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Online Colleges in Nevada

Most Affordable Online Colleges
School Interviews
Terry Norris
- Ed.D., Director of eLearning, College of Southern Nevada
"CSN has many online degree programs from a bachelor's degree in dental hygiene to Associate of Arts and Science degrees in criminal justice, small business management, special education, and more."
See entire interview

Introduction

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that Bachelor's degree-holders earn about $20,000 more annually than those with only high school diplomas. However, due to recent budget cuts in Nevada and around the country, higher education funding has been drastically reduced, which has resulted in increased tuition, teacher layoffs, reduced programs, and enrollment caps. In Nevada, one of the states hardest hit and a state that contains many rural areas underserved by traditional college campuses, Nevada online colleges might provide valuable educational opportunities.

There are 2.7 million residents in Nevada, and of those 18 to 24 years old, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that 34 percent are high school graduates and about 38 percent have an Associate's degree or have attended some college. Only 5.7 percent have a Bachelor's degree. Among those older than 25, one in four have taken some college courses but only 7 percent have an Associate's degree, while 15 percent have a Bachelor's degree, and 7 percent have a graduate or professional degree.

According to the BLS, there are 1.1 million workers in Nevada earning an average hourly wage of $20.30, or about $42,220 a year. There are 17 colleges and universities in Nevada where students can earn a Bachelor's degree, and six of those are public, nonprofit institutions.

Most Affordable Colleges in Nevada

The following list ranks schools in Nevada that offer online degrees at the lowest tuition costs. This ranking is based on a number of factors that are important to prospective students such as the actual degree programs that are taught online, and information on tuition fees, accreditation and notable alumni. Tuition figures are sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics (2013-2014) and reflect in-state tuition (when in-state tuition is available) for all students, including online students. See our Methodology section for more details on the ranking methodology.

1

College of Southern Nevada

Tuition/Year
$2,700
Graduation Rate
9%
# of Online Degrees
21
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

The College of Southern Nevada, the largest higher education institution in the state, has emerged as a leader in online degree programs in Nevada with 20 online Associate's degree programs and an online Bachelor's degree program in Dental Hygiene. Students can also attend face-to-face classes at one of the three main campuses in the Las Vegas Valley.
School Website: 
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2

Great Basin College

Tuition/Year
$2,700
Graduation Rate
54%
# of Online Degrees
1
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Great Basin College, with various physical campuses located around northwestern Nevada, offers an online Bachelor's degree program in Nursing. The program is fully accredited and fully online, allowing students to continue working while they earn their degree on their own time.
School Website: 
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3

Nevada State College

Tuition/Year
$4,482
Graduation Rate
14%
# of Online Degrees
2
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Nevada State College, located in the foothills outside of Henderson in Southern Nevada, is a 4-year college that bridges the gap in the Silver State between two-year schools and the big four-year research institutions. NCS, established in 2002, offers Bachelor's degree programs in Speech Pathology and Nursing.
School Website: 
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4

University of Nevada, Reno

Tuition/Year
$6,610
Graduation Rate
51%
# of Online Degrees
6
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

UNR is the land-grant university in the Silver State, but it has expanded its horizons in recent years by adding online degree programs in Nevada in a number of areas. It now offers an online certificate and an online minor in Addiction Treatment Services. In addition, it offers Master's degree programs in Literacy Studies; Equity and Diversity in Education; and Business Administration. Its Doctor of Nursing Practice degree is also offered fully online.
School Website: 
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5

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Tuition/Year
$6,690
Graduation Rate
43%
# of Online Degrees
9
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

UNLV is the larger of the two state universities, and while it has been highly regarded for some of its athletics teams, its growing selection of online degree programs in Nevada is making it a name in the field of web-based education. UNLV offers online Bachelor's degrees in Public Administration and Social Science Studies; Master's degrees in Nursing, with both a nurse educator track and a family nurse practitioner track, and Hospitality Administration. It's online doctorate programs include Philosophy in Nursing (with three tracks in nursing education, sustainable health and post doctor of nursing), and Nursing Practice.
School Website: 
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6

Sanford Brown College

Tuition/Year
$15,000
Graduation Rate
18%
# of Online Degrees
3
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Sanford-Brown is a network of colleges around the country. It recently combined with the International Academy of Design and Technology in Las Vegas and is offering an online Associate's degree in Building Information Modeling and two online Bachelor's degrees in Game Design and Production; and Digital Media Production
School Website: 
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School Interviews

Terry Norris

Terry Norris, Ed.D., Director of eLearning, College of Southern Nevada

Q. Can you overview your top degree program(s)?

CSN has many online degree programs from a bachelor's degree in dental hygiene to Associate of Arts and Science degrees in criminal justice, small business management, special education, and more. One that stands out is The International Languages degree program. It's unique in that CSN embeds tutors into the courses to provide assistance to the students enrolled. The tutors use a web conferencing tool to meet in real time with the students to answer questions and provide assistance.

Q. What advice do you have for prospective students about choosing an online program?

Be prepared to keep up with the work and log into the course on a regular basis. Be diligent about communicating with the instructor if you are confused about anything in the course. Make sure you are aware of any support services that might be available to help such as online tutoring.

Q. What are your thoughts on the future of online learning?

Online learning is evolving due to new and emerging support technologies. It is easier for students to take part in online learning due to the mobile technologies available that truly allows access to information anytime anywhere. Online learning allows higher education to be easily accessible to working adults, caregivers, students with disabilities, and others who have schedules and responsibilities that are incompatible with attending traditional on-campus instruction.

Top Cities For Students In Nevada

Las Vegas-Clark County, Nevada

Mean Wage

$41,790

Average Cost of a House

$310,295

# of Employed People

839,500

Total Population

1,900,000

Avg Salary with a Bachelor's Degree

$44,500

Economics

A remarkable 73 percent of the state's 1.15 million workers are located in southern Nevada, mostly in Las Vegas and Clark County. Las Vegas workers earn less than the state average, taking home about $20.09 an hour for an annual salary of $41,790. The Cost of Living Index in the Las Vegas area is 104.6, with house prices averaging $310,295.

Demographics

There are 1.9 million residents in Clark County, which includes three of the four largest cities in Nevada -- Las Vegas, Henderson and North Las Vegas. According to the state demographer, the population of Clark County grew nearly 42 percent from 2000 to 2010, a decade in which the city added 575,504 new residents.

Fun Facts

From casino shows to golf courses to crazy nightclubs, this is the place where the world comes to let down its hair. What the tourism services don't often tell you is that Las Vegas also has a wealth of outdoor activities, including hiking at nearby Mount Charleston and boating on Lake Mead.

Reno-Sparks/Washoe County, Nevada

Mean Wage

$42,940

Average Cost of a House

$250,050

# of Employed People

190,000

Total Population

315,103

Avg Salary with a Bachelor's Degree

$46,734

Economics

Nestled along the western edge of the state along the California border, Reno-Sparks has about 190,000 workers, about 16 percent of the state's workforce. Workers there earn $20.64 an hour, or about $42,940. The two cities have been hit hard by the recession and a downturn in gaming, but it's working to restore its diminished economy by luring nongaming employers like Cabelas, shopping mall developers, and manufacturing, such as the Tesla car-battery "gigafactory" planned just outside the metro area. Average home prices in this area are $250,050, with a Cost of Living Index of 95.8.

Demographics

Reno, the fourth-largest city in Nevada with 222,801 residents, and Sparks, the ninth-largest with 92,302, combine to make the second largest metropolitan area in Nevada.

Fun Facts

Both Reno and Sparks have built whitewater parks for paddlers and bathers, and nearby Lake Tahoe is a frequent day trip for Reno-Sparks visitors. The Sierra Nevada range, with its abundance of hiking and skiing, are just outside the window.

Carson City, Nevada

Mean Wage

$45,610

Average Cost of a House

NA

# of Employed People

25,770

Total Population

56,000

Avg Salary with a Bachelor's Degree

$48,782

Economics

The best money for Nevada workers is in Carson City, where the 25,770 workers earn nearly $22 an hour for an annual average salary of $45,610, the best in the state. Carson City, the state's capital, is closely aligned with Reno, just 20 miles to the north, but the two cities are considered distinct metropolitan areas.

Demographics

Carson City is the 10th largest city in Nevada, with just over 56,000 residents. Every other year -- and sometimes for brief periods in between -- the city becomes home for visiting legislators, and the town fills up with politicians, lobbyists and citizen activists. Still, the town grew modestly in the 10 years from 2000 to 2010, adding 2,817 residents for a 5 percent growth rate.

Fun Facts

While Reno and Sparks are close to the North Shore of Lake Tahoe, Carson City is close to the South Shore. The long beaches of South Lake Tahoe are just over the hill, making the lake an easy destination for city visitors. Carson itself boasts plenty of history with the Nevada State Museum, the Nevada State Railway Museum and the nearby historic towns of Virginia City and Genoa.

 
Other Nevada Resources

Sources:

  1. College of Southern Nevada, http://www.csn.edu/pages/202.asp
  2. "C2ER," The Cost of Living Index, http://www.coli.org/
  3. List of University of Nevada, Reno people, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_University_of_Nevada,_Reno_people
  4. Las Vegas tourism, http://www.lasvegas.com/
  5. National Center for Education Statistics, College Navigator, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
  6. Nevada State College, http://nsc.edu/1122.asp
  7. Nevada State Demographer, http://nvdemography.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/NV-Total-Census-Population-By-County.pdf
  8. Sanford-Brown College, http://www.sanfordbrown.edu/about-us
  9. Terry Norris, interview with the author June 2015
  10. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_16180.htm
  11. U.S. Census Bureau: American Factfinder for Nevada, http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=CF
  12. University of Nevada, Las Vegas, https://online.unlv.edu/content/programs-courses/degree-and-certificate-programs
  13. University of Nevada, Las Vegas Notable alumni, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Nevada,_Las_Vegas#Alumni
  14. University of Nevada, Reno, http://www.unr.edu/365/online-degrees
  15. U.S. Department of Education, The Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs, http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/
  16. "24 Things to Do in Carson City," http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/North_America/United_States_of_America/Nevada/Carson_City-836392/Things_To_Do-Carson_City-TG-C-1.html
  17. 101 Random Things to Do in Reno Tahoe, http://www.visitrenotahoe.com/101-random-things