Nebraska goes beyond cattle and corn and proves it’s also a top producer of higher education opportunities.
The state regularly ranks among the best in the nation when it comes to state and local government spending on education. They offer an impressive array of affordable institutions where students can learn online or in traditional classroom settings.
Indeed, the cornhusker state values higher education and is dedicated to providing the best opportunities for its students.
Overview of Higher Education in Nebraska
Nebraska is home to 39 degree-granting institutions, according to a 2018-2019 report by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Of these, 18 are public schools, 17 are non-profit private schools and 4 are for-profit private schools.
According to a 2018 report by the NCES, in-state tuition at one of Nebraska’s 4–year public institutions is $8,467. Out-of-state students will play closer to $21,516. Both rates are below the national average.
Those in neighboring states will get an even bigger break, thanks to Nebraska’s partnership with the Midwest Student Exchange Program (MSEP). Through the MSEP, public universities agree to charge no more than 150% of the in-state tuition rate to students who reside in the 9 participating states.
In Nebraska, higher education is overseen by the Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education (CCPE). The CCPE’s duties include collaborating with the state’s public colleges and universities on plans to guide higher education, conducting research and publishing reports on higher education issues, reviewing institution’s budget proposals and making recommendations to the state Legislature, administering financial aid programs, and more.
In their 2020 Nebraska Higher Education Progress Report, the CCPE noted improved high school graduation rates, improved college enrollment rates, improved freshmen retention rate and increased state-funded financial aid. Going forward, the focus will be on making more aggressive progress, which they say is essential to the state’s economic growth.
About Online Colleges in Nebraska
In 2018, a report by the NCES showed 21.1% of undergraduate students in Nebraska were enrolled in a fully online degree program, and an additional 23.5% were participating in a hybrid program, meaning they attend some classes online and some on campus. Those percentages continue to rise as more and more universities meet the changing needs of college students.
Today, the University of Nebraska offers more than 150 online degree programs across its four campuses. Each one is promised to provide the same rigor, faculty and support as the traditional on-campus college experience.
Private institution Creighton University offers more than 30 online degrees and certificates.
In Nebraska, nearly every subject matter is offered in a distance learning format, including courses requiring hands-on activities such as biology, nursing, and mechanics. At the community college level, the largest scale category of courses is liberal arts and sciences. At 4-year institutions, large numbers of courses are offered in social sciences, business, education, health professions and computer and information sciences.
Nebraska’s online education programs are connected through the Nebraska Distance Learning Association (NDLA), which promotes distance learning opportunities and provides networking opportunities and resources for members.
Institutions are further supported by Network Nebraska, an educational network created by the state to provide reliable, affordable high bandwidth connections to all of Nebraska’s community colleges and public colleges, and half of the private institutions. The network also serves some of Nebraska’s K-12 schools and public libraries.
Scholarships and Financial Aid in Nebraska
If you’re interested in pursuing higher education in the state of Nebraska, you will first need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This will give you access to federal, state and even private financial aid.
The FAFSA becomes available each year on October 1st, and should be completed as early as possible, since funds are awarded on a first come, first served basis.
The application itself is free and easy to fill out. You will need to include financial information about yourself and your parents (unless you’re considered “independent”). The data you provide will be used to determine how much and what type of financial aid you quality for.
Grants and scholarships are the ideal types of financial assistance, since they do not have to be paid back.
In addition to federal grants, the state of Nebraska, through the Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education, offers its residents the following grant and scholarship programs:
- Access College Early (ACE) Scholarship Program — Pays tuition and fees for low-income high school students to enroll in college courses through dual-enrollment or early enrollment agreements
- Nebraska Opportunity Grant (NOG) – Need based aid
- Community College Gap Assistance – Need based aid for community college students who are taking credit or non-credit courses that could lead to jobs in high-need fields
Students in Nebraska can also apply for private scholarships, which may be awarded based on academic or athletic skill, financial need, field of study or even hobbies and interests.
Here are some scholarships available to Nebraskans:
|Scholarship Name||Details||Scholarship amount|
|Norma Ross Walter Scholarship||For female high school seniors who plan to major in English||1st place: $2500
2nd place: $17503rd place: $1250
|Urban League of Nebraska Scholarship||For graduating seniors with a GPA of 2.5 or higher; Must have completed at least 10 hours of community involvement; Must have taken the ACT or SAT||undisclosed|
|Scott Mecham BBB Student of Integrity Award||For a high school senior in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota or Kansas who personifies values, leadership and integrity||(12) $2000|
|Lawrence ‘Larry’ Frazier Memorial Scholarship
|Must be a senior or graduate; Must demonstrate academic success and financial need; Preference toward students pursuing careers in aviation, insurance or law; Preference toward students with experience in debate and in Boy Scouts / Girl Scouts||$800|
|Susan T. Buffett Foundation Scholarships||Must have a GPA of 2.0 or higher; Must have an Estimated Financial Contribution below $10,000||varies|
More scholarship opportunities can be found using search sites like Fastweb.com.
You should also ask the financial aid office at the school you have chosen, as they may have aid programs available exclusively to those who are admitted.
List of Online Colleges in Nebraska
|Online Colleges in Nebraska||Location||Annual Tuition||Accreditation||Application Fee|
|Bellevue University||Bellevue, Nebraska||$7,365||Regional||$50|
|Chadron State College||Chadron, Nebraska||$6,510||Regional||$0|
|Doane University||Crete, Nebraska||$30,434||Regional||$0|
|University of Nebraska – Kearney||Kearney, Nebraska||$6,844||Regional||$45|
|University of Nebraska – Lincoln||Lincoln, Nebraska||$8,537||Regional||$45|
|Clarkson College||Omaha, Nebraska||$15,780||Regional||$35|
|Creighton University||Omaha, Nebraska||$37,606||Regional||$40|
|Nebraska Methodist College||Omaha, Nebraska||$13,802||Regional||$25|
|University of Nebraska – Omaha||Omaha, Nebraska||$7,204||Regional||$45|
Clearly the cornhusker state has a lot to offer.
With top-notch colleges and universities, an impressive list of online learning opportunities, and very affordable tuition rates, Nebraska is an excellent place to pursue your postsecondary education.