Department COVID-19 Updates:

Invest time to college scholarships

Invest time to college scholarships

Aggie student ambassador Clayton Runkle gave a tour in October to students from Lexington, describing Animal Science and Equine Industry Management programs at the NCTA Livestock Teaching Center. (George Hipple / NCTA Photo)
Aggie student ambassador Clayton Runkle gave a tour in October to students from Lexington, describing Animal Science and Equine Industry Management programs at the NCTA Livestock Teaching Center. (George Hipple / NCTA Photo)

NCTA Dean’s Message by Dr. Larry Gossen

One best way to gain financial traction for college is do the work required for scholarships, campus work-study, and federal aid.

This can be a topic that many young people avoid. That is leaving money on the table, frankly.

It does take time, dedication, some patience, and plenty of research. But, in the end, scholarship applications and seeking letters of recommendation from respected educators, employers and leaders will pay off.

Here at NCTA, a great source of income is campus employment through federal work study. We hire resident assistants, tutors, ambassadors, farm and food service employees, academic aids and more.

FAFSA programs

A common acronym heard many times for college-bound individuals is FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This online resource through the U.S. Department of Education provides student aid on a first come, first serve basis throughout the U.S.

Applications must be made each year, and currently is open for the 2022-23 academic year. See A checklist will assist in the materials which will be needed for the online application.

EducationQuest Foundation

In Nebraska, ready and free means investing the time to check out a unique resource. EducationQuest Foundation is a nonprofit organization with a mission to improve access to higher education in Nebraska. Free programs include college planning services, need-based scholarship programs, college access grants for high schools, college access resources for middle schools, and outreach services for community agencies.

We tap into this expertise online as well as in person. Annually, NCTA hosts four sessions of “Discovery Days” spread throughout the year. These campus Discovery Day programs always include a financial aid session for parents to attend and ask questions. Outreach Services staff with EducationQuest who typically come to NCTA are Andrew Hunzeker or Jodi Vanden Berge. They are great resources. Use their expertise and free assistance.

I highly urge families with children heading to college to use these free resources, beginning as early as their 9th grade year. See  Look for the checklist for 2022-23 FAFSA.

Nebraska Promise

Nebraska students whose families have gross income of $65,000 or less are eligible for free tuition through the University of Nebraska. They can attend any campus beginning Fall, 2022, including NCTA, if meeting the criteria. Details are available at:

No matter their circumstances, a certificate or associate of science degree is within reach for them here at NCTA in Curtis.

Nebraska Promise recipients can have up to 30 credit hours covered per academic year. It applies to returning, transfer or new students to NCTA. Fees, books, or room and board are not included. NCTA grants, scholarships or campus employment can cover other costs. Applicants must be admitted to NCTA and complete the FAFSA by the June 1 priority deadline.

NCTA Financial Aid

Any fulltime student who applies to NCTA (resident or non-resident) may be eligible for scholarships and financial aid.  The first step is the online, common application. Specifics on financial aid is available online and through discussions with staff. 

Scholarships are offered and students are notified through their “My NCTA” online account. The student must respond to the notice in order to accept the financial aid or scholarship. Each semester, these scholarships are evaluated and renewed, if the student meets the established criteria.

We appreciate the extensive work that Krista Williams provides to update records and ensure NCTA Aggies are able to take full advantage of this financial assistance.

University of Nebraska Foundation

One source of scholarship funding is through donor gifts established through the University of Nebraska Foundation. These gifts are from individuals, families, memorials or a variety of organizations. Scholarships are designed specifically for students who attend NCTA.

Currently, during this Spring semester, NCTA has 40 students who were awarded NU Foundation scholarships. These total more than $31,000 and range from a few hundred dollars to $2,500 per award.

We greatly appreciate the sponsors who contribute these scholarship fund.

Private sources

Always check the high school guidance office, and see what’s out there from 4-H, FFA, local foundations, and specific interests such as livestock breed associations, rodeo, service groups, and businesses.

A complete list of scholarships through NCTA and external sources can be found at:

NCTA Events:

April 22-23: Rodeo to Black Hills State University, Spearfish

April 23-24:  Jeanne Mueller Barrel Clinic, LTC Arena

April 25:  NCTA to South Dakota FFA

April 25:  Storm Spotter program, 6:30 p.m. Ed Center

April 25: Frontier County Extension Board, 7 p.m., Ag Hall

April 26: Frontier County Candidate Forum, 7 p.m., Ed Center

April 27: Chamber of Commerce Board meeting, 12 p.m., NCTA

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