as January 2021 to incoming Husker freshmen and transfer students with strong academic potential who are interested in careers such as engineering, mathematics and computer information systems. Recipients are required to complete a Nebraska-based internship before they graduate.

The scholarships were created through the Nebraska Career Scholarships Act proposed by Gov. Pete Ricketts in January and passed by the Legislature in August.

“Supporting our students and growing our workforce are top priorities here at the state’s flagship, land-grant institution,” Chancellor Ronnie Green said. “Our strategic vision for 2025 includes economic development, research and innovation, lifelong experiential learning and inclusive excellence. The Nebraska Career Scholarships Act provides a much-welcomed tool that will further enable the university to strengthen our Nebraska communities, while transforming lives and learning.”

The scholarships will be offered to undergraduate students at all four University of Nebraska institutions — the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of Nebraska at Kearney, the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Approved as Legislative Bill 1008, the initiative allocates $2 million per year to the NU system for undergraduate students pursuing high-demand careers to help fill Nebraska’s critical workforce needs. LB 1008 also allocated scholarship funds to state and community colleges.

The scholarships fit within the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s multi-pronged strategy to fill high-skill, high-demand and high-wage jobs in Nebraska. For example, during the past year the university has announced ambitious plans to expand its college of engineering and to consolidate computer science, computer engineering, software engineering and other technology-centric programs as an interdisciplinary school of computing within the college of engineering.

“The Career Scholarships Act provides another direct connection between the classroom and jobs. This program supports our students not only financially, but through hands on-learning experiences they can use to build a foundation for their entire careers,” said Abby Freeman, director of admissions. “We are excited to offer an exceptional education at a great value while supporting the workforce needs of our state. It’s a win-win.”

At Nebraska, students in the following majors will be considered for the scholarships: Agricultural engineering, athletic training, biological systems engineering, civil engineering, communication science disorders, computer engineering, computer science, construction engineering, electrical engineering, mathematics, mechanical engineering and software engineering.

To be considered for a scholarship for the spring 2021 semester, incoming first-year and transfer students should apply for admission by Dec. 1. Awards are based on holistic review, so students are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid for fullest consideration. High school seniors and transfer students who wish to enroll at Nebraska in fall 2021 should apply for admission by March 1 for priority consideration and May 1 for subsequent consideration while funding remains.

For more information about the scholarship and how to apply, visit go.unl.edu/ne-career-freshmen for new, first-time students and go.unl.edu/ne-career-transfer for transfer students.

Nebraska will award the scholarships based upon academic performance. The funds may be used for tuition, fees, room and board, or relevant tools and equipment. The scholarships are renewable if students maintain a 2.5 cumulative GPA and complete 30 credit hours per year. Recipients are required to complete a Nebraska-based internship, apprenticeship, clinical position or other work related to their career before their fourth year on scholarship.

“The chancellors and I are grateful for the critical investment that Gov. Ricketts and the Legislature have made in student access and workforce development,” NU system President Ted Carter said. “The Nebraska Career Scholarships program will create new opportunities for students to pursue a college education and get great-paying jobs right here in Nebraska. This program is good news for Nebraska’s long-term economic competitiveness, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with our elected leaders to grow our state.”

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