University of Nebraska Medical Center

Nebraska First Responder Recruitment and Retention Law Enforcement Education Act

The University of Nebraska is proud to partner with the State of Nebraska in supporting Nebraska law enforcement officers, firefighters, firefighter-paramedics, and their dependents who are completing their baccalaureate degrees. Under the First Responder Recruitment and Retention Law Enforcement Education Act, sworn officers, first responders, and their dependents may be eligible for a waiver of 100% of their resident tuition charges (after other financial aid and scholarships) for pursuing a baccalaureate degree program that relates to their career. The sworn officer or first responder must a resident of the State of Nebraska. This waiver is available for up to five years.


A law enforcement officer, for the purposes of this program, is defined as any person who is responsible for the prevention or detection of crime or the enforcement of the penal, traffic, or highway laws of the State of Nebraska or any political subdivision of the state for more than one 100 hours per year and who is authorized by law to make arrests.

A professional firefighter, for the purposes of this program, is defined as a firefighter or firefighter-paramedic who is a member of a paid fire department of a municipality or a rural or suburban fire protection district in the state of Nebraska, including a municipality having a home rule charter or a municipal authority created pursuant to a home rule charter that has its own paid fire department, and for whom firefighting is a full-time career.

A dependent, for the purposes of this program, is defined as a biological child, stepchild, foster child, sibling, step-sibling, or descendant who can legally be claimed as a dependent by a law enforcement officer (as defined above) or professional firefighter (as defined above). Being a dependent student means you meet the definition of a "dependent student" under the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and that at least one parent or legal guardian qualifies as a law enforcement officer or professional firefighter residing in the State of Nebraska. 

Application Process

Frequently Asked Questions

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Note: This FAQ is subject to change with little or no notice in response to Nebraska law. The information provided to you in this document is as accurate and up to date as possible given current understandings of the law. Nothing in this FAQ should be taken as legal or financial advice and is provided to you for your convenience only in determining eligibility and a desire to apply for the First Responder Recruitment and Retention Act waiver. If you have any legal or tax questions, please reach out to a personal attorney or tax advisor for how this may affect you.