Lakeside Center in the fall

Free Tuition Available Through Nicolet Promise


Nicolet College is now accepting applications for its popular Nicolet Promise program, which so far has paved the way for 57 students to attend college tuition-free. 

“The Nicolet Promise puts college within reach for many recent high school graduates who otherwise may not have been able to attend college,” said Nicolet Dean of Enrollment Erika Warning-Meyer. “This program creates the opportunity for eligible students to learn the skills they need for successful careers.” 

When Leah Schindeldecker graduated from high school she thought she was going to have to take a gap year in order to work and save money to attend college. Then she heard about and applied for the Promise program. 

“The Nicolet Promise is the best thing I could have asked for and I wanted the chance to explain how much I appreciate the Promise,” said Schindeldecker, who went on to graduate from the college’s Accounting program. “The financial assistance Promise provided eased all the stress I had about attending college.” 

Recently the Foundation Board revised eligibility requirements to allow more students to take advantage of the Promise program. 

To be eligible, students must have graduated with a high school diploma or earned a GED/HSED within two years prior to enrollment at Nicolet College either in 2020 or 2021; reside in the Nicolet College District; be eligible for Federal Pell Grants as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); and enroll in a financial aid eligible academic program, taking a minimum of 9 credits per term. 

The current application period is for students planning on attending Nicolet in the fall of 2021. 

Under the program, the Nicolet College Foundation will pay the balance of tuition and fees for eligible students after federal and state grants have been applied. The Foundation will cover this cost for up to 15 credits per term, until completion of an associate’s degree or 70 credits. 

“Many people may feel that college is not an option for them because of cost,” Warning-Meyer explained. “Others might be reluctant to enroll because they think they will be overwhelmed with student debt. The Nicolet Promise addresses both of those issues.” 

The program also aims to encourage young adults to stay in the Northwoods at a time when many leave seeking opportunity elsewhere. 

“The chance to earn a tuition-free college education is a huge incentive for young adults to stay in the region,” she said. “The skills they will learn are in high demand across the Northwoods. Our hope and goal is for these students to graduate and start careers that are financially and personally rewarding in area communities.” 

Prospective students have until March 1, 2021, to complete the Nicolet Promise requirements. Interested individuals should complete the Promise Inquiry Form and view all program requirements. 

Nicolet Foundation Executive Director Heather Schallock said the Nicolet Promise is made possible by ongoing fundraising efforts and generous donors financially supporting students through their gifts to the Foundation. 

“All of our donors have a great deal of faith in students attending Nicolet and want to do whatever they can so everyone who wants a college education has the opportunity to earn a college education,” she said. 

In light of COVID-19, Nicolet has instituted several health protocols to ensure student safety. 

“Student safety is our No. 1 priority,” Warning-Meyer explained. “The vast majority of our classes, about 80 percent, are in a flexible online format. When students do have to come to campus to attend a lab or other learning experience, we require that everyone wear a face covering when indoors and maintain at least six feet of physical distancing.” 

Individuals interested in attending Nicolet are encouraged to call the college at (715) 365-4493, 1-800-544-3039, ext. 4493; TTY 1-800-947-3529 or 711. 

Nicolet currently offers more than 60 associate degrees, diplomas, certificates, and apprenticeships. Many of these credentials are offered in the highly flexible Nicolet MyWay format that allows students to complete the coursework at times that best fit their schedules.