A Look at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is one of the more interesting public universities, not only for its football history, but also for costs, regional appeal and alumni loyalty. It is the most affordable, and probably the most accessible, university in the Big Ten, an academic conference as well as a competitive sports conference. I have not visited the University of Nebraska in about 15 years. But I felt that it was worthy of research and a write-up. I also culled photos from all over Pinterest to share.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has been the lowest-ranked school in the Big 10 in US News published rankings. Reputation surveys, graduation and retention rates and faculty resources hurt the school’s ranking versus other large public and private universities. This university is also unfairly mocked—there is, for example, a phrase: Where The ’N’ Stands for Knowledge—though it offers a less intimidating campus experience compared against much larger Big Ten schools such as Penn State, Michigan State, Minnesota or Ohio State. Nebraska does, however, offer much of the same “spirit and sports” vibe that you will find at the larger universities, as well as the same parking problems, although there are far fewer students on campus.
As I looked through the data that I seek and review after visiting other schools, I found some interesting points about the University of Nebraska’s flagship campus.
- Over half of the students who are offered admission decide to enroll, even as the percentage of students from outside Nebraska has risen over the past 13 years. Currently, more than a quarter of the freshman class is represented by non-residents from other US states.
- This school faces difficult decisions between maintaining low costs vs. providing the resources that would help to improve the freshman retention as well as the graduation rate. Tuition and fees for Nebraska residents increased by only $1,000 total from 2012-13 to 2017-18, and still remain less than $9,000.
- It is quite possible for a non-resident B+/A- student to earn, and keep, a fairly generous academic scholarship that s/he might not receive at another Big Ten campus.
- There are also more academic options than there are at most other Big Ten schools, since the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is the flagship as well as the Federal Land Grant University for its state.
- Alumni loyalty is the second highest among public universities in the Big Ten, after Purdue. Johnny Carson, Warren Buffet and former JFK confident Ted Sorenson are all Nebraska alumni.
- Within the Big Ten only Ohio State has had more football success.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is likely to attract a stronger student body, especially as other Big Ten schools such as the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities become more selective and more expensive. But one has to hope that the university will be able to add more resources towards academic instruction and student success.
Report Card: University of Nebraska-Lincoln
- Four-Year/Six-Year Graduation Rates: C+/B
- Freshman Retention: C+
- Costs: A
- Curriculum: A
- Community: A
- Comforts: A
- Connections: A in Nebraska and the Denver and Kansas City metro areas/B elsewhere
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