Christian Student Loans

Affordability Brings Growing Number of International Students to UNK


New

Driven by the New Nebraskan scholarship, a growing number of out-of-state students are choosing to continue their college education at UNK.

Spurred on by the New Nebraskan scholarship, a growing number of international students like Seneca Hertel are choosing to continue their college education at UNK.

Spurred on by the New Nebraskan scholarship, a growing number of international students like Seneca Hertel are choosing to continue their college education at UNK.

Photo of Erika Pritchard, UNK Communications

KEARNEY – Cost is a major factor for many students when deciding which college to attend.

For Seneca Hertel and his family, the price to pay was a “really, really important”.

“I wanted, as much as I could, not to get into debt and not take out loans, so that was one of the most important factors in choosing a college,” said Hertel, who attended TF Riggs High School in Pierre, South Dakota.

Initially, Hertel limited its research to state institutions, knowing that tuition fees typically jump substantially for international students.

Then she heard about the University of Nebraska at Kearney and her New Nebraska scholarship. Announced last year, the scholarship offers a significant discount to all international undergraduate students studying on the UNK campus.

By paying the same tuition rate as residents of Nebraska – $ 209 per credit hour instead of $ 455 – a full-time student who takes 15 credit hours per semester saves over $ 7,000 per year. That’s a decrease of 54%.

“UNK became one of my top schools once I realized I could get the same out-of-state tuition that I could get by staying in the state,” Hertel said.

Although she has visited colleges across South Dakota, Hertel has felt most at home at UNK, where she is in her freshman this fall.

“Kearney is a beautiful town. They have a lot of parks and bike paths, and I love being outdoors, so that’s a huge factor that drew me to UNK, ”she said. “I also wanted to branch out and meet new people, which is easy to do here. “

QUALITY + AFFORDABILITY = VALUE

Driven by the New Nebraskan scholarship, a growing number of out-of-state students are choosing to continue their college education at UNK.

The number of first-time full-time freshmen in college has increased 16% this year, including a 70% gain among out-of-state freshmen. The total number of undergraduate students from states outside of Nebraska is up 19%, with 46 states represented.

Kelly Bartling, Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management and Marketing, expects those numbers to continue to rise.

“I think the sky is the limit as to where we might end up with the New Nebraskan stock exchange,” she said.

Bartling emphasizes the overall value of UNK as a clear selling point.

Students want a comprehensive, high-quality education, she said, and UNK offers it with more than 130 undergraduate and pre-professional programs that emphasize hands-on learning and life experiences. real world.

“The main reason UNK is attractive is quality,” said Bartling, a comment supported by the university’s # 6 ranking on US News and World Report‘s annual list of the best regional public colleges and universities in the Midwest. .

UNK has also been on US News and World Report’s “Best Value Schools” list, ranking 8th among all regional colleges and universities – both public and private – in the Midwest.

Already the most affordable university in Nebraska, UNK will keep its tuition rates unchanged until at least the 2022-2023 academic year while continuing to support students through financial aid. Almost 90% of all freshmen received scholarships and / or grants in 2019-2020, with the average scholarship totaling $ 9,823.

“When I talk to potential students and their families, they look at the total value,” Bartling said. “If they come from states with relatively high tuition fees, these are the areas where we have a lot of opportunity. “

In addition to expanding access to a UNK education, the New Nebraskan scholarship aims to address a growing labor shortage in the state.

“Part of our mission is to serve Nebraska and the development of the workforce,” Bartling said. “When we look at the possibility that we have as an institution to increase the number of students migrating to Nebraska to study, it stands to reason that many of those same students will choose to live here and work here afterwards. graduation. “

With a statewide unemployment rate hovering around 2% – the lowest in the country – there are plenty of job opportunities available for UNK graduates.

Hertel, who is studying communication disorders with a minor in special education, plans to pursue a career in speech-language pathology after earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Although she is about five hours from her family in Pierre, she has never questioned her decision to go to UNK.

“I love it here,” she said. “I wasn’t homesick at all. I met a lot of new friends and enjoyed all the activities I participated in. It was a lot of fun.

In addition to its courses, which are “excellent”, Hertel creates links through the 150 or so student organizations offered on campus. She attends the Christian Student Fellowship on Tuesday evenings and is very interested in the Outdoor Adventures program, which organizes kayaking, hiking and other excursions.

The UNK freshman “definitely” thinks other out-of-state students should consider the New Nebraskan scholarship.

“I think it’s really worth it since you can get tuition in the state,” she said. “It’s a new adventure to experience.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.