Two years after the Cornhusker State’s statehood, the University of Nebraska was formed in Lincoln on February 15, 1869 with land-grant status from the Morrill Act. By 1895, enrollment rose by 1,500 as Nebraska created the first graduate school west of the Mississippi River. In the late 1960s, the University of Nebraska system was officially established with four campuses in Lincoln, Omaha, Kearney, and Curtis and the Medical Center. Budgeting $2.35 billion annually, the system is organized by President Hank M. Bounds to serve 51,835 students total. More than 100 degrees are now delivered virtually via NU Online with 1,064 full-time academic staff.
The U.S. News ranked the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as America’s 51st top public college with the fourth best online graduate teaching and 18th best online graduate engineering degrees. On Niche, UNL was declared the 49th best big college with the 58th best college location nationally. According to Forbes, the University of Nebraska is the 119th top research institute and 271st best value. Times Higher Education placed the NU system within the globe’s top 350 universities. In Washington Monthly, the University of Nebraska-Kearney was crowned the 65th best Midwestern buck and 156th best U.S. master’s college. Payscale also honored NU Online for a median 20-year net ROI of $345,000.
University of Nebraska Accreditation Details
Reaffirmed in 2016 under Chancellor Ronnie Green, the University of Nebraska holds the maximum 10-year accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA). This means that Nebraska’s programs, whether on-campus or online, are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Certain NU Online degrees also feature accreditation from:
- National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
- Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
- Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI)
- Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
- National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB)
- Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC)
- Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA)
- Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
- National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)
University of Nebraska Application Requirements
Logging into the University of Nebraska’s online courses requires passing the “more selective” admission process with a 76 percent acceptance rate. NU Online bachelor’s degrees are available for adults from all 50 states who are at least 21 years old or active-duty Armed Forces members. Applicants must finish a high school diploma or GED and rank in the upper half of their classes. Online freshmen must score above 950 on the SAT or 20 on the ACT. Certain online degrees, such as the Medical Laboratory Science B.S., require transfer credits from regionally accredited schools and a minimum 2.5 college GPA.
The Office of Graduate Studies only accepts applicants with a four-year, regionally accredited U.S. bachelor’s or a foreign equivalent degree. Non-native English speakers must display proficiency with a TOEFL iBT score above 79. College seniors must be within nine hours of graduation for early entry. Online master’s and doctoral degrees mandate a 3.0 GPA at minimum, but some rise higher to 3.5. Many post-grad NU Online degrees have prerequisites, such as the 24 science credits for the Biology M.S. On average, admitted graduates present GRE scores of 154 (verbal) and 153 (quantitative).
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has established July 1st, December 1st, and May 1st as deadlines for online students. However, the University of Nebraska-Kearney accepts applications until June 15th, October 15th, and March 15th each year. All NU Online programs share the same undergraduate and graduate applications though. Don’t forget to attach the following:
- $45 non-refundable application fee
- Official transcript from each school
- Typed, two-page personal statement
- Two letters of recommendation
- Résumé, CV, or artistic portfolio
- Required standardized test reports
- Praxis I scores (for teachers only)
Tuition and Financial Aid
Traditional tuition at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln costs $8,537 for residents and $23,058 for non-residents annually. However, costs for NU Online programs are different and waive the $10,826 spent on room and board each year. Undergrad online courses charge $237 for Nebraskans and $747 for out-of-state students per credit. Graduate students studying via NU Online are billed $346 in-state and $609 out-of-state each credit generally. Some online degrees, such as the Architecture M.S., charge more at $869 per credit.
According to the NCES, 79 percent of starting, full-time University of Nebraska students earn financial aid packages worth $7,570 on average. NU Online participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program for veterans’ Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits. Federal financial aid, including the Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, TEACH Grant, and Work-Study, are accepted. Fellow Cornhuskers could obtain the Access College Early Scholarship or Nebraska Opportunity Grant. Families may use NEST 529 College Savings plans for tax-free investing. Online students frequently borrow low-interest Federal Perkins, Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized, and PLUS loans. Institutional awards like the Regents Scholarship, Nebraska Legacy Scholarship, Collegebound Nebraska Tuition Assistance Program, Susan T. Buffett Scholarship, and Non-Resident Merit Scholarship are abundant.
Online Degrees Available
The University of Nebraska system brings together four top-ranked, accredited colleges to deliver 28 bachelor’s, 95 master’s, three doctoral, and 28 certificate programs online. Authorized in 50 states, NU Online charges highly competitive tuition for adult learners to access courses 24/7 via the Online Worldwide platform. Courses have an average student-faculty ratio of 22:1, but tenured professors remain accessible by email and web conferencing. Two sample NU Online degrees are:
Aviation Studies BMS
Taught by the University of Nebraska-Omaha, the Aviation Studies BMS is an AABI-accredited, multidisciplinary studies program for online bachelor’s students to develop their flying expertise for FAA certification. Requiring a senior internship, the 120-credit degree accepts up to 65 transfer credits before online courses in aviation safety, airline operations, and aerospace history.
Journalism & Mass Communications M.A.
Delivered online by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Journalism & Mass Communications M.A. is an ACEJMC-accredited graduate program with concentrations for Media Studies, Professional Journalism, or Integrated Media Communications to prepare tomorrow’s pioneers in media coverage. The 30-credit, thesis curriculum takes 18-36 months online with core courses like media law, government information controls, and professional writing.
Other great online degrees from the University of Nebraska system include the Criminology BMS, Library Science B.S.Ed., Sociology B.S., Perfusion Science MPS, Spanish Education M.A.Ed., Youth Development M.S., and Educational Administration Ed.D.