UNK's Tuition-Free Program

We want to make sure that Nebraskans don’t let cost get in the way of earning a college degree. Students who qualify may receive free tuition at the University of Nebraska at Kearney with the Nebraska Promise. You must be admitted to UNK and have submitted the FAFSA by June 1, 2024 to be eligible for the Nebraska Promise for the 2024-2025 academic year.

What does the Nebraska Promise cover?

The Nebraska Promise covers undergraduate tuition costs after Pell grants and other grants and/or scholarships are taken into account. It picks up where other assistance ends and covers remaining tuition.

  • The Nebraska Promise is for tuition assistance only. It does not cover fees, books, housing and food, or other costs such as transportation.
  • You must take at least 12 credit hours per semester, but the Nebraska Promise will cover up to 15 credit hours per semester (no more than 30 credit hours per academic year).
  • The Nebraska Promise is just one of many financial aid options available to students. You may be eligible for additional financial aid that exceeds what the Nebraska Promise covers.
  • When students receive their bill, the tuition charge will appear, but it will be offset by credits from Financial Aid awards.
  • Students must meet Title IV eligibility criteria.
  • Questions? See the FAQ or contact The Office of Financial Aid at finaid1@unk.edu or call 308-865-8520.

Do I Qualify?

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Family Income is $65,000 or Less

Your family’s Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is $65,000 or less or you qualify for a Pell Grant.

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Nebraska Resident

You must be a Nebraska Resident.

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Full-Time Under-Graduate Student

You must take at least 12 credit hours each semester.

Maintain 2.5 GPA

You must maintain a 2.5 GPA to renew the Nebraska Promise.

Eligible students are automatically identified after they are admitted to UNK and have submitted the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). No other application is needed. Complete the FAFSA as soon as you can, which will open by December 31. Award Letters are sent to students beginning in March.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do transfer students qualify?
    • Yes, as long as you meet the requirements.
  • What if I’m taking all my classes online?
    • Your tuition will be covered for any online classes that apply towards an undergraduate degree.
  • Does the Nebraska Promise cover summer classes?
    • It is not applicable over the summer.
  • Will I need to apply for the Nebraska Promise every year?
    • Yes, you must file a FAFSA every year by the deadline and maintain the four qualifications listed above.
  • I’ve submitted the FAFSA and UNK is requesting additional documents to verify and process my FAFSA. What is the deadline to submit the documents?
    • You have until June 1, 2024 to submit any additional documents. Learn more about FAFSA Verification.
  • Is this free tuition? Will my federal grant aid be applied to other charges on my student bill?
    • Pell grant funds from the federal government and other scholarships are applied to tuition first.
    • The Nebraska Promise uses institutional grants and scholarships to cover any gap that remains in paying your tuition for up to 30 credit hours per academic year after Pell funds are applied.
    • The average undergraduate tuition cost for a Nebraska resident student taking 15 credit hours in the fall and spring terms is $6,600. So for eligible students in the 2024-2025 academic year at UNK, the Nebraska Promise commits to cover at least $6,600 of a student's academic year tuition costs through Pell grant funds and institutional scholarship and grant funds.

See more FAQs at the Nebraska Promise website.