Our Higher Education Program assists only enrolled members of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska who are:

  • Students attending community colleges or other vocational training institutes
  • Undergraduate students attending four-year colleges and universities
  • Graduate/post-graduate students who maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA

Funding for two- and four-year programs is need-based, and eligibility is determined by the Financial Need Form (FNF) that all schools are required to complete, not to exceed our maximum allowable for tuition, book, and fee costs, which is $4,800 per year with a maximum of 10 semesters for a four-year program and five semesters for a two-year program. A maximum of 12 credit hours per semester will be funded, and students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in every funded class.

There also is a $1,000 maximum for students seeking a certification/licensure separate from a degree program. The funding amount is determined by actual course tuition, books and fees and does not include tools or other supplies.

Funding for graduate/post-graduate programs is limited to two years (four semesters).

Ponca tribal members attending college or receiving training in the United States are eligible for funding consideration.


1. Download Application Packet

Application Packet

2. Complete your FAFSA

Visit Official FAFSA Website

For free help, make an appointment at the EducationQuest location nearest you: Omaha (888-357-6300), Lincoln (800-303-3745), Kearney (800-666-3721), or Scottsbluff (800-303-3745, ext. 6654). Identify yourself as a Reaching Your Potential recipient.

You’ll also find free FAFSA Tools at EducationQuest.org

University of Phoenix Tribal Strategic Alliance Benefits

The University of Phoenix and the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska have teamed up to provide educational opportunities to the tribal community while minimizing or eliminating the need for student loan debt. Click here to learn more (PDF).

College Access Resources

Paying for College Video Series

These four brief videos will give families an overview of the types of colleges, financial aid, the FAFSA process, and how colleges award financial aid. The “How Colleges Award Financial Aid” video may be especially relevant for high school seniors at this time.

University of Nebraska Announces Free Tuition for Qualifying Students

The University of Nebraska announced on Friday that it will offer free tuition to in-state undergraduate students whose families earn less than $60,000 a year.

The Omaha World-Herald first reported the announcement, which comes the same week the university predicted it would lose at least $50 million this fiscal year because of the pandemic.

“We understand that in these uncertain times, many Nebraskans are rethinking every dollar,” University of Nebraska President Ted Carter said in a statement. “We want students and families to know that their University is here for them, that we want them as part of our family, and that we’re doing everything we can to keep the promise of a college education within reach, no matter what their circumstance.”

The program, Nebraska Promise, will begin in the fall of 2020 and comes as families across the country struggle economically during the coronavirus pandemic. To be eligible, students must take a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester and maintain a 2.5 GPA. The university will cover up to 30 credits in an academic year. The program doesn’t cover room and board, however.

The offer will be available at the university’s four four-year campuses: Lincoln, Kearney, Omaha and the medical center. At UNMC, it applies only to undergraduate nursing students.

Carter called the program a “game changer,” and noted that while it will hopefully help students whose families have been hit by economic hardships from coronavirus, it is a long-term program not created directly in response to the pandemic.

“The chancellors and I are exploring other steps related to affordability,” Carter said. “We don’t have further announcements just yet, but will share any decisions as soon as we make them.”

Carter said no private money is being used to fund the program, and officials will make the program work within the university’s current budget.


Links to external resources