In the 2015 Education Data Book, one of the more painful truths reported was that, among the state’s working professionals over the age of 25, only 22.5% held bachelor’s degrees; the lowest such percentage amongst states in the west. Yet, optimism remains, thanks in part to the state’s robust selection of distance learning programs and courses. Take the state’s E-Learning Task Force, an initiative of the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE); this effort is using the state’s online learning programs to achieve “the common goal of graduating more students while supporting student success.” More degrees means more qualified, working professional in Nevada, which in turn would be a boon to the economy. A number of the state’s schools have taken up the charge, improving upon their already solid online options.
But before we dive into our list of the best online colleges in Nevada for 2017, let’s start with the state of higher education and online education in particular in Nevada today.
A Brief Overview of Higher Education in Nevada
In 2013, the National Center for Education Statistics reported that Nevada had 27 degree-granting institutions, broken down as follows: 7 public schools, 3 nonprofits and 17 for-profits. The total number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in the ’12-’13 school year at these schools was: 6,975 at public schools, 302 at private nonprofits and 233 at private for-profits.
- 7 public
- 3 non-profit
- 17 for-profit
Tuition-wise, the College Board found that, in the ’15-’16 school year, the average in-state tuition and fees for four-year public schools was $6,670, while the out-of-state average was $20,490, increasing by only 1% over the last last five years.
As for the state’s financial aid efforts, the National Association of State Student Grant & Aid Programs (NASSGAP) reported that Nevada awarded $10.39 million in need-based grants and $23.86 million in non-need grants for the ’13-’14 school year. Grants make up 7% of the state’s total fiscal support for higher education. Over the same year, Nevada awarded $17.9 million in tuition waivers. The Center on Budget and Policies Priorities reported that from ’13 to ’14 there was a 4.1% increase ($301) in state spending per student in Nevada.
Tuition at Nevada schools is competitive, with a particularly low in-state rate, and the state does an excellent job of supporting its students, with weight grants and an excellent tuition waiver program. To boot, the state government has managed stable growth in the amount of spending it allots for postsecondary students.
The State of Online Higher Education in Nevada
The NCES estimates that at least 9.8% of students enrolled in Nevada’s Title IV institutions are in fully online programs. Of those, 92.3% were reported to be undergraduates and 89.5% were found to be living in Nevada.
As we mentioned in our introduction, the NSHE, representing the state’s public schools, is a major proponent of online learning. Data-wise, NSHE has seen total enrollment in distance courses increasing by over 438% across an eight year period starting in 2001; results seem to indicate such steady growth will continue over the next few years. It’s estimated that nearly one-third of all enrollments at NSHE schools are in distance learning courses.
Nevada is also part of the SARA regional education compact known as the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). The WICHE Internet Course Exchange (ICE) offers opportunities for state residents, through their local college or university, to access high quality distance programs offered at out-of-state WICHE institutions, often at greatly reduced rates.
Best Online Colleges in Nevada
Below, you will find our rankings of the best online four-year programs in Nevada. Our profiles look at how schools approach online education and then list out their services for distance students and their popular, fully online degrees. After reviewing the best online schools in Nevada, explore our state resources, like a database of every college and university in Nevada or our index of popular in-state scholarships.
|Rank||School Name||School Logo||City||Cost||Address & Contact Info||School Links||Acclaim for Online Programs||School Description|
|1||Great Basin College||Elko||$$$$$||1500 College Parkway|
Elko, NV 89801
More than 3,800 students attend the main campus of Great Basin in Elko or its satellite campuses in Battle Mountain, Ely, Pahrump, and Winnemucca. GBC, dedicated to serving rural Nevada, offers accelerated, 48-week associate programs in five technical areas with a proven track record of success: 90% of students find employment within a year of graduation.
Great Basin’s WebCampus offers a range of fully online degrees, including 22 programs leading to an associate or bachelor’s degree in land surveying, nursing, education, business, and more. GBC also offers 10 fully online certificate of achievement programs that can be completed in one year. Location is not an obstacle to learning for students of online colleges in Nevada. LiveNet classes are location-independent but are scheduled at a specific time. Students can participate through their home computer or from a GBC computer lab. Interactive video classes are broadcast to multiple locations simultaneously. Remote students interact by way of interactive audio-visual in specially equipped classrooms.
|2||University of Nevada - Reno||Reno||$$$$$||North Virginia Street|
Reno, NV 89557
Nevada, one of the nation’s top public research universities, was founded in 1874 as a one-building university. Today, Nevada is home to more than 17,000 students. The school has more than 145 programs available through nine academic colleges of agriculture, biotechnology and natural resources, business, education, engineering, health sciences, science, liberal arts, journalism, and the graduate school. Nevada has tripled its sponsored research grants and contracts over the past 10 years which now exceed $150 million. The school’s credentialed researchers have established international reputations in earthquake engineering, renewable energy and environmental science. The school operates more than 60 research centers and laboratories.
Students researching online colleges in Nevada may be attracted to the university’s more than 200 online courses. Advanced online programs include master’s degrees in social work, education, justice management, and business administration. A doctorate in nursing practice is also available.
|3||University of Nevada - Las Vegas||Las Vegas||$$$$$||4505 S Maryland Pky|
Las Vegas, NV 89154
UNLV is a public research, liberal arts institution. Its diverse student body of more than 23,000 undergraduates and 4,800 graduate-level students represent 72 countries. The university’s 15 schools offer more than 350 degrees in allied health sciences, business, community health services, dental medicine, education, engineering, fine arts, hotel administration, law, medicine, nursing, sciences, and urban affairs.
UNLV offers 12 fully online undergraduate and graduate-level degree and certificate programs in nursing, hospitality management, engineering, education, and more. Students can also choose from more than 200 online or hybrid classes, which offer flexible, online learning with classroom face time in 50 areas of study, including sustainable construction and scientific ethics. As is typical of online schools in Nevada, online courses at UNLV have no fixed meeting times.
|4||Sierra Nevada College||Incline Village||$$$$$||999 Tahoe Blvd.|
Incline Village, NV 89451
Sierra Nevada is located in Incline Village. SNC is Nevada’s only private, four-year, liberal arts college. The school offers 30 undergraduate majors and concentrations in business, fine arts, humanities and social sciences, science and technology, and interdisciplinary studies. It also offers three master’s degree programs in education and a master of fine arts degree in creative writing. There are nearly 1,000 students attend SNC from more than 30 countries. The school has an 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Its emphasis on the importance of environmental, social, economic, and educational sustainability has contributed to its ranking as one of the best online colleges in Nevada.
Sierra Nevada offers two fully online bachelor’s degrees in psychology and global business management. These programs follow a three-semester format with three, six-week modules in the fall and spring semesters and two, six-week modules during the summer semester. SNC’s two and four-year graduation guarantees mean the school will assume all additional tuition costs for students to complete their undergraduate degree if they meet qualifications, but are unable to complete their major in the specified timeframe.
|5||College of Southern Nevada||$$$$$|
Southern Nevada, located in Las Vegas, offers more than 200 degrees and certificate programs to the largest and most ethnically diverse student body in Nevada. Its three main campuses are in Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, and Henderson, with additional learning sites across southern Nevada. CSN is home to a police academy and southern Nevada’s only public planetarium with a 68-seat theater.
The school has 25 degrees and certificate programs available entirely online, including sociology, international languages, casino management, and ophthalmologic technology. There are also more than 1,000 online courses available. Online assignments have established due dates, and classes begin and end according to the same schedule as on-campus classes. Similar to other online colleges in Nevada, distance learners can interact with instructors and other students through chat, discussion boards, video, online group projects, and document sharing. CSN is among the online schools in Nevada that offer technical support, online tutoring, and online library support.
Most Affordable Online Colleges in Nevada
Below you’ll find another list of the online colleges in NV, sorted by tuition rate.
|Rank||School Name||School Logo||City||School Link||Cost|
|1||Great Basin College||Elko||School profile||$$$$$|
|2||College of Southern Nevada||Las Vegas||School profile||$$$$$|
|3||Nevada State College||Henderson||School profile||$$$$$|
|4||University of Nevada - Las Vegas||Las Vegas||School profile||$$$$$|
|5||Touro University Nevada||Henderson||School profile||$$$$$|
Scholarships and Financial Aid in Nevada
The Boren Award for International Studies totals $20,000. It is open to undergraduate students at the College of Southern Nevada who will study abroad with a focus on foreign languages including Arabic, Chinese, Portuguese, and Swahili.
Freshman Presidential Scholarship
The Presidential Scholarship is available to incoming freshmen at Sierra Nevada College who have a GPA of 3.25 to 3.74. Students are automatically considered for this scholarship upon being accepted to the college. Award amount is $6,000 per year for 4 years.
Freshman SNC Eagle Scholarship
Sierra Nevada College offers the SNC Eagle award to freshmen who have a GPA of 2.8 to 2.9. The college automatically considers incoming freshmen for this scholarship, so no separate application is required. Maximum award is $4,000 per year for 4 years.
Freshman Trustee Scholarship
Sierra Nevada College provides the merit-based Trustee Scholarship for incoming freshmen with a GPA of 3.75+. The award is $11,000 per year for 4 years. SNC automatically considers all freshmen for this award, so no separate application is required.
Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship
The Jack Kent Cooke scholarship is open to community college students in Nevada who will transfer to the College of Southern Nevada to earn a bachelor’s degree. The maximum award is $30,000 per year. Interested students should contact the College of Southern Nevada for eligibility requirements.
Morris K. Udall Undergraduate Scholarship
The Morris K. Udall Scholarship is open to full-time undergraduates at the College of Southern Nevada who are pursuing careers related to the environment; the scholarship is also open to Native American and Native Alaskan students pursuing careers in tribal public policy. Maximum award is $5,000.
National Honor Society Scholarship
Provided by the Art Institute of Nevada, this scholarship is available to graduating high school seniors who belong to the National Art Honor Society. Applicants must submit six different original pieces of artwork, and a personal statement describing their artistic career goals. Maximum award is $20,000.
Sierra Nevada College
The Provost Scholarship is open to incoming freshmen at Sierra Nevada College who have a GPA of 3.0 to 3.24. The award is $5,000 per year for 4 years. Once students are admitted to the college, no separate application for this scholarship is required.
This merit-based scholarship is available to incoming transfer students at Sierra Nevada College. A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required. The award is $11,000 per year for a maximum of 4 years.
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