Authorized by the Nebraska Legislature in 2007, the Access College Early (ACE) Scholarship Program pays tuition and mandatory fees for qualified, low-income high school students to enroll in college courses from Nebraska colleges or universities, either through dual-enrollment or early enrollment agreements with these institutions. High school students may apply for funding under this program by completing the ACE Student Application, which is reviewed by the Coordinating Commission for award consideration.
To qualify for the scholarship, the student or student’s family must be approved to participate in one of the federal need-based government programs listed below, have experienced an extreme hardship that affects family income, or be participating in a designated Career Education program as established by the Nebraska Department of Education.
- Free or Reduced Price Lunch Program
- Supplemental Security Income
- Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Special Supplemental Assistance Program (WIC)
The student must provide documentation verifying approval to participate in the program or of the hardship.
Students that do not have legal status in the United States, including those that have been granted DACA status, are not eligible to apply for the ACE Scholarship based on state law.
Please note the following application and deadline dates for the ACE Scholarship:
For Summer classes that have a start date of July 1 or later - application can be submitted starting April 1 (July 15 for Career Program of Study); deadline September 15
For Fall term classes - application can be submitted starting August 1 (October 15 for Career Program of Study); deadline December 15
For Winter term classes - application can be submitted November 1 (January 15 for Career Program of Study); deadline March 31
For Spring term classes - application can be submitted November 15 (March 15 for Career Program of Study); deadline May 15
For Summer classes that have a start date prior to July 1 - application can be submitted April 1 (May 15 for Career Program of Study); deadline July 1
Terms are based on the college academic calendar.
The Coordinating Commission reserves the right to limit the number of scholarships a student can receive based on available funding.
For colleges wishing to participate in the ACE Scholarship Program with Nebraska high schools, please go to the ACE Scholarship Program Institutional Application Form below.
For any questions regarding the ACE Scholarship program, please contact Ritchie Morrow via email at Ritchie.Morrow@nebraska.gov or at 402-471-0032.
Eighty-two percent of ACE public school students go on to college, compared to 72 percent of all public high school ACE students and 52 percent of low-income non-ACE recipients.