A new state scholarship proposal outlined Jan. 7 by Gov. Pete Ricketts could provide annual support to 250 University of Nebraska students majoring in critical workforce areas.
As proposed by the governor, the Nebraska Talent Scholarships would provide $4,000 annual awards for NU students in math, engineering, healthcare, computer information systems, and at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis. The initiative also would provide 250 scholarships annually to the Nebraska State College System, and 65 scholarships per year to state community college students.
Additional details of the program are to be determined. As outlined by Ricketts, the scholarships would be administered by each higher education institution.
The scholarships will be included in Ricketts’ proposed 2019-21 state budget package, which he will unveil on Jan. 15 and then send to the legislature for deliberation. The body convenes Jan. 9.
NU President Hank Bounds noted that in his travels across the state, business leaders consistently tell him that workforce shortages are their most urgent challenge. He said Nebraska needs to increase the number of students enrolled in higher education and attract significantly more talent to the state to ensure economic growth — particularly in high-skill, high-wage, high-demand areas that are key to long-term prosperity.
Bounds said he looks forward to continuing to work with the governor, legislature, business leaders, higher education colleagues and other partners across the state on plans for Nebraska’s future.
“I’m pleased that the governor recognizes there is a workforce crisis in Nebraska,” he said. “Affordable, outstanding higher education for students and families is a critical part of the solution. Governor Ricketts’ proposal is a step in the right direction.”