The University of Nebraska announced today that it has begun a new campaign to raise awareness about Collegebound Nebraska, the tuition assistance program which guarantees that qualifying students can attend NU and pay no tuition.
Former Husker defensive star Prince Amukamara, a cornerback for the 2012 Super Bowl-winning New York Giants, will partner with the university in promoting the program through social media, advertising and school events. Joining Amukamara as the new faces of Collegebound Nebraska are a dozen NU student ambassadors who are pursuing their college and career dreams with the help of financial aid.
The campaign kicked off today with events at Omaha North High School and Lincoln High School. Amukamara, several student ambassadors and NU President James B. Milliken were featured speakers.
“My football talents allowed me to get a scholarship so I could pursue my goal of earning a college degree. But I want students to know that they don’t have to be an elite athlete to afford to go to college,” Amukamara said. “The University of Nebraska’s Collegebound Nebraska program puts college within reach for thousands of students in the state. I support this program and want to help more student and families learn about this amazing opportunity to attend the University of Nebraska and pay no tuition.”
Amukamara graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2010 with a degree in sociology. As a senior, he earned unanimous All-America honors to cap an outstanding career that included 181 tackles, four sacks and 27 pass breakups. Last year, he was selected in the first round of the NFL draft by the Giants.
Milliken said, “We are very pleased to have our alumnus, Prince Amukamara, and our outstanding student ambassadors serving as spokespeople for Collegebound Nebraska. Prince and the students will bring an additional level of visibility to this important program that helps the University of Nebraska fulfill its highest priority: affordable access for Nebraskans.
“Significantly increasing the college-going rate among Nebraskans is key to our ability to sustain a competitive, knowledge-based economy for our state,” Milliken added. “Programs like Collegebound Nebraska make higher education accessible for the people of Nebraska, and our goal is to help many more families take advantage of this tremendous opportunity.”
Collegebound Nebraska 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 for Collegebound Nebraska. 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 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. No separate application is required.
In 2010-11, nearly 6,200 NU students qualified for the Collegebound Nebraska promise.
Sandy Ngo, a freshman nutrition sciences major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln who is pursuing her dream of working in the medical field with support from Collegebound Nebraska, spoke today at Lincoln High School, her alma mater. “My parents left Vietnam to give their children educational opportunities that they never had, so I have always dreamed of going to college,” Ngo said. “But for my family, the cost of a college education was a potential roadblock. This is where Collegebound Nebraska comes in.”
Sharon Ward, a freshman at the University of Nebraska at Omaha studying athletic training, spoke at Omaha North, where she graduated last year. “Combined with my other scholarships, Collegebound Nebraska has made higher education much more accessible for me,” Ward said. “Without it, my family and I would be facing major financial burdens. I’m grateful a program like this exists so that I can devote myself to my education and campus involvement instead of worrying about how to pay for college.”
Lana Koziol, a University of Nebraska at Kearney junior from Cedar Rapids, Neb., who is studying recreation management, said: “Taking the time to fill out the FAFSA is really important. It allowed me to qualify for Collegebound Nebraska and get an on-campus work study position while attending college. UNK has been a great fit for me, and I am proud to be a role model for my younger brother, who is now in the middle of his own college search.”
Ngo, Ward and Koziol are among the new Collegebound Nebraska student ambassadors. The ambassadors, representing NU’s three primarily undergraduate campuses, all are receiving financial aid through the program and will help promote it to their peers and prospective students. The other nine are:
- Casey Wilson, a UNO sophomore from Loup City studying speech communications.
- Isis Hernandez-Troche, a UNO sophomore from Omaha studying biology, French and Spanish.
- Will Gottner, a UNO sophomore from Bellevue studying biology.
- Tabitha Paul, a UNK sophomore from Gothenburg studying family studies.
- Tara Nienhueser, a UNK junior from York who is undecided on her major.
- Freddy Gomez, a UNK freshman from Omaha studying industrial distribution.
- Misam Ali, a UNL senior from Lincoln studying finance.
- Brianna Foster, a UNL sophomore from Omaha studying broadcast journalism.
- Donovon Allen, a UNL freshman from Bellevue studying psychology.
Contact: Melissa Lee
(402) 580-3297 (cell)