Southeast Community College students who transfer to Nebraska Wesleyan will soon be able to get an annual $15,000 scholarship or a lower tuition rate under a partnership between the two institutions.
Called the Pathways Partnership, the program will allow full-time students enrolled in Southeast Community College’s academic transfer program to get the scholarship for up to two years. Adult students working part-time to complete a degree will get a $15 reduction per credit hour.
Students must have earned between 18 and 64 credit hours at SCC to be eligible for the program, and can get the scholarship or tuition break for up to eight semesters.
Members of Phi Theta Kappa, a national honor society for students at two-year colleges, or Kappa Beta Delta, a national honor society for business students, will be eligible for $17,000 scholarships.
Bill Motzer, Wesleyan’s vice president for enrollment management, said SCC President Paul Illich was interested in establishing partnerships with public and private institutions, and Wesleyan officials wanted to encourage students to attend their school.
Since 2013, 386 full-time students with SCC credits have enrolled at Wesleyan and 231 students have enrolled in the adult degree completion program, Motzer said. The average grade-point average of those students is 3.4.
“We want SCC students,” Motzer said. “We have a track record of their success here and we would like to see more of them enrolled. We can offer them an excellent atmosphere to complete their bachelor’s degree.”
Bob Morgan, SCC’s vice president for program development and director of the Beatrice campus, said the agreement makes earning a four-year degree more affordable, one of the goals set out in the state’s statewide education plan. And it matches SCC’s efforts to improve students' transitions to four-year institutions.
SCC has transfer agreements with other colleges, which stipulate what courses will transfer and make the process run smoothly, but none have a financial incentive like Wesleyan’s, Morgan said.
The partnership will bring tuition at Wesleyan, a private college, closer to instate tuition at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Full-time students at Wesleyan pay a flat tuition rate of $31,974, which is based on 18 credit hours per semester. Adult students working toward credit completion pay $295 per credit hour; students earning a bachelor of science in nursing pay $310 per credit hour.
The scholarship program would bring annual tuition down to $16,974 and per-credit-hour costs to $280 and $294 respectively.
Instate tuition for UNL students is $237.50 per credit hour, though it’s higher for both business ($294.50) and engineering students ($340.25). A student taking 18 credit hours at UNL would pay $8,551 a year for tuition alone.
The credit break is similar to agreements Wesleyan has with some corporations for employees seeking four-year degrees, Motzer said.
Wesleyan has about 2,100 students; about 1,500 of them are traditional students.
The partnership will become effective on Oct. 10, when the two schools sign the agreement.
A Wesleyan representative will be at SCC’s Lincoln campus weekly to meet with interested students and they can apply for free online at nebrwesleyan.edu/apply.