New Data Indicate Increased Retention Rates, Involvement Among Legends Scholars

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This year’s class has more than quadrupled the size since the start in 2011

The numbers behind the Nebraska Legends Scholarship Program are in, and the story they tell is impressive.  In two short years, the program has become one of UNL’s most successful student recruitment and retention tools, and it continues to grow. This year’s Legends class is projected to have around 375 students—more than quadrupling in size since the program’s inception in 2011.

“Two years ago when we started, I never imagined we would grow as large as we have,” said Chelsea Heidbrink, coordinator for the Legends program.

“People have seen the amazing talents and natural leaders we have in the program, and they know it’s worthwhile—and continue to give to the scholarships.”

The numbers also show that once Legends scholars arrive on campus, they stay engaged.  Legends students represent all nine of UNL’s undergraduate colleges, and collectively are involved in more than 150 registered student organizations on campus.  This year’s Legends retention rate was 96.2 percent—compared with an all-University freshman class retention rate of 84 percent.

“The program itself is a great avenue for students to build friendships and make connections because we meet regularly as a group, and all students are automatically members of Scarlet Guard,” said Heidbrink.

It’s not surprising that along with an increased level of engagement, Legends Scholars also excel in the classroom.  The average GPA of the program was 3.46 at the end of the 2012-13 fall semester.

“I have been blessed to work with some of the most gifted and ambitious students I’ve ever known through the Legends program,” added Heidbrink.

“I believe that if we continue down this path, Nebraska Legends will become one of the most established and elite programs for freshmen students on this campus.”

Support the Legends

The Nebraska Legends Scholarship Program supports recruitment and retention of top students, and is a critical piece of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s efforts to reach 30,000 students by 2017.  UNL is matching scholarship donations, and 20 percent of your gift will be used for student recruitment.

Read more about Nebraska Legends or give now.

This article is from the UNL Alumni Association website. To see the original version or to learn more about the association, visit

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