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Chizek Turned SummerFree Opportunity into Degree

April 04, 2018
Scottsbluff's Nikolas Chizek hadn't thought of returning to college to finish his degree.
As a full-time production director at KNEB, he was happy with his career.
So, when a friend asked Chizek if he'd be interested in taking a couple summer classes with him at Western Nebraska Community College last year, Chizek was a bit hesitant.
Then his friend told him about WNCC's SummerFree Scholarship, which gives current and returning WNCC students an opportunity to take up to two summer courses free.
That, on top of the fact that Chizek and his wife had a two-month-old baby at the time, had him reconsidering.
"It got me thinking that maybe I should finish my degree just to have a backup," Chizek said.
Chizek proceeded to apply for the scholarship, and discovered he was only three courses away from earning his associate degree. His application was accepted almost immediately, allowing Chizek to take two of those courses that summer.
"It was a very quick turnaround and everyone was super helpful," he said. "It was just a very easy experience."
Chizek went on to finish his degree in the fall, and even decided to pay for a few additional IT courses for his own education.
Yet without the SummerFree Scholarship, Chizek probably would still be three courses short of a degree, he said.

"I don't know if I would have paid for classes," he said. "But now that I have an associate degree, that really opens up a lot of doors if something were to happen."
WNCC is offering the SummerFree Scholarship again this year. Beginning April 9, current full- and part-time WNCC students are eligible to apply, as are previous WNCC students who did not graduate. CollegeNOW! dual-credit high school students are also eligible to receive the scholarship.
Applicants must hold at least a 2.0 G.P.A from WNCC, and be seeking a degree, diploma, or certificate. The scholarship covers up to two courses or a total of eight credit hours of tuition and fees, plus $200 for textbooks. An application can be found at
The deadline to submit an application to receive the scholarship is Friday, May 4.

For more information, or to access the SummerFree Scholarship application, visit Further questions should be directed to WNCC Financial Aid at or 308-635-6011.