OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Some Omaha North students could become future Cornhuskers. UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green was in town to give seniors certificates confirming admission to the school.
These seniors are part of Nebraska College Preparatory Academies or NCPA. It's a program established by UNL and it chooses students who would be the first generation in their families to go to college.
"They make the commitment early on, together with their families, to commit to working through from the 8th-grade all the way through their senior year in high school in preparatory activities to help them know how to be a student, learn how to be a student and be successful in that preparation," Green said.
Tuition, housing, books and a meal plan are all paid at UNL if students successfully complete the program.
"As a first-generation student, it was very meaningful for me to know that all I had to do was put the work in to be able to chase my dreams that I had," said UNL sophomore, LaDaysia Smith.
Smith is a North graduate and UNL sophomore studying architecture. She says NCPA has been critical in her journey.
"We did a lot of testing prep, we did a lot of study hours, also. All that stuff is good, but the support that NCPA carries, it goes from high school to college. Just the faces change, that's it," Smith said.
Chancellor Green says this extra support for first-generation college students makes all the difference.
"It is special to know and have that degree of certainty around what that future looks like, so we're excited for them," Green said.
"Without the support of NCPA, I think that I would struggle because, in my college of architecture, there aren't a lot of people who look like me, there aren't a lot of women," Smith said. "So to have people that support you no matter what and push you and don't minimize your success, is very important."
Right now there are 125 NCPA college scholars enrolled at the University of Nebraska.
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