Providing academically-talented, first-generation high school scholars with social, academic and financial resources to be successful as NCPA college scholars.

Investing in Nebraska’s Future

The Nebraska College Preparatory Academy (NCPA) is an innovative college access program that prepares academically-talented, first-generation, income eligible students in grades 9-12 for college and their future careers. Starting in high school, NCPA scholars participate in a curriculum focused on science and math, as well as honors and AP courses, preparing them for the rigors of college coursework. NCPA scholars who successfully complete NCPA high school requirements will have access to the support of a community of peers, academic support and personal development opportunities throughout college. NCPA’s college scholars also receive full financial assistance to pay the cost of college, including tuition, books, room and board, and fees. It is imperative to NCPA's mission that finances should never impede a student's dream of attaining a college degree.

What NCPA Provides

Oftentimes, the starting line for college can be different for first-generation, low-income high school students—so preparing for college often requires more than academic and social readiness and financial resources. NCPA provides its high school scholars academic, social and college preparation to excel in college through the Pillars of Excellence to develop their knowledge, character and commitment:

  • KNOWLEDGE: NCPA scholars strive to gain new and innovative knowledge by achieving academic success both inside and outside of the classroom.
  • CHARACTER: NCPA scholars will make moral and ethical decisions, promote honesty, and carry themselves with integrity.
  • COMMITMENT: NCPA scholars illustrate their commitment by meeting obligations set by the NCPA program, their respective high schools, and the college they attend.

Who NCPA Serves

NCPA serves academically-talented students from first-generation, low-income families from our four local high schools—Omaha North High Magnet School, Omaha South High Magnet School, Grand Island Senior High, and Winnebago Public High School.


  • Grade 8 – Future Scholar
    • Application
    • Scholars of the Academy
      • Overview: New NCPA scholars attend an overnight Scholars of the Academy (SOTA) Camp at Nebraska a few weeks before the beginning of high school. At the SOTA Camp, scholars get the opportunity to bond with their peers and staff to create the foundation of their new NCPA family.
  • Grades 9-12 – High School Scholar
    • Summer Stars: Summer Stars, NCPA's summer school program, helps you retain information from the previous school year and carry it into the upcoming year to continue your success. Scholars receive enhanced academic engagement during the summer by attending classes that assist with math, English, writing and life skills.
    • Summer Camps: NCPA Summer Camps are free for NCPA scholars and are a great way to learn about academic programs, careers, and student life at University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Scholars are required to attend each summer they are in high school (before 10th, 11th and 12th grade).
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln – College Scholar
    • Summer Institute: Summer Institute is NCPA's early bridge-to-college program. During Summer Institute, scholars move into the residence halls early, giving NCPA staff time to help you acclimate to campus, connect you to campus resources and build relationships with UNL faculty and staff. You will also take the Clifton Strengths assessment and participate in your first strengths coaching session.
    • Trenchard Foundation Institute of Excellence: The Trenchard Foundation Institute of Excellence, NCPA’s college retention program, is comprehensive and personalized. First-year scholars participate in weekly seminars designed to assist your transition to college. Second–, Third– and Fourth–year scholars receive personalized coaching from NCPA staff to develop a plan to help you reach your personal and academic goals.
      • Year 1 – UNDERSTAND YOUR STRENGTHS: First-year scholars participate in weekly seminars designed to assist your transition to college.
      • Year 2 – BUILD YOUR STRENGTHS: Second-year scholars participate in monthly seminars designed to help you understand your path to success and beyond through understanding your personal values, and how those values align with your chosen career path or can lead you to potential careers.
      • Year 3 and 4 – STRETCH YOUR STRENGTHS: Third- and Fourth-year scholars develop an individualized pathway to help you reach your goals through internships, job shadow programs, preparation for graduate school, study abroad opportunities and more.
  • Financial Support
    • College scholars receive full financial assistance to pay the cost of college, including tuition, books, room and board, and fees.


Abigail Javier


Abigail Javier
Where I most feared problems and conflict, I learned to manage it and trust myself that with Harmony, Restorative, and Context I could solve problems thrown my way.

Akangkha Khan


Akangkha Khan
Being prepared to succeed in college as well as having a scholarship to pay for tuition are huge benefits that NCPA scholars and their parents greatly appreciate. Yet families find the program also provides unexpected but equally important benefits that boost the success of the scholars.

Photo Credit: Marlenia Thornton


Allison Wood
While some who struggle in science tend to avoid the subject, Allison Wood plans to teach it someday. Allison credits NCPA for helping her try things she struggles in. 

Learn more about how NCPA’s proven model has positively impacted the lives of its scholars and their families.

Student Success Stories

Support NCPA

NCPA’s donor base shares a common commitment to serving historically underserved students and communities through education.

Learn how you can support NCPA and their mission to support first-generation, low-income students graduate with a college degree.

Support NCPA


Steve Hill
Senior Director of Gift Planning
University of Nebraska Foundation

Moises Padilla
Contact Us

Moises Padilla
Director of the Nebraska College Preparatory Academy
University of Nebraska-Lincoln