Nebraska First Responder and Dependent Tuition Waiver
Under the Nebraska First Responder Recruitment & Retention Act, sworn law enforcement officers, firefighters, firefighter paramedics and their dependent(s) may be eligible for a waiver of 100% of their resident tuition charges for pursuing an associate or undergraduate degree that relates to their career in law enforcement or professional firefighter if the officer/firefighter:
- Maintains satisfactory performance with his or her law enforcement agency or fire department (a new certificate of verification of satisfactory performance is required each academic year);
- Meets any and all admission requirements of the state university, state college, or community college; and
- Pursues studies leading to a degree that relates to a career in law enforcement or a professional firefighter from an associate or undergraduate degree program.
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. The law enforcement officer must be pursuing a degree that relates to a career in law enforcement from an associate degree program.
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. The professional firefighter must be pursuing studies leading to a degree in science or medicine that relates to a career in professional firefighting from an associate degree program.
Eligible dependent students applying for this tuition waiver must 1)be pursuing an associate or undergraduate degree, 2) meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy standards and 3) meet the definition of a "legal dependent" listed below.
A legal dependent, for the purposes of this program, is any person that meets the definition of a "dependent student" as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, and who has at least one parent or legal guardian that qualifies as a law enforcement officer or professional firefighter in the State of Nebraska (must be a parent on the FAFSA).
The law enforcement officer, firefighter, firefighter-paramedic, and their dependent(s) may receive the tuition waiver for up to five years if they otherwise continue to be eligible for participation.
MPCC shall waive one hundred percent of the tuition remaining balance due after subtracting
awarded federal financial aid grants and state scholarships and grants during the
time student is enrolled. To remain eligible, the law enforcement officer, firefighter,
or firefighter-paramedic and their dependent(s) must comply with all requirements
of the institution for continued attendance and award of an associate degree.
To apply for the benefit:
Any student requesting the First Responder and Dependent Tuition Waiver must:
- Complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the applicable school year.
- Complete and sign the First Responder Tuition Waiver Application form.
- Have the officer or firefighter’s superior officer at which they are employed sign the certification at the end of this form attesting to the officer or firefighter’s satisfactory performance as a law enforcement officer or professional firefighter.
- Attach documentation (Form FRVA, page 2) from the Department of Revenue indicating all requirements of proof of employment and Nebraska residency have been satisfied. To obtain Form FRVA and complete this step, visit the Department of Revenue website and follow their instructions to complete and upload Form FRVA. When the Department of Revenue (DOR) completes its review of Form FRVA, page 2 of the form will be returned to you. You will then submit the completed page 2 of Form FRVA to Mid-Plains Community College Financial Aid Department.
- If the applicant is a dependent, a Dependent Application and a Tuition Waiver Recipient Agreement must also be completed and returned.
- Return this form (or forms, if dependent) and the completed verification from the Department of Revenue no later than the start of the term of your enrollment.
Forms must be returned to the Mid-Plains Community College Financial Aid Office at 1205 East 3rd Street, McCook, NE 69001, via email to email@example.com, or uploaded to the student’s Financial Aid Portal no later than the start of the term of your enrollment.
For information about the process, please call 308-221-6444.