Nebraska’s Best Colleges & Universities of 2021

Here are the best colleges and universities in Nebraska. Our list will help you find the right kind of school for you.

Nebraska’s Best Colleges & Universities of 2021

Colleges and Universities in Nebraska

Students can choose from 29 higher learning institutions, including community colleges, technical institutes, religious colleges, and public universities. Of the 15 public campuses, the University of Nebraska – Lincoln is the largest, with over 22,000 students. Coming in under the national average, the university’s tuition rate is $9,000, and students can earn their degree in fields such as law, mathematics, communication, and sociology.

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The most affordable schools in the state are its six community colleges with tuition ranging from $3,000 to $4,000. Nebraska also has 12 religiously affiliated institutions, including those with Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic, and Lutheran influences. At $40,000 in tuition, Creighton University is both the largest and most expensive of these schools, and it boasts a 95% employment rate after graduation.

As one of the largest corn producers in the country, it’s no wonder Nebraska’s nickname is The Cornhusker State. The state is also home to an unusual monument — Carhenge. Replicating England’s famous Stonehenge, this structure is made out of vintage American automobiles that have been painted gray and lodged into the ground. With the Great Plains, over 20,000 square miles of sand dunes, and a portion of the Badlands, Nebraska offers a unique setting for students looking to earn their associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree.

Mental health, dental, and other health care professionals working in shortage areas can apply for loan repayment awards through the Nebraska Loan Repayment Program. Doctors and dentists may qualify for up to $200,000.

Come check out the top programs and earn your degree in Nebraska.

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What are Nebraska’s Colleges & Universities?

Nebraska’s Best Overall

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

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How do we determine Nebraska's best colleges and universities?

The best colleges pound for pound!

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we call Concentrated Influence. Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Find out more about our ranking methodology here.

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Every fall, more than 2 million high-school graduates will enroll in colleges and universities across the United States. Finding the best college for your educational, personal, and professional goals may be challenging. The purpose of this ranking is to help you manage this challenge with an accurate, objective, and up-to-date ranking of the best colleges and universities in Nebraska for earning a bachelor’s degree.

We’ve identified a total of 16 colleges and universities in Nebraska, 8 of which meet our criteria. The list below of the best schools in the state focuses on those that offer four-year undergraduate degrees, includes both public and private colleges and universities, and also meet the following two conditions:

  1. It must be fully accredited.
  2. It must have a graduation rate of greater than 50%.

Best Colleges & Universities in Nebraska

  1. #1

    University of Nebraska–Lincoln

    #246 institution's historical influence
    #711 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    22K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1240/25

    Lincoln, NE

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    What is University of Nebraska–Lincoln known for?

    University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Business
    • Literature
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Mathematics
    • Psychology
    • Law
    • Political Science
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #2

    Creighton University

    #534 institution's historical influence
    #247 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $41K

    Acceptance

    64%

    Graduation

    82%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1260/26

    Omaha, NE

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    What is Creighton University known for?

    Creighton University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Mathematics
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Law
    • Biology
    • Education
    • Communications
    • Physics
    • History
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

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  3. #3

    Doane University

    #5164 institution's historical influence
    #362 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    2K

    Crete, NE

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    What is Doane University known for?

    Doane University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Philosophy
    • Education
    • History
    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Sociology
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • Business
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #4

    Nebraska Wesleyan University

    #1884 institution's historical influence
    #1105 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $36K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    63%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/25

    Lincoln, NE

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    What is Nebraska Wesleyan University known for?

    Nebraska Wesleyan University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Mathematics
    • Literature
    • Physics
    • Business
    • Education
    • History
    • Biology
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Economics

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #5

    Hastings College

    #3299 institution's historical influence
    #717 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    66%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1055/21

    Hastings, NE

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    What is Hastings College known for?

    Hastings College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Education
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Physics
    • Biology
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #6

    University of Nebraska at Kearney

    #2801 institution's historical influence
    #545 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    59%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1079/23

    Kearney, NE

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    What is University of Nebraska at Kearney known for?

    University of Nebraska at Kearney’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • History
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • Computer Science
    • Biology
    • Political Science
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. #7

    Concordia University Nebraska

    #8841 institution's historical influence
    #1076 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    63%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1204/23

    Seward, NE

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    What is Concordia University Nebraska known for?

    Concordia University Nebraska’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Biology
    • History
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Mathematics
    • Literature
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #8

    York College

    #8800 institution's historical influence
    #199 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $19K

    Acceptance

    66%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    960/19

    York, NE

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    What is York College known for?

    York College ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • History
    • Business
    • Education
    • Religious Studies
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

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