The University of Nebraska–Lincoln is giving 100 Huskers the chance to obtain a first passport for free.
Launched by the university’s Education Abroad and Passport offices, the Husker Passport Giveaway is open through Nov. 1. To be considered for a passport, applicants must be a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old, an active undergraduate student during the 2019-2020 academic year, and applying for their first passport.
Priority will be given to first-generation college students with financial need with two or more semesters remaining before graduation and who plan to participate in an education abroad program.
The application opened Sept. 17, the day of the annual Education Abroad Fair, and closes Nov. 1. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling, “first-come, first-served” basis, so students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. All applicants will be notified of their status by Nov. 15.
Inspired by similar events across the U.S., such as the Passport Caravan sponsored by the Council on International Educational Exchange, the Husker Passport Giveaway aims to eliminate one financial and logistical barrier to studying abroad. The cost of obtaining a passport is approximately $175 after factoring in applications fees, photos and shipping.
“In addition to the cost, the paperwork aspect of applying for a passport can be a bit overwhelming, especially for busy students,” said Rebecca Baskerville, director of Education Abroad. “The Education Abroad staff will cover all costs directly and walk recipients through the process to make it feel more manageable. We are also fortunate to have the UNL Passport Office as a great resource right on campus.”
The document checks with Education Abroad and the passport appointments at the UNL Passport Office will occur in mid- to late-January. Students should have passports by late March. Requests for earlier appointments will be considered for those with specific travel plans.
Recipients are not required to study abroad. An adult U.S. passport is valid for 10 years, giving plenty of time for students to make use of the important document.