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Starting in the fall of 2021, Nebraska students who qualify for the federal Pell Grant will be able to attend Wayne State College tuition-free. 

The new Nebraska State Colleges Tuition Guarantee also applies to Chadron and Peru State. It will be available for returning and new undergraduate students.

“The State College Tuition Guarantee opens doors to students who aspire to earn a four-year college degree but are concerned about taking on significant debt,” said Paul Turman, chancellor of the Nebraska State College System, in a media release. “This program eliminates that barrier by providing access to a tuition-free education. This straight-forward approach will offer students, especially first-generation students, a clear path to high-demand careers in Nebraska.”

Qualified first-time freshman and transfer students will receive a combination of federal grants, state or private grants, college remissions or college foundation scholarships to fill any tuition gap left after the Pell Grant, according to the media release.

While it doesn’t cover additional costs like room and board or book fees, students’ private scholarships won’t be considered when providing support to cover tuition.

To qualify, students must be:

— A Nebraska resident.

— Designated as a first-time freshman at one of the state colleges or an incoming transfer.

— Admitted to Chadron State, Peru State or Wayne State College.

— Be Pell Grant eligible as determined by the FAFSA.

— Enroll in a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester, including one or more on-campus classes.

Students must complete the FAFSA on or before April 1 to receive priority consideration. The guarantee is renewable for up to four years as long as the student remains Pell-eligible, in good academic standing and continues as a full-time on-campus student.

“Building on our long-standing history of providing an accessible and affordable college education to Nebraska students, the guarantee will play a vital role in supporting the workforce needs, not only in the rural areas in which the colleges serve, but across Nebraska, and is closely aligned with the goals included in our state colleges for Nebraska Strategic Plan 2025,” said Gary Bieganski, chairman of the board of trustees for the Nebraska State Colleges.

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