First Responder Recruitment and Retention Act
The First Responder Recruitment and Retention Act was established by the State of Nebraska and provides for law enforcement officers, professional firefighters, and their dependent children to receive a credit of 100% of their tuition charges after subtracting any awarded federal financial aid grants and state scholarships and grants. The waiver is 100% of resident tuition charges after financial aid for pursuing an associate or baccalaureate degree program that relates to their career. A dependent of a law enforcement officer or professional firefighter is not required to pursue studies that lead to a specific career. Tuition remissions awarded for online courses will not exceed the comparable amount provided for an on-campus course for a resident student.
For purposes of the program, a law enforcement officer is any person who is responsible for the prevention or detection of crime or the enforcement of the penal, traffic, or highway laws of the State of Nebraska or any political subdivision of the state for more than one hundred (100) hours per year and who is authorized by law to make arrests. A professional firefighter is a firefighter or firefighter-paramedic who is a member of a paid fire department of a municipality or a rural or suburban fire protection district in Nebraska, including 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.
First Responder Tuition Waiver
The First Responder Tuition Waiver is available for fall, spring, and summer terms during the applicable academic year. Students seeking this waiver must apply annually and must comply with all College requirements for continued attendance. A student may receive a waiver for up to five (5) years if the student otherwise continues to be eligible for participation. Prior to receiving the tuition waiver, a dependent of a law enforcement officer or professional firefighter must sign an agreement committing to reside within Nebraska for a period of five (5) years following the use of the tuition waiver or be required to repay the College the amount of the tuition waiver provided.
To apply for the benefit:
Any student requesting the First Responder and Dependent Tuition Waiver must:
- Complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA);
- Complete and sign the First Responder Tuition Waiver Application form
- Have the officer or firefighter’s superior officer at which they are employed sign the certification at the end of this form attesting to the officer or firefighter’s satisfactory performance as a law enforcement officer or professional firefighter;
- Attach documentation (Form FRVA, page 2) from the Department of Revenue indicating all requirements of proof of employment and Nebraska residency have been satisfied. To obtain Form FRVA and complete this step, visit the Deptartment of Revenue website and follow their instructions to complete and upload Form FRVA. When the Department of Revenue (DOR) completes its review of Form FRVA, page 2 of the form will be returned to you. You will then submit the completed page 2 of Form FRVA to Wayne State College;
- If the applicant is a dependent, a copy of the executed agreement with the state committing to remain a resident of Nebraska for a five-year period following the use of the tuition waiver must also be attached or completed prior to receiving the waiver; and
- Return this form and the completed verification no later than the start of the term of your enrollment.
The form must be returned to the Wayne State College Financial Services Office at 1111 Main Street, Wayne, NE 68787. For more information about the process, please call 402-375-7229, or email Student Financial Services at sfs.wsc.edu.