College planning and career information for 11th & 12th-grade students.
COLLEGE PREP FOR JUNIORS AND SENIORS 2023 - 2024 FOR JUNIORS AND SENIORS
GETTING STARTED Before you decide what college to attend, explore careers you may want to pursue. This will help you find schools that fit your career interests and goals. Follow these steps: THINK ABOUT YOUR INTERESTS & SKILLS Ask your school counselor about interest or skills assessments offered at your school. Find free online assessments at: • NebraskaCareerConnections.org • MyNextMove.org • BigFuture.collegeboard.org/explore-careers 1
This diagram shows six broad career fields used in career education at most Nebraska schools. Learn more at NebraskaCareerConnections.org .
2 MATCH YOUR INTERESTS & SKILLS WITH POTENTIAL CAREERS
• Participate in activities that match your career interests such as school clubs, community service, job shadowing, internships, and part-time jobs.
• Get involved in a career academy or coursework if available at your school. • Use Reality Check at EducationQuest.org to determine if your career choice will pay enough to fund your desired lifestyle.
FINDING THE RIGHT COLLEGE Follow the steps on pages 2-4 to find colleges that fit your interests.
RESEARCH COLLEGES Here’s how to get started: • Talk to admissions representatives. • Use College Profiles at EducationQuest.org to match colleges with your interests. - Another good resource is BigFuture.collegeboard.org/find-colleges . • Attend a college fair. • Explore the websites of colleges that interest you.
WHAT DO WE MEAN BY COLLEGE? ? College can mean any type of education beyond high school, including:
CAREER SCHOOLS (trade schools)
COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES (4-year)
COMMUNITY COLLEGES (2-year) Offer certificates, diplomas, associate degrees, and programs for those planning to transfer to a four-year school.
Award diplomas and certificates for specific trades. A few offer associate and bachelor’s degrees.
Offer bachelor’s degrees. Many also award master’s and doctoral degrees.
Apprenticeships and the military are also options.
GO ON CAMPUS VISITS This is the most important step you can take to determine if a school is the right fit for you!
• Start visits in the spring of junior year and revisit your top choices in the fall of senior year. • Contact the admissions office at least two weeks in advance to schedule a campus visit. • Visit while school is in session. You won’t get the full campus experience during school breaks, finals week, or summer. • Meet with an admissions representative and financial aid counselor to discuss how to apply and pay for college. • Ask to meet with faculty in your areas of interest. • If you can’t visit a college, check their website for a virtual tour.
NARROW YOUR COLLEGE CHOICES
After you’ve done your research and gone on campus visits, it’s time to compare notes and pick your top college choices. Compare schools based on academic programs, size, location, cost, career preparation, internships, and social climate.
QUESTIONS TO ASK ON A CAMPUS VISIT
ASK THE FINANCIAL AID COUNSELOR…
ASK THE ADMISSIONS REPRESENTATIVE…
1. What applications are required for scholarships and financial aid, and what are the deadlines? 2. When can I expect a financial aid offer?
1. What are the admission requirements? 2 . What is the deadline to apply for admission? 3 . Does the college offer academic programs that fit my career interests? Can I study abroad? 4. What housing options are available? 5. Is the campus diverse? Where are the majority of students from? 6. What percentage of students graduate?
ASK CURRENT STUDENTS…
1. How easy is it to register for classes? 2. Are campus jobs available? 3. What student activities are offered?
FIND MORE QUESTIONS AT EDUCATIONQUEST.ORG
RECOMMENDED COURSES FOR COLLEGE ADMISSION These courses reflect the most rigorous college admission requirements in the state. By taking them, you’ll be better prepared for admission to any college in Nebraska. ENGLISH 4 years of intensive reading and writing MATH 4 years, including algebra, algebra II, and geometry - and one additional course that builds on knowledge of algebra II SOCIAL SCIENCES 3 years, including American and/or world history; one additional course in history, American government, and/or geography; and a third course from any social science discipline NATURAL SCIENCES 3 years, including biology, chemistry, physics, or earth sciences - one course must include laboratory instruction WORLD LANGUAGE 2 - 4 years of the same language DUAL CREDIT & ADVANCED PLACEMENT If you take dual-credit courses in high school you could earn college credit at a lower tuition cost. Advanced Placement courses are another option for earning college credit. Ask your counselor if these courses are available at your school, and if you qualify for a scholarship to cover dual-credit courses.
TAKE COLLEGE ENTRANCE EXAMS Some colleges will require an entrance exam for admission and/or scholarship consideration. You will take the ACT in the spring of your junior year, and you may want to take the SAT as well. Retake the exam(s) in the summer and fall as some colleges will use your best score for scholarship and admission decisions. You also have the option of retaking a single subject of the ACT. • Visit actstudent.org and collegeboard.org for sample questions, test dates, registration, and fees. • Find Nebraska-based ACT test-prep resources at EducationQuest.org . If you attend a community college, you may be required to take the Accuplacer or Companion placement tests. APPLY FOR ADMISSION Be aware of deadlines and apply to your top three or four colleges in the fall of your senior year. Most will require: • An application and fee. • Official high school transcripts, including: - Your grade point average and/or class rank. - Completed high school coursework. • ACT/SAT test scores. If your school conducts an Apply2College event, you will get help with applications during the school day. CREATE A STUDENT PORTAL Once you’re accepted for admission, the college will instruct you to create an online student account/portal for communications about financial aid, admissions, or other college-related matters.
NEBRASKA COLLEGE COSTS
This chart shows 2023-24 costs to attend a college in Nebraska. Colleges use these amounts (Cost of Education) and your FAFSA results to award financial aid.
SCHOOL AND LOCATION
TUITION & FEES
BOOKS & SUPPLIES
HOUSING & FOOD PERSONAL & TRANSPORTATION
4-YEAR PUBLIC Chadron State College - Chadron
2,152 8,078 1,300 9,920 6,304 3,840 2,912
Peru State College - Peru
1,220 8,280 960 10,016 1,536 3,168 3,168
University of Nebraska - Kearney
4,269 8,302 770 11,936 5,974 5,078 5,078
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
19,189 10,108 1,250 13,856 6,736 3,380 3,380
University of Nebraska - Omaha
12,026 9,154 1,120 11,610 3,742 3,874 3,874
University of Nebraska Medical Center - Omaha*
(Programs and costs vary, contact the college for more information)
Wayne State College - Wayne*
3,860 7,970 1,488 9,624 2,476 2,268 2,268
4-YEAR PRIVATE Bellevue University - Bellevue*
9,000 10,800 1,800 10,700 10,700 4,000 4,000
Bryan College of Health Sciences - Lincoln
537 20,070 1,200 N/A 5,280 N/A 3,590
Clarkson College - Omaha
595 19,530 814 7,864 2,892 2,932 2,932
College of Saint Mary - Omaha
673 23,340 888 8,650 4,390 4,400 5,172
Concordia University - Seward*
1,144 39,200 1,070 10,350 7,395 2,700 1,960
Creighton University - Omaha*
4,472 47,000 1,200 12,790 2,500 2,800 2,800
Crown College - Omaha
** 14,615 **
Doane University - Crete*
1,156 40,491 1,040 11,615 3,763 3,380 3,484
Hastings College - Hastings
918 36,130 110 11,690 5,970 4,310 4,310
Midland University - Fremont
1,341 40,270 1,020 10,562
0 4,224 4,224
Nebraska Methodist College - Omaha
1,082 19,160 1,000 11,296 4,286 5,812 7,384
Nebraska Wesleyan University - Lincoln
1,545 41,902 1,000 11,886 3,000 3,500 3,500
Summit Christian College - Gering
40 7,580 300 8,000 2,032 1,376 1,152
Union College - Lincoln
518 27,990 1,600 8,000 6,000 5,000 5,000
York University - York
SCHOOL AND LOCATION
TUITION & FEES
BOOKS & SUPPLIES
HOUSING & FOOD PERSONAL & TRANSPORTATION
Central Community College - Columbus
4,358 3,360 1,500 8,252 3,400 2,200 2,900
Central Community College - Grand Island*
4,634 3,360 1,500 N/A 3,400 N/A 2,900
Central Community College - Hastings
4,358 3,360 1,500 8,252 3,400 2,200 2,900
Little Priest Tribal College - Winnebago*
178 5,400 1,114 8,000 8,000 3,234 3,234
Metropolitan Community College - Omaha*
3,285 1,500 N/A 3,885 N/A 2,250
Mid-Plains Community College - McCook* 1,342 3,600 1,600 7,626 3,000 3,280 3,280 Mid-Plains Community College - North Platte 2,157 3,600 1,600 7,626 3,000 3,280 3,280 Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture - Curtis 239 5,586 836 8,856 2,508 3,826 4,136 Nebraska Indian Community College - Macy* 368 5,100 ** N/A ** N/A ** Northeast Community College - Norfolk* 5,583 3,840 1,211 9,637 2,961 1,461 2,521 Southeast Community College - Beatrice 1,070 3,630 850 8,856 4,542 2,000 2,000 Southeast Community College - Lincoln* 6,924 3,630 850 8,856 4,542 2,000 2,000 Southeast Community College - Milford 1,308 3,630 850 8,856 4,542 2,000 2,000 Western Nebraska Community College - Scottsbluff* 2,041 3,720 1,500 8,874 3,300 3,765 3,765
Capitol Beauty School - Omaha
159 18,100 3,750 N/A 8,640 N/A 6,750
CHI Health School of Radiologic Technology - Omaha
29 14,280 800 N/A 7,530 N/A 2,030
College of Hair Design - Lincoln
151 18,900 2,910 N/A 3,720 N/A 2,724
Entourage Institute of Beauty and Esthetics- Lincoln
13 18,000 1200 N/A **
Joseph's College :: Cosmetology - Lincoln*
70 18,770 2,420 N/A 1,752 N/A 3,000
Mary Lanning Healthcare School of Radiologic Technology - Hastings
20 8,890 950 10,500 ** 8,500 **
Myotherapy Institute Inc - Lincoln
25 16,800 **
Regional West Medical Center School of Radiologic Technology - Scottsbluff
11 4,585 1,570 N/A 3,300 N/A 3,188
Universal College of Healing Arts - Omaha
(Programs and costs vary, contact the college for more information)
Xenon Academy - Omaha*
40 17,850 3,214 N/A 3,237 N/A 5,369
* Indicates main campus. For additional locations, see https://eqf.org/campus_locations . ** No information provided by the college. This data is meant to inform and does not intend to create any type of college ranking or favoritism.
HOW TO PAY FOR COLLEGE
Now that you know how to find the right college and how much college will cost, it’s time to figure out how to pay for it. We’ll walk you through the steps to apply for scholarships and financial aid.
CREATE AN FSA ID To begin the process of applying for financial aid, you and a parent must each create an FSA ID at studentaid.gov . Your account must be verified before you can complete the FAFSA. This can take 3-5 days, so be sure to apply early.
APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIPS Follow these tips for scholarship success: • Research potential awards by using free scholarship search resources, including your
school counselor, the college you plan to attend, ScholarshipQuest at EducationQuest.org , and other free internet-based scholarship searches. • Complete an Activities Resume at EducationQuest.org so you will have a list of your activities, honors, and awards handy when completing applications. • Create a list of scholarships you’re eligible to apply for. Tackle the most difficult applications first. Pay attention to deadlines; if you miss one, your application will not be considered. • Request letters of recommendation from adults who know you well. Give them plenty of notice, a deadline, information about the scholarship, and a copy of your Activities Resume .
If you receive offers for scholarship services, research them carefully if a fee is involved. How do you know if the offer is questionable? Watch for this type of language: • “You’ve been selected.” • “The scholarship is guaranteed or your money back.” • “May I have your credit card number?” SCHOLARSHIP SERVICES WARNING!
Ask your school counselor or EducationQuest about free resources that are available.
SCHOLARSHIPS These are awarded by private donors or your college. Some are based on financial need while others are based on criteria such as academics, leadership, athletics, or talents. GRANTS* These are not repaid and are awarded to students who show financial need. They include: • Pell Grant. TYPES OF FINANCIAL AID
COMPLETE THE FAFSA The FAFSA is your application for federal, state, and college-based financial aid. Complete the form at studentaid.gov in the fall of your senior year and every year you’re in college. • The colleges you list on the application will use your FAFSA information to offer financial aid. Submit the form before the colleges’ FAFSA priority date to get the best financial aid offers. • After you submit the form, expect a FAFSA Submission Summary (FSS) via email. It indicates your Student Aid Index (SAI) and if further action is required. • Visit EducationQuest.org to find a FAFSA Checklist and other tools to help you complete the application. BE PREPARED FOR VERIFICATION Monitor your student portal and email closely as the college(s) might request verification of your FAFSA information. The college(s) will not process your financial aid until you provide the required documents.
• Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG). • Nebraska State Opportunity. Grant. • College-based grants.
WORK-STUDY* Based on financial need, this is
money you earn from a college-based job to help pay for school expenses. STUDENT LOANS* This is money you borrow and must repay after you’re done with college. Loans are also available for parents. See page 10 for details.
*These types of financial aid are based on FAFSA results.
EXPECT A FINANCIAL AID OFFER The colleges you listed on your FAFSA will notify you of the types and amounts of financial aid they’re offering. You will only receive offers from colleges that accepted you for admission. Accept or decline the financial aid offer by the deadline.
The colleges use this “financial need” formula to calculate how much to award you in financial aid:
COST OF EDUCATION (tuition, fees, books, living expenses) – STUDENT AID INDEX (your FAFSA results) = YOUR FINANCIAL NEED
Colleges will award you as much of the “financial need” amount as possible. This could be a combination of scholarships, grants, work-study, and loans.
FINANCIAL AID FORMULA EXAMPLES
Tuition & fees
Books & supplies
Housing & Food
+ Personal & transportation
= Cost of Education
- Student Aid Index*
= Financial Need
* Student Aid Index (for one year) is based on a family of four, one in college, $85,000 income.
TYPES OF FEDERAL LOANS Direct Subsidized Loan A loan in which the government pays interest while the borrower is attending college. You qualify for this loan based on financial need. Direct Unsubsidized Loan A loan in which the borrower is responsible for all accrued interest, even while attending college. Direct PLUS Loan A loan that allows parents of a dependent student to borrow up to the cost of education minus other types of financial aid.
FEDERAL LOAN COMPARISON Colleges determine the types and amount of loans to be awarded. Depending on your financial need, you may receive a combination of subsidized and unsubsidized loans. To learn more, visit StudentAid.gov .
Direct Loan for Students Subsidized and Unsubsidized
Direct PLUS Loan for Parents
Combined annual subsidized and unsubsidized loan limits:
Your parent can borrow up to the “Cost of Education” minus other financial aid you receive.
Dependent students Freshmen - $5,500 Sophomores - $6,500
Independent students* Freshmen - $9,500 Sophomores - $10,500
Credit approval is required.
Juniors - $7,500 Seniors - $7,500 Undergrad loan limit is $31,000.
Juniors - $12,500 Seniors - $12,500 Undergrad loan limit is $57,500.
5.50% – undergrad unsubsidized and subsidized Effective 7/1/23 (subject to change annually)
8.05% effective 7/1/23 (subject to change annually)
In-school Interest Payments
Subsidized – paid by government Unsubsidized – paid by student
Paid by parent
1.06% of amount borrowed
4.25% of amount borrowed
Loan payments (principal and interest) begin 60 days after loan is fully disbursed.
Loan payments (principal and interest) begin 6 months after you graduate or drop below half-time status.
*You are an independent student if you meet one or more of the following criteria:
• Age 24 by December 31 of the school year. • Married. • In graduate school at the beginning of the school year. • Providing more than half of the support for dependents living with you. • A veteran.
• On active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training. • In foster care or ward of court after turning 13. • An orphan. • Emancipated minor or in legal guardianship. • U naccompanied homeless youth or at risk of being a homeless youth.
In Nebraska, graduates from public and private nonprofit four-year colleges average $27,000 in student loan debt.* Student loans can be a good resource as long as you borrow wisely. Here are some tips that may help: • Make sure the college you plan to attend is a good fit. Transferring to a different school can add additional years of college and loan debt. • Compare the estimated starting salary of your future career to your estimated college debt to ensure you can afford future loan payments. Find a “debt/salary wizard” calculator at mappingyourfuture.org/paying/debtwizard/ . • When you receive your financial aid offer, accept only the amount in student loans needed to help pay for tuition, fees, books, housing, and food. • Work while you go to college and use the money you earn to pay personal expenses. • Keep track of your federal student loan debt at studentaid.gov so you’re not surprised when it’s time to graduate. HOW TO MANAGE STUDENT LOAN DEBT
ESTIMATED LOAN PAYMENTS OVER 10 YEARS
Direct Loan for students
PLUS Loan for parents
Monthly Payment Amount
$3,500 $5,500 $8,000 $12,000 $13,500 $19,000 $23,000 $27,000 $31,000
$50* $60 $87 $130 $147 $206 $250 $293 $337
$50* $67 $97 $146 $164 $231 $280 $329 $377
Check out the Student Loan Simulator at StudentAid.gov/loan-simulator
*Minimum loan payment, will take less than 10 years to repay the loan.
OTHER WAYS TO PAY FOR COLLEGE
NEST 529 COLLEGE SAVINGS PLAN By investing in this plan, your parents can set aside money for your college education and get a Nebraska state income tax deduction. Find details at nest529.com . COLLEGE PAYMENT PLANS Some schools offer a monthly payment plan. Ask your college about finance charges. THE MILITARY All military branches offer education assistance, including the G.I. Bill, tuition reimbursement, and student loan repayment. Talk to a recruiter for details. PRIVATE LOANS These student loans are not funded by the federal government. Talk to the college financial aid office to determine if a private loan might be an option to help fund your education.
HOME EQUITY LINE OF CREDIT LOAN A line of credit that allows you to borrow money as you need it. NEBRASKA AGENCIES Certain Nebraska agencies provide education assistance for those who qualify. Examples include:
• Nebraska VR. • Nebraska Department of Labor. • ResCare Workforce Service. • Central Plains Center for Services.
AMERICORPS Provides a stipend and educational award in exchange for community service. To learn more, visit serve.nebraska.gov or americorps.gov . GAP ASSISTANCE PROGRAM Financial aid for low-income students enrolled in community college programs that do not lead to a degree.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF TAX BENEFITS
LIFETIME LEARNING CREDIT Students must be enrolled for at least one academic period beginning in the tax year. This credit is also allowed for courses toward a degree, educational credential, or for classes taken to improve job skills.
AMERICAN OPPORTUNITY CREDIT Students must be enrolled in college at least half-time for one period of the tax year and be pursuing an undergraduate degree.
See irs.gov or talk to your tax advisor for details.
Follow these steps to ensure a successful transition to college. FINAL STEPS
SUBMIT YOUR CAMPUS HOUSING FEE AND DEPOSIT Do this before the deadline for a better chance of securing your preferred housing option. REGISTER FOR NEW STUDENT ORIENTATION Orientation will help you jump-start college by meeting other new students, talking with an academic adviser, and registering for classes. APPLY FOR A STUDENT LOAN, ONLY IF NECESSARY You will apply at studentaid.gov . Your college will provide instructions. MAKE YOUR FINAL COLLEGE SELECTION Select a school that offers your major, is the right distance from home, and fits your family’s budget. Notify the other schools of your decision and decline their financial aid offers. CHECK YOUR STUDENT PORTAL AND EMAIL OFTEN The college will provide important instructions and deadlines via your online student account.
STAY ON TRACK • Use our College Timeline. • Sign up for the Countdown to College emails. • Find both at EducationQuest.org .
FIND FREE TOOLS AT EDUCATIONQUEST.ORG
Activities Resume ™
Track your extracurricular activities, honors, and awards.
College Profiles ™
Information about colleges in Nebraska and across the country.
Walks you through college planning steps.
Look at your future desired lifestyle.
UPCOMING EVENTS Keep you on track for college.
BLOGS Provide advice to help you succeed in high school and college.
View more than 2,000 Nebraska- based scholarships.
EDUCATIONQUEST CAN HELP YOU START YOUR JOURNEY TO COLLEGE. We’re a nonprofit organization that provides FREE services and programs for Nebraska students and families including: • College-prep information and tools at EducationQuest.org. • One-on-one help at college planning offices in Omaha, Lincoln, Kearney, and Scottsbluff. • Outreach services for community agency clients. • Statewide efforts such as college fairs, financial aid programs, and the Apply2College campaign. • Look2College, KnowHow2GO, and Exploring College programs for younger students. We also provide need-based scholarships for students referred by colleges or community agencies and award College Access Grants to Nebraska high schools.
FOR FREE HELP WITH COLLEGE PLANNING, CONTACT THE LOCATION NEAREST YOU.
OMAHA Rockbrook Village
LINCOLN 1300 O St. 402.475.5222
KEARNEY 2706 Second Ave. 308.234.6310
SCOTTSBLUFF 1601 E 27th St. 308.708.7199
11031 Elm St. 402.391.4033
Materials and resources are available in Spanish. Materiales y recursos disponibles en español.
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