08 Jun GRAND Report: Univ. of Nebraska
I made my first trek to the state of Nebraska in October 2019 with another college counselor. We flew into Omaha and made the one hour drive to Lincoln so that we could spend the night near the University of Nebraska- Lincoln (UNL). It was a straightforward drive, although we did encounter snow on the return back to Omaha! College visits are always an adventure. Keep reading the GRAND report to see if UNL could be your GRAND fit school.
Lincoln, Nebraska, is one of the cities that make up the “Silicon Prairie.” The low cost of living and the amount of land has brought a lot of businesses to the Omaha/Lincoln/Kansas City area. Even though Lincoln has 287,000 people, it still felt like a small town. The State Capitol building is right across the street from campus, and students are walking distance from great restaurants and cute coffee shops. UNL has 25,800 students (about 20,000 undergrads), making it the second-smallest school in the Big 10, but it’s in the third-largest city, giving students the benefits of both. 33% of students come from outside Nebraska, and UNL has a relatively sizeable international population at 9%. One great thing about the Midwest is students can experience all four seasons. However, the wind is brutal in the Plains, so you should pack a reliable winter coat, hat, gloves, and boots.
Applying to UNL is easy. They accept the Common Application and clearly state the specific criteria for acceptance into the University, and majors that have additional requirements, like Engineering, Fine Arts, among others.
All students participate in Achievement-Centered Education, which are the general education requirements. Through this curriculum, students are exposed to different disciplines while developing life skills needed for success. There are 10 learning outcomes, and students take 3 credit hours for each, including a senior year capstone course.
Students can choose from 140 Academic Programs within 9 academic colleges. One of the most impressive programs is in the Raikes School. Home to Computer Science, Business, and Innovation, students receive an interdisciplinary education. UNL has several unique programs, including Agricultural Economics, Emerging Media Arts, Meteorology, and PGA Golf Management. Additionally, popular programs re Agriculture, Business, Psychology, Advertising/Public Relations, and Early Childhood Education.
The Cornhuskers are proud of their NCAA Division 1 athletic program. A member of the Big 10, students, and fans pack out Memorial Stadium on Saturdays for football games. About 1/3 of students play intramural sports, and 20% are members of Greek Life. Additionally, there are over 500 student clubs and organizations. First-year students are welcomed to campus for the first 6 weeks of the semester through the Big Red Welcome. Students love the opportunity to meet others and get free swag.
UNL consists of three campuses: City Campus, East Campus, and Innovation Campus. City Campus is the larger of the two, and home to the majority of academic and student-focused buildings. Most students will find everything they need on this campus, and it is where the majority of campus life happens. East Campus is home to the College of Agricultural Science and Natural Resources, the College of Dentistry, and the Dairy Store, where students can buy homemade ice cream, among other programs. Innovation Campus comprises 4 buildings, one of which is still under construction. The other three are the Food Innovation Center, the Greenhouse Innovation Center, and the Innovation Commons Conference Center. These three campuses are only about 2 miles apart, and UNL provides buses for students to travel between the three easily.
UNL wants to help students discover their POWER: Purpose, Ownership, Well-Being, Engagement, and Relationships. People are “Nebraska Nice,” and the phrase “There’s no place like Nebraska” is common. Students are active in campus activities and student organizations. They are spirited, and believe, “In our grit, our glory.” For more information, you can take a virtual tour or schedule a visit.
UNL is a “Best Value” school by the FISKE Guide. In-state students pay $21,286 for tuition, room/board, and fees, and out-of-state students are charged $37,726. However, students are automatically considered for merit scholarships ranging from 5-20k/year. Additional scholarships are available for leadership and diversity, and these require an additional essay or application. In 2018, 14% of students received an average merit award of $7,706. 70% of students received need-based aid, with an average award of $15,238. Nebraska students who have an adjusted gross family income or Pell Grant-eligible could attend UNL tuition-free through the Nebraska Promise program. Out-of-state students can receive an award estimate here.