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2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Nebraska

17 Colleges
$23,983 Avg Cost*
4.4 Years Avg Time to Graduate*

With all of the options you have for higher education today, it can be tough to choose which direction to take. College Factual has developed its Best Value Nebraska Schools ranking as one tool you can use to help make this decision.

Our analysis looked at 17 schools to determine which ones were the best for overall value in Nebraska. This ranking doesn't just identify the colleges with the lowest costs. Rather, it highlights those institutions that offer excellent educational experiences for a lower cost than other schools of roughly the same caliber. Because of this, it is possible for one college to rank better than another, even if the latter college has a lower average cost.

Learn more about our ranking methodology.

When determining average cost, we look at total expenses, such as tuition, fees, books and supplies, room and board, and other living expenses, and then deduct the average amount of financial aid awarded to a student. This estimate is meant to give you a better picture of how much money you'll have to pay each year, either through self-pay, loans, or external scholarships.

One Size Does Not Fit All

We know that one set of rankings doesn't always help you determine the best school for you, so we've created the ability to narrow your list by location and field of study as well as alternative rankings that prioritize different factors, such as those of importance to veterans and returning adults or those seeking diversity and overall quality.

One of our other unique offerings is College Combat. This tool lets you build your own customized comparisons utilizing the factors that are most important to you. If you're torn between two schools, you can use it to help you see how they stack up against one another!

Top Colleges for the Money in Nebraska

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

#1

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Lincoln, Nebraska

Our analysis found University of Nebraska - Lincoln to be the best school for overall value in Nebraska in this year’s ranking. Lincoln, Nebraska is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 4,859 students in 2018-2019.

At UNL, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.5 years, and it costs about $19,332 per year to attend the school. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from UNL is $86,607. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

The low student loan default rate of 3.5% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1%. UNL did well in our quality rankings, too. It placed #2 on our Best Colleges in Nebraska list.

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You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around if you attend University of Nebraska at Kearney. The school came in at #2 in Nebraska on this year’s best value ranking. Located in Kearney, Nebraska, the medium-sized public school handed out 850 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at UNK is 4.5 years, and it costs about $17,634 per year to attend the school. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from UNK is about $80,235. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

The low student loan default rate of 4.6% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1%.

Full University of Nebraska at Kearney Report

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A rank of #3 on our Best Colleges for the Money in Nebraska list means University of Nebraska at Omaha is a great place for students working on their bachelor’s degree. UNOMAHA is a public institution located in Omaha, Nebraska. The school has a fairly large population, and it awarded 2,281 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.7 years for the average student at UNOMAHA to complete their degree, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $17,298. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from UNOMAHA is $81,301. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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#4

Clarkson College

Omaha, Nebraska

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around if you attend Clarkson College. The school came in at #4 in Nebraska on this year’s best value ranking. Clarkson College is a private not-for-profit institution located in Omaha, Nebraska. The school has a small population, and it awarded 142 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at Clarkson College about 4.1 years to graduate, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $22,216. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Clarkson College be around $91,530. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

The low student loan default rate of 2.0% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1%.

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#5

Wayne State College

Wayne, Nebraska

The excellent bachelor’s degree programs at Wayne State College helped the school earn the #5 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools for the money in Nebraska. Located in Wayne, Nebraska, the small public school awarded 592 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

The average student at WSC graduates in less than 4.5 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $15,035. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the WSC is $67,056. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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#6

College of Saint Mary

Omaha, Nebraska

College of Saint Mary came in at #6 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Nebraska ranking. Saint Mary is a private not-for-profit institution located in Omaha, Nebraska. The school has a small population, and it awarded 159 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at Saint Mary about 4.3 years to graduate, and it costs about $23,339 per year to attend the school. This means that the average student pays around $99,658 to get a bachelor’s degree from Saint Mary. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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#7

Creighton University

Omaha, Nebraska

Creighton University did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Nebraska ranking, coming in at #7. Omaha, Nebraska is the setting for this medium-sized institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 1,243 students in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Creighton is 4.2 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $36,031. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Creighton is $149,529. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 89%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. In addition to its best value ranking, and one of the reasons why the school is on the list, Creighton is ranked #1 for overall quality in Nebraska.

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Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Nebraska ranking, coming in at #8. Nebraska Methodist College is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Omaha, Nebraska. It awarded 180 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Nebraska Methodist College is 4.5 years, and it costs about $27,743 per year to attend the school. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Nebraska Methodist College is $124,844. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 3.6%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. Nebraska Methodist College also made our Best Colleges in Nebraska list, coming in at #4.

Full Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health Report

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#9

Chadron State College

Chadron, Nebraska

Chadron State College came in at #9 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Nebraska ranking. Located in Chadron, Nebraska, the small public school awarded 415 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

The average student at Chadron State College graduates in less than 4.5 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $17,773. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Chadron State College is $80,689. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

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#10

Doane University

Crete, Nebraska

Doane University ranked #10 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Nebraska list. Doane Crete is a private not-for-profit institution located in Crete, Nebraska. The school has a small population, and it awarded 476 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Doane Crete is 4.2 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $29,699. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Doane Crete be around $125,627. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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#11

Hastings College

Hastings, Nebraska

Hastings College did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Nebraska ranking, coming in at #11. Located in Hastings, Nebraska, the small private not-for-profit school awarded 260 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

At Hastings, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.1 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $24,397. This means that the average student pays around $100,516 to get a bachelor’s degree from Hastings. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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#12

Peru State College

Peru, Nebraska

Peru State College did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Nebraska ranking, coming in at #12. Located in Peru, Nebraska, the small public school handed out 311 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at Peru State about 4.7 years to graduate, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $17,522. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Peru State be around $82,353. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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#13

Union College Nebraska

Lincoln, Nebraska

With a ranking of #13, Union College Nebraska did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Nebraska list. Union College Lincoln is a private not-for-profit institution located in Lincoln, Nebraska. The school has a small population, and it awarded 151 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At Union College Lincoln, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.6 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $24,550. This means that the average student pays around $112,930 to get a bachelor’s degree from Union College Lincoln. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#14

Nebraska Wesleyan University

Lincoln, Nebraska

Nebraska Wesleyan University ranked #14 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Nebraska list. Lincoln, Nebraska is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 480 students in 2018-2019.

At NWU, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.2 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $33,557. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the NWU is $141,611. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 4.6%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. NWU also took the #5 spot in our Best Colleges in Nebraska rankings.

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#15

York College

York, Nebraska

York College landed the #15 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Nebraska ranking. York, Nebraska is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 76 students in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at York College is 4.4 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $19,265. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from York College is $85,151. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#16

Concordia University - Nebraska

Seward, Nebraska

With a ranking of #16, Concordia University - Nebraska did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Nebraska list. Concordia is located in Seward, Nebraska and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 378 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

It takes about 4.2 years for the average student at Concordia to complete their degree, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $30,008. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the Concordia is $126,934. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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#17

Midland University

Fremont, Nebraska

Midland University did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Nebraska ranking, coming in at #17. Midland U is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Fremont, Nebraska. It awarded 257 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at Midland U graduates in less than 4.2 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $32,309. This means that the average student pays around $135,052 to get a bachelor’s degree from Midland U. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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Notes and References

Footnotes

*These averages are for the top 17 schools only.

  • For our state-specific rankings, we use in-state tuition to calculate average cost. For our national and regional rankings, we use a weighted average of in-state and non-resident tuition.

References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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