(1) The department shall administer the Attracting Excellence to Teaching Program either directly or by contracting with public or private entities.
(2) To be eligible for the program, an eligible student shall:
(a) Graduate in the top quarter of his or her high school class or have a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 on a four-point scale in an eligible institution;
(b) Agree to complete a teacher education program at an eligible institution and, for applicants applying for the first time on or after April 23, 2009, to complete the major on which the applicant's eligibility is based; and
(c) Commit to teach in an accredited or approved public or private school in Nebraska upon (i) successful completion of the teacher education program for which the applicant is applying to the Attracting Excellence to Teaching Program and (ii) becoming certified pursuant to sections 79-806 to 79-815.
(3) Eligible students may apply on an annual basis for loans in an amount of not more than three thousand dollars per year. Loans awarded to individual students shall not exceed a cumulative period exceeding five consecutive years. Loans shall only be awarded through an eligible institution. Loans shall be funded pursuant to section 79-8,137.05.