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.

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1University of Nebraska – Lincoln 2/566.79%Lincoln, NE

Serving students across the U.S. and in over 135 countries, UNL’s most flexible online offering is a BAS in disciplines such as genetics, ecology, entrepreneurship, and economics. Graduate programs include agronomy, deaf education, dietetics, youth development, and an individualized MAS for working professionals.

UNL also offers doctorates in education leadership/administration and an LL.M in space, cyber and telecommunications law—the only program of its kind in the nation. Most online classes are delivered asynchronously through the Blackboard learning platform. Students can register for courses through MyRed, and can choose to take a exams at one of UNL's testing centers or off-campus with an approved proctor.

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2Creighton University 5/577.85%Omaha, NE

With online programs designed for busy adults who want to advance their careers or change directions, Creighton's College of Professional Studies offers bachelor’s programs (with eight-week online courses) in leadership and healthy lifestyle management. The college gives credits for military training and experience, professional certification, and challenge exams. The minimum age for admission is 23 years, with some exceptions.

Over half of Creighton’s graduate students are enrolled in online programs, which include a half-dozen business degrees and several in the health field, such as health care ethics and medical anthropology. Online courses at Creighton are delivered through web-conferencing, and students can access coursework via the BlueLine learning management system.

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3University of Nebraska at Omaha 2/544.62%Omaha, NE

UNO offers more than 20 bachelor’s degree programs that can be completed either fully online or partly online and partly on-campus.

The bachelor’s of general studies degree, with more than 50 areas of study, is open to students aged 21 and older or active military personnel, and is designed specifically to support adult students. The wide array of concentrations includes art, architectural engineering, aviation studies, fire service management, and sustainability. Master’s degree areas of interest include critical and creative thinking (an interdisciplinary degree), social gerontology, creative writing, and six programs in public administration.

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4University of Nebraska at Kearney 2/556.43%Kearney, NE

UNK’s eCampus offers more than 40 online programs and more than 400 online courses taught by credentialed full-time faculty with doctoral degrees.

Courses at UNK are highly interactive, with faculty and students communicating through e-mail, discussion forums, and chat groups. The flagship online program, which the university has offered for more than a decade, is graduate education, with degrees including school principalship, instructional technology, and student affairs. The average time from matriculation to graduation is 2.5 years.

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5Concordia University – Nebraska 4/566.3%Seward, NE

In cooperation with two other Lutheran-affiliated colleges, Concordia’s online offerings are primarily in education and business graduate studies, and combine faith-based academic rigor with modern technology.

Students seeking an MEd in curriculum and instruction can choose from 20 concentrations, ranging from mathematics and teacher leadership to environmental education and Bible literacy. Almost 20 other master’s degrees in education are also available. The 11 business programs include both MBA and MS degrees. At the bachelor’s level, Concordia offers an accelerated online program for registered nurses to complete a BS in nursing degree.

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6Chadron State College 2/536.23%Chadron, NE

Chadron State offers several online bachelor's and master's degrees, and its programs are some of the most attractive for students because it costs the same for both in-state and out-of-state tuition.

Chadron State’s BAS in technical occupations accommodates transfer students with associate degrees by accepting up to 95 credits from two- and four-year schools. Other bachelor’s degrees at Chadron include mathematics, psychology, and business administration or general business. Graduate programs include an MBA, an MS in organizational management with a focus on human services or sports management, and an MEd in curriculum and instruction or educational administration.

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7York College 3/536.61%York, NE

Online programs at this Christian liberal arts college focus on providing adult learners with the knowledge and skill required to enter or advance in their career fields. More than 20 percent of York’s online students still engage in mission outreach, church internships, or other Christian services, and financial aid is awarded to more than 90 percent of first-time students.

York’s standout online offerings include a BBA and BS in criminal justice or psychology, as well as an online MA in education, designed for full-time educators who develop or will be developing curriculum and instructional training.

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8Bellevue University 2/529.41%Bellevue, NE

Bellevue is unique as it allows students to pursue online programs in different formats. Through the Accelerated Cohort option, a group of classmates completes an entire degree together course-by-course. In Flex-Paced Learning, students move at their own pace through each six-month term.

Almost all of Bellevue’s 53 bachelor’s programs and 27 master’s programs are available online, as well as a PhD in human capital management. Bellevue also considers suggestions for new degrees, and offers a free online tool to help prospective students assess their academic readiness. All instructors participate in a six-week training program for online course delivery techniques.

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9Peru State College 2/536.67%Peru, NE

Peru State offers BS degrees with four business administration majors (accounting, computer and management information systems, management and marketing), three criminal justice majors (administration, counseling and law & society), and a psychology major.

Peru State also offers an online MS in education curriculum and instruction, which is targeted to certified teachers and can be completed in either a cohort or regular format, and an MS in organizational management. Prospective students can take a “Test Drive” on the college’s website to try an online classroom. The college also provides an Online Student Handbook.

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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