Children of Nebraska state employees can attend community college for free

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – During a press conference on Monday morning, Gov. Pete Ricketts announced a new benefit that will provide 100% tuition assistance at any Nebraska community college for children of state employees.

Ricketts was joined by Jason Jackson, the state’s chief human resources officer, and Paul Illich, president of Southeast Community College, while he spoke about the benefit’s projected positive impact on job retention.

Officials estimate that the program could assist up to 1,000 children of the 16,000 state employees.

The program provides 100% tuition reimbursement at any community college throughout the state.

Students can enroll in the program prior to their 25th birthday. They will be fully reimbursed as long as they graduate before age 27.

According to Jackson, the cost of the program, approved during the 2022 legislative session, was estimated to rise to about $1 million a year.

The community college system agreed to give qualified students a 25% discount on tuition, leaving 75% of the normal cost to be reimbursed by the state.

Ricketts said the program aims to grow and supplement the local workforce with qualified and skilled young adults.  This program comes after a recent increase in wages to combat the workforce shortage.

“The benefits package that the State of Nebraska offers to our teammates is already highly competitive compared to our peer states,” Jackson said.  “This program provides another way for us to not only enhance our current teammates’ work experience but also help recruit and retain a strong workforce in state government.”

Illich said participants could help fill the statewide shortage of skilled workers in some fields, specifically health care, construction and information technology.

He said about 90% of students graduating from community colleges in Nebraska remain in the state.

Categories: Education News, Nebraska News, News