NWU Program Will Fully Fund Tuition for Learn to Dream Scholars

Aspire NWU

The new Aspire NWU Scholarship Program provides full tuition to Learn to Dream Scholars from Lincoln and surrounding areas who wish to complete their bachelor's degree.

Nebraska Wesleyan University is launching a new scholarship program that will help more area community college students aspire to complete a bachelor’s degree.

The Aspire NWU Scholarship Program will fully fund tuition through federal, state and NWU merit-based and need-based aid for Southeast Community College’s Learn to Dream Scholars who quality for the federal Pell Grant. The program will serve most students whose family adjusted gross incomes are at or below $60,000. Approximately 30 percent of NWU students receive the Pell Grant.

“Nebraska Wesleyan has an outstanding partnership with Southeast Community College to help open more doors to bachelor’s degree completion,” said Nebraska Wesleyan University President Darrin Good. “This further strengthens that partnership and helps these high-achieving students who want to pursue a bachelor’s degree to do so in an affordable way.”

Thanks to the generosity of the Acklie Charitable Foundation, Nelnet and Union Bank & Trust, the Learn to Dream Scholars Program provides economically-disadvantaged students from Lincoln public and private schools the opportunity to complete 60 semester credit hours at one of SCC’s campuses without paying tuition and fees. The program also provides 30 semester credit hours to students who reside in SCC’s 15-county service area.

SCC students who complete 12 credit hours from any of its six learning centers are eligible to transfer to NWU. Qualifications for the Aspire NWU Scholarship Program include:

  • Current student or graduate of the Learn to Dream Scholars Program
  • Nebraska resident
  • Federal Pell Grant eligible
  • Apply and enroll in a traditional NWU undergraduate degree program
  • Carry a full-time academic course load of 12-18 credit hours per semester

The program, which begins in fall 2021, is renewable annually until the recipient has completed their bachelor’s degree. Students must also maintain full-time status and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA. Outside scholarships, unsubsidized federal student loans and on-campus work study may be used for room and board and other educational expenses at NWU.

“We’re committed to providing the resources necessary to remove financial burden and worry from economically-disadvantaged students,” said Good.” “Students can solely focus on their academics and college experiences that will help them to thrive here and position them for success beyond graduation,” said Good.

“Our mission at Nebraska Wesleyan is well-aligned with that of the Learn to Dream Scholars Program to ultimately improve the lives of students we serve,” Good added. “Our commitment to personal attention and small class sizes create a particularly strong foundation for these scholars to succeed and graduate.”

“The Learn to Dream Scholarship at Southeast Community College is an incredible opportunity for economically disadvantaged students to access the life-changing benefits of higher education by offering up to two years of college credit tuition free,” said Paul Illich, president of Southeast Community College. “Through a new partnership between Nebraska Wesleyan University and Southeast Community College, Learn to Dream Scholars will have the opportunity to pursue a bachelor’s degree tuition fee. SCC is honored to be a committed partner in this new scholarship program as we seek to empower and transform the diverse learners and communities of southeast Nebraska.”

For transfer students not eligible for the new Aspire NWU Scholarship Program, NWU offers other scholarships including a $20,000 Pathways Transfer Scholarship for students transferring from Southeast Community College, Central Community College, Iowa Western Community College, Metropolitan Community College and Mid-Plains Community College. More than 160 students have received the Pathways Scholarship since its start in 2017. Nebraska Wesleyan also offers the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Scholarship to qualified community college students who are members of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, an academic honorary. The PTK Scholarship provides $21,000 in financial aid.

“Transfer students have an outstanding performance record at Nebraska Wesleyan,” said Good. “We want students to view us as a transfer school destination — a welcoming, rewarding place where they can continue on their educational journey.”