Nebraska Seeks to End Race-Specific Scholarship Program

The Minority Student Diversity Scholarship program in Nebraska sets aside $2.9 million in state funds to help black, Hispanic, and American Indian students afford a college education. Now legislation has been introduced to rename the program the Student Diversity Scholarships. Under the new proposal specific references to blacks and other minorities will be replaced by references to students from “diverse, racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds.”

Officials in Nebraska believe that racial references in the legislation currently on the books would be subject to legal challenge. Under the new program, in addition to students from disadvantaged and unrepresented groups, students from rural areas of the state that are underrepresented on some campuses would now be eligible for diversity scholarships. Students who are from the first generation in their families to attend college would also be eligible for Student Diversity Scholarships.