Best Online Colleges in Nebraska

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Nebraska is a member of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC). Along with nine other states, Nebraska offers students the benefit of reduced out-of-state tuition rates through the Midwestern Student Exchange program. Participating students can anticipate annual tuition savings of between $500 and $5,000.

College and university students seeking employment — including internships, part time jobs, or full-time positions — may also benefit from the Nebraska College Recruiting Consortium. This service connects students and alumni from nine different Nebraska colleges and universities directly with prospective employers, offering access to an exclusive online job board, centralized interview locations, and resume services.

Broadly speaking, higher education trends in Nebraska are encouraging. Statistics from the MHEC show that more students are graduating college with each passing year. Given that the University of Nebraska alone offers more than 150 online degree programs in a variety of fields, it’s fair to say that distance learners can pursue a variety of opportunities in Nebraska’s online colleges.

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Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1 Clarkson College 74.81 71% Omaha, NE

Clarkson College in Omaha has been teaching Nebraska residents how to be nurses and healthcare professionals for more than 100 years. Now students can enroll in the private, Episcopal college without leaving their home. Clarkson is one of the best online colleges in Nebraska and offers bachelor’s degrees in a number of areas. Students can learn about health care administration, medical imaging, physical therapy, nursing and much more via online degree programs at the school. With an online library and the Success Center, which features tutoring and mentoring services, online Clarkson College students will have all the tools necessary to thrive online. Clarkson also has a career center and is affiliated with the University of Nebraska Medical Center, ensuring expert instruction in every program of study. Online courses are part of Clarkson’s larger education system. Nearly 90% of Clarkson students take at least one online course each semester and the school maintains a student-friendly 25:1 pupil to faculty ratio.

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2 University of Nebraska-Lincoln 71.73 65% Lincoln, NE

Located in the state capital, the University of Nebraska - Lincoln provides undergraduate education both online and on-campus. Students can earn a bachelor's degree in applied science or early childhood in a mobile society at UNL, preparing students for a new career even while working full-time. The Nebraska online college provides students a flexible schedule to fit any lifestyle and provides a variety of support systems, such as career services. UNL is a military-friendly school that works to help veterans and active service members to earn their education. The school also works well with transfer students who want to carry credits to UNL. As one of the best online colleges in Nebraska, UNL serves the entire state and beyond. Local students may have the opportunity to take exams on campus or remotely. Students can earn a degree online at UNL or simply take a few courses. Some courses are open to high school students looking to earn college credit early and other programs include hybrid curricula, with online and on-campus courses.

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3 Summit Christian College 65.58 25% Gering, NE

Originally named Platte Valley Bible College, Summit Christian College offers degrees and courses in a number of religious subjects online and on campus. Started in 1951, the private college has been able to expand its student body through distance learning, helping its mission of global outreach. As one of the best online colleges in Nebraska, SCC provides courses through the SUMMIT bridge program. The video conferencing and software and online tutorials allow students from all over the state to study at SCC regardless of their proximity to the new Gering, Nebraska campus. Degree programs at SCC include ministry and other church leadership pursuits. The flexible class schedule is designed for busy students who have other full-time commitments. SCC is committed to low tuition prices for students as well as greater Christian service. SCC graduates can continue education at the Nebraska college online with a discounted alumni rate, allowing for constant continuing education. The school is affiliated with the Christian Churches or Churches of Christ.

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4 University of Nebraska at Omaha 65.19 46% Omaha, NE

Whether students root for the Cornhuskers on Saturdays every fall or not, the University of Nebraska at Omaha offers a number of degree programs online. The large public research land grant university is one of the best online colleges in Nebraska as well. Students can earn a bachelor’s of science in sociology, library science or management information systems, or a bachelor of general studies in a dozen subjects including geography, criminal justice and fire service management. The flagship campus also offers master’s degrees in political science, public administration, writing and more. In addition to learning from experts in their fields, University of Nebraska Omaha students have access to all of the resources that on-campus undergraduates have as well. Graduates of the online courses will also join a large alumni network in the state. The University of Nebraska is located in Omaha on a large and scenic campus. Online courses are designed for students with careers and busy schedules.

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5 University of Nebraska at Kearney 63.65 56% Kearney, NE

What makes the University of Nebraska at Kearney one of the best online colleges in Nebraska is its focus on quality. The state university delivers the same quality of education with its online degree program eCampus as it does in Kearney. UNK achieves its high quality by using only highly-qualified faculty and having students interact with them frequently through email, chat or other online media. This means that even distance learning can feel like the small classroom experience students at Kearney campus feel. Undergraduate degree programs offered online UNK include business administration, criminal justice, early childhood care and more. Students can apply to UNK online and have access to many of the on-campus resource via the library services. UNK became part of the state university system in the early 1990s and has been praised for its online as well as hybrid classes over the years.

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6 Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health 61.15 67% Omaha, NE

Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing and Allied Health is a private, nonprofit health care college in Omaha, Nebraska. Although located in the Cornhusker State’s most populous city, NMC offers classes to residents all throughout Nebraska through its online offerings. Students can take a number of classes at this Nebraska online college and even earn a bachelor’s degree in healthcare management, nursing, radiology, physical therapy and more. NMC also features certificate programs and graduate degrees. Online classes at NMC are five weeks in length and delivered one at a time, so students always have time to focus on the area of study. The MyMethodist online portal provides a easy and organized format for everything from study materials to assessments. Classes use a diverse set of assessments including presentations and tests. NMC is open to full or part-time students, for those who want to enter the healthcare workforce or advance their careers. NMC provides online students with everything from academic to technical support.

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7 Bellevue University 59.81 31% Bellevue, NE

For adult learners and career-focused students, Bellevue University is one of the best online colleges in Nebraska. Located in the city of Bellevue, this private, nonprofit university has a low 2:1 ratio of undergraduate to graduate students and very high percentage of students above the age of 25. Rather than catering to young, residential undergraduates, Bellevue offers dozens of bachelor’s degrees to students statewide online. People can earn a bachelor’s degree online ins business, communication, accounting, security management, nursing, legal studies and much more. Some programs feature opportunities for on-campus or online classes while many are exclusively offered via the internet. Online classes at Bellevue are small and feature close relationships between faculty and students. The online classes include video tutorials and collaborative work as well as library and technical resources at anytime of the day.

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8 Creighton University 59.81 75% Omaha, NE

Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska may be best known nationwide for its March Madness college basketball runs, but for residents in the cornhusker state Creighton is also an excellent online education option. The private Catholic university has nearly an equal number of graduate and undergraduate students on campus and many more online. Students can earn a bachelor’s degree at one of the best online colleges in Nebraska in subjects such as business and health. The school’s online learning is part of Creighton's larger Jesuit education, which focuses on service, social justice and self-exploration. Advising, technical support, financial aid and more are available to all online students. Nebraska residents can apply to Creighton University online and pursue degrees in undergraduate and graduate fields. Creighton was founded in 1878 and now sits on a scenic 140-acre campus in the state’s most populous city.

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9 Chadron State College 58.27 42% Chadron, NE

Chadron State College is one of the best Nebraska online colleges. The small, public four-year university is located on the 28-acre, rural campus in the Pine Ridge area. The campus has ample wildlife and a number of historic buildings, and residents all throughout Nebraska can take classes at CSC online. CSC offers both classes and complete bachelor’s and graduate degree programs online only in fields such as math, psychology, education, business and counseling. Education certificates are available online at CSC as well. The low-cost online university is accredited and offers 24/7 technical support, so students will be able to take classes when they need to. Many of CSC’s courses are offered in less than one traditional semester with an 8-week format. This allows for busy students to complete their degree quickly. Students can apply to CSC online and have many student services available to them once enrolled. The school is small and allows online learners a close relationships with peers and faculty.

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10 Peru State College 46.73 35% Peru, NE

Peru State College offers several bachelor’s degree to Nebraska residents completely online. PSC specializes in undergraduate degrees online with programs for accounting, management, marketing or computer and information management systems. The Nebraska online college also offers programs in criminal justice, counseling, and psychology as well. Students can also pursue graduate and certificates through PSC as well as individual classes. PSC students work closely with faculty and have access to counselors and advisors. Classes are delivered on 8- or 16-week schedule -- perfect for accelerated learning or a hectic full time work load. PSC caters well to transfer students and offers prior learning/life credit. PSC has a rural 100-acre campus in Peru, Nebraska known a the “campus of a thousand oaks.” The school was founded in the 1860s and is the oldest in the state. It is a public school originally founded for teachers but has since then expanded its subject areas.

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If you want to qualify for a range of high-paying job opportunities, earning a college degree is key. When deciding where and what you want to study, you may end up weighing both in-state and out-of-state schools. If you are from Nebraska, there are many advantages to attending college in your home state. Sticking close to home can qualify you for in-state tuition and help you build a network of regional professional contacts. You may also benefit from your school’s name recognition on the local job market, and you’ll be relatively close by if you need to occasionally visit campus.

When researching programs, be sure to consider our list of the most affordable online colleges in Nebraska. All of the schools in this list are accredited, and our rankings highlight the colleges that offer the best blend of affordable tuition and return on investment.

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Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1 Bellevue University 70.00 37% Bellevue, NE

Bellevue University is a private, non-profit institution with conservative traditions. The school is based just south of Omaha. Bellevue hosts more than 75 web-based undergraduate and graduate degree programs, most of which have a career or professional focus. Students have the option of selecting a cohort-based, traditional, or flex-paced format, and most programs have several starting points throughout the year.

To accommodate the schedules of working and nontraditional students, classes are delivered asynchronously. Every undergraduate at Bellevue, including distance learners, must take the Kirkpatrick Signature Series; this nine-credit series centers on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, and American conservatism. Online students pay more than their on-campus counterparts, but Bellevue is still one of the more affordable online colleges in Nebraska.

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2 University of Nebraska at Omaha 68.18 43% Omaha, NE

The University of Nebraska at Omaha has a wide range of online education offerings, with dozens of degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels. These programs consist of diverse options, including aviation, fire service management, criminal justice, and library science. One of the most popular programs is the bachelor’s in multidisciplinary studies, which lets distance learners choose from 13 different concentrations. UNO is one of four institutions to participate in the University of Nebraska Online Worldwide program, a consortium of schools designed to expand the range of net-based programming.

Online coursework at UNO is delivered asynchronously to give distance learners increased flexibility. The university allows students to transfer in a maximum of 66 credits from a two-year university. Students can also earn credit by testing out of classes through the college-level-examination program. Additionally, online learners pay the same tuition rates as on-campus students.

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3 Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health 63.64 67% Omaha, NE

Based in Omaha, Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing and Allied Health focuses exclusively on fields related to nursing and healthcare. Affiliated with the Nebraska Methodist Health System, which is one of the largest healthcare systems in the state, the school offers web-based bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in nursing and healthcare management. The school also has an array of continuing-education courses.

All classes at NMC are five weeks long, giving students the opportunity to concentrate on one course at a time; part-time study is also an option. Class formats vary, but most professors teach courses asynchronously. Every online nursing program requires a clinical/practicum, but the school helps distance students find a location that is convenient for them. NMC nursing candidates must undergo a background check.

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4 University of Nebraska-Lincoln 61.82 67% Lincoln, NE

The largest school in the University of Nebraska system, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln hosts a virtual campus that features online coursework from every one of its academic departments. Students can choose from bachelor’s degree completion programs in early childhood education and applied science, as well as more than two dozen master’s and doctoral degrees. UNL partners with 18 other schools in the Great Plains IDEA program, which is a distance education initiative that offers even more options in fields such as human sciences and agriculture.

UNL’s online curriculum is largely asynchronous and follows a traditional semester schedule. Online learners pay slightly more for tuition than on-campus students, but the university’s low fees still make UNL one of the more affordable online colleges in Nebraska.

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5 Creighton University 61.36 77% Omaha, NE

Creighton University is a Jesuit institution with strong Catholic traditions. This Omaha-based school is also an innovator in online education, offering several bachelor’s and master’s degrees through its web campus. Particular strengths at Creighton include its business, education, healthcare, and wellness programs. All of the school’s offerings feature strong ethical and service components.

Creighton delivers its online programs asynchronously to fit the schedules of working professionals. Distance learners have access to 24/7 tech support and can utilize many of the services available to on-campus students, including advising, career services, and the library. The university assigns each online pupil a student services coordinator to guide them through their program.

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6 Chadron State College 55.00 35% Chadron, NE

A public school with an open-enrollment policy, Chadron State College offers an array of programs through its online classrooms. Students can select from undergraduate- and graduate-level degrees in fields such as education, business, healthcare, applied science, geoscience, family sciences, and math. All of these programs can be completed entirely online. Most distance classes follow a traditional semester schedule and are delivered asynchronously; however, many courses are also available in accelerated, eight-week sessions. All students at CSS pay a flat tuition rate, making it one of the most affordable online colleges in Nebraska.

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7 University of Nebraska at Kearney 51.82 55% Kearney, NE

One of four institutions in the University of Nebraska system, the University of Nebraska at Kearney has a virtual e-Campus where students can find more than 40 online degree programs. This mid-size public university has courses in several formats, including fully online, hybrid, and face-to-face classes. Business, education, and behavioral sciences programs offer most of the online undergraduate degrees, while graduate programs include humanities, business, and education options.

UNK utilizes a variety of methods to deliver its distance education. Some classes incorporate DVDs, streaming video, and videoconferencing, while others stick to asynchronous online lectures. Distance learners have access to a help desk 24/7 and are guided through an orientation process. The university also boasts one of the lowest tuition rates in the country.

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8 Peru State College 40.45 38% Peru, NE

Despite being a small public school in a city with fewer than 1,000 residents, Peru State College has a wealth of online options. At the undergraduate level, students can select from degrees in business, criminal justice, and psychology. Additionally, master’s degrees are available in education and organizational management. Programs run for eight and 16 weeks and coursework is taught asynchronously.

PSU’s liberal transfer policy allows students to bring in up to 90 credits from another accredited college or university. The school also grants credit for prior learning and keeps tuition remarkably low -- less than half what many other schools charge -- making Peru State one of the most affordable online colleges in Nebraska.

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9 Clarkson College 40.00 53% Omaha, NE

Clarkson College is a small private school in Omaha devoted to healthcare education. It hosts several online degree programs in nursing and healthcare administration at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students can pursue most of these offerings entirely online. However, a few, such as the nurse practitioner program, require distance learners to travel to campus. Online students are also expected to attend the graduate symposium during the Friday prior to graduation.

Clarkson uses the Canvas learning management system to deliver its programming, and most classes run asynchronously. Some courses require exam proctoring, which students can arrange at a convenient location. More than 90% of students at the school enroll in at least one web-based course. Online learners pay the same tuition as on-campus students.

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10 York College 24.09 38% York, NE

A small, Christ-centered school located about 100 miles southwest of Omaha, York College established its virtual campus in 2010. The school currently offers online bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice, business, and psychology, as well as master’s degrees in education and organizational leadership. The classes at York are flexible and fit around the schedules of nontraditional students; most courses are delivered asynchronously. Classes start every eight weeks. Online students pay the same flat-rate tuition as on-campus students, and York’s low rates make it one of the most affordable online colleges in Nebraska. Professors teach from a Christian perspective and the school’s commitment to Christ is its defining characteristic.

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More About Online Colleges in Nebraska

Distance learning in higher education continues to grow in Nebraska. A total of 23,826 students attended online programs exclusively in Nebraska in the fall of 2012. Of these students, 4,861 attended 4-year private schools and 2,895 attended public 4-year institutions. Students have many options available to them if pursuing distance learning; the University of Nebraska alone has more than 100 programs available fully online. The Nebraska Virtual Academy also educates more than 92,000 students at the K-12 level, demonstrating the state’s commitment to championing online education. Prospective students concerned about financing their degrees should note that in the 2012-2013 academic year, the average cost of tuition in Nebraska’s public institutions of higher education was $7,023, a lower amount than the national average of $8,070.

Browse our list of the best online colleges in Nebraska for more insight into distance learning programs in this state.

NCES Report

According to a recent report by the National Center for Education Statistics:

  • Of the nearly 141,000 students enrolled in degree programs,16.9% completed their degrees online
  • An additional 15.6% took at least one online class
  • Of those non-degree seeking students,13.6% took all their courses online
  • 17.1% took at least one class via a distance learning platform
Best Online Colleges in Nebraska of 2016
Rank School Location
1 University of Nebraska - Lincoln Lincoln, NE
2 Creighton University Omaha, NE
3 University of Nebraska at Omaha Omaha, NE
4 University of Nebraska at Kearney Kearney, NE
5 Concordia University - Nebraska Seward, NE
6 Chardon State College Chadron, NE
7 York College York, NE
8 Bellevue University Bellevue, NE
9 Peru State College Peru, NE