Kearney Bound makes it possible for academically talented and motivated, but challenged, students to attend UNK through a special program that mentors and prepares select high school freshmen from North Platte, Lexington, Kearney High and Kearney Catholic high schools to be ready for success at UNK. With the support of these partnering school districts, more than 250 students who may have been unable or unprepared to attend college, are on the road to success at UNK.
The program began in spring 2006 when UNK Chancellor Doug Kristensen and school superintendents at North Platte and Lexington signed an agreement to bring 30 students a new opportunity through a program called Kearney Bound. To be eligible, students must be Nebraska residents, be the first generation in their families to attend college, and be Pell Grant-eligible. In 2009 Kearney high schools were added as partners, with 15 students from Kearney High and 5 from Kearney Catholic eligible for selection each year.
Chosen through a competitive process in their freshman year, the high school students receive advising, tutoring, mentoring and other educational experiences to help them prepare for college. Each high school provides a staff member and liaison for them in their school, and UNK’s Kearney Bound director guides their involvement. UNK also provides programming at UNK to learn new skills and take UNK courses during their senior year of high school.
Students maintain a minimum 2.85 GPA at UNK, with a minimum 2.5 in Kearney Bound core courses.
By meeting all the requirements of Kearney Bound, these students receive full support for tuition, books, fees and room and board at UNK.
The success of Kearney Bound is evidence of the value of the guidance received, and the achievement and hard work of the students in the program.