Best Public Colleges in Nebraska 2022

Public colleges and universities account for almost 75 percent of all undergraduate students in the U.S. The best public colleges in Nebraska provide broad access to reputable degree programs, affordable tuition, and sprawling educational communities.

Best Public 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.

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What are Nebraska’s Colleges & Universities?

Nebraska’s Best Overall

What is the difference between public and private colleges?

Public and private colleges and universities operate under different business models. Public colleges and universities are owned by the state and receive both state and federal funding to operate. Private colleges and universities are private companies with private funding. If you’re looking at the pros and cons of private vs. public colleges, consider that many public colleges provide diverse course offerings, influential professors, and an excellent return on your investment.

Public colleges are schools that receive most of their funding from tax revenues. As a result, the cost of a bachelor’s degree at a public university is often lower than the equivalent cost at a private college — especially for students attending a public school in their home state. Attending a college in-state is usually the cheapest option. Private universities and colleges can be very competitive with their funding opportunities, so do not simply believe that private colleges are always going to be more expensive. According to National Center for Educational Statistics, the average annual cost (tuition, fees, room and board for full-time students) at a public university was slightly over $20,000. In contrast, private universities cost, on average, nearly $43,000 annually. But in the end, the cost of college comes down to each student’s academic and financial situation.

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This list is composed entirely of public colleges and universities that offer bachelor’s degrees. We’ve identified 6 public universities in Nebraska. To be included in our list of the best public colleges in Nebraska, shcools must receive direct funding from the state, be fully accredited, and offer a broad range of bachelor’s degress.

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

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.

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Best Public Colleges in Nebraska 2022

  1. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1240/25

    What is University of Nebraska–Lincoln known for?

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

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    49%

    Student body

    13K

    What is University of Nebraska Omaha known for?

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

    • Criminal Justice
    • Psychology
    • Communications
    • Sociology
    • Physics
    • Chemistry
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Economics
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. 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

  4. #4

    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

  5. #5

    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

  6. #6

    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

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Nebraska’s Best Public College in Your Area of Interest

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. University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  2. University of Nebraska at Kearney
  3. Chadron State College
  4. University of Nebraska Omaha
  5. Wayne State College
  6. Peru State College

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