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In-state tuition rates for most undergraduate online courses in the University of Nebraska system will be set at $259 per credit starting in the Fall 2020 semester, according to a news release.

NU President Ted Carter announced the new tuition Wednesday, which will provide a reduction of up to 9% for Nebraska residents, depending on the campus. In the release, Carter said the uniform rate will provide greater simplicity and consistency for students.

The new per credit hour rate matches the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s in-person undergraduate tuition rate for resident students. It will apply system wide but will exclude online programs and programs in colleges with differential tuition rates at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, according to the release.

“Expanding affordable access to online courses helps ensure that no student’s academic journey will be interrupted,” Carter said in the release.

While NU campuses continue to plan for a safe in-person return in the fall, Carter said online learning is a flexible option for many students who may not be able to come to campus.

More than 35,000 students took at least one online course at NU in the last academic year, and at least 5,000 were Nebraskans enrolled exclusively in online learning, according to the release.

UNL previously lowered its online tuition rate to match the in-person rate and reduced student fees for the Summer 2020 semester.

The tuition reduction adds to Carter’s previous announcements to lower tuition and fees amid the coronavirus pandemic and ensure affordability for students, including the Nebraska Promise for in-state residents and freezing tuition rates beginning in the Fall 2021 semester.

“Especially in these challenging times, our No. 1 priority is taking care of Nebraskans,” Carter said in the release. “The value of affordable, accessible, outstanding higher education is greater now than it has ever been. We want to make sure every Nebraskan has an opportunity to pursue a university education, no matter their circumstance.”