Gov. Heineman Suggests Tuition Freeze--But Only for Nebraska Residents

Nicole Ebat

OMAHA(KPTM)--Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman announced a plan Monday with the University of Nebraska and Nebraska State College Systems to help students keep more cash in their wallet.

The Governor has proposed a two-year budget which would include enough money from the state for the universities and colleges to freeze tuition for the next two years.

"In Nebraska, we understand that education is the great equalizer and that's why education is a priority for me," said Gov. Heineman "Investing in education is important to Nebraska's future. It is also critical that our post secondary institutions manage their resources efficiently to control their costs."

The Governor recommended that the state give the University of Nebraska and Nebraska State College systems $47.1 million over what the school systems are currently receiving.

Both systems have agreed to freeze their tuition for two years if that money is approved in the state budget.

But there's a catch: You have to be a Nebraska resident.

"On the bright side, it's good being Nebraska residents, but it's unfortunate for other people because we're all just trying to get educated at the end of the day," said Ya'Kiva McCraw, a University of Nebraska at Omaha Sophomore.

But students who are paying in-state tuition would save about $1,000 over the next two years, according to university officials.

"It's kind of exciting. I think school itself is very expensive so with that freeze it helps us out a little with getting our books and stuff like that," said Terrell Starks, a UNO Sophomore.

Helping students out is exactly what this proposal is about, said University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken.

That help could eventually help out the state.

"The state of Nebraska needs an educated workforce and it offers economic opportunities to our citizens, so that's the bottom line," said Milliken.

The state legislature would still have to approve the measure in the next budget, that decision will come later this Spring.

But students have just one request for their state leaders: "Help us save money, please," said Starks.