University of Nebraska

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Updated August 7, 2020

The University of Nebraska school system consists of several campuses located around the state, but its main and largest campus is the one located in Lincoln. Also known as the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, NU and UNL, it is also the oldest campus in the system. Founded in 1869, the university received a land grant from the federal government that allowed it to begin construction and open for classes that same year. Though it initially failed to gain much of a following, it fought to change its reputation from that of a small rural school to one of the nation's top public colleges. Added new programs, introducing new activities and adding a Greek system helped it develop a better reputation and gain more students. It now has a population of more than 24,000 lower level and upper level students.

Part of its success came from its introduction of new campuses. These smaller schools reached students living in rural areas who did not have opportunities for higher education. Students had the option of earning a degree on one of those campuses or transferring to the flagship campus in Lincoln. Many of its students still attend classes closer to home before eventually completing their degrees on the Lincoln campus.

University of Nebraska Accreditation Details

The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools is responsible for determining accreditation for schools in the northern and central portion of the country. The HLC has five other branches that grant accreditation to schools in other parts of the United States. Prior to earning accreditation, a university must demonstrate proficiency in several key areas, including the general education that students receive, specialized learning in major programs, job placement rates and graduation or completion rates. The HLC checks back once every 10 years on a school, and the University of Nebraska maintained its accreditation with each passing check.

The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation is a separate organization responsible for accrediting programs relating to educational studies. As the University of Nebraska offers both a Master's and a PhD program in educational studies, the organization viewed both programs separately and awarded both accreditation. The university also received accreditation for some of its other bachelor, master and Ph.D programs, including its programs on business, social work, art and technology. All of those programs received accreditation from the top organizations at both the regional and national levels registered with the United States Department of Education.

University of Nebraska Application Requirements

Admission to the University of Nebraska is only given to students who meet the basic requirements of the university and complete an application online. The application for graduate and higher level students asks them about their name, address, future plans and current lives. They must explain what they want to study, their plans once they finish a degree and what they plan to do while in the program. Students will also need to list all the colleges they previously attended and include the dates they attended, any degrees earned and the full address of each college. After paying the application fee with a credit card or debit card, they can arrange for the school to receive their transcripts and professional test scores.

Though the University of Nebraska is not the most selective school in the country, it looks for students with strong skills and good grades who will do best in their chosen programs. Those applying for the educational studies program will need to show that they completed all requirements of their undergraduate program and completed several student teaching experiences. If the student has a license to teach in Nebraska or another state, the student will also want to include information about his or her license.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The University of Nebraska received several awards over the years for its low tuition cost. U.S. News and World Report ranked the university as one of the most affordable in the country, and The Princeton Review listed it as one of the top 50 most affordable public colleges. As with most public schools, there is a difference between the costs paid by students living in state and those living out of state. Nebraska residents pay an estimated $6,500 per year for tuition and around $1,700 in miscellaneous fees. Out of state students are responsible for paying the same amount in miscellaneous fees, but their tuition costs rise above $20,000 a year.

Scholarships offered by the university give students $500 to more than $10,000 a year that they can use for tuition, fees and other costs. Students will learn more about the scholarships that are open to them when they complete the Free Application for Student Financial Aid and request a copy sent to the university. The University of Nebraska also offers other types of aid for both students and their parents. They can borrow money from the government, receive government grants or take part in work study programs to earn additional money throughout the year.

Educational Studies Advanced Degrees

Educational studies is a broad term used by the university to describe several different programs available at the master's and the Ph.D level. Students can only enter the graduate program after finishing an undergraduate degree in education or a similar field, and they can only apply for the Ph.D program after finishing an undergraduate and graduate degree in teaching or an educational field.

Once admitted to the program, students can select a concentration in educational administration, teacher education or special education and communication disorders. The educational administration program focuses on the leadership of future educators and with training students on working as principals and in administrative fields. The special education and commission disorders concentration is a unique program that focuses more on working with students with developmental disorders and speech or communication problems. The most popular concentration is teacher education, which includes classes on using new forms of technology in the classroom, teaching over the Internet and curriculum development.

All programs require some classroom work and work in the field. Students will spend hundreds of hours working independently and under the supervision of licensed teachers in local schools. The University of Nebraska allows students to choose between working at the elementary or junior high levels or at the high school level.

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