Online Schools and Colleges in Nebraska

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Between the state’s K-12 programs, community colleges, state colleges and private colleges, Nebraska offers a wide range of online courses. During the 2013-2014 school year, over 7,500 students in Nebraska were enrolled in at least one online course. Students in K-12 use the Nebraska Online Instruction Source for supplemental courses, blended courses or video conferencing, but the state currently has no fully-online K-12 schools. Multiple public and private universities offer online degree programs and courses in a variety of subjects and degree levels at the post-secondary level.

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Best Online Colleges in Nebraska 2020

  • Methodology


    To be considered for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria:

    Accredited at the institutional level
    Private nonprofit or public school
    Minimum of 1 bachelor’s or master’s degree in subject area for 4-year schools
    Minimum of 1 associate degree or certificate program in subject area for 2-year schools

    Schools were then scored on factors such as:

    Cost & Financial Aid
    Number and variety of program offerings
    Student-teacher ratios
    Graduation rates (4-year schools only)
    Placement and support services offered
    Academic/Career counseling services
    Employment services
    Loan default rates

    These factors were assembled for each school and rated using a peer-based-value (PBV) calculation. PBV compares the cost of a program to the cost of other programs with the same (or similar) qualitative score and cost. PBV denotes the overall value or “bang for your buck” of a college or degree program.

During the 2016-2017 school year, 80.5% of students in Nebraska enrolled in at least one online course. Multiple public and private universities offer online degrees and courses for undergraduate and graduate students in Nebraska. This guide covers important information for students considering online schools and colleges in Nebraska, including financial aid opportunities, programs for nontraditional learners, and helpful resources for current and prospective students.

4 – Year Colleges

  1. Creighton University
    Location

    Omaha, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Creighton Universityis a private, Jesuit, Roman Catholic institution in Omaha, Nebraska. Established in 1878, Creighton offers more than 30 online degree programs including business, ministry, educational leadership, health professions, finance, and leadership. You can complete bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees, as well as several graduate certificates entirely online or in a hybrid format. Depending on the program, courses may be synchronous or asynchronous. Creighton offers distance learners various support services and resources including library research assistance, online tutoring services, and an information technology helpdesk. For some degree programs, you may transfer up to 80 credit hours from previously attended accredited institutions.

  2. University of Nebraska at Kearney
    Location

    Kearney, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Founded in 1905, theUniversity of Nebraska at Kearneyoffers more than 400 online courses, undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as certificates and professional development programs. You can complete most of UNK's degrees entirely online. Only a few degrees require a hybrid format. Delivered through the Canvas system, UNK courses are asynchronous and prepare students for careers in business administration, criminal justice, history, sociology, and dozens of other traditional degree programs. UNK boasts a diverse and robust set of education-focused majors and specializes in training distance learners to work in early childhood education, special education, Montessori programs, and education administration. For full-time students, undergraduate degrees take about four years to complete, while the master's degrees take approximately two years. Students may shorten that time by transferring previously earned course credits toward their online degrees. Undergraduate students may transfer a maximum of 66 credit hours from two-year junior or community colleges.

  3. University of Nebraska-Lincoln
    Location

    Lincoln, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    TheUniversity of Nebraska-Lincolnis a public research university that boasts an extensive offering of online graduate degrees. Most degree programs can be completed entirely online or in hybrid formats. In addition to over 30 master's degrees and 18 certificates, UNL offers 2 doctoral and 2 bachelor's degrees online. For full-time students, typical program length is 4 years for an undergraduate degree and as few as 1.5 years for a master's degree. Doctorates in higher education leadership and P-12 school leadership take 4 or more years to complete and require some on-campus obligations for research seminars. Tuition costs vary per major and are different for residents and nonresidents.

  4. University of Nebraska at Omaha
    Location

    Omaha, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    TheUniversity of Nebraska Omahais a public research university founded in 1908. UNO offers graduate and undergraduate degrees and certificates online. Distance learners take courses in an asynchronous format, which gives you the freedom to do schoolwork anytime, from anywhere, at your own pace. UNO online programs also feature a hybrid, graduate endorsement option. In this scenario, you can earn a master's degree in education with an endorsement, or specialization, in areas such as bilingual education, social justice education, school library, or science. Online tuition cost per credit varies between degrees and is different for in-state and out-of-state learners. For those seeking a bachelor's or master's degree full-time online, you should expect to spend about two and four years, respectively, completing your graduation requirements. Certificates require about 12-18 credit hours and can take one year or more to finish.

  5. Bellevue University
    Location

    Bellevue, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Bellevue Universityis a private nonprofit university located in Bellevue, Nebraska that offers over 75 bachelor's, master's,and doctoral degrees entirely online. For most degrees, hybrid and traditional on campus formats are also available to fit your scheduling and learning needs. At Bellevue, you can also complete a bachelor's degree in an accelerated cohort format. These programs take place over a 72-week timeframe and can often save you time and money. Most master's degrees require 36 credit hours for graduation and take students two years to complete. This school offers only one online PhD, in human capital management, which can take up to 5 years to finish, depending on how long it takes students to complete their dissertation. Tuition cost per credit at Bellevue is the same for both online and on-campus students.

  6. Concordia University-Nebraska
    Location

    Seward, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located in Seward, Nebraska,Concordia Universityis a Lutheran institution that offers a wide variety of online master's degrees and endorsement programs. You may complete courses in both online and hybrid formats. Master's degree programs range from traditional foci, such as accounting and finance, to more current specializations such as MBAs in nonprofit management, risk management and business intelligence. Most of these career-advancing degrees take as little as 2 years to complete. You may be able to transfer credits into Concordia as long as you complete the transfer application prior to completing your course. Up to 25% of your total credits may be transferred from other accredited programs. Concordia only considers a course for transfer credit if as you earned a 3.0, or a "B" grade, or higher.

  7. Peru State College
    Location

    Peru, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Sitting on the side of the Missouri River,Peru State Collegeis a small community on-campus and a growing presence online. Thanks to their low cost per credit tuition and their acceptance of up to 90 transfer credits, Peru State College has established itself as an online leader in Nebraska. There are four main undergraduate degree areas that online students can study, two of which can be further specialized. Graduate degrees are also offered by Peru, and all courses are offered through Blackboard.

  8. Chadron State College
    Location

    Chadron, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    By offering in-state tuition to all their online students,Chadron State Collegehas made it easier to get a college education. Flexibility is a large part of their online philosophy since they understand that not all students can study in a traditional manner. Chadron online offers bachelor?s degree completion courses (meant for transfer students) and complete master?s degrees, both of which can be completed entirely online. Students that want to accelerate their education can take any of Chadron?s 8-week online courses.

  9. Wayne State College
    Location

    Wayne, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Regardless of where students reside,Wayne State Collegehas affordable and competitive tuition rates. The cost of education can get even lower if students choose to study online. Wayne State offers 3 fully online undergraduate degrees and a variety of master's degrees, some of which require some on-campus courses to complete. Transfer students can easily bring in credit to reduce the time it takes to complete each program. Their online courses are offered through eCampus, and they're accessible whenever students want to study.

  10. Nebraska Methodist College
    Location

    Omaha, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Students considering work in the medical field can choose from 4 online programs to earn a bachelor's degree atNebraska Methodist College. These include diagnostic medical sonography, imaging sciences, respiratory care and nursing. You will need to check with each program for their admissions and graduation requirements. Curriculum is implemented in 5-week formats, and enrollees only take 1 course at a time. Online learners can access study guides and tutoring as well as contact theCoordinator of Academic Successfor 1-on-1 coaching.

2 – Year Colleges

  1. Metropolitan Community College
    Location

    Omaha, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  2. Southeast Community College
    Location

    Lincoln, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  3. Northeast Community College
    Location

    Norfolk, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  4. Central Community College
    Location

    Grand Island, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  5. Western Nebraska Community College
    Location

    Scottsbluff, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  6. Mid-Plains Community College
    Location

    North Platte, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

View a City From Nebraska

Omaha

How Can I Find Which Online Colleges Offer the Degree I’m Looking for in Nebraska?

With so many options, choosing an online college or university in Nebraska can feel overwhelming. Prospective students can search the Open Education Database, which offers an annotated list of the state’s online schools, to help narrow their choices. The following resource also provides helpful information about Nebraska’s online colleges and universities.

Search All Accredited Schools in Nebraska

How Much More Do College Grads in Nebraska Make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average Nebraska worker earns $46,710 per year, which is higher than the national average. Nebraska’s comparatively high median wage is largely due to the state’s sizeable agribusiness, renewable energy, and financial services industries, all sectors that need an educated workforce.

Nebraska professionals can advance their careers and increase their salary potential by earning a degree. As the following table illustrates, higher levels of educational attainment typically correlate with higher salaries.

Less Than a High School DiplomaHigh School DiplomaAssociate Degree
$28,756$37,960$44,824
Bachelor’s DegreeMaster’s DegreeDoctoral Degree
$62,296$74,568$94,900

Source: BLS

Paying for Online College in Nebraska: Tuition and Financial Aid

Nebraska students enjoy lower-than-average tuition rates. For example, Nebraska’s average in-state tuition rate is $8,188 compared to the national average of $9,037, while Nebraska’s average out-of-state tuition rate is $20,555 compared to the national average of $25,567. Students attending online schools and colleges in Nebraska can also take advantage of financial aid opportunities to help offset the cost of their education.

In-State TuitionOut-of-State TuitionNational Average
$8,168$20,555$9,037 (In-State) $25,657 (Out-of-State)
TuitionOut-of-State TuitionNational Average
$23,659N/A$30,731

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Cost Considerations for Online Students in Nebraska

When weighing their education costs, students should consider factors beyond tuition, such as online fees and travel expenses. The following list covers several cost considerations for online students in Nebraska.

  • Type of Institution: Private schools typically cost more than public schools. Additionally, state universities often charge less than flagship schools, and community colleges usually charge the lowest tuition rates.
  • Online Tuition Compared to On-Campus Tuition: Online programs may offer different pricing structures than on-campus programs. For example, some online programs allow all students to pay in-state tuition rates regardless of where they live.
  • Technology Costs: Some online programs charge a one-time or recurring technology fee to help cover the costs of online course administration.
  • Travel Expenses: Some online colleges in Nebraska may require students to attend on-campus sessions during the program. Tuition does not include travel expenses for these sessions.
  • Financial Aid Opportunities: Students should consider financial aid opportunities, such as loans, scholarships, and grants, which can significantly reduce out-of-pocket costs.

Qualifying for In-State Tuition in Nebraska

Students can qualify for in-state tuition at Nebraska schools in one of several ways, such as living in Nebraska for 12 consecutive months. Students can also establish residency by marrying a Nebraska resident, holding refugee status, or serving as a member of the U.S. military stationed in Nebraska.

Paying for College in Nebraska: Scholarships and Financial Aid

Students at online colleges and schools in Nebraska can take advantage of scholarships and grants to help pay for their education. We cover several scholarship and grant opportunities for Nebraska students below.

Scholarships for Nebraska College Students


  • Future Farmers of America Scholarships

    Who Can Apply: Future Farmers of America offers five scholarship opportunities. Both FFA members and non-members may apply. Application requirements vary by scholarship.

    Amount: $1,000-$2,000

    Apply For Scholarship


  • The Susan T. Buffett Foundation Scholarships

    Who Can Apply: Nebraska residents who graduated from a Nebraska high school or earned a Nebraska GED and hold a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA qualify for this opportunity.
    Recipients must attend a Nebraska college or university.

    Amount: Varies

    Apply For Scholarship


  • Black Employee Network (BEN) Scholarship Program

    Who Can Apply: African American students who are not employees or dependents of employees of The Union Pacific Railroad may apply. Decision-makers evaluate applicants
    based on factors like leadership experience and scholastic achievement.

    Amount: Up to $2,000

    Apply For Scholarship


  • EducationQuest Scholarship Program

    Who Can Apply: Nebraska residents who demonstrate financial need can apply for this opportunity. The program encourages applications from first-generation students, minority
    students, and students who face significant obstacles to higher education.

    Amount: $250-$2,500

    Apply For Scholarship


  • Reaching Your Potential Scholarship Program

    Who Can Apply: This scholarship serves low-income students who face obstacles to attending college. Applicants need a referral from a school or community agency in Nebraska.

    Amount: $2,900 for two-year college students and $5,900 for four-year college students

    Apply For Scholarship


Grants for Nebraska College Students


  • Federal TEACH Grant Program

    Who Can Apply: Applicants must be enrolled in a TEACH grant-eligible program, hold a 2.5 GPA or better, and meet several other requirements to qualify for this grant

    Amount: Up to $4,000 per year

    Apply For Grant


  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

    Who Can Apply: Students must demonstrate exceptional financial need through the FAFSA to qualify for this grant. Applicants must also qualify for the Federal Pell Grant.

    Amount: Varies

    Apply For Grant


  • Collegebound Nebraska

    Who Can Apply: Nebraska residents who are eligible for the Federal Pell Grant qualify for this opportunity.

    Amount: The difference between other financial aid and the cost of tuition

    Apply For Grant


  • Nebraska Opportunity Grant

    Who Can Apply: Nebraska residents attending college in the state whose Expected Family Contribution per the FAFSA falls within the grant’s guidelines qualify for this
    state-funded aid.

    Amount: $1,410

    Apply For Grant


  • Federal Pell Grant

    Who Can Apply: This federal grant helps low-income students pay for college. Applicants’ income must align with the grant’s FAFSA Expected Family Contribution requirements.

    Amount: Up to $5,775

    Apply For Grant


The Importance of Accreditation for Online Colleges and Universities in Nebraska

Accreditation indicates that a school meets high academic standards and benefits students in several ways. For example, only students at accredited schools qualify for financial aid, and many schools only accept and recognize transfer credits and degrees from regionally accredited institutions. Additionally, many employers prefer to hire graduates with an accredited degree.

Regional and National Accreditation

Schools may hold regional or national accreditation. Regional accreditation typically applies to nonprofit, degree-granting institutions, while national accreditation applies to for-profit, technical and vocational schools. Regional accreditation is generally considered the more prestigious of the two. There are several independent regional accrediting bodies that accredit schools based on their location. The Higher Learning Commission accredits Nebraska schools.

Subject-Specific Accreditation

Some programs within a school may also hold accreditation, such as nursing programs, which are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Several fields require professionals to hold a degree from an accredited program to qualify for licensure or certification.

How to Know if Your School or Program is Accredited

Most schools and programs feature their accreditation status on their websites. Students can also verify a program or school’s accreditation status by searching the Council on Higher Education Administration’s directory or the Department of Education’s database.

Online College and Adult Education in Nebraska

Nebraska offers many learning opportunities for nontraditional students. We cover several adult education programs and resources in the following sections.

By the Numbers: Adult Education in Nebraska

26,481 Nebraska students are taking all of their courses online.

Almost 39% of Nebraska’s online students do not reside in the state.

About 81% of Nebraska’s college students take at least one online course.

Source: The Distance Education State Almanac 2017

Adult Education Programs for Nebraska Students

  • Earn My GED: An initiative of Central Community College, Earn My GED provides instruction for Nebraska residents seeking a GED. Participants must be at least 16 years old and not enrolled in high school.
  • English as a Second Language: This program offers ESL instruction for students aged 16 and older who are not enrolled in high school. Seven locations host the program.
  • Adult Education and Nebraska GED®: This state-sponsored initiative offers assistance to learners studying for high school equivalency exams. The website provides a map of all participating locations around the state along with information on testing accommodations.

Online College Resources for Nebraska Students

Prospective and current online students in Nebraska can take advantage of many resources to support their studies. The following resources provide information on topics like financial aid opportunities, program availability, and the state’s community colleges.

  • The Council of Independent Nebraska Colleges Foundation: The CINC Foundation comprises 13 higher education institutions. The website provides links to member schools plus information on business partnerships, academic collaborations, and foundation-sponsored events.
  • EducationQuest Foundation: This website offers information about college admissions, planning, and financial aid opportunities. The site also contains links to the FAFSA and scholarship databases.
  • Nebraska State College System: This website offers information about Nebraska’s three publicly funded, four-year state colleges: Peru State College, Wayne State College, and Chadron State College.
  • The Nebraska Community College Association: This website allows students to search for Nebraska community colleges by program and region. It also provides information on the history of Nebraska’s community colleges.
  • Nebraska’s Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education: Through this resource, students can find financial aid information, higher education data, and changes to relevant laws in Nebraska.

Popular Resources

Whether you’re looking to earn your online degree or you’re a parent looking for answers, you can find all of your questions covered here. Explore these resources to help you make informed decisions and prepare for whatever is thrown your way.


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