Nebraska Opportunity Grant Act changes adopted

Senators passed a bill May 29 that changes the income qualifications for receiving need-based aid for undergraduate students under the Nebraska Opportunity Grant Act.

Currently, a person’s eligibility is based on either their eligibility to receive a federal Pell grant or an expected family contribution of no more than the qualifying maximum. Pell grant eligibility and the expected family contribution are determined based on an individual’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid application. The qualifying maximum equals the prior award year qualifying maximum increased by 2.5 percent.

Under LB331, introduced by Scottsbluff Sen. John Harms, the income qualification will be an expected family contribution equal to or less than 110 percent of the maximum expected family contribution to qualify for a Pell grant in that award year.

LB331 incorporates the provisions of two bills, both introduced by Lincoln Sen. Bill Avery.

A provision from LB466 clarifies that the authorization a postsecondary institution receives to operate on a continuing basis shall continue indefinitely.

A provision from LB467 allows interstate reciprocity agreements regarding postsecondary distance education and allow fees for such agreements and for applications to modify recurrent authorizations to operate.

The bill passed on a 47-0 vote.

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