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Online Colleges in Nebraska

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Nebraska’s Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education reports that the state’s universities increased online course offerings by 30% between 2012 and 2014. Demonstrating a commitment to education, Nebraska ranks first among the states in percentage of state and local government general spending for education. Results from the U.S. Census Bureau show 40% of all state and local government direct expenditures went to some form of education. This is a full 6% higher than the U.S. median percentage. With this high level of state devotion to academics, Nebraska’s institutions are able to offer a range of top-notch distance options.

But before we dive into our list of the best online colleges in NE for 2016, let’s start with the state of higher education and online education in particular in Nebraska today.


A Brief Overview of Higher Education in Nebraska

In 2013, the National Center for Education Statistics reported that Nebraska had 43 degree-granting institutions, broken down as follows: 15 public schools, 18 nonprofits and 10 for-profits. The total number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in the ’12-’13 school year at these schools was: 8,449 at public schools, 5,565 at private nonprofits and 105 at private for-profits.

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 $7,610, while the out-of-state average was $19,440.

As for the state’s financial aid efforts, the National Association of State Student Grant & Aid Programs (NASSGAP) reported that Nebraska awarded $17.3 million in need-based grants for the ’13-’14 school year. Grants make up 2.5% of the state’s total fiscal support for higher education.


The State of Online Higher Education in Nebraska

The NCES estimates that at least 16.9% of students enrolled in Nebraska’s Title IV institutions are in fully online programs. Of those, 66.6% were reported to be undergraduates and 63% were found to be living in Nebraska. This high number of in-state distance learners is most likely due to Nebraska’s unique enterprises that offer support for Nebraska online students.

Several statewide organizations work in support of the state’s distance learners. The Nebraska Distance Learning Association (NDLA) offers resources and networking opportunities for connected learning environments. The Online Worldwide program, offered through University of Nebraska campuses, is an online initiative designed to provide access to over 100 online programs to students across the state and around the world. Network Nebraska is a statewide education network created by the state to provide higher connectivity and lower costs between colleges. With greater participation levels than almost all other statewide networks, Network Nebraska offers a cost-saving platform for online education applications and distance learning exchanges. These initiatives are expanding distance learning to even the remotest parts of the vast prairies of Nebraska.

Nebraska is also one of twelve states to honor the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC). Through this compact, students enrolled at public colleges in member states can take advantage of non-resident tuition breaks, a greater selection of courses and a simplified transfer process.

The MHEC has further approved Nebraska to join the Midwestern State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (M-SARA). Aligning with eight other states, this initiative allows Nebraska to make distance education more accessible for students across state lines and makes it easier for institutions to participate in interstate distance education. These agreements, which open so many doors for its distance students, captures the support for online colleges in NE.


Best Online Colleges in Nebraska

Below, you will find our rankings of the best online four-year programs in Nebraska. 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 our best of Nebraska, explore our state resources, like a database of every college and university in Nebraska or our index of popular in-state scholarships.

Want to know what it takes to make our rankings? Check out our distinct approach.

Methodology

To determine the best online colleges in each state, we examined the factors most important to prospective students: Academic quality and reputation, online program strength, and cost and student aid. At the most basic level, we use the following formula to determine the best online colleges: Academic Quality + Online Offerings + Cost and Student Aid = Final Score. Of course, there's more to these calculations than meets the eye. Visit our methodology page to discover the data points that shape our formula and to learn more about the process we use to rank schools.

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University of Nebraska - Lincoln

1
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Lincoln
$8,060
$21,388

An Online Education at University of Nebraska - Lincoln

The Office of Online and Distance Education provides certificate, bachelor's, master's and doctorate programs both fully online and in blended formats. Additionally, students currently enrolled in high school can get a head start toward earning a degree by enrolling in online courses through the Advanced Scholars Program. One very unique feature of UNL is that online students are eligible for all of the same institutional scholarships available to campus-based students, with the exception of fellowship experiences.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Applied Science B.S.A.S.
  • Early Childhood in a Mobile Society B.S.

Graduate applicants should be prepared to submit GRE or GMAT scores, since most programs require these pre-admission exams. Other common supplemental materials include resumes, recommendation letters and a personal essay.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Agronomy M.S.
  • Applied Science M.A.S.
  • Business Administration M.B.A.
  • Business Analytics M.B.A.
  • Community Development M.A.S.
  • Deaf Education M.A, M.Ed.
  • Dietetics M.S.

Courses are delivered asynchronously through the Blackboard virtual classroom environment, a platform where students access academic materials, forum discussions and video conferences remotely. To help ensure academic success, UNL provides online learners with services such as advising, disability assistance, library reference help and career counseling administered via Skype. Tech support can be reached through a toll-free hotline at 1-(866)-472-3970.

Contact Information

14th and R St
Lincoln, NE 68588
(402) 472-7211


Acclaim for online programs

  • #40on the U.S News and World Report's Best Online Bachelor's Programs
  • #21on the U.S News and World Report's Best Online MBA Programs
  • #5on the U.S News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Education Programs
  • #34on the U.S News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs

University of Nebraska at Omaha

2
University of Nebraska at Omaha
Omaha
$6,550
$16,890

An Online Education at University of Nebraska at Omaha

The University of Nebraska Omaha provides students with innovative routes to a fully online education ― undergraduates can design their own bachelor's curricula, while graduate students have several academic specialties to choose from. Undergraduates start their online coursework with 41 credit hours of general education courses, followed by primary and secondary subject concentrations.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Aviation Studies
  • Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • General Administration
  • Geography
  • Information Technology
  • Management Information Systems
  • Nonprofit Administration

Since some graduate programs do require pre-admissions exams scores, such as the GRE or GMAT, prospective students should carefully review the requirements for their respective programs. Generally, applicants should have a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Arts in Social Gerontology
  • Master of Fine Arts in Writing (MFA)
  • Master of Science in Political Science
  • Master of Public Administration (MPA)
  • Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Special Education with a concentration in Behavior Disorders

UNO uses several digital tools to provide students with an immersive academic experience, with courses hosted on Blackboard and webmail managed by Google Apps. The Blackboard system encourages collaboration through features like threaded discussion posts, shared educational documents and multimedia chat. Online learners can get assistance with their technical questions by calling the support teams at (402) 554-4357 or 1-(866) 866-2721.

Contact Information

6001 Dodge St
Omaha, NE 68182-0225
(402) 554-2800


Acclaim for online programs

  • #58on the U.S News and World Report's Best Online Bachelor's Programs

Creighton University

2
Creighton University
Omaha
$34,330

An Online Education at Creighton University

Creighton University delivers asynchronous online courses and programs using BlueLine, a learning management system powered by Instructure. Online learners are eligible for several financial aid opportunities, as the school works to ensure distance students have access to scholarships and grants. Upon acceptance into the school, online learners are assigned a student services coordinator who will work with each student to create a curriculum plan, and act as an academic advisor and program manager.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts in Healthy Lifestyle Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Leadership

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Science in Educational Leadership
  • Master of Finance
  • Master of Science in Health and Wellness Coaching
  • Master of Investment Management and Financial Analysis
  • Master of Science in Leadership
  • Master of Science in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
  • Master of Public Health

In addition to the above programs, CU offers one master's and two doctoral degrees as hybrid programs. Students have access to 24/7 tech support, and they can set up phone appointments to meet with their program managers.

Contact Information

2500 California Plaza
Omaha, NE 68178
(402) 280-2700


Acclaim for online programs

  • #16on U.S. News & World Report's Best Online Bachelor's Programs
  • #12on U.S. News & World Report's Best Online Graduate Business Programs (excluding MBA)
  • #11on U.S. News & World Report's Best Online Graduate Education Programs

University of Nebraska at Kearney

4
University of Nebraska at Kearney
Kearney
$6,542
$12,370

An Online Education at University of Nebraska at Kearney

The Kearney campus in the University of Nebraska system embraces a multimedia approach with its fully online degree programs, distributing curricula via streaming video and disc media. Students sign onto the Blackboard learning management system to have discussions with instructors and classmates using discussion forums, video conferencing tools and webmail. A nine-person UNK eCampus team serves as an ongoing resource for online learners.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Early Childhood Inclusive
  • Organizational & Relational Communication Comprehensive
  • Sociology
  • Criminal Justice
  • Business Administration

Prospective graduate students are not required to submit scores for pre-admissions exams like the GRE, GMAT or MAT.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Biology
  • Curriculum and Instruction: K-12
  • History
  • Instructional Technology
  • Physical Education
  • Science/Math Education
  • Spanish Education

Finally, non-degree seeking students are invited to enroll in undergraduate or graduate courses on an individual basis.

Contact Information

905 W 25th St
Kearney, NE 68849-1212
(308) 865-8441


Acclaim for online programs

  • #23on the U.S News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Education Programs

Chadron State College

5
Chadron State College
Chadron
$5,600
$5,630

An Online Education at Chadron State College

CSC is the home to several bachelor's and master's programs that students can complete entirely online. At the undergraduate level, programs come in a number of formats, including fully online programs that award degrees, fully online minors that can be taken in conjunction with in-person programs and partially online programs that require students to take some amount of courses at the Chardon campus.

At the bachelor's level, much of what is fully offered online is centered around business education, with five specializations in business administration alone. Meanwhile, the partially online offerings focus on education, catering to students interested in becoming elementary, middle school and special needs educators.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Applied Sciences in Technical Occupations
  • Business Administration ― Option in Accounting
  • Business Administration ― Option in Accounting CPA Path
  • Business Administration ― Option in Business Information Systems
  • Business Administration ― Option in Management
  • Business Administration ― Option in Marketing/Entrepreneurship
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Mathematics

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Arts in Education (MAE) - History
  • Master of Arts in Education (MAE) - Mathematics
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Master of Education (M.Ed.) - Curriculum and Instruction
  • Master of Education (M.Ed.) - Educational Administration
  • Master of Science in Organizational Management (MSOM)

The MyCSC virtual learning environment is powered by the Sakai platform, a hub where students can access shared class files, chat rooms, forums and wiki pages. Online graduate students are invited to use CSC's student services for assistance with academic decisions and financial aid information. Distance learners can also receive technical support 24/7 by submitting a ticket or calling 1-(877)-722-6131.

Contact Information

1000 Main St
Chadron, NE 69337-2690
(308) 432-6000

Concordia University - Nebraska

6
Concordia University - Nebraska
Seward
$24,750

An Online Education at Concordia University - Nebraska

Concordia University provides future undergraduates with three potential bachelor's degree tracks that can be completed entirely online. Each program is delivered on an accelerated schedule, so that online students can obtain a degree in just under two years. Prospective students are expected to submit copies of their ACT or SAT scores along with their high school transcripts.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • B.A. in Business Administration
  • B.A. in Professional Studies
  • R.N. to B.S.N.

Students and instructors communicate and exchange course materials through the Blackboard platform on an asynchronous basis. Online learners can join web conferences, post assignment responses on message boards and message their instructors through this virtual learning environment. The CU help desk can be reached for technical support at (402) 643-7321.

Contact Information

800 N Columbia Ave
Seward, NE 68434-1556
(800) 535-5494


Acclaim for online programs

  • #138on the U.S News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Education Programs

Bellevue University

7
Bellevue University
Bellevue
$6,300

An Online Education at Bellevue University

Blackboard Learn drives the Bellevue Real-Time User Information Network (BRUIN), a system characterized by lecture videos, live chat sessions, multimedia conferencing and shared educational documentation. Courses are available asynchronously, which gives students the ultimate scheduling flexibility. The OneStop Service Center is a centralized resource for distance learners, providing 24/7 technical support accessible both online and over the phone at 1-800-756-7920.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Accounting - BS
  • IT Operations Management - BS
  • Advanced Manufacturing in the Business Enterprise - BBA
  • Banking Operations Management - BS
  • Health Science - BA
  • Management - BS
  • Nursing (RN to BSN) - BS

Graduate applicants do not need to submit scores for standardized tests such as the GRE or GMAT. However, prospective master's students should have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 to be considered for admissions.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Arts in Human Services - MA
  • Master of Fine Arts in Creativity - MFA
  • Master of Science in Accounting - MS
  • Master of Science in Cybersecurity - MS
  • Master of Science in Human Resources Strategic Management - MS
  • Master of Science in Management - MS
  • Master of Science in Organizational Performance - MS

Distance learners can select from several curriculum delivery formats: an accelerated cohort program that reduces bachelor's programs to just 16 months; free MOOC courses; or continuing education courses for students who are not seeking a degree.

Contact Information

1000 Galvin Rd S
Bellevue, NE 68005-3098
(402) 291-8100


Acclaim for online programs

  • #63on the U.S News and World Report's Best Online Bachelor's Programs
  • #123on the U.S News and World Report's Best Online MBA Programs
  • #78on the U.S News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Business Programs (Excluding MBA)
  • #33on the U.S News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs

York College

8
York College
York
$15,600

An Online Education at York College

York is the home to a modest selection of fully online bachelor's and master's degree programs, along with individual courses for students who aren't seeking a degree. The general education courses are even accommodating for current high school students who want to get a head start on their bachelor's degrees. This college, associated with the Churches of Christ, may hold particular interest for prospective volunteers or missionaries, since a fifth of the student population is involved within Christian service experiences. Undergraduate program applicants are expected to hold a minimum high school GPA of 2.0 and a class rank of at least 50.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology

York does offer a single distance program at the graduate level: the Master of Education in Curriculum Instruction. While courses are held entirely online, students must also partake in a mandatory seminar in York.

Students access their course materials through LearningHouse and Moodle. These platforms feature collaborative tools such as private messaging, forum posts and screen-sharing for presentations.

Contact Information

1125 E 8th St
York, NE 68467-2699
(402) 363-5600

Peru State College

9
Peru State College
Peru
$6,188

An Online Education at Peru State College

Peru State College uses the widespread Blackboard learning management system to create an online classroom environment with features like live video conferencing, discussion boards and instant messaging, connecting students and instructors. Digital courses run for 8-16 weeks at a time. PSC recommends that students spend about 12-15 hours each week studying for each class.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Business Administration - B.S. Accounting
  • Business Administration - B.S. Management
  • Business Administration - B.S. Marketing
  • Business Administration - B.A.S. Management
  • Criminal Justice - B.S. Justice Administration
  • Criminal Justice - B.S. Justice Counseling
  • Psychology - B.S.

Graduate applicants do not need to take the GRE, GMAT or MAT to be considered for admission. Prospective grad students must hold a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. Education majors need to submit a copy of a valid teaching certificate with their application.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Masters of Science in Education: Curriculum and Instruction
  • Masters of Science in Organizational Management

PSC's remote tutors provide academic assistance to students over the phone or via email. Online learners also have the support of the Distance Education and Online Services Department, which provides technical help seven days a week at 1-(888)-258-5558 and (402) 819-8181.

Contact Information

600 Hoyt Street
Peru, NE 68421-0010
(402) 872-3815


Most Affordable Online Colleges in Nebraska

Below you’ll find another list of the top online schools in Nebraska, ranked according to their tuition rates.

Want to know what it takes to make our rankings? Check out our distinct approach.

Methodology

Our list of the most affordable online colleges is based on in-state yearly tuition, or annual tuition rates if a school does not differentiate between in-state and out-of-state students. Tuition rates are based on a full course load each semester or term. All colleges on the list offer at least one bachelor's degree completion program available entirely online. Those institutions with the lowest tuition are ranked highest, providing prospective students with a true list of the most affordable online colleges in their state.

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Chadron State College

1
Chadron State College
Chadron
$5,600
$5,630

Peru State College

2
Peru State College
Peru
$6,188

Bellevue University

3
Bellevue University
Bellevue
$6,300

University of Nebraska at Kearney

4
University of Nebraska at Kearney
Kearney
$6,542
$12,370

University of Nebraska at Omaha

5
University of Nebraska at Omaha
Omaha
$6,550
$16,890

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

6
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Lincoln
$8,060
$21,388

Clarkson College

7
Clarkson College
Omaha
$504
$12,096

Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health

8
Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health
Omaha
$590
$14,160

York College

9
York College
York
$15,600

Concordia University - Nebraska

10
Concordia University - Nebraska
Seward
$24,750


Scholarships and Financial Aid in Nebraska

Board of Trustees’ Scholarship

Deadline: January 15, 2017
Scholarship Amount Full tuition See Scholarship

This scholarship is open to Nebraska high school graduates with an ACT score of 25+ or SAT score of 1700+. The award may be used at Chadron, Peru, or Wayne State Colleges. Selection is competitive, based on academic merit. The award totals $16,800.

Clifton & Alberta White Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount Amount varies See Scholarship

Administered by the Phelps County Community Foundation, this scholarship is available to graduating high school seniors in Gosper or Furnas County, Nebraska. Applicant must be enrolled in a Nebraska college, university, technical or trade school; demonstrate financial need; and have a GPA of 2.5+.

Humpert Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount Amount varies See Scholarship

The Humpert Memorial Scholarship is for graduating high school seniors in Franklin County. Applicants must be enrolling at a Nebraska college, technical, or trade school. Selection is based on financial need. Award amount varies. Funding provided by the Phelps Foundation.

Presidential Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $18,000 See Scholarship

Open to freshmen entering Concordia University – Nebraska. This highly competitive scholarship is awarded based on applicants’ high school GPA and SAT/ACT scores. The award is $18,000, and may be renewed annually if recipient maintains a GPA of 2.0+.

Regents Scholarship

Deadline: January 15, 2017
Scholarship Amount Full tuition See Scholarship

Open to University of Nebraska – Lincoln freshmen who graduated from a Nebraska high school. Selection is based on applicants’ academic merit and personal accomplishments. The award is renewable if recipient maintains a GPA of 3.5 or ranks in upper 25% of their class.

Rodney E. Forsberg Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount Amount varies See Scholarship

For graduates of a Phelps County high school who will pursue a two-year or four-year degree at University of Nebraska – Kearney. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0+ and demonstrate financial need. Award amounts vary. Funds are administered by the Phelps Foundation.

University of Nebraska Regents Transfer Scholarship

Deadline: March 1, 2016
Scholarship Amount Full tuition See Scholarship

Available to students who graduated from a Nebraska high school and earned 45 credits at a Nebraska community college. A transfer GPA of 3.5 is required. The award covers in-state tuition for 4 semesters at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.

Vincent & Mildred Abrahamson Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $1,000 See Scholarship

For Nebraska high school seniors who will pursue higher education in carpentry, electronics, mechanics, nursing, teaching, or social services. To be eligible, applicants must be residents of Holdrege, Funk, or Axtell school districts, and have a GPA of 2.0+. Funding is provided by the Phelps Foundation.

Walter J. & Elsie E. Stark Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount Amount varies See Scholarship

For graduates or GED recipients from Loomis School District (#55) who will enroll full-time in a Nebraska postsecondary institution. Students pursuing a two-year, four-year, or advanced degree are eligible. Selection is based on academic performance, extracurricular activities, and work experience. Funding is provided by the Phelps Foundation.


Higher Education Resources in Nebraska