Online Degrees In Nebraska (NE)

Online degrees in Nebraska

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.

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.

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.

1
Bellevue University
Bellevue, NE
https://www.bellevue.edu
Average in-state tuition
$7,152
No. of online programs
79
% of students in distance education
85%
Avg. amount of Aid
$6,604
Admissions Rate
N/A%
Graduation Rate
N/A%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
No
2
Chadron State College
Chadron, NE
https://www.csc.edu
Average in-state tuition
$4,956
No. of online programs
15
% of students in distance education
74%
Avg. amount of Aid
$6,067
Admissions Rate
N/A%
Graduation Rate
43%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
3
University of Nebraska at Omaha
Omaha, NE
https://www.unomaha.edu0
Average in-state tuition
$6,082
No. of online programs
26
% of students in distance education
49%
Avg. amount of Aid
$8,654
Admissions Rate
82%
Graduation Rate
48%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
4
Northeast Community College
Norfolk, NE
https://www.northeast.edu
Average in-state tuition
$2,880
No. of online programs
17
% of students in distance education
41%
Avg. amount of Aid
$2,697
Admissions Rate
N/A%
Graduation Rate
N/A%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
5
Creighton University
Omaha, NE
https://www.creighton.edu0
Average in-state tuition
$38,200
No. of online programs
24
% of students in distance education
40%
Avg. amount of Aid
$21,961
Admissions Rate
71%
Graduation Rate
81%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
6
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Lincoln, NE
https://www.unl.edu/
Average in-state tuition
$7,350
No. of online programs
15
% of students in distance education
46%
Avg. amount of Aid
$9,436
Admissions Rate
80%
Graduation Rate
69%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
7
Central Community College
Grand Island, NE
https://www.cccneb.edu0
Average in-state tuition
$2,640
No. of online programs
18
% of students in distance education
45%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,145
Admissions Rate
N/A%
Graduation Rate
N/A%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
8
University of Nebraska at Kearney
Kearney, NE
https://www.unk.edu
Average in-state tuition
$5,940
No. of online programs
26
% of students in distance education
61%
Avg. amount of Aid
$8,404
Admissions Rate
94%
Graduation Rate
58%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
9
Mid-Plains Community College
North Platte, NE
https://www.mpcc.edu
Average in-state tuition
$2,760
No. of online programs
12
% of students in distance education
57%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,145
Admissions Rate
N/A%
Graduation Rate
N/A%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
10
Peru State College
Peru, NE
https://www.peru.edu
Average in-state tuition
$5,310
No. of online programs
7
% of students in distance education
60%
Avg. amount of Aid
$6,565
Admissions Rate
N/A%
Graduation Rate
35%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2018-19, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/

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.

Program Name
No. of online programs
Business Administration and Management, General
19
Psychology, General
9
Criminal Justice/Safety Studies
8
Information Technology
7
Accounting
7
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies
7
Business/Commerce, General
7
Educational Leadership and Administration, General
7
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other
6
Computer and Information Sciences, General
6

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.

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.

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.

Occupation
Number of Workers
Average Salary
Office and Administrative Support Occupations133,340$37,980
Sales and Related Occupations94,910$39,830
Transportation and Material Moving Occupations93,340$38,930
Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations83,160$25,440
Production Occupations73,080$39,820
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations62,390$76,480
Educational Instruction and Library Occupations61,220$54,590
Management Occupations52,180$100,800
Business and Financial Operations Occupations49,230$67,480
Construction and Extraction Occupations46,420$46,440
Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations42,090$48,240
Healthcare Support Occupations37,600$30,760
Computer and Mathematical Occupations30,740$78,760
Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations29,610$30,090
Fast Food and Counter Workers28,830$23,130
Retail Salespersons27,860$28,790
Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers27,570$45,550
Registered Nurses23,800$66,640
Cashiers23,360$23,720
Personal Care and Service Occupations22,880$28,310

Source: 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2018-28 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

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.

Scholarship Listing

George L. Watters/Nebraska Petroleum Marketers Scholarship
No. of Awards
3
Deadline
March 31
Max. Award Amount
1,500
Renewable
No
Criteria
Applicants must be the sons or daughters of a Nebraska Petroleum Marketer and Convenience Store Association member or employee. Applicants must also be current graduating high school seniors in the top one-third of their graduating class and plan to attend a college or university in the state of Nebraska.
More
Maynard Jensen American Legion Memorial Scholarship
No. of Awards
10
Deadline
March 1
Max. Award Amount
500
Renewable
No
Criteria
Applicant must be the child or grandchild of a member of the American Legion or of a POW, MIA, KIA, or any deceased veteran, be a Nebraska resident, and attend a Nebraska institution of higher education.
More
Ed Johnson Memorial Scholarship
No. of Awards
1
Deadline
April 14
Max. Award Amount
N/A
Renewable
No
Criteria
Applicant must be a male senior who is a member of a high school varsity basketball team in the state of Nebraska. Excellence in leadership, sportsmanship, loyalty, and citizenship must be demonstrated. Letters of recommendations from counselors, teachers, administrators, etc required.
More
Connick Memorial Scholarship
No. of Awards
N/A
Deadline
February 18
Max. Award Amount
3,000
Renewable
No
Criteria
Applicant must be a graduating senior from Doniphan, Giltner, or Trumball, NE.
More
Doniphan Community Foundation Scholarship
No. of Awards
N/A
Deadline
February 18
Max. Award Amount
3,000
Renewable
No
Criteria
Applicant must be a graduate of Doniphan-Trumbull High School in Nebraska.
More

Source: Scholarship directory data is copyrighted material which is reproduced on this website by permission of CollegeXpress, a division of Carnegie Dartlet. Copyright © 2020 by CollegeXpress.

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.


Methodology

To be included in our ranking of the best colleges for online degree programs, all colleges had to meet the following five criteria:

  1. Be an accredited U.S. institution
  2. Offer either 2- or 4-year degree programs
  3. Have at least 1 percent of students taking at least some of their classes via distance education
  4. Be active in the 2015-16 school year
  5. 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

Sources:

  • 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
Methodologies and Sources