University of Nebraska at Kearney

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Updated August 6, 2020

The University of Nebraska at Kearney is a smaller public university located in the town of Kearney, Nebraska. Like many smaller schools scattered across the state and throughout the Midwest, UNK can trace its roots back to the foundation of a normal school. Known as the Nebraska State Normal School at Kearney when it originally opened in 1903, the college initially only admitted female students and continued to do so for several years building facilities for male students. It later became a state teaching college after earning the right to give graduating students degrees rather than certificates. The University of Nebraska School System later took over the operations of the campus in the early 1990s, which led to it becoming the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

The university now sits on a campus with more than 250 acres of living space and more than 30 buildings, including some that date back to the early history of the school. UNK also established its own online campus after transitioning from a distance learning program. Called its eCampus, the online school ranks as one of the best of its type. U.S. News and World Report also listed UNK as one of the top 10 public colleges in the Midwest.

University of Nebraska at Kearney Accreditation Details

Larger colleges make it easy for students to find out more about the accreditation those campuses have. Students can often visit a page on the school's official site that shows them which organizations gave it accreditation, when it last passed its renewal phase and what it comes up for renewal again. UNK places all information relating to its accreditation right on its website too. Regional accreditation is one of the more common forms of accreditation, and regional organizations often report back to a head or national organization. Those enrolling in specific programs may also find that the university has accreditation from a specialty organization that relates to that field of study.

The University of Nebraska at Kearney received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission early in its history and continues receiving accreditation from that same organization today. Students enrolling in one of its Master of Science in Education programs will find that those programs also have accreditation. The Nebraska Department of Education granted the school accreditation for its teaching program, which allows students to complete fieldwork and internships in the state. The educational programs also have accreditation from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, which is the main organization responsible for accrediting programs of this type.

University of Nebraska at Kearney Application Requirements

Taking graduate classes at UNK isn't as easy as submitting an application and starting classes. The process actually involves several distinct steps. Students must first complete an application either through the online system or through the mail. UNK recommends that students use the online system, which allows the university to receive the application and process it faster. Though students do not need to submit scores from the General Records Examination or a similar test, they do need to submit official transcripts from any previous college they attended and the college where they received an undergraduate degree.

After submitting an application, the university's admissions department will go over the application to ensure that students met the bare requirements for admission. This usually includes a grade point average of 3.0 or higher and a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. UNK will then send that application to the department responsible for the program the student listed on the form. That department is responsible for evaluating the application and deciding if the student deserves a spot in the program. Those chosen will receive a packet with details regarding how to apply for financial aid, any fees they must pay before beginning classes and other general information about the graduate school.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The University of Nebraska at Kearney charges separate tuition rates for Kansas residents and residents of other states. In-state tuition is around $220 per credit hour, while those living in other states pay around $480 per credit hour. UNK also charges a separate rate for students who take online classes only. Online classes range from $278 to $443 per credit for in-state and out of state students. Those enrolled in the Department of Education pay $278 per credit hour while living in the state and $405 per credit hour while living out of the state. Online students must also pay $40 per credit hour in miscellaneous fees.

One of the first things that students should do after applying to college is complete the Free Application for Student Financial Aid. The FAFSA, which is available from the federal government, allows independent and dependent students to learn more about the aid available to them. Undergraduate students may qualify for grants, subsidized and unsubsidized loans, while graduate students generally only qualify for unsubsidized loans. Students at all levels can also apply for scholarships that the university offers or scholarships available to specific types of students. Some may also opt for private student loans to pay for college.

Online Degrees Available

The University of Nebraska at Kearney offers a number of different educational graduate degree programs for its online students. Sometimes called a Master of Science or a Master of Arts in Teaching, the university gives students the right to customize their degrees with a concentration in a specific educational field. Its instructional technology program comes with several concentration options, including leadership, school librarian and information technology. IT students focus more on how to teach others to use computers and software, while the school librarian option focuses more on using technology for research. UNK also offers a master's program designed for students who want to teach math or science. Most of the programs require that students complete 30 to 36 credit hours of work, including some fieldwork or a thesis.

UNK has an extensive selection of education classes available through its eCampus. Students can study art, Spanish, history, reading, special education, physical education or art education. Each program serves to better prepare students for teaching others about the specific field or topic they select. Students can also focus on teaching students at the elementary, junior high or high school levels. The University of Nebraska at Kearney has one of the largest selections of online education courses in the country.

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