Nebraska ranks 7th in percentage of high school grads who go on to college - Omaha.com
Published Friday, August 23, 2013 at 1:00 am / Updated at 11:18 pm
Nebraska ranks 7th in percentage of high school grads who go on to college

LINCOLN — Nebraska's push to get more kids into higher education is paying dividends.

Nebraska is now ranked among the top 10 states nationally in the percentage of high school students who continue their education after graduation.

Nebraska ranks No. 7 in the nation, with 69.5 percent of its high school graduates continuing their education at community colleges or universities, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

That compares with a ranking of 19th, and a 64.5 percent college-going rate, four years ago.

Gov. Dave Heineman and a group of state academic leaders held a press conference Thursday at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to celebrate the improvement and encourage parents and kids to visit a college.

Such visits, they said, are a crucial first step toward eventually enrolling.

Matt Moore, a UNL student from Omaha, said his visit to the Lincoln campus convinced him it was the right fit for him.

Students he met on the visit were welcoming and friendly, Moore said.

One of the major goals of the state's P-16 Initiative, an effort to improve student success from preschool through college, was to get Nebraska among the top 10 for students seeking a higher education.

Another is to achieve a high school graduation rate of 90 percent. That rate now is 87.6 percent, or fourth-highest in the United States, according to the governor, who is co-chairman of the P-16 group.

To increase the college-going rate, Nebraska colleges, universities and foundations ratcheted up efforts to get more kids to visit their campuses.

Southeast Community College, for instance, expanded its open houses for families. Doane College offered more free summer classes for high school students — classes that allowed them to earn college credit and get comfortable with the Crete, Neb., campus.

Schools have also spiffed up their welcome mats. Thursday's press conference was held in UNL's Brunt Visitors Center, a handsome and comfy brick building constructed 10 years ago to better greet new and prospective students.

To increase awareness about scholarships and academic requirements, Nebraska's EducationQuest Foundation has provided $2.5 million worth of grants to 51 high schools since 2006. The foundation has also provided money to 77 schools to arrange college visits by eighth-graders.

J.B. Milliken, president of the University of Nebraska system, said that some parents still are not sure if college is affordable or if their children can succeed.

He said the state has done a great job of keeping tuition as low as possible. This year, state colleges and universities enacted a two-year tuition freeze, and some state colleges now offer in-state tuition rates for out-of-state students.

More scholarships are available for lower-income students who are academically ready for college, Milliken said. About 6,600 students, he said, are attending NU campuses this year tuition-free through the College Bound Nebraska program.

Contact the writer:

402-473-9584, paul.hammel@owh.com

Contact the writer: Paul Hammel

paul.hammel@owh.com    |   402-473-9584    |  

Paul covers state government and affiliated issues and helps coordinate the same.

World champion Crawford's promoter working to have title defense at CenturyLink Center
Hail, strong winds, heavy rain hit south-central Nebraska
Agreement reached to end dog racing at Bluffs Run at end of 2015
Police ID. body found near 36th, Seward Streets
Video: Stothert says Crossroads project is 'full speed ahead,' but she won't support bond issue
'Fairly old' human skull found in Mills County
Kelly: Started at a dining room table, Home Instead thriving at 20 with $1B in annual revenue
Omaha crash victim, 19, had touched many lives
Firefighters take on 'fully engulfed barn fire'
Council Bluffs school board approves new district headquarters
Officials announce effort to lure more veterans to Nebraska
SB 132nd Street lane closed
Shane Osborn grabs several endorsements
New public employee pay data: Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy Counties, plus utilities
Database: How much did Medicare pay your doctor?
Omaha area may get 1 inch of rain tonight
Gov. Heineman vetoes bill to ease restrictions on nurse practitioners
Nebraska banking and finance director to retire
Waitress who served alcohol to teen before fatal crash gets jail time, probation
Owners of exotic dance bar deny prostitution allegations
More Nebraskans are electing to vote early
A day after Ricketts endorsement, Ted Cruz backs Sasse for Senate
Some city streets remain closed
Nebraska's U.S. Senate candidates stick to familiar topics at Omaha forum
19-year-old killed in one-vehicle crash at 72nd & Shirley
< >
COLUMNISTS »
Kelly: Started at a dining room table, Home Instead thriving at 20 with $1B in annual revenue
The idea that Paul Hogan had studied and then hatched at his mother's table was that older people, rather than moving in with relatives or to an assisted-living center, would much prefer to stay home instead.
Breaking Brad: Nebraska GOP candidates unified against naked squirrels
Some of these Nebraska campaigns are tilting pretty far right. At a recent forum, there was a consensus that we need to ban public dancing and clothe naked squirrels in public parks.
Breaking Brad: Inside the mind of a 99-year-old real estate agent
I saw an article about a 99-year-old real estate agent who's still working. “This house is extra special. It has indoor toilets!”
Breaking Brad: Into the claw machine! Florida kid follows Lincoln kid's lead
In Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a child climbed inside a claw machine. Hey, Florida kid: Nobody likes a copycat.
Breaking Brad: Even Chuck Hassebrook's throwing mud!
The Nebraska campaigns have turned so ugly, Democrat Chuck Hassebrook lobbed unfounded accusations at an imaginary opponent.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Tokyo Sushi
$5 for $10 or $10 for $20 toward All-You-Can-Eat Sushi Purchase
Buy Now
PHOTO GALLERIES »
< >
SPOTLIGHT »
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
WORLD-HERALD ALERTS »
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for Omaha.com's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »