State Colleges Guarantee Affordability with New Program

College students

LINCOLN – The Nebraska State Colleges Tuition Guarantee ensures that Pell-qualified Nebraska students can attend Chadron State, Peru State, or Wayne State College tuition-free.  

“The State College Tuition Guarantee opens doors to students who aspire to earn a four-year college degree, but are concerned about taking on significant debt,” said Dr. Paul Turman, Chancellor of the Nebraska State College System. “This program eliminates that barrier by providing access to a tuition-free education. This straight-forward approach will offer students, especially first-generation students, a clear path to high-demand careers in Nebraska.”

“Building on our long-standing history of providing an accessible and affordable college education to Nebraska students, the Guarantee will play a vital role in supporting the workforce needs, not only in the rural areas in which the Colleges serve, but across Nebraska, and is closely aligned with the goals included in our State Colleges for Nebraska Strategic Plan 2025,” said Gary Bieganski, Chair of the Board of Trustee for the Nebraska State Colleges.

State College Tuition Guarantee

Qualified first-time freshman and transfer students pursuing an undergraduate degree will receive a combination of federal grants, state or private grants, college remissions, or College Foundation scholarships to fill any tuition gap left after the Pell Grant.   The State College Tuition Guarantee does not cover additional costs such as room and board, books, and fees.  However, the student's private or community scholarships will not be considered when providing support to cover tuition costs.

To qualify, students must:

  • Be a Nebraska resident
  • Be designated as a first-time freshman at one of the state colleges or an incoming transfer
  • Be admitted to Chadron State, Peru State, or Wayne State College
  • Be Pell Grant eligible as determined by the FAFSA
  • Enroll in a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester, including one or more on-campus classes

Students must complete the FAFSA on or before April 1 to receive priority consideration.

The Guarantee is renewable for up to four years as long as the student remains Pell-eligible, in good academic standing, and continues as a full-time on-campus student. 

Access and Affordability Initiatives

  • Free Application – It is always free to apply to Chadron State, Peru State, and Wayne State Colleges.
  • Most Affordable 4-Year Degree – The State Colleges offer the lowest cost of attendance for all public institutions in Nebraska. View cost of attendance
  • Reduced Undergraduate Online Rates/Opportunities for Degree Completion – The State Colleges lowered the undergraduate online rate for the 2020-21 academic year to $299 per credit hour, making it the best education value in Nebraska. The rate is a flat cost per credit hour and does not require any additional fees.  More details
  • Graduate Online Rate Reduced for Education Courses – Chadron State, Peru State, and Wayne State Colleges lowered their online rate to $359 per credit hour for graduate-level courses for PK-12 educators. Graduate-level courses that lead to master’s degrees in curriculum and instruction, special education, and history/math/science education are included in the new rate, making these degrees among the most affordable in the state for teachers. More details
  • New Career-Focused Scholarships – Innovative scholarships focused on high-need career areas are available at Chadron State, Peru State, and Wayne State Colleges. Funding for the Career Scholarship Program and the Corrections Workforce Development Pathways program during the last legislative session. Growing Together, a cooperative education Northeast Nebraska and Wayne State to combine classroom education with real work experience for college credit. The Rural Business Leadership Initiative at Chadron State is in its first year. Look for more details soon. 

Judi Yorges, Director of External Relations and Communications
402.471.2505  |

"I am a first-generation student, and it was a really hard decision for me to attend college or not. Then, I found Peru State College. With the scholarships and affordable living expenses here, Peru made the decision a lot less difficult."

Photo of Carlene Riley

Carlene Riley

Peru State College