First Responder Recruitment and Retention Act

Southeast Community College is participating with the state of Nebraska to provide a 100% waiver of resident tuition for Law Enforcement Officers, Firefighters, Firefighter-Paramedics and their dependent children.

At SCC, the waiver is available to eligible officers/firefighters and their dependent children for five consecutive years if they are pursuing an Associate degree.

Who is a First Responder for purposes of this waiver?

Law Enforcement Officer

Any Nebraska resident who is responsible for the prevention or detection of crime or enforcement of the penal, traffic, or highway laws of the state of Nebraska or any political subdivision of the state for more than 100 hours per year and who is authorized by law to make arrests.

Firefighter or Firefighter-Paramedic

A member of a paid fire department of a municipality or a rural or suburban fire protection district in Nebraska. This includes 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.

Who is considered a dependent?

The definition for dependent is the same definition as provided in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

What Do I Need to Do?

  • In order to confirm dependency status, SCC is requiring First Responders and their dependents to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. You may fill out the FAFSA at
  • First Responders must file documentation with the Nebraska Department of Revenue showing proof of employment and proof of being a Nebraska resident
  • The NDOR will determine the First Responder’s eligibility for the waiver and will issue verification of its determination to the First Responder
  • The First Responder will provide the verification from NDOR to SCC, complete/submit SCC’s application, and complete/submit SCC’s legal agreement. Within 45 days, SCC will make its determination of eligibility and will notify the First Responder and/or dependent.

Once you have received approval from the Nebraska Department of Revenue (NDOR) to participate in this waiver, if, before the waiver is applied to your student account you find that you do not need or do not want the waiver, the First Responder must notify NDOR that you want to rescind the waiver.  You may contact NDOR at 402-471-5643.

This waiver application process must be completed each year the waiver is requested.


First Responders are limited to certain programs.

  • Law Enforcement Officers may enroll in Associate-degree programs relating to a career in law enforcement.
  • Firefighters and Firefighter-Paramedics may enroll in Associate degree programs in science or medicine that relate to a career in professional firefighting.

Dependents – as long as a dependent is enrolled in an Associate degree program, they are not restricted to any program type.

Admissions requirements at SCC

  • The applicant must have completed high school or have a GED
  • Complete SCC’s Admission Application
  • Submit ACT, SAT or Next-Generation ACCUPLACER scores to Admissions
  • Submit high school and official college transcripts for other colleges where you have earned credit

Additional Admissions information can be found on the Admissions pages and in the College Catalog.

Note: Upon receipt of the first year of waiver, the dependents of Law Enforcement Officers, Firefighters and Firefighter-Paramedics agree that they will remain a resident of Nebraska and file a State Income Tax return for the five years following the receipt of their last waiver. If the dependent does not fulfill these requirements, the dependent agrees to repay the school for the amount of the waived tuition, if the school requests such payment.

First Responder Completion Steps

  1. Access the Nebraska Department of Revenue's application. Submit page 2 once received back from NDOR.
  2. Complete the First Responder Waiver Form.
  3. Complete the First Responder legal agreement form.
  4. Submit all three documents to the SCC Financial Aid Office.