Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Nebraska 2022

Liberal arts colleges are a great option for students seeking a well-rounded education in an intimate campus setting. The best liberal arts colleges in Nebraska offer a diverse selection of degree programs with opportunities for a highly individualized educational experience.

Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Nebraska 2022

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.


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 liberal arts colleges?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great! 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 in their fields of study.

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

To rank the influence of schools, we first determine the influence of scholars and professionals based on the number of citations and publications they have had over the past 10 years. In addition to publications and citations, we consider the web links to and from these sources, and the page views of those sources. We then match the influential people to their alma maters and institutions of employment, so that their influence is attributed to those schools. Our machine-learning Influence Ranking algorithm produces a numerical score of academic achievements, merits, and citations across Wikipedia, wikidata, Crossref, Semantic Scholar and an ever-growing body of data. If you are interested in exploring how and why we rank by influence, explore our methodology in more depth.

A liberal arts college is a school that puts a premium on undergraduate studies and offers a broad range of subjects for students to study. A college of liberal arts typically provides smaller class sizes, more direct engagement with professors, and, most importantly, the opportunity to sample a wide range of subject areas on the way to a bachelor’s degree. We’ve identified 13 liberal arts colleges in Nebraska. To be ranked among the best liberal arts colleges in Nebraska, schools must fully accredited institutions.

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Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Nebraska 2022

  1. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    59%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1079/23

    What is University of Nebraska at Kearney known for?

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

    • Computer Science
    • Physics
    • History
    • Education
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Psychology
    • Biology
    • Nursing
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #2

    Bellevue University

    Bellevue , NE

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Graduation

    23%

    Student body

    9K

    What is Bellevue University known for?

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

    • Psychology
    • Law
    • Business
    • Education
    • Criminal Justice
    • Biology
    • Social Work
    • Mathematics
    • History
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #3

    Chadron State College

    Chadron , NE
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Graduation

    42%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Chadron State College known for?

    Chadron State College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Social Work
    • Physics
    • Mathematics
    • Psychology
    • Education
    • History
    • Business
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #4

    Hastings College

    Hastings , NE
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $34K

    Acceptance

    66%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1055/21

    What is Hastings College known for?

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

    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Psychology
    • Communications
    • History
    • Economics
    • Political Science
    • Education
    • Biology
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $38K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    63%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/25

    What is Nebraska Wesleyan University known for?

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

    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Economics
    • History
    • Chemistry
    • Philosophy
    • Business
    • Anthropology

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #6

    Midland University

    Fremont , NE

    Tuition + fees

    $37K

    Acceptance

    51%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1035/21

    What is Midland University known for?

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

    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice
    • Mathematics
    • Social Work
    • History
    • Business
    • Philosophy
    • Medical
    • Education
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. #7

    Doane University

    Crete , NE

    Tuition + fees

    $38K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Doane University known for?

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

    • Philosophy
    • Sociology
    • History
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • Nursing
    • Physics
    • Social Work
    • Psychology
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #8

    Wayne State College

    Wayne , NE

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    3K

    What is Wayne State College known for?

    Wayne State College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Psychology
    • Communications
    • Chemistry
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    • Criminal Justice
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  9. #9

    Peru State College

    Peru , NE

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Graduation

    36%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Peru State College known for?

    Peru State College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Psychology
    • Business
    • Education
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • Sociology
    • Biology
    • History
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #10

    Union College

    Lincoln , NE

    Tuition + fees

    $26K

    Acceptance

    98%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1055/21

    What is Union College known for?

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

    • Medical
    • Religious Studies
    • Nursing
    • Communications
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Social Work
    • Psychology
    • Chemistry
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. Tuition + fees

    $36K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    63%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1204/23

    What is Concordia University Nebraska known for?

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

    • Medical
    • Literature
    • Chemistry
    • Biology
    • Physics
    • Social Work
    • Sociology
    • Business
    • Education
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  12. #12

    York College

    York , NE

    Tuition + fees

    $20K

    Acceptance

    66%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    960/19

    What is York College known for?

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

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  13. #13

    College of Saint Mary

    Omaha , NE

    Tuition + fees

    $22K

    Acceptance

    50%

    Graduation

    61%

    Student body

    1K

    What is College of Saint Mary known for?

    College of Saint Mary’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Literature
    • Sociology
    • Education
    • Physics
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    • Chemistry
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

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Nebraska’s Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Your Area of Interest

Frequently Asked Questions About Research Universities, Liberal Arts Colleges, Online Colleges

In pursuing a bachelor’s degree, you will need to choose between three kinds of schools: research universities, liberal arts colleges, and online colleges.

Research universities are colleges and universities whose faculty are active in research and publishing. These schools offer a wide array of doctoral programs, especially in the sciences. They tend to be big, with tens of thousands of students.

Do you prefer a larger university setting, such as largest public university in your state? Research universities are typically big, offering degrees in many different disciplines. Is a big high-powered research environment the thing for you. If not, you should think about a liberal arts college. In deciding on an undergraduate institution, ask yourself what sort of environment will best help you to be happy and excel.

  • Consider whether you are self motivated enough to be a face in the crowd for some classes and largely unknown on campus at a large university. Of course you can find clubs and friends at a large university, but often liberal arts colleges have a more personal quality to them. If you want the community feel, a research university may not fit you well.
  • Are you interested in STEM fields? Research universities have that name for a reason – real research is happening there. This can create an exciting atmosphere for students interested in STEM. Attending a research university can give you a better chance of getting into better programs for graduate degrees, although a lot of that depends on your performance.
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Often referred to as “teaching colleges” liberal arts colleges put a premium on undergraduate studies and offers a broad range of subjects for students to study. A college of liberal arts typically provides smaller class sizes, more direct engagement with professors, and, most importantly, the opportunity to sample a wide range of subject areas on the way to a bachelor’s degree.

  • Do you want your professors to know you? Liberal arts colleges strive to cultivate campus cultures that encourage tight bonds between professors and students. Professors at these schools will typically conduct original research. Yet the best of these schools offer their faculty reduced teaching loads so that they can both be productive researchers and still have plenty of time for students (both in and outside the classroom).
  • Do you want to feel like you know everybody? One of the most enticing features of a liberal arts college is that in very little time, you can feel like you know who’s who, which can create strong friendships, but also more pleasurable walks across campus. While your sports teams may never be on ESPN, it’s more likely that you’ll know the athletes as your peers. Beyond student and faculty relationships, it’s not unusual for the school president and other administrators to learn who you are. When faced with problems with your student account or the need to switch classes, this can be comforting during a stressful moment.
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Online colleges are typically the same colleges and universities you could attend in-person, but for certain degree programs the college or unviersity has made the degree programs available to be completed online. For over 5 million students, online degree programs allow students to earn their degrees in the most flexible format available. Online degrees are as respected as the on-campus degress you could earn from the same schools. There’s usually no disctinction between the two degrees, and your degree and transcript will not say that the degree was earned online. Online degree programs are offered by a vast majority of colleges and universities, and the number of offering continues to grow. Whehter you are searching for an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate, there’s a good chance you can earn your degree online from a respectable online college.

  • Are you a self-driven student? Perhaps the hardest aspect of obtaining an online degree is whether you will be disciplined enough to manage your time and course demands. Many online students report that online college made them more disciplined in all areas of their lives, but the flexible, self-paced learning that makes online colleges attractive can often be the same qualities that make it difficult. If you tend to be a procrastinator, you need to be honest with yourself. You can change your habits and propensities, or you can throw money down the drain.
  • Do you need the flexibility of an online degree program? Most online students study online because of time demands balancing work and life, or becuase the online colleges afford them the chance to attend a better school without moving. If you are serious about earning your degree for career advancement, online colleges make it possible. The most flexible options among online degrees are those that are aynchronous, meaning you don’t have scheduled times to meet with your class online. However, many students seek synchronous online degree programs so that they have some structure – set meeting times, scheduled exams, etc.
  • The good news is that attending an online college doesn’t mean you will miss out on getting to know your professors and classmates. In fact, many online students who have experienced both online and on-campus courses report having easier access to their professors. Since most communication with your professor is expected to be in text – via email or your class learning management system – it makes asking your questions easier. The same students also report that they got to better know the thoughts of their classmates. While in-person course conversations can be dominated by a few extroverts, online courses that require online discussions make it so that you see all of your classmates’ thoughts and questions.

If you interested in an online bachelor’s degree, check out what the best online colleges offer, or search our online degrees for the exact program that interests you. In either case, you will find well respected colleges and universities that offer online degrees.

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Resources for College-Bound Students

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utiulized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. Doane University
  2. Nebraska Wesleyan University
  3. Hastings College
  4. Union College
  5. Chadron State College
  6. Midland University
  7. Wayne State College
  8. University of Nebraska at Kearney
  9. Concordia University Nebraska
  10. York College
  11. College of Saint Mary