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University of Nebraska – Lincoln


The University of Nebraska – Lincoln, better known as UNL and just Nebraska, is the largest university in the state and the oldest public college too. Founded in 1869, the university opened just two years after Nebraska became a state. It opened as a liberal arts university that would offer local students a more affordable option. The government gave the university more than 100,000 acres, and it used money awarded to the state and donations to construct its first campus buildings. UNL was unique because it also offered high school classes, but it later shut down those classes to focus on college courses. That shift led to enrollment growing from just a few hundred students to more than 1,000 students.

UNL now ranks as one of the top choices for students living in the Midwest, but it also has a strong reputation throughout the country. U.S. News & World Report called it one of the more selective schools in the country and included it on a list of the country’s best colleges. UNL appeared on similar lists released by Forbes, ARWU and Washington Monthly. According to U.S. News & World Report, ARWU, QS and Times, UNL also ranks among the world’s best colleges. The university also received recognition for its sustainability policies and for its commitment to sourcing local foods for use in its cafeterias.

Resource: 50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest

University of Nebraska – Lincoln Accreditation Details

Accreditation is important for students interested in transferring credits because it lets them know that credits earned on one campus will transfer to another campus. The University of Nebraska – Lincoln has its regional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS). With this type of regional accreditation, students can transfer credits, apply for government financial aid and earn a degree recognized by the Department of Education.

Sixteen different organizations also granted UNL specialty accreditation for its degree programs. One of those, the Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology, awarded it accreditation for its programs in agricultural, architectural, chemical, civil, construction and mechanical engineering as well as its computer science program. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics also accredited its program in dietetics and the internship associated with that program. The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, American Dental Association, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business are some of the other organizations that accredited UNL degree programs.

University of Nebraska – Lincoln Application Requirements

UNL has several requirements in place for prospective students. They must score a 20 or higher on the ACT or score 950 on the reading and math portions of the SAT. Students may receive an acceptance letter with a lower score if they graduated within the top 50% of their high school classes. Any student under the age of 23 must submit an official standardized test score when applying to the university. UNL also asks that all high school graduates submit a transcript that shows they took all 16 units associated with the core curriculum. This curriculum includes four units of math and English, three units of social studies and life sciences and two units of a foreign language. Certain programs within the university require that students have four units of a foreign language or that they pass a proficiency exam before enrolling. Other programs may require that students submit a transcript that shows they took higher level math courses or that they maintained a GPA of above 2.5 or even 3.0.

After finishing the online application, prospective students must complete a short personal statement/essay section and then supply the university with a high school transcript and official standardized test scores. They will also pay an application fee of $45. Anyone admitted to the university is responsible for paying a deposit by the end of the spring too.

Tuition and Financial Aid

U.S. News & World Report called UNL one of the top 50 public colleges, and Princeton Review called it one of the best value colleges because it provides students with the fundamentals they need at an affordable price. Students pay a rate based on the classes they take and where they live. Tuition starts at right around $220 per credit hour for Nebraska residents. With miscellaneous fees and room and board factored in, those students pay around $18,700 a year to take a full course load. The cost for residents of other states is around $700 per credit hour. Those students pay more than $32,000 a year to live on the UNL campus and take a full course load.

UNL has nearly 30 scholarships available for incoming and current students. Some award students $1,000, but others come with full tuition. The deadline for most scholarships is at the beginning of January, and students can use the UNL website to see the requirements for each one and how they can apply. Nebraska residents can qualify for grants to attend the university too. Other types of assistance awarded to students who file the FAFSA prior to the university’s deadline include grants, loans and admission to one of the UNL work-study programs.

Student Experience

The University of Nebraska – Lincoln is home to 10 different colleges that offer more than 100 majors for enrolled students. Though there are traditional majors available in fields like criminal justice, psychology and social work, students can also select a more unique major. One option is a degree in nutrition and health sciences with a concentration in nutrition, exercise and health science. UNL is one of the only colleges in Nebraska that offers degree programs in fashion design and textiles. Students can enroll in a general program or a more specialized program like its fashion merchandising option.

More than 40% of all students live on-campus in a residence hall and take advantage of opportunities to make new friends through movie nights and outdoor parties. The university recognizes more than 40 clubs, including a peer mentoring club, chess club and a climbing club. More than 5,000 students participate in a fraternity or sorority, and each one holds Rush Week at the beginning of the year to recruit new members. The University of Nebraska – Lincoln is part of the Big Ten Conference and has more than 20 teams open to student athletes too.