LINCOLN, Neb - The University of Nebraska is making aggressive efforts in keeping the best and brightest of the future generation in the Cornhusker state when they attend higher education.

In doing so, Gov. Jim Pillen, interim University of Nebraska President Chris Kabourek and other university officials announced a set of new scholarships for Nebraska high school students with high ACT scores.

“This is an exciting day here at the capitol today as we announced, in partnership with Gov. Pillen, a scholarship through the University of Nebraska called the Presidents Scholars Program… It covers full cost of attendance for any Nebraska student with a perfect ACT score.”

Interim University President Chris Kabourek stood side by side with Pillen and university officials as the terms of the scholarship were announced in the capitol’s Warner Chamber. The privately funded scholarship provides 36 ACT score students not only cost of attendance, but also a $5,000 annual stipend.

Part of the goal is also to expand interest to other high achieving Nebraska students in staying in the state university system.

“What we’ve found is we’re getting outcompeted by our peers across the country,” Kabourek said. “That should never happen. The message to all Nebraska kids, not even the 36 ACT score kids, is that we want them here, there’s opportunity for them here, and we want to have conversations with them.”

Gov. Pillen echoed that message, emphasizing the importance for industry leaders in the state to come together to solve the problem.

“When Nebraskans know there’s a need, they step up 100% of the time,” Pillen said. “This helps showcase the need to keep our best and brightest. We have to stop pointing fingers. We businesses, farmers and ranchers and educators, need to come together to solve the problem.”

Regent Rob Schaefer of Beatrice expressed excitement for the new chapter of education, as the scholarships go into effect in the 2024 fall semester.

“It’s a big step forward,” Schaefer said. We look forward to work with Gov. Pillen, our business and Ag partners, and our donors and elected officials to keep the momentum going.”