Nebraska U tuition to remain unchanged for next two years

Varner Hall
May 8, 2020

Lincoln, Neb. —To help students and families plan for the immediate future, tuition rates across the University of Nebraska system will remain unchanged through the 2022-23 academic year.

Announced May 7 by Ted Carter, NU system president, the two-year tuition freeze applies to undergraduate, graduate and professional students; resident and non-resident students; and those attending in-person and online.

Chancellor Ronnie Green said the freeze will allow the University of Nebraska–Lincoln to remain a best value among peer institutions.

“This is a great step for the University of Nebraska," Green said. "As Nebraska’s land-grant institution, UNL has always had access to higher education as its core mission. With the long-term economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic still unclear, this is a concrete commitment to Nebraska families that a Big Ten education will remain affordable.”

Under the move, the university will hold the line on a 2.75 percent tuition increase for 2020-21. The increase was approved in 2019 by the NU Board of Regents.

While the university system faces significant budget challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, all universities and NU Central Administration will tighten their belts rather than seek further increases from students and families, Carter said. Steps already underway include a systemwide hiring freeze, limits on spending and a review of all construction projects. Carter will provide a detailed review of the university system’s budget planning at the June 26 regents meeting.

With the move, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s cost per credit hour for undergraduates will be $259 for the next two academic years. Differential tuition rates charged by some academic colleges also will be frozen for 2021-22 and 2022-23.

Board of Regents Chairman Jim Pillen of Columbus applauded Carter’s focus on affordability and accessibility.

“As President Carter says, this is a transformative period for higher education. We have an opportunity now to decide what kind of university we want to be for the future,” Pillen said. “I’m so proud of our university for putting access at the top of the list. What a special message of hope for young people in Nebraska and beyond.”

Today’s news is the latest in a series of steps taken by Carter and university leadership to provide as much clarity as possible for students and families facing uncertainty amid the pandemic.

Carter stressed that the current crisis has not changed the value of higher education, in terms of both individual and economic growth. The on-campus experience is particularly valuable in preparing the next generation of well-rounded, highly skilled leaders.

To that end, Carter has announced that the University of Nebraska’s four campuses will be open in the fall for in-person learning. While adjustments will be necessary to ensure safety, the decision provides clarity for current and future students.

Carter also previously launched Nebraska Promise, an expansion of the NU system’s existing need-based financial aid program that will cover full tuition costs for Nebraska students with family incomes of $60,000 or less. The Nebraska Promise is expected to cover an additional 1,000 current and future students.

“These are challenging times, but as I have quickly come to learn, Nebraskans are problem-solvers, not problem-gazers,” Carter said. “We have an opportunity now to lean in to our priorities — the first of which is affordable excellence for the people of Nebraska — so that we emerge even stronger, even more relevant, and even more ready to meet the needs of our state and the world.”

by Melissa Lee | NU Central Administration