The Best Scholarships in Nebraska

​More and more students today feel like they have to go to college in order to get anywhere in life. This means that we’re becoming more educated as a society, but this change has also been accompanied by skyrocketing costs of attendance. It’s because of this that student loan debt is now over $1 trillion. Consequently, it can seem like attending college requires that you accumulate a lifetime of debt. With the added issue of the recession, the cost of college increases, the ability of families to cover the costs goes down, and the whole situation comes to seem hopeless.

Thankfully, there are options. Financial aid is pretty widely available, but sometimes finding it can seem as difficult as college itself. Without it, paying for college would be an impossible dream for the majority of Americans. A lot of grants and scholarships are based on where you live, and where you're going to school. Access is for many people the biggest issue, though, so we’ve compiled the following list of 35 such scholarships and grants available to residents of Nebraska, along with important information about how to apply.

1. The Susan T. Buffett Foundation Scholarship

This award is sponsored by the Buffett Foundation, recently renamed the Susan T. Buffett Foundation. In order to be eligible to receive this award, you need to be a resident of Nebraska. You also need to be a graduate of a Nebraska high school or have earned a GED in Nebraska. You’ll need to be attending a Nebraska state college, a community college or one of the branches of the University of Nebraska locations. Financial need is considered, and you need to do the FAFSA by March 15, but you do not need to be Pell Grant eligible in order to receive this award. The deadline is February 1st.

You can learn more about the ​The Susan T. Buffett Foundation Scholarship here

2. Nebraska Academy of Sciences Scholarships

This award is sponsored by the Nebraska Academy of Sciences. To be eligible to apply for this award, the applicant only needs to be a senior at a Nebraska, high school. You’ll also need to have already enrolled at an accredited post-secondary institution, which also needs to be located in Nebraska. The deadline to apply for the scholarship is March 1.

You can learn more about the ​Nebraska Academy of Sciences Scholarships here

3. Nebraska Society of Mayflower Descendants Burt & Becky Whedon Memorial Scholarship

This award is sponsored by the Nebraska Society of Mayflower Descendants. The applicant for this award must be a resident of Nebraska and a U.S. citizen. Applicants will be evaluated by largely on the quality of a written essay, but they also need to have documented school or community volunteer activity, provide employment history, have demonstrated leadership and possess a letter of recommendation from a teacher or guidance counselor. Mayflower ancestry is not a requirement. The deadline is March 31.

You can learn more about the ​Nebraska Society of Mayflower Descendants Burt & Becky Whedon Memorial Scholarship here

4. George L. Watters Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship is sponsored by the Nebraska Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association. This award is open to all any graduating seniors who are children of Nebraska Petroleum Marketers employees. You also need to be in the top 1/3 of your class. You need a history of academic leadership and achievement and to be attending a two or four-year school in Nebraska. The deadline is May 31.

You can learn more about the George L. Watters Memorial Scholarship here

5. Nebraska High School Oratorical Scholarship

This scholarship is sponsored by the American Legion Department of Nebraska. Applicants must be citizens of the United States, residents of Nebraska, under 20 years old and presently enrolled at the high school or middle school level (home school, for example, counts). You must still be in school when the oratorical competition takes place, and your school needs to be in Nebraska. Winners at the state level proceed to the national level, and can win up to $18,000. To learn how to apply and when the local deadlines are, visit your local American Legion Post or contact the state headquarters.

You can learn more about the ​Nebraska High School Oratorical Scholarship here

6. Sowers Club of Nebraska Scholarship – High School Seniors

This scholarship is sponsored by the Sowers Club of Lincoln. You must be a resident of Nebraska with at least a 3.0 GPA. The college you’re attending must also be in Nebraska. You’ll have to attend a ‘disbursement function’ in person if selected, and you need letters of recommendation. You also need to be enrolled full-time in an accredited program in Nebraska. The deadline is February 26.

You can learn more about the ​Sowers Club of Nebraska Scholarship – High School Seniors here. 

7. Nebraska Broadcasters Association Scholarship

This award is sponsored by the Nebraska Broadcasters Association. You must be enrolled in a broadcasting-related program at an accredited four-year university, either one in Nebraska or you must have graduated from high school in Nebraska. You also need to be planning a career in Radio or Television Broadcasting. You need recommendations and will have to write an essay. The deadline is March 2.

You can learn more about the ​Nebraska Broadcasters Association Scholarship here

8. Nebraska Library Association Scholarship

This award is sponsored by the Nebraska Library Association. This award is for students pursuing graduate level library education on a full or part-time basis. You must be either resident of Nebraska, a member of NLA, or employee (past or present) of a Nebraska library for at least a year. Submit resume, three letters of recommendation, estimated expenses and proof of college acceptance. You also must be a grad school student studying Library and Information Sciences. The deadline is May 6.

You can learn more about the ​Nebraska Library Association Scholarship here

9. Scott Mecham BBB Student of Integrity Award

This award is sponsored by the Better Business Bureau. To be eligible for it, you have to be currently a high school senior planning to pursue further education upon graduation. You have to live in the BBB service area in Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota or Kansas. Winners are by region, one for Omaha Metro and one for the Lincoln Metro/Greater Nebraska area. You need recommendations. The deadline is March 11.

You can learn more about the ​Scott Mecham BBB Student of Integrity Award here

10. Phillip Schrager Scholarship

This award is sponsored by the University of Nebraska at Omaha. To qualify, you must enroll full-time as a student and have had a cumulative 3.25 GPA. You’ll also need to enroll in a three-hour Leadership Development course. You have to do at least ten hours of community service per month and keep a 3.0 GPA to maintain your funding. You also have to finish your FAFSA by April 1 and must be enrolling at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. The deadline is March 15.

You can learn more about the ​Phillip Schrager Scholarship here

11. Nebraska Collegebound Grant

This award is sponsored by the state of Nebraska. If you’re a resident of Nebraska and a full-time student at the University of Nebraska, you might qualify for the Collegebound grant. You need to maintain at least a 2.5 GPA to retain your funding. As long as you are eligible for the Pell grant, you qualify for this award. It’s given on a first come first serve basis. You’ll also need to complete your FAFSA by April 1. The deadline is June 1.

You can learn more about the ​Nebraska Collegebound Grant here

12. Harley J. Bair Rotary Scholarship

This award is sponsored by the Lincoln Community Foundation. The scholarship is open to graduating seniors of either public or private high schools in Nebraska. The selection of recipients is based on your having a desire to continue education and a history scholastic excellence. You cannot be the child of a Rotarian. The deadline is March 31.

You can learn more about the ​Harley J. Bair Rotary Scholarship here

13. Korean American Scholarship Foundation

This award is sponsored by the Korean American Scholarship Foundation. Full-time students in Nebraska are eligible to apply for the Korean American Foundation Scholarship. You need to have at least a 3.0 GPA. A demonstration of financial need is required unless you’re not yet a senior in high school. Beyond these requirements, you must also be going to a school in the Midwestern region covered by the foundation. The deadline is July 8.

You can learn more about the ​Korean American Scholarship Foundation here

14. Fremont Area Community Foundation

This award is sponsored by the Fremont Area Community Foundation. Nebraskans in the Fremont area are eligible to apply for the FACF scholarship whether they are going to an undergraduate program or a graduate program. You have to be in a four-year college or technical school. You’ll need someone to fill out the reference form for you. Check back when the applications are available from February 1 through April 1 to see more requirements. The deadline to complete the application is April 1.

You can learn more about the ​Fremont Area Community Foundation here

15. Nebraska Quarter Horse Youth Scholarship

This scholarship is sponsored by the Nebraska Quarter Horse Youth Scholarship. For this award, you need to have been involved in the American Quarter Horse Association for at least one year. Other than that, you need to be from Nebraska and to apply during your senior year of high school or while enrolled in college. You need to maintain at least a 2.5 GPA to retain your status. The deadline is April 30.

You can learn more about the ​Nebraska Quarter Horse Youth Scholarship here

16. Dick and Chris Draper Scholarship

The Lincoln Community Foundation sponsors this award, which is open to graduating seniors from both Elgin Public High School and Elgin Pope John XXIII Central Catholic High School. You don’t need to have demonstrated financial need, although preference is given to those who do, but you do have to have attended all four years of high school at one of these two schools. The deadline is March 31.

You can learn more about the ​Dick and Chris Draper Scholarship here

17. Lincoln Legal Professionals Association Scholarship

This scholarship is sponsored by the Lincoln Legal Professionals Association. For this scholarship, you have to be a Nebraska resident planning on furthering your education in the legal support field. You also need to have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. You also need to include a resume with your application. The deadline is March 14.

You can learn more about the ​Lincoln Legal Professionals Association Scholarship here

18. Oxbow Animal Health Scholarship

This award is sponsored by Oxbow Animal Health. Applicants must be graduating high school seniors and Nebraska residents. You need to be planning on going into a career related to the Animal Companion (pet) Industry. You’ll also need to submit letters of recommendation and a resume. You need to be planning to attend college in the upcoming Fall semester. The deadline is March 2.

You can learn more about the ​Oxbow Animal Health Scholarship here

19. MGMA Midwest Section Scholarship

This award is sponsored by the Medical Group Management Association. All Nebraska residents are eligible to apply for this scholarship. You must be enrolled in either a graduate or undergraduate program relevant to ‘medical practice management’. These include fields like Public Health rather than fields like Medicine. The deadline is May 1.

You can learn more about the ​MGMA Midwest Section Scholarship here

20. National Independent Automobile Dealers Association Regional Scholarship: Region 3

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You can learn more about the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association Regional Scholarship: Region 3 here

21. Norma Ross Walter Scholarship

This award is sponsored by the Willa Cather Foundation. It’s open to all female graduates of Nebraska high schools. You also have to be planning to enroll in English at an accredited post-secondary institution. Selection is based on intellectual promise, creativity and the character of the applicant. You’ll need recommendations and to write an essay about why you want to study English. The deadline is January 31.

You can learn more about the ​Norma Ross Walter Scholarship here

22. Urban League of Nebraska Scholarship

This is sponsored by the Urban League of Nebraska. To be eligible for this scholarship, applicants need to be residents of Nebraska. You will have to have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5. You also need to have completed at least ten hours of documented community service. You must have completed either the ACT or the SAT, and you’ll need to submit recommendations along with the application. The deadline is March 1.

You can learn more about the ​Urban League of Nebraska Scholarship here

23. Regent’s Scholarship

This scholarship is sponsored by the University of Nebraska-Omaha. This scholarship is available to residents of Nebraska who are graduating from Nebraska high schools. You must have a 30+ ACT score with either a GPA of at least 3 or a place in the top 25% of your class. This award is renewable for up to five years. The deadline for this award is February 1.

You can learn more about the ​Regent’s Scholarship here

24. Lincoln Builders Bureau Scholarship

This scholarship is sponsored by the Lincoln Builders Bureau. Nebraska residents who are either employees or dependents of employees in the Lincoln Builders Bureau are eligible to apply. You also need to be currently enrolled, or be planning to enroll, in an accredited undergraduate program focusing on Construction Science in the upcoming year. The deadline is April 1.

You can learn more about the ​Lincoln Builders Bureau Scholarship here

25. The Raymond A. Burke Scholarship

This scholarship is sponsored by the Upper Big Blue. All applicants will need to reside in the Upper Big Blue Natural Resources District in Nebraska (nine counties in South Central Nebraska). You can be attending either a two or four-year school, but it must be a college or university in Nebraska. You need to be studying a Natural Resources related field. You also need to intend to enter the workforce in a ‘hands on’ position in the industry upon graduation. The deadline is April 21.

You can learn more about the ​The Raymond A. Burke Scholarship here

26. Margaret and Max Pumphrey Scholarship

This is another award sponsored by the Lincoln Community Foundation. This scholarship is open to seniors or graduates of high schools in Lancaster County, Nebraska. You have to demonstrate financial need to be eligible. You also need to be planning to attend a two or four-year college in Nebraska. The deadline is March 31.

You can learn more about the ​Margaret and Max Pumphrey Scholarship here

27. Davis Chambers Scholarship

This scholarship is sponsored by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This award is only available to graduates of high schools in the state of Nebraska. It’s only offered at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. You must apply for this award directly; you won’t be considered for it simply on the basis of your general admissions application as with many other institutional scholarships. The deadline is February 1.

You can learn more about the ​Davis Chambers Scholarship here

28. Marianne Beel Scholarship

This scholarship is sponsored by Nebraska Press Women and is open to graduating seniors from Nebraska high schools. The applicant must be either a writer or a photographer, and needs to use rural Nebraska as the subject matter of their work—preference will be given to those who have worked on the Sandhills, specifically, and applicants who are from there. People studying in Communications-related fields are preferred. The deadline is March 18.

You can learn more about the ​Marianne Beel Scholarship here

29. Lawrence and Pauline Lemons Scholarship

This award is sponsored by the Oregon Trail Community Foundation. Applicants for this scholarship need to be under 30 years old and need to satisfy one or both of two criteria: either be a Scotts Bluff County graduate or be a lineal descendent of Harry and Mabel Wisner and Guy and Florence Lemons. You must be enrolled full-time at an accredited post-secondary institution and have at least a B average GPA. The deadline is April 1.

You can learn more about the ​Lawrence and Pauline Lemons Scholarship here

30. Native American Heritage Scholarship

This scholarship is sponsored by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Any resident of Nebraska is free to apply as long as they are of Native American ancestry. This award is renewable for up to four years. The deadline for this award is March 1. If you’re admitted to the University by this date, contact the office of financial aid for more information about how to apply.

You can learn more about the​ Native American Heritage Scholarship here

31. Merrick Foundation College Student Scholarship

This award is sponsored by the Merrick Foundation. Students who list Merrick County as their permanent address and have graduated from a Merrick County high school sometime within the last five years are eligible to apply. Applicants must be enrolled in an accredited post-secondary institution. You’ll need recommendations, and the money is paid directly to the institution. The deadline is February 1.

You can learn more about the ​Merrick Foundation College Student Scholarship here

32. Chi Health St. Francis Auxiliary Scholarship

This award is sponsored by Chi Health. In order to receive this scholarship, you must be pursuing a medical career. You have to be a full-time student attending college in the state of Nebraska. You also must be a resident of Hall County and have gotten at least a 20 on your ACT or a 1,000 on your SAT. A 3.0 cumulative GPA is also necessary. The deadline is March 2.

You can learn more about the ​Chi Health St. Francis Auxiliary Scholarship here

33. Gladys D. Goodson Scholarship

Another scholarship sponsored by the Lincoln Community Foundation, applicants for this one must be pursuing an undergraduate degree in nursing. You have to either be currently attending a high school or college in Nebraska. You have to have at least a 3.0 GPA. The deadline is March 31.

You can learn more about the ​Gladys D. Goodson Scholarship here

34. MCC Board of Governors Graduating Seniors Scholarship

This award is sponsored by the Metropolitan Community College. To be eligible, you have to be enrolled at Metropolitan Community College. You need to be a graduating senior from a high school in either Dodge, Douglas, Sarpy, or Washington. Students who have been home-schooled may also apply. You need to be a resident of one of the four counties. You have to have at least a 2.75 GPA or be in the top 25% of your class. The deadline is March 2.

You can learn more about the ​MCC Board of Governors Graduating Seniors Scholarship here

35. The Loper Excellence Award

This award sponsored by the University of Nebraska-Kearney. It is given to students who are not in the top 30% of their high school graduating class. But they nevertheless have to have at least a 23 score on the ACT (or 1070 on the SAT) and a cumulative high school GPA of at least 3.5. This award is renewable for as many as eight semesters. The deadline is March 1. If you’re admitted by this date, contact the office of financial aid about how to apply for the award.

You can learn more about the ​The Loper Excellence Award here

​We've worked hard to include a variety of scholarship opportunities within our list. If you have any suggestions on additional scholarships, please feel free to leave them in the comments section.