Since 1986, financial aid has been provided to college-bound certificated Nebraska educators through the Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Nebraska Professional Development Fund.
To be eligible, these certificated NSEA members must be covered by either a single or family Blue Cross/Blue Shield health care policy. Scholarships can be used by educators to pursue an advanced degree, seek an additional teaching endorsement or to take course work to meet certification requirements. All courses must be taken for credit.
There are generally three application periods each year, to coincide with the end of Spring, Summer and Fall college sessions. Interested association members must complete the official application form that appears online on a regular basis in The Voice. All application forms will need to be submitted online.
Each applicant may apply for scholarship dollars for no more than three hours of college course work during any session. Books and other supplies are not covered. Previous scholarship applicants, whether successful or not, are always eligible to re-apply. Applicants may be recipients of only two of the three scholarship cycles during each school year.
The Scholarship Committee's continuing goal is to award stipends to the largest possible number of NSEA members from all seven districts. The Committee follows set criteria in judging each application. Applicants need to follow directions completely when filling out the application form. The committee will discard application forms that are not completely and accurately filled in. Each of the four criteria questions must be answered specifically and will be screened carefully. Applicants need to check their work carefully to ensure an optimum consideration by the Committee for their request.
Stipend winners must present evidence of successful course work completion at an accredited post-secondary institution before they receive the grant money.
The scholarship program has no effect on the company's premiums, according to Celann LaGreca, Blue Cross/Blue Shield communications director. She said funds for NSEA scholarships come entirely from our budget account for public relations. They're in no way charged against the NSEA account.
For more information, contact the NSEA by calling toll-free 1-800-742-0047. Sally Bodtke is the associate staff member who handles the scholarship program.
*Spring, Summer and Fall Scholarship Application forms are available online and coincide with the printing schedule of The Voice. Timeframes are approximate and deadlines vary year to year. Generally, the applicable Application form will only be available for four to six weeks of the two months schedule as noted: Fall Application in September/October; Spring Application in January/February; and Summer Application in April/May. Please note that the online Application form will be suspended at the deadline of the specific application.