The North Bend Eagle


NBC recieves grant to help more attend college

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 10/1/14

North Bend Central High School was one of 22 schools to receive a grant from EducationQuest, a private, nonprofit organization with a mission to help improve access to higher education in Nebraska. The grants are awarded every two years, with the amount determined by the size of the high school. The grant is given out over four years with the goal to increase the school’s college-going rate by 10 percentage points.

NBC principal Brenda Petersen and guidance counselor Christine Gaughen attended a meeting last spring to find out about applying for the grant. They had to do a student survey to find out what help the NBC students needed as they looked beyond high school.

“This will be a huge help for the kids so they can be prepared when they leave high school to know what they want to do,” Gaughen said.

NBC’s Foundation College Access Grant is for $20,000 over four years. NBC will receive $5,000 a year, half in October and the remainder in January. It will be used for activities to encourage students to continue their education after high school.

The high school is given flexibility of develop programs that suits their students. Possible programs include:

• Visiting a Nebraska college campus
• Attending a financial aid presentation
• Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, (FAFSA or Estimator)
• Conducting a scholarship search (and apply)
• Applying to at least one college
• Hosting a college access meeting with ninth and 10th grade families
• Attending a College Fair or Educational Planning Program
• Providing information about dual-enrollment courses
• Taking the ACT, SAT, or equivalent.
• Securing a 10 percent business match

Gaughen said NBC has partnered with Smeal Manafacturing in Snyder. She and Petersen went there to visit and were impressed with the span of workers employed by the company. Manual labor, accountants, medical personnel, management, human resources and engineers are all employed by Smeal. Gaughen plans to take students to visit the Snyder business.

Gaughen also plans to take each class in the senior high school on two college visits. She will take the junior and seniors in the fall and the sophomore and freshman classes in the spring, with each class visiting different schools.
EducationQuest will send representatives to a meeting of seniors and parents Oct. 13.

“I’ve already sent out invitations,” Gaughen said. “We will have pizza and pop and talk about college planning and financial aid. Anyone interested in coming can call or e-mail the school.”

The school is required to survey students at the beginning and end of the school year to show change and to show that students are more confident in their college and career choices.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for our kids here at NBC,” Gaughen said. “The fund will give them more opportunity to find themselves and to know what they want to do when they leave high school. With the great education they receive here, they are ready to move on in life, but not they don’t necessarily know where to go.”

Other schools in the area receiving EducationQuest grants are Bancroft Rosalie Community School, David City High School, Logan View Public School, Raymond Central High School, West Point-Beemer High School.

Education Quest has offices in Kearney, Omaha, and Lincoln where college planning specialists help students and families research colleges, explore career options, look for scholarships, complete and file the FAFSA and learn about student loans. All services are free.

Younger students have a special place on EducationQuest with the KnowHow2Go Campaign in Nebraska. This effort targets middle school through 10th-graders and provides them with easy to understand steps they should follow to make college a reality. There is information for students as well as for parents.
Information on all the EducationQuest services can be found at

<<Back to the front page