Nebraska Career Scholarships Program Aims to Attract, Retain Workforce Talent

Starting this spring, first-year students planning to attend a college or university in Nebraska could be eligible for Career Scholarships made possible by the State of Nebraska.

Incoming students pursuing a degree in dozens of eligible fields, such as nursing, tech or the skilled trades, can apply for the scholarships. The Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) is administering the Career Scholarships program for community colleges and private nonprofit colleges. The University of Nebraska and Nebraska State Colleges are directly overseeing the program at their respective institutions.

The Career Scholarship Act (2020), introduced by Governor Ricketts and signed into law by the State Legislature, created the Nebraska Career Scholarships Program. Its purpose is to grow the state’s skilled workforce by connecting students to high-wage careers where their skills and talents are needed.

“Connecting the next generation of Nebraskans to great opportunities in our state is key to helping our kids make Nebraska their home,” said Gov. Ricketts in an announcement last year. “These scholarships will help to equip young Nebraskans to enter careers in fields with high demand for new talent, such as engineering, healthcare and IT. This adds to the pipeline we’ve been building to connect young Nebraskans with great-paying careers so that they can enjoy the Good Life. Now, students will also have the opportunity to apply for a Career Scholarship as they prepare to enter fields where our state has a workforce shortage.”

Aside from earning credentials that have been proven to lead to a high-demand job, students who participate in the Career Scholarships Program will have the opportunity to add real-world experience to their resume by participating in internships, apprenticeships or other career-related experiences as a scholarship requirement.

“We want to maximize internship and apprenticeship opportunities throughout our state so we can connect people with employers that have a tremendous need for talent,” said DED Director Anthony L. Goins. “There are literally thousands of high-paying jobs just waiting for individuals with the right skills and certifications. Many of these qualifications can be earned without a four-year degree — such as those needed for careers in tech and the skilled trades. This program allows us to build a bridge between our citizens, employers and colleges so we can bring people into those careers and grow our state.”

Prospective students are encouraged to contact their preferred school to determine eligibility requirements and when to apply.

“For all prospective students, the best thing to do is reach out and stay connected with your preferred school,” said Allison Hatch, DED’s Talent Development Team Leader. While some schools have already published scholarship information and application deadlines, others are still in the early phases of launching their programs, with more information yet to come.

Participating private nonprofit colleges will be rolling out their Career Scholarships programs over the summer. Information on how to apply at these colleges will be announced as it becomes available.


An overview of the Nebraska Career Scholarships Program, including overall eligibility requirements, can be found at

Information on Career Scholarships at the University of Nebraska (UNL, UNO, UNK or UNMC) is available by clicking here.

Information on Career Scholarships at Nebraska’s State Colleges (Chadron State, Peru State or Wayne State) is available by clicking here.

Information on Career Scholarships at Nebraska’s community colleges, including a point of contact at each college, can be found below.