Collegebound Nebraska Week is an opportunity to reinforce that college education is a goal worth achieving. Below are some tips and information to help reinforce this important message.
The Million Dollar Difference
Studies show that individuals with a bachelor’s degree earn an average of $1 million more over a lifetime than those with a high school diploma. In Nebraska, the average salary of a college graduate is double that of a high school dropout. Individuals with a college education also enjoy better health, are more likely to vote and volunteer, are less likely to receive public assistance, and are more likely to have their own children go on to college.
Apply Early for Financial Aid
Students who qualify for a federal Pell Grant automatically qualify for Collegebound Nebraska. But, the earlier students apply, the better their chances of getting additional financial aid. And, they must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by April 1 to qualify for Collegebound Nebraska assistance. Go to fafsa.ed.gov for more information or to get started on the FAFSA today.
Get a (better) Job
In just a few short years, nearly two-thirds of all jobs in Nebraska will require education beyond high school. Additionally, while the recent economic downturn has affected everyone, the job market is much tougher for those without a college degree. The unemployment rate for recent four-year college graduates is 6.8 percent – while it is 24 percent for recent high school graduates. Most of the jobs created in the recovery have gone to workers with a bachelor’s degree or better.
Take the Right Classes
Be sure to know which classes are required for admission at the University of Nebraska
Those requirements are: 4 units of English, 3 units of math (4 at UNL), 3 units of social sciences, 3 units of natural sciences, and 2 units of foreign language. UNK and UNO require one additional unit in any of these areas to complete the 16-unit requirement. Students also must be in the upper half of their graduating class, or have an ACT score of 20 or above or an SAT score of 950 of above. In addition, taking Advanced Placement or dual-enrollment classes can give students a head start on college, reducing costs, speeding time to graduation and helping them feel more prepared to tackle college-level work.
Do Your Homework
How do you choose the college that’s right for you? “Go. Visit. College!” A campus visit is an important step in finding the right fit, understanding the total cost of college and your financial aid options, and learning about housing, student organizations, majors, honors programs and other opportunities unique to each campus. College fairs can also help you narrow your choices.
Specific information about each of the NU campuses is available at www.unl.edu, www.unomaha.edu, www.unk.edu and www.unmc.edu. In addition, educationquest.org has information on the “Go.Visit.College!” initiative and a detailed calendar on upcoming college fairs across Nebraska.