Online Degrees In Nebraska (NE)
Nebraska is often called the “home of the good life.” It’s traditionally known for its excellent schools, good quality of life and consistently low unemployment. It’s one of the most highly educated states in the nation, and its largest city, Omaha, is currently enjoying growth in its creative economy and high rates of home ownership.
However, its economic growth may be hampered by a net outmigration of residents, an aging population and, despite its current education level, a growing gap between the skills Nebraskans possess and those its employers most need. The state urgently needs trained workers to reverse this trend and sustain its growth.
Fortunately, online degree programs in Nebraska enable future employees to earn needed skills from anywhere — including Nebraska’s large rural areas located far from colleges and universities — at times that work with any schedule.
On this page, you’ll uncover the benefits of earning an online education in Nebraska and how to get started.
Why Earn an Online Degree in Nebraska?
It pays to earn a college degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), median weekly income goes up with every level of education beyond high school, with bachelor’s-degree holders earning nearly 60 percent more than those with only a high school diploma.
In Nebraska, the state’s population of working-age adults 20 to 64 is projected to decline about 5 percent between now and 2030, while its population of seniors 65+ is projected to grow by 13.5 percent. While the pool of employable workers is shrinking, demand for qualified workers keeps growing, with 71 percent of Nebraska jobs requiring some postsecondary education by 2020. Currently, only 48.3 percent of Nebraskans possess high-quality college credentials; if the state is going to meet employer demand and attract more high-quality employers, it must grow its educated workforce.
About 14 percent of Nebraskans live in rural areas. And although Nebraska is home to 46 postsecondary institutions, only five of them are in rural areas. This can present challenges when it comes to rural residents attending college classes.
Nebraska colleges that offer online degree programs could be a solution. Whether you live in urban or rural areas, online degree programs in Nebraska are accessible from anywhere, and even if you work full-time or are raising a family, your online program could be completed at times that work with your schedule. Many programs are even accelerated, so you can quickly earn a needed degree and get to work right away.
Top 10 Online Colleges in Nebraska
The following list of the top 10 online degree programs in Nebraska was developed using a unique methodology that uses National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) data about each school’s number of online programs, its graduation rates, its tuition and more.
|Average in-state tuition||$2,880|
|No. of online programs||17|
|% of students in distance education||41|
|Avg. amount of Aid||$2,697|
|Average in-state tuition||$5,310|
|No. of online programs||7|
|% of students in distance education||60|
|Avg. amount of Aid||$6,565|
|Average in-state tuition||$7,152|
|No. of online programs||79|
|% of students in distance education||85|
|Avg. amount of Aid||$6,604|
|Average in-state tuition||$7,350|
|No. of online programs||15|
|% of students in distance education||46|
|Avg. amount of Aid||$9,436|
|Average in-state tuition||$2,640|
|No. of online programs||18|
|% of students in distance education||45|
|Avg. amount of Aid||$3,145|
|Average in-state tuition||$4,956|
|No. of online programs||15|
|% of students in distance education||74|
|Avg. amount of Aid||$6,067|
|Average in-state tuition||$38,200|
|No. of online programs||24|
|% of students in distance education||40|
|Avg. amount of Aid||$21,961|
|Average in-state tuition||$5,940|
|No. of online programs||26|
|% of students in distance education||61|
|Avg. amount of Aid||$8,404|
|Average in-state tuition||$2,760|
|No. of online programs||12|
|% of students in distance education||57|
|Avg. amount of Aid||$4,145|
|Average in-state tuition||$6,082|
|No. of online programs||26|
|% of students in distance education||49|
|Avg. amount of Aid||$8,654|
Top Online Degree Programs in Nebraska
Now that you’re ready to begin your online education in Nebraska, you’ll need to select a program that provides the skills, degree and delivery method that fit your needs. The following list of top online degree programs in Nebraska draws from NCES data. Programs may be delivered entirely or only partially online and available at the certificate, associate, bachelor’s or graduate level.
Quality of Online Education in Nebraska
To address Nebraska’s commitment to improve its college-going rate, the Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education (CCPE) drafted its Comprehensive Statewide Plan for Postsecondary Education. This plan establishes the following goals:
- Develop more quality online programs to meet the needs of returning or nontraditional students.
- Reduce college costs.
- Shorten time to degree through innovations in course transfers such as reverse transfer and seamless transfer agreements.
- Holding postsecondary institutions accountable for quality by “developing, sustaining, and demonstrating exemplary teaching, learning, research, and public service.”
The state and its institutions are already taking steps to meet these goals, and online students in Nebraska are sure to benefit from them.
Currently, 25 of the state’s colleges and universities are approved to participate in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA), an agreement among member states that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of online college programs. This ensures students have access to programs across state lines and ensures consistent quality.
Look for assurances of quality at the institutional level, too. For example, Creighton University instructors complete online teaching certificate courses, mentorships with experienced online instructors and numerous activities that involve sharing best practices and improving student learning. And the University of Nebraska has partnered with an instructional design consulting firm to develop innovations in course design and improve the learner experience. Quality improvement measures such as these may be seen in many Nebraska colleges that offer online degree programs.
What to Look for in Online Degree Programs in Nebraska
When deciding which online degree program in Nebraska is best for you, here are some things you should consider:
- Does the program offer the degree, skills, or certification required by employers in your chosen field?
- What are the program’s on-campus requirements, if any, and can you adhere to these requirements?
- What size class can you expect, and what level of interaction with peers and instructors is involved? Does this suit your needs and learning style?
- What are the technology requirements, and do you think you can fulfill them? Some schools provide equipment such as laptop computers or discounts on such equipment.
- Does the school offer enough support services to meet your needs and help you to be successful as an online student? For example, Wayne State College offers academic coaching to help motivate students, set academic goals and hone time-management skills, while Peru State offers freshman a College 101 course to lay the groundwork for school success.
- Can you afford it? Determine the total cost, including tuition, fees, supplies and any other charges, and find out whether any financial aid you may receive would be sufficient for you to afford enrolling.
Top Occupations in Nebraska
Using information from the BLS, we’ve created this list of the top jobs in the state, which may be valuable to you in choosing among online degrees in Nebraska.
Number of Workers
|Office and Administrative Support Occupations||133,340||$35,580|
|Sales and Related Occupations||94,910||$28,710|
|Transportation and Material Moving Occupations||93,340||$35,460|
|Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations||83,160||$23,300|
|Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations||62,390||$62,630|
|Educational Instruction and Library Occupations||61,220||$50,770|
|Business and Financial Operations Occupations||49,230||$61,190|
|Construction and Extraction Occupations||46,420||$41,970|
|Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations||42,090||$45,620|
|Healthcare Support Occupations||37,600||$29,050|
|Computer and Mathematical Occupations||30,740||$76,510|
|Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations||29,610||$27,750|
|Fast Food and Counter Workers||28,830||$22,470|
|Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers||27,570||$44,760|
|Personal Care and Service Occupations||22,880||$23,920|
Scholarships and Financial Aid in Nebraska
As part of their commitment to expanding residents’ access to college degrees, Nebraska leaders have been working to eliminate barriers — including cost. Three programs have been created by the CCPE to reduce college costs and provide education funding to students. This includes:
Community College Gap Assistance Program: This program aims to address the shortage of workers with postsecondary education by offering financial aid to low-income community college students who are taking non-credit courses that could lead to jobs in high-demand fields.
Nebraska Opportunity Grant: This grant is available to Nebraska residents attending postsecondary institutions in the state who meet the minimum Expected Family Contribution (EFC) according to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Access College Early (ACE) Scholarship Program: ACE pays tuition and mandatory fees for qualified, low-income high school students to enroll in college classes offered through Nebraska colleges or universities through dual- or early-enrollment programs.
Individual colleges in Nebraska may offer grants or other types of financial aid as well, so be sure to check with them about what’s available. The first step for receiving financial aid through these and other state, federal, local, institutional and even private programs is completing the FAFSA as soon as possible, since many are awarded based on the financial information provided in this document.
Tests You May Need To Take
In Nebraska, you may be asked by your prospective colleges to submit college entrance exam scores as part of your application package. There is no single entrance exam required by schools, but typically they can either be the ACT or SAT. The University of Nebraska and Midland University request students to send either their ACT or SAT scores, while some schools may not require any test scores at all. Check with each individual school to learn about its admissions requirements.
To be included in our ranking of the best colleges for online degree programs, all colleges had to meet the following five criteria:
- Be an accredited U.S. institution
- Offer either 2- or 4-year degree programs
- Have at least 1 percent of students taking at least some of their classes via distance education
- Be active in the 2015-16 school year
- Report data for all 15 specific ranking variables included in our methodology
We then ranked the remaining 2,169 colleges and universities and scored each on a 100-point scale on these specific. Our data points include:
- The in-state tuition and fees for full-time undergraduates, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
- Percent of undergraduate students awarded federal, state, local, institutional or other sources of grant aid, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
- The average amount of federal, state, local, institutional or other sources of grant aid awarded to undergraduate students, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
- Full-time Retention rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
- Percent of students participating fully or partially in distance education to total enrollment, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
- Graduation rate within six years, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
- No. of degree programs offered via distance education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
- Percent of students working and not enrolled 6 years after entry, College Scorecard, 2013-14
- Open admissions policy for all or most entering first-time undergraduate-level students, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
- Flexibility and student services, based on whether the school offers the following services, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
- Dual credit
- Credit for life experience
- Advanced Placement credit
- Academic and career counseling
- Job placement services for graduates
- Offers credit for military training
- Joe McGauley, “These are the Best Cities for Creative Professionals Right Now,” Thrillist, May 23, 2019, https://www.thrillist.com/news/nation/best-cities-for-creative-professionals-2019
- Derek Silva, “The Best Cities for First-Time Homebuyers,” Yahoo! Finance, May 1, 2019, https://finance.yahoo.com/news/best-cities-first-time-homebuyers-110026445/
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Measuring the Value of Education,” April 2018, https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2018/data-on-display/education-pays.htm
- College Navigator: Nebraska, Institute for Education Studies, National Center for Education Statistics, accessed May 29, 2019, https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=NE
- Nebraska, Rural Health Information Hub, January 25, 2019, https://www.ruralhealthinfo.org/states/nebraska
- A Stronger Nation 2019: Nebraska’s progress toward the goal, Lumina Foundation, February 2019, http://strongernation.luminafoundation.org/report/2019/#state/NE
- Distance Teaching and Learning, Creighton University, accessed May 29, 2019, https://www.creighton.edu/center-for-academic-innovation/distance-teaching-and-learning
- “The University of Nebraska and Leading Instructional Design Firm Collaborate to Create High Quality Online Courses; Expand Access to Top-Ranked Bachelor’s and Graduate Programs,” PRNewswire, November 8, 2017, https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-university-of-nebraska-and-leading-instructional-design-firm-collaborate-to-create-high-quality-online-courses-expand-access-to-top-ranked-bachelors-and-graduate-programs-300551495/
- “Questions You Should Ask When Choosing an Online Program,” NC-SARA, accessed May 28 2019, https://www.nc-sara.org/studentquestions
- Holland Academic Success Center, Wayne State College, accessed May 29, 2019, https://www.wsc.edu/info/20177/holland_academic_success_center/90/holland_academic_success_center
- College 101 – College Success, Peru State College, accessed May 29, 2019, https://www.peru.edu/firstyear/college-101
- Nebraska’s Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education (CCPE), Comprehensive Statewide Plan for Postsecondary Education, Revised July 21, 2016, https://ccpe.nebraska.gov/sites/ccpe.nebraska.gov/files/COMP%20PLAN-updated%20October%202018.pdf
- State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA), Nebraska’s CCPE, accessed May 29, 2019, https://ccpe.nebraska.gov/state-authorization-reciprocity-agreements-sara
- Financial Aid, Nebraska’s CCPE, accessed May 29, 2019, https://ccpe.nebraska.gov/financial-aid
- Admissions Requirements: First-Year College Student, University of Nebraska – Lincoln, accessed May 29, 2019, https://admissions.unl.edu/apply/
- Apply for Admission, Midland University, accessed May 29, 2019, https://www.midlandu.edu/apply-admission