For one Doniphan-Trumbull High School student, a scholarship to take online courses from the University of Nebraska High School will open important opportunities for him to access rigorous coursework that will prepare him for college.
“We have a very gifted student who would like to push himself with more difficult coursework while here,” said Doniphan-Trumbull High School counselor Nikki Sjuts. “Due to our smaller size, we have limited options for him. We have exhausted most options locally and would really like to continue to push his academic learning into more areas.”
Doniphan-Trumbull is one of 37 Nebraska high schools to receive scholarships this year for their students to take free online courses from the University of Nebraska High School through the Nebraska Virtual Scholars program. NU announced in August that it was offering 150 scholarships through Nebraska Virtual Scholars, which the university launched in 2011 and is now in its fourth round.
Schools applied for scholarships for a range of courses, including Advanced Placement calculus, physics, music theory, Latin, astronomy, web design and others. All 150 available scholarships are being awarded.
The Virtual Scholars program provides Nebraska high school students the opportunity to take advanced, elective and core courses online, helping them stay on the path to graduation and be more college- and career-ready. Nebraska Virtual Scholars is particularly focused on expanding access for rural, low-income and other underrepresented students, and on ensuring that high-quality STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and other advanced coursework is available to all Nebraska students no matter where they live.
“One of the highest priorities for the University of Nebraska is working with our partners across the state to improve student outcomes and ensure that every student has the opportunity to pursue a college degree,” said NU President Hank Bounds. “We’re very pleased to build on the good work of Nebraska’s high schools by providing scholarships that expand opportunities even further for students. The Nebraska Virtual Scholars program is meeting important needs for young people and schools across our state.”
Julie Blazer, head of curriculum and instruction for St. Cecilia High School, said that while the school is fortunate to have outstanding faculty, it faces staffing and resource limitations – a common theme among schools applying for scholarships through Virtual Scholars. The resulting scheduling challenges make it difficult to ensure that high-achieving students have access to all the courses they desire, she said
Andrea Malleck, guidance counselor at Elwood High School, said scheduling and limited staff availability are also challenges in the school’s efforts to offer all courses that their students need.
“We are a rural Class D school and have limited resources when it comes to course offerings. As our schedule is created each year we try our best to get our students the courses they want, but many times we do not have the staff or scheduling ability to fit their interests and/or needs,” Malleck said. “UNHS provides us with an additional opportunity to help meet our students’ needs and offers many more elective courses that our students are excited to take.”
The University of Nebraska High School’s full catalog of more than 100 core, elective and Advanced Placement courses was available for Virtual Scholars awards. The high school’s standard cost for Nebraska residents is $200 per one-semester course. The high school currently serves 2,700 students, of whom about 420 are Nebraskans.
Following is a list of high schools receiving scholarships through the Virtual Scholars program this year: