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Learn to Dream

Learn To Dream Scholars

Scholarship pays up to two years at SCC!

A college education improves your chances at having a promising career and fulfilling life. Thanks to the generosity of the Acklie Charitable Foundation, Nelnet and Union Bank & Trust, the dream of a quality education can be a reality for every graduating Lincoln public or private high school student through the Learn to Dream Scholarship.

The scholarship, established in 2007, gives economically disadvantaged students the opportunity to complete up to 60 semester credit hours at one of the Southeast Community College campuses in Beatrice, Lincoln and Milford, without paying tuition and fees.

If you attend high school in SCC’s 15-county area, you may be eligible for a Learn to Dream Scholarship which covers 30 semester credit hours. Check with your high school guidance counselor at one of these schools to see if you qualify: Ashland Greenwood, Beatrice, Bishop Neumann, Diller-Odell, Exeter-Milligan, Fillmore Central, Friend, Heartland, Johnson-Brock, Johnson Co, Central/Tecumseh J.S., Lewiston Consolidated, McCool Junction, Mead, Milford, Norris, Palmyra, Pawnee City, Seward, Shickley, Syracuse-Dunbar, Tri-County, Wahoo, Weeping Water, Wilber-Clatonia, and York. Graduates from outside of Lincoln High Schools are not eligible for a second year of scholarship.

You can apply for the Learn to Dream Scholarship if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are enrolled in a Lincoln public school or private school at the beginning of your senior year.
  • You must remain in the district until graduation.
  • You must be approved for free or reduced-price meals.
  • You must start college at SCC within one year of high school graduation.

Eligible students in the 11th or 12th grade may enroll in SCC dual-credit and The Career Academy classes that provide high school and college credit at the same time. The scholarship pays tuition and fees and counts toward the 60 semester credit hours available to each student.

If you graduated from high school before Jan. 1, 2018, you are eligible for 30 semester credit hours which must be used within two years of starting at SCC.

The application process starts with current high school students visiting with their high school counselor for a paper application or online through Lincoln Public Schools. If you are completing a paper form, return it to your counselor. Applications are also available at the Student Advising Office at the SCC Lincoln Campus (8800 O St).

Once you are awarded a Learn to Dream Scholarship, you must be actively participating in an SCC class within one year after graduating high school to activate the scholarship. If the scholarship is not activated within one year, then it is withdrawn permanently. For example, if you graduate from high school on May 15, 2021, then you must be attending a class before May 15, 2022. Please note, being enrolled for a future term within the deadline does not activate the scholarship. You must be actively participating in a class within a year.

The Learn to Dream Scholarship is awarded term by term and is applied to your student account approximately four weeks into the term. As an SCC student, you are eligible to also apply for Pell Grants and other scholarships. The one exception is the Buffett Scholarship – you cannot receive the Learn to Dream Scholarship and the Buffett Scholarship at the same time. To apply for Pell Grants and other scholarships, you will need to complete the FAFSA. Keep in mind each award and scholarship you receive have separate academic policies, regulations and requirements. Always speak to the Learn to Dream office and Financial Aid when figuring out your current status.

Once you are in the program and a start date has been established, you must successfully complete 30 semester credit hours within 24 months of first enrollment at SCC after graduation. If completed successfully, you will be granted another 30 semester hours and have 24 months to complete the second year. If you used Learn to Dream at TCA or for dual credit classes while in high school, we will use your graduation date as your official enrollment date.

To remain in good standing in the program, you:

  • Must maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade-point-average while enrolled at SCC. If you drop below a 2.0, you will be placed on probation or suspension. You will receive communications from the Learn to Dream office about completing an appeal.
  • Must enroll in and pass ACFS 1015-Success@SCC in your first term. If dropped or failed, you must retake the class in the following term. If dropped or failed for a second time, the scholarship is withdrawn.
  • Are responsible for purchasing your own textbooks, supplies and potential special fees.

As a Learn to Dream Scholarship recipient, you:

  • Are not required to take a certain amount of credits each semester. That said, you need to be mindful of the 24-month time frame you have to use the scholarship.
  • Can take a semester off as long as you can complete your 30 hours in a 24-month time frame.
  • Can drop a class and will not have to repay the Learn to Dream funds. Keep in mind this will have an impact on your federal financial aid completion ratio if you are receiving federal funds. You will want to speak to the Financial Aid office before dropping a class to understand any possible impacts of probation or suspension.

Once you have been awarded the scholarship, we suggest you do the following:

  • Schedule an admissions appointment to be guided through the admissions process or to find a program which fits your career goals.
  • Complete the admissions process.
  • Demonstrate Math and Reading proficiency. You may send your ACT/SAT test scores to admissions. If you do not have ACT/SAT scores, you may contact the SCC Testing Center to schedule the Next-Generation ACCUPLACER® exam.
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Register for classes within three semesters of high school graduation and ACFS 1015 during your first semester at SCC.

Learn to Dream Scholars are encouraged to stop by the Student Success Center for assistance with:

Learn to Dream has played a major role in many students' lives. Here are some examples of what students say Learn to Dream has done for them.

Jessica Jimenez

I knew I had to go to college, and my parents would always tell me I was going to college. This was one less burden for them since they couldn’t afford it.

Faten Fanharawi

Without Learn to Dream, I would give up on my dreams and goals of being a successful, independent woman in the future.


Learn to Dream has helped me begin my dream by being able to be the first person in my family to go through college after being the first to graduate from high school.


Learn to Dream is such a great opportunity for new or college freshmen. It is very helpful to me because it's paying almost all of my tuition fees. I am very thankful for Learn to Dream for all of its help.


The Learn to Dream Scholarship is really helpful to me. It paid for my tuition and fees for 45 credit hours in my first year. During that first year, I hadn't decided what program to study, and I still didn't have a job. LTD helped me out with tuition and fees to pay for classes in which I was interested.


The Learn to Dream Scholarship means a lot to me. It paid the tuition for my classes. Also, it helps a lot of other students and is there for students in need. It's a great opportunity to dream and make your dreams come true.

Islam Mohammed

Learn to Dream has taught me to dream. If I did not have the Learn to Dream Scholarship, I would have not been able to attend school now. With Learn to Dream, I know I will be able to continue my education and plan a good future..