COLLEGE PREP FOR JUNIORS AND SENIORS
2020 - 2021
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. You can also use the free Career Cruising assessment at an EducationQuest location. You’ll 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. • Learn about high-wage, high-demand, and high-skill jobs in Nebraska by visiting H3.ne.gov. • Use Reality Check at EducationQuest.org to determine if your potential career choice will provide the future lifestyle you desire.
FINDING THE RIGHT COLLEGE Follow the steps on pages 2-4 to find colleges that fit your interests.
RESEARCH COLLEGES. Start by asking your school counselor for college-search advice and resources. Here are other things you can do: • Talk to admissions representatives when they visit your high school. • 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 or Educational Planning Program where you can talk to college representatives (live or virtual). See Upcoming Events at EducationQuest.org . • 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) These schools award diplomas and certificates for specific trades. A few offer associate and bachelor’s degrees.
COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES (4-year) These institutions offer bachelor’s degrees. Many also award master’s and doctorate degrees.
COMMUNITY COLLEGES (2-year) These schools offer certificates, diplomas, and associate degrees. They also have programs for those planning to transfer to a four-year school.
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 your visits in the spring of your junior year and revisit your top choices in the fall of your 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 and how can I expect a financial aid award letter?
1. What are 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? Are most students getting jobs or going to grad school?
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. You’ll 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 3-4 colleges in the fall of your senior year. Most will require: • An application and fee • Official high school transcripts which will show: - Your grade point average and/or class rank - Completed high school coursework • ACT/SAT test scores If your school conducts an Apply2College event, you’ll get help with your 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 2020-21 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
ROOM & BOARD
PERSONAL & TRANSPORTATION
4-YEAR PUBLIC Chadron State College - Chadron
2,323 7,634 1,800 7,648 7,648 5,248 5,184 5,184 2,112
Peru State College - Peru
2,375 7,980 1,500 9,216 9,216 1,536 3,712 3,712 3,712
Purdue University Global - Lincoln
366 12,117 **
N/A 4,959 2,133 N/A 2,190 1,470
University of Nebraska - Kearney
4,429 7,940 700 10,776 10,776 5,064 4,640 4,640 4,640
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
20,478 9,690 1,000 12,186 12,186 6,000 3,310 3,310 3,310
University of Nebraska - Omaha
12,667 8,800 1,120 10,196 10,196 3,100 3,770 3,770 3,770
University of Nebraska Medical Center - Omaha*
(Programs and costs vary, contact the college for more information)
Wayne State College - Wayne*
3,148 7,428 1,200 8,580 8,580 2,146 3,142 3,142 3,142
4-YEAR PRIVATE Bellevue University - Bellevue*
6,768 10,059 1,761 14,229 14,229 9,090 4,815 4,815 4,815
Bryan College of Health Sciences - Lincoln
575 19,410 1,200 N/A 8,559 4,284 N/A 4,680 4,680
Clarkson College - Omaha
651 18,120 814 7,284 8,580 2,692 2,932 2,932 2,932
College of Saint Mary - Omaha
800 21,370 864 8,000 10,738 3,706 2,986 3,720 4,508
Concordia University - Seward*
1,203 34,800 1,000 9,240 9,240 6,665 2,305 2,305 1,590
Creighton University - Omaha*
4,472 43,018 1,200 11,600 11,600 2,500 2,800 2,800 2,600
Crown College - Omaha
Doane University - Crete*
1,002 37,000 1,000 10,100 10,100 3,350 3,250 3,250 3,350
Hastings College - Hastings
965 32,770 100 10,290 9,290 4,300 3,994 3,994 3,994
Midland University - Fremont
1,254 35,528 1,020 9,226 **
3,136 12,362 5,282
Nebraska Methodist College - Omaha
988 18,540 1,000 9,802 11,738 3,996 5,148 6,528 6,528
Nebraska Wesleyan University - Lincoln*
1,842 36,974 1,000 10,530 10,530 3,000 3,500 3,500 3,500
Summit Christian College - Gering
7,220 300 3,740 14,664 2,032 110 167
Union College - Lincoln
694 25,340 1,600 7,170 9,900 3,600 3,790 4,240 4,190
York College - York
431 19,410 300 8,790 8,790 **
2,300 2,300 2,300
SCHOOL AND LOCATION
TUITION & FEES
BOOKS & SUPPLIES
ROOM & BOARD
PERSONAL & TRANSPORTATION
Central Community College - Columbus
4,294 3,210 1,500 7,438 7,000 2,700 1,750 2,400 2,400
Central Community College - Grand Island* 4,214 3,210 1,500 N/A 7,000 2,700 N/A 2,400 2,400
Central Community College - Hastings
3,693 3,210 1,500 7,438 7,000 2,700 1,750 2,400 2,400
Little Priest Tribal College - Winnebago*
132 5,140 1,114 6,990 6,990 6,990 3,234 3,234 3,234
Metropolitan Community College - Omaha* 9,606 3,105 1,500 N/A 6,255 3,300 N/A 2,250 2,250 Mid-Plains Community College - McCook* 941 3,360 1,600 6,430 6,630 2,000 2,330 2,330 2,330 Mid-Plains Community College - North Platte 1,815 3,360 1,600 6,630 6,630 2,000 2,330 2,330 2,330 Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture - Curtis 331 5,484 728 8,348 6,500 2,358 3,592 4,766 3,884 Nebraska Indian Community College - Macy* 227 5,125 ** N/A 17,355 8,678 N/A 8,909 8,909 Northeast Community College - Norfolk* 5,258 3,750 1,352 8,920 7,927 2,573 1,448 2,330 2,280 Southeast Community College - Beatrice 1,148 3,330 730 8,118 8,118 4,060 2,260 2,260 2,260 Southeast Community College - Lincoln* 7,539 3,330 730 N/A 8,118 4,060 N/A 2,260 2,260 Southeast Community College - Milford 1,064 3,330 730 8,118 8,118 4,060 2,260 2,260 2,260 Western Nebraska Community College - Scottsbluff* 2,312 3,720 1,500 7,034 7,034 2,674 3,537 3,537 3,537
Capitol School of Hairstyling and Esthetics - Omaha CHI Health School of Radiologic Technology - Omaha
122 17,245 2,850 N/A 6,624 2,946 N/A 5,082 2,754
6,818 800 N/A 11,438 3,531 N/A 1,018 1,018
College of Hair Design - Lincoln
122 18,450 2,734 **
5,142 2,238 **
Creative Center, College of Art & Design - Omaha Davines Professional Academy of Beauty and Business - Lincoln
(Programs and costs vary, contact the college for more information)
18,750 1,300 N/A **
Joseph's College :: Cosmetology*
17,100 2,200 N/A 4,068 1,134 N/A 3,342 2,310
Mary Lanning Healthcare School of Radiologic Technology - Hastings
9,175 900 N/A 8,500 **
N/A 8,500 **
Myotherapy Institute Inc - Lincoln
National American University - Bellevue
(Programs and costs vary, contact the college for more information)
Regional West Medical Center School of Radiologic Technology - Scottsbluff
3,600 1,570 N/A 11,000 2,283 N/A 5,800 5,800
Universal College of Healing Arts - Omaha
15,750 600 N/A 6,600 3,500 N/A 3,300 3,300
Xenon Academy - Omaha*
2,086 N/A 8,064 2,472 N/A 3,642 2,394
* Indicates main campus. For additional locations, see https://eqf.org/campus_locations . ** No information provided by the college.
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 ACCOUNT. To begin the process of applying for financial aid, you and a parent must each create an account at studentaid.gov . This is the site you will use to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and apply for and track student loans.
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’ll 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 • Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) • Nebraska State Opportunity Grant • College-based grants WORK-STUDY* Also 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. 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 on or after October 1 of your senior year. You may also complete the FAFSA via the myStudentAid app. • The colleges you list on the application will use your FAFSA information to award financial aid. Submit the form before the college(s) FAFSA priority date to get the best financial aid package. • After you submit your FAFSA, expect a Student Aid Report (SAR) via an email link. It indicates your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and if further action is required. Renew the FAFSA every year you’re in college. • Visit EducationQuest.org to find a FAFSA Checklist and other tools to help you complete the FAFSA. BE PREPARED FOR VERIFICATION. Watch 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 package until you provide required documents.
*These types of financial aid are based on FAFSA results.
EXPECT A FINANCIAL AID AWARD NOTIFICATION. 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 notifications from colleges that accepted you for admission. Accept or decline the financial aid package 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) – EXPECTED FAMILY CONTRIBUTION (your FAFSA results) = YOUR FINANCIAL NEED
The 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.
Here are examples of the financial need calculation based on the type of college you attend:
FINANCIAL AID FORMULA EXAMPLES
Tuition & fees
Books & supplies
Room & board
+ Personal & transportation
= Cost of Education
- Expected Family Contribution*
= Financial Need
* Expected Family Contribution (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 must qualify for this loan based on your 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 might receive a combination of subsidized and unsubsidized loans. To learn more, visit StudentAid.gov.
What loans can I borrow?
Direct Loan for Students Subsidized and Unsubsidized
Direct PLUS Loan for Parents
Combined annual subsidized and unsubsidized loan limits:
How much can I borrow?
Your parent can borrow up to the “Cost of Education” minus other financial aid you receive.
Dependent student 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.
2.75% – unsubsidized and subsidized Effective 7/1/20 (subject to change annually)
Who pays the interest while I’m in school? What is the interest rate?
5.3% effective 7/1/20 (subject to change annually)
Subsidized – paid by government Unsubsidized – paid by student
Paid by parent
Are there fees?
Yes, 1.06% of amount borrowed
Yes, 4.25% of amount borrowed Loan payments (principal and interest) begin 60 days after loan is fully disbursed.
When do I begin repayment?
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 • Unaccompanied homeless youth or at risk of being a homeless youth
In Nebraska, graduates from public and private nonprofit four-year colleges average $26,422 in student loan debt.* Student loans can be a good resource as long as you borrow wisely. These tips will help you do that: • 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 award notification, accept only the amount in student loans needed to help pay for tuition, fees, books, and room and board. • 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
Make sure you can afford student loan payments by comparing the estimated starting salary of your future career to your estimated college debt.
$3,500 5,500 8,000 12,000 13,500 19,000 23,000 27,000 31,000
$50* 53 77
$50* 62 90
115 130 183 222 260 299
135 152 213 258 303 348
*Minimum loan payment - will take less than 10 years to repay the loan.
OTHER WAYS TO PAY FOR COLLEGE
HOME EQUITY LINE OF CREDIT LOAN A line of credit allows you to borrow money as you need it, which fits well with tuition payments. NEBRASKA AGENCIES Certain Nebraska agencies provide education assistance for those who qualify. Examples include:
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 Many 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.
• 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 .
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF TAX BENEFITS
LIFETIME LEARNING CREDIT Students must be enrolled for at least one
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.
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.
See irs.gov or talk to your tax advisor for details.
Follow these steps to ensure a successful transition to college. FINAL STEPS
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 award packages.
CHECK YOUR STUDENT PORTAL AND EMAIL OFTEN. The college will provide important instructions and deadlines via your online student account.
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’ll apply at studentaid.gov . Your college will provide instructions.
STAY ON TRACK • Use our College Timeline.
• Sign up for the Countdown2College emails.
Find both at EducationQuest.org.
FIND FREE TOOLS AT EDUCATIONQUEST.ORG
connects you to Activities Resume, College Profiles, College Timeline , Reality Check , & ScholarshipQuest.
RESOURCES Activities Resume ™ tracks your extracurricular activities, honors and awards. College Funding Estimator ™ estimates your FAFSA results. College Profiles ™ has information about colleges in Nebraska and nationwide. College Timeline walks you through college-planning steps. Countdown2College provides monthly college planning tips. FAFSA Checklist helps you prepare for the FAFSA. FAFSA Tools provides resources to help you complete the FAFSA. Reality Check looks at your future desired lifestyle. ScholarshipQuest ™ contains over 2,000 Nebraska-based scholarships. Spanish Resources provide materials and information in Spanish.
UPCOMING EVENTS keep you on track for college.
BLOGS provide advice to help you succeed in high school and college.
Videos guide you through the financial aid process.
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 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.
KEARNEY 2706 Second Ave.
SCOTTSBLUFF 1601 E 27th St. 800.303.3745, ext. 6654
11031 Elm St. 402.391.4033 888.357.6300
Materials and resources are available in Spanish. Materiales y recursos disponibles en español.
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