UNK- University of Nebraska at Kearney Chancellor Doug Kristensen will address high school students in Grand Island and St. Paul on Thursday.
At both schools, he will tell students about opportunities available through Collegebound Nebraska, a university program that makes it possible for qualifying students to attend the university and pay no tuition, and he will encourage students to use the program to attend college.
He will speak to high school juniors and seniors at Grand Island Senior High in the GISH Auditorium at 9 a.m.
At 11 a.m., he will speak at an all-high school assembly at St. Paul High School.
Collegebound Nebraska packets have been sent to Nebraska high schools. The packets include a suggested Collegebound Nebraska "curriculum" for guidance counselors and teachers to use that features daily tips on the college planning process.
The Collegebound Nebraska program guarantees that any Nebraska undergraduate who qualifies for a federal Pell Grant and meets NU's admission requirements can attend the university and pay no tuition. Generally, a student from a family of four with one in college and an income of about $53,000 or less will qualify. A student must maintain a 2.5 grade point average to remain eligible for the program.
Collegebound Nebraska covers all of a student's tuition costs, up to 30 credit hours per academic year that are not already covered by Pell funds or other grants or scholarships. To qualify for Collegebound Nebraska, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by April 1 each year. No separate application is required.
Increasing the number of students who graduate from high school, go on to college and earn a degree is a high priority for Nebraska. Research from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce shows that by 2018, 63 percent of all jobs in the United States will require education beyond high school – and the demand is similar in Nebraska. Growing educational attainment in the state is a key goal of Nebraska's P-16 Initiative, which is chaired by Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman.
In a news release earlier this month, NU President James B. Milliken said, "Collegebound Nebraska helps the university meet one of its most important obligations: that we will continue to provide affordable access for Nebraska students and families."
In that same release, Gov. Heineman said, "The Collegebound Nebraska program will ensure more Nebraska students have access to the tools they need to make higher education a reality, and that's great news for our state. Providing our students with the best education possible is essential to Nebraska's future."