Financial Aid Offer

Financial Aid Offer

After you are admitted to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, you will be automatically considered for merit-based scholarships (those based on your ACT/SAT and GPA), but some scholarships (like leadership, service and diversity enhancement scholarships) require the submission of a Scholarship Statement or an additional application by Feb. 1 of your senior year. You will also be considered for grants and need-based assistance if you submit your FAFSA to the university by April 1 of your senior year.

We will notify you of your scholarship and financial aid offers via the mail and through MyRED, Nebraska’s online student portal.

The university awards scholarships on a rolling basis—meaning that as soon as we receive notice of your admission, we will review your file for scholarships. Below is a quick reference of when award notifications begin each year for high school seniors. Awarding continues until the scholarship deadline: Feb. 1 for Nebraska students, and May 1 for out-of-state students.

  • Merit-based (ACT/SAT and GPA) Scholarships: Notification begins in August (must be admitted)
  • Leadership, Service, and Diversity Enhancement Scholarships: Notification begins in October (must be admitted and have completed the scholarship statement)
  • Comprehensive Financial Aid Offer with Scholarships, Financial Aid and Loans: Notification begins in December (must be admitted and have submitted the FAFSA)

College and departments also offer scholarships for which funds may be incorporated into your existing offer or be additional funds. How these funds interact with your initial offer can vary, but you can check MyRED for the most up-to-date information regarding your scholarship and financial aid awards. Below is a sample of the comprehensive Financial Aid Offer and explanation of how to interpret it. You may receive a scholarship notification prior to the comprehensive offer being prepared for you. In order to receive a comprehensive offer, you must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to be considered for all types of scholarships and financial aid available to you.

Financial Aid Offer Letter

[1] Estimated Direct Cost of Attendance

Your “direct cost of attendance” is an estimate of the average cost for a student to attend Nebraska. This estimate includes 15 credits per term at the base tuition rate with estimated fees. If you live on campus, housing and meals will be directly billed to you from the university. Your actual cost of attendance may be different, depending on the number of credit hours for which you register, your specific courses, and where you choose to live. You must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours to qualify for most scholarships and financial aid.

[2] Other Estimated Costs

Beyond paying for classes and housing, we also estimate other costs related to college attendance you will likely need to cover to attend college. These costs are not billed by the university, but include expenses for personal items, transportation, books and supplies. As these costs are just estimates, we strongly encourage you to plan your own specific budget.

[3] Scholarships & Grants (If Offered)

Grants and scholarships are considered “gift aid” and do not need to be repaid, though most scholarships have specific eligibility requirements—like academic merit, financial need or special characteristics.

Many scholarships are eligible to renew each year of college, but you must meet specific requirements—like filing the FAFSA each year, maintaining a certain GPA or taking specific classes. Make sure you understand what awards you've received, if you can renew them, and how.

[4] Student Loan Options (If Offered)

Educational loans are a useful tool to pay for college, but we encourage you to borrow only enough to cover your necessary education-related expenses. Loans from federal and private resources must be repaid with interest, even if you do not graduate. Interest rates are market-based and will be determined each year by June 30.

We encourage you not to borrow more than you can reasonably afford to repay each month based on your expected income after graduation. While that might seem tough to estimate now, it's not impossible—we can help you make an estimate if you contact us (huskerhub@unl.edu or 402-472-2030). You can also find income estimates for possible careers in your field on the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Because Nebraska offers among the lowest tuition in the Big Ten and strong financial aid packages, our students who take out loans typically borrow $6,000 less than the national average.*

*The national average federal student loan debt per borrower is $27,975; Nebraska’s current average federal student loan debt per borrower is $21,700.

[5] Estimated Direct Cost After Gift Aid and Student Loans

This is an estimate of how much you will owe to attend UNL if you accept all gift aid and loans (remember, loans must be repaid). Listed below this section on your award offer are additional options for you to cover your remaining expenses. Review them carefully and contact us with any questions.

[6] Additional Aid Options (If Offered)

Federal Work-Study
The Federal Work-Study program provides part-time jobs for students who demonstrate financial need and who desire to earn a part of their educational expenses. Jobs average 10-20 hours per week and may be on or off-campus. Work-study will be listed as an option on your award offer if you are eligible.

To view job postings, visit our Career Services website at go.unl.edu/work-study. Please be aware that while employers are able to post job openings any time, the majority will begin posting positions for the upcoming award year in early August.

Parent PLUS Loan
The Federal Direct PLUS Loan Program assists eligible parents in meeting educational expenses. The Federal Direct PLUS Loan allows parents to borrow up to the cost of attendance minus other resources. The U.S. Department of Education is the lender and delivers the loan money to you through the university. The PLUS Loan will be listed as an option on your award offer if you are a dependent student.

External Scholarships
We encourage you to apply for outside scholarships to help you pay for your education. You can search for external scholarship options at go.unl.edu/ext-scholarships.

Husker Payment Plan
Nebraska partners with Nelnet Business Solutions to allow students to pay their charges in monthly installments, rather than all at once. Learn more at go.unl.edu/pay-plan.