Our Research

This list features some of the best online schools in Nebraska. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. We included liberal arts colleges and research universities as well as small, midsize, and large institutions. Next, we compared this comprehensive list to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report among others to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

The majority of programs on this list are approved by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), a regional accreditor that evaluates, develops, and improves postsecondary institutions in the central United States. HLC is committed to peer review and analyzes schools based on academic objectives, ethical compliance, teaching quality, and overall effectiveness.

We evaluated each school on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for online students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

The Top 50 Online Colleges in Nebraska

Best Online Colleges in Nebraska Badge
Intelligent Pick
University of Nebraska at Lincoln
Best Career Services
Creighton University
Best Graduate Programs
Nebraska Methodist College
Most Flexibility
University of Nebraska at Kearney
Most Online Degrees
Bellevue University
Best Public School
University of Nebraska Omaha
Best Christian School
York College
Best Certificate Programs
Bryan College of Health Sciences
Best Medical Programs
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Best Value
Concordia University at Nebraska

Chadron State College

Clarkson College

Doane University

Midland University

Peru State College

Wayne State College

Frequently Asked Questions: Online Colleges in Nebraska

Does Nebraska have good online colleges and universities?

Yes. The state offers a wealth of online educational opportunities, such as Creighton University’s Online Bachelor’s in Leadership and the University of Nebraska – Omaha’s Online Bachelor’s in Management Information Systems. After you graduate, you may want to consider staying in Nebraska to complete a master’s degree, as the state is also rich in graduate school options like Nebraska Methodist’s online graduate nursing program. Nebraska also offers many other online degrees and growing industries to choose from as well.

Do online college credits in Nebraska cost more than in-person classes?

The answer to this question depends on which college you attend. Some schools offer discounted rates for online courses, whereas others charge an additional fee for online courses to help cover the cost of software licenses, technical support, etc. For example, if you’d like to take online classes at Wayne State, you’ll need to pay a technology fee of $9.40 per credit.

Why should you choose Nebraska for online higher education?

From affordable community colleges to private religious institutions to top public research universities, Nebraska offers something for every online college student. One option that stands out as a particularly appealing choice for out-of-state students is the University of Nebraska – Lincoln’s Online Master’s in Business Administration program, which offers a flat tuition rate for all students regardless of state residency.

The Cost of Online College in Nebraska

How much does an online degree in Nebraska cost?

The cost of an online degree in Nebraska depends on which institution you attend as well as the type of degree that you decide to pursue. For example, private schools are typically more expensive than public schools, and undergraduate degrees are usually more affordable than graduate degrees. Also, you’ll probably find yourself paying more for your degree if you major in a STEM field rather than the humanities.

Regardless of the cost per credit, consider that you may be able to save money on indirect expenses, such as transportation, parking, and housing, by earning your college degree online. Nebraska is a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA). This means that out-of-state students who live in a SARA-participating state can take online courses from Nebraska schools without incurring additional fees.

To give you a sense of exactly how much you should expect to pay for your online education, we’ve listed the lowest and highest rates for earning an online bachelor’s degree in Nebraska below:

  • Most affordable online college in Nebraska: Wayne State College, $299 per credit
  • Most expensive online college in Nebraska: Creighton University, $955 per credit

Average College Tuition Cost

Source: Education Data Initiative

How long do you have to live in Nebraska to get in-state tuition rates?

Typically, you will be eligible for in-state tuition rates after you have lived in Nebraska for one year. Some groups, such as military veterans, tribal members, and individuals (and their dependents) who reside outside of Nebraska but pay Nebraska income tax, are entitled to in-state tuition rates without meeting this one-year requirement.

Who qualifies for reduced tuition costs in Nebraska?

In 2020, the state of Nebraska established the Nebraska Promise, which fully funds undergraduate tuition at the state’s public schools: the University of Nebraska’s four campuses and its two-year technical college.

Tuition is covered for Nebraska residents who meet academic qualifications (2.5 GPA) and have an adjusted gross family income of $65,000 or less or are Pell Grant-eligible. Students must also complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) annually.

Online learners who meet the eligibility requirements above are eligible for the Nebraska Promise but remain responsible for any distance education fees.

College Financial Aid, Scholarships, and Grant Programs in Nebraska

In addition to the Nebraska Promise, there are many other programs available that can help you cover the cost of college. Some of these programs are based on financial need, whereas others are awarded based on factors such as demographics or academic merit. We’ve reviewed a few of the most prominent scholarship options for you below:

Ak-Sar-Ben Horatio Alger Scholarship Program

This scholarship program, named after American author Horatio Alger and the Ak-Sar-Ben Race Track and Coliseum in Nebraska, is offered to students who exhibit integrity and perseverance in overcoming personal adversity. Recipients may begin their studies at a two-year institution and later transfer to a four-year institution.

Who’s eligible? High school seniors who have at least a 2.0 GPA, financial need, and Nebraska residency

Contact information: [email protected] | 844-422-4200

Learn more

Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation Scholarship

This competitive scholarship program for Nebraska college students is named after the American activist and first wife of investor Warren Buffett. Scholarships are awarded to first-time freshmen entering college who live in Nebraska, graduate from a Nebraska high school (or GED), plan to attend a Nebraska public college, and demonstrate financial need.

Who’s eligible? Nebraska high school seniors who have at least a 2.0 GPA and an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) below $10,000. You do not need to be Pell Grant-eligible to qualify.

Contact information: [email protected] | 402-943-1383

Learn more

D.J.'s Hero Scholarship Awards

These scholarships for Nebraska high school seniors are named in memory of D.J. Sokol, who died of Hodgkin’s disease in June 1999 at the age of 18. They are provided by the Sokol family and the Salvation Army. Recipients must exemplify perseverance and selflessness in facing unusual challenges and be leaders in their communities.

Who’s eligible? Seniors from Nebraska high schools planning to attend college in the U.S. Recipients must agree to work with a mentor during their college experience and participate in ongoing research about the impact of the scholarship.

Contact information: [email protected] | 402-898-7669

Smith Diversity Scholarship

Lutheran Family Services established the Coyner and Donna Smith Diversity Scholarship Fund to help provide college funding for graduating Nebraska high school seniors from low-income, minority families. Awards are renewable for four years and can be used at any college, as well as trade or vocational schools.

Who’s eligible? Recipients must have an adjusted, annual gross family income of $65,000 or lower. Preference is given to applicants who do not identify as Caucasian and come from disadvantaged ethnic backgrounds. There is no minimum GPA requirement.

Contact information: [email protected] | 402-342-7038

Learn more

4 Fastest Growing Industries in Nebraska

If you still don’t know where you will attend college, it’s quite possible you also don’t yet know what you will major in. In that case, one of the most important factors that you should consider is which industries are growing the fastest in Nebraska — this will make it easier to find a job, and the higher demand should help you earn a higher salary.

By comparing the two most recent sets of state-level occupational employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2020 and 2019), we’ve determined that the following four industries have the highest growth rates in Nebraska.

Life, Physical, and Social Science Organizations

Nebraska is rich in natural resources, so it’s no surprise to see that this industry is one of the strongest in the state. Within this sector, the most common occupations are agricultural and food science technicians, occupational health and safety specialists, and soil and plant scientists — these jobs have an average salary of $79,360 in Nebraska. Other occupation options include animal scientists, chemists, biological technicians, and epidemiologists.

Construction and Extraction Occupations

For the first time in a century, Nebraska’s population grew at the same rate as the rest of the nation in 2020. This record growth is driving the increase in construction and extraction occupations in the state. Within this sector, the most common occupations are carpenters, construction supervisors, and electricians — these jobs have an average salary of $53,940 in Nebraska. Other occupations include miners, plumbers, steel workers, construction laborers, and operating engineers.

  • Growth: 1.2%
  • Degree options: Associate in Construction Technology, Bachelor’s in Construction Management, Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering Technology, Bachelor’s in Mine Technology, Bachelor’s in Hazardous Materials, Master’s in Construction Administration, Master’s in Ph.D. in Building Construction

Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations

Because Nebraska is a growing state, it makes sense that the need for healthcare practitioners and technicians is rising. Within this sector, the most common occupations are registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and pharmacists — these jobs have an average salary of $85,900 in Nebraska. Other occupations in this domain include dental hygienists, speech-language pathologists, physicians, and athletic trainers.

  • Growth: 1.1%
  • Degree options: Associate in Veterinary Medicine, Bachelor’s in Nursing, Bachelor’s in Recreational Therapy, Bachelor’s in Audiology, Master’s in Genetic Counseling, Master’s in Communicative Sciences and Disorders, Doctor of Medicine

Architecture and Engineering Occupations

Although growth in this area is slight, it is a sign that architecture and engineering jobs will most likely continue to be in demand in the coming years. Within this sector, the most common occupations are civil engineers, industrial engineers, and mechanical engineers — these jobs have an average salary of $90,300 in Nebraska. Other occupations in this category include landscape architects, aerospace engineers, calibration technologists, drafters, and surveying technicians.

  • Growth: 0.26%
  • Degree options: Associate in Engineering, Bachelor’s in Mining Engineering, Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering, Bachelor’s in Cartography and Geographic Information Systems, Bachelor’s in Geomatics, Master’s in Industrial Design, Doctor of Architecture