Through a new tuition initiative at UNO called the Metropolitan Advantage Program (MAP), residents of Pottawattamie, Mills and Harrison Counties of Iowa – an area with a population of 120,000 – will be eligible to attend undergraduate and graduate programs at UNO for 150 percent of resident tuition. Students must meet UNO’s academic requirements for admission to the university.
"This is truly an exciting announcement for UNO and for Nebraska," Christensen said. "For the past 100 years our university has done an outstanding job serving the needs of students in the greater Omaha metro area. The Metropolitan Advantage Program is a wonderful example of how our dedicated faculty and staff have worked to help more students meet their educational needs at UNO."
Milliken continued: "We hope this new opportunity will attract significant numbers of western Iowa students to UNO’s campus, resulting immediately in more students enrolled at the university and ultimately a more educated metropolitan Omaha and Nebraska."
He noted that studies have shown that when significant price differential is eliminated, students will attend classes where it is convenient. The new UNO tuition will be close to the rates charged by the University of Iowa, Iowa State and the University of Northern Iowa. "With this new initiative, we believe UNO will compete well on the basis of quality, cost and convenience," Milliken said. Milliken pointed out that several years ago a legislative task force advocated increasing the number of nonresident students at Nebraska colleges and universities, particularly the University of Nebraska. Milliken said he and the Board of Regents share this objective.
"Our ultimate goal is to encourage more college graduates to live and work in Nebraska. This is an important strategy for the state of Nebraska. And one of the best ways to do that, according to studies on migration, is to attract nonresident students, many of whom tend to stay in the area to live and work."
Under a 2006 Board of Regents policy, Milliken can approve tuition variances proposed by the university’s four campuses. The tuition variance policy was designed to encourage entrepreneurship by campuses, and allow them to take advantage of unique market opportunities.
"This tuition variance, which provides great educational opportunity to metropolitan Iowans, is ultimately about improving education levels in Omaha and economic growth for Omaha and Nebraska," he said.
The new tuition rate - which is offered to both new and current Iowa students who sign up for programs and courses specifically at UNO – adds up to about half of nonresident tuition.
UNO tuition rates have not been set for 2008-09, but here's how the formula would work using the 2007-08 rates:
- The 2007-08 undergraduate resident tuition rate at UNO is $154.75 per credit hour, the nonresident rate is $456 per credit hour, and the new program would offer UNO tuition at about $232 per hour.
- The 2007-08 graduate resident tuition rate for 2007-08 is $192.75 per credit hour, the nonresident rate is $507.25 per credit hour, and the new program would offer UNO tuition at about $289 per hour.
In addition to the new Metropolitan Advantage Program, UNO also will offer Iowa undergraduate students in the three-county area an opportunity to reduce tuition even further through the new Maverick Advantage Scholarship (MAS). To qualify for the Maverick Advantage, incoming undergraduate students from Iowa must present a 23 or higher ACT score or rank in the top 25 percent of their high school classes. Transfer students must present a 3.0 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale.
University officials will monitor the MAP and MAS and make regular reports to the Board of Regents in specific areas:
- Effects of the initiative on UNO’s academic environment
- The net fiscal consequences of the program
- Economic, civic and cultural consequences within the Omaha metro area and the region as a whole
View fact sheet regarding tuition break
What others are saying:Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman
"I want to applaud University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken and UNO Chancellor John Christensen for being willing to explore creative ways to increase college enrollment here in Nebraska. This is the kind of innovation that has the potential to attract more young people to our state, while also continuing to strengthen our quality workforce, which is so critical when it comes to our business recruitment efforts.
"I believe there are opportunities for Nebraska colleges and universities to benefit from programs such as this. I commend the University for helping lead the way."
David G. Brown, President and CEO, Chamber of Commerce
"Nebraska and Iowa have long had much in common as evidenced by the close relationship between the citizens of Omaha and Council Bluffs. Residents from both states benefit from these thriving cities working together creating thousands of job opportunities and incredible quality of life.
"Providing a new way for Iowans to access the UNO experience is an extension of our work together and makes great sense."
Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey
"The University of Nebraska at Omaha plays an important role in expanding the education of our citizens. Making higher learning more convenient and affordable for people in the metro area provides an important opportunity that will also strengthen our community.
"I applaud UNO for their work to make higher education a more realistic option for area citizens."