How to Apply through Great Plains IDEA

Great Plains IDEA provides affordable, convenient, and flexible access to a rewarding online academic experience through a consortium of renowned public universities across the United States. 

Applying to one of the online master’s and bachelor’s degrees or certificate programs allows you to take courses from faculty across our member universities. These diverse programs cover in-demand areas of study in human sciences and agriculture. Get to know what programs our member universities offer and learn more about where they are located on our interactive map.

In addition to the unprecedented academic access, students pursuing their degree or certificate through Great Plains IDEA pay one common price regardless of the program or whether the student is in-state or out-of-state. This standardizes and streamlines your investment in a transformative academic, career-building experience.

Application Process

If you are ready to get started pursuing your goals in a Great Plains IDEA online program, follow these important steps to apply.

  1. Select Your Home University

    To get started, first select your program of interest; each program is offered by a select group of our member universities. You can select any of the universities offering your program as your home university, which is the institution from which you will receive your diploma. These online programs are only offered through Great Plains IDEA, so when you enroll at your home university, you will automatically be placed in the appropriate program and receive the common price tuition.

  2. Submit University Application

    Apply for admission at your selected home university. The application process looks a little different at each university. However, most universities require applicants to submit the following as part of their application:

    • An application form specific to the university
    • Official transcripts verifying previous college credits, if applicable
    • Letters of recommendation
    • Personal statement about goals or professional experience

    Explore your home university’s admission requirements.

  3. Submit Additional Program Requirements

    Program admission requirements vary by university, and some Great Plains IDEA member universities have additional steps in their admission processes. After completing your general application for admission at your home university, your next step is to review the specific program requirements for your selected degree or certificate program. To ensure you are meeting these requirements, contact your campus coordinator for additional information.

  4. Follow Up!
    Check with your home university admissions office and the department that houses your academic program to be sure all application materials arrived. This keeps you on track to get started!

Transfer Credit Eligibility

In addition to traditional admission options, Great Plains IDEA member universities provide a pathway for you to receive credit from past coursework, allowing you to save on tuition and shorten your time to program completion. You are able to petition for credits to be transferred through a formal approval process, aligning with the transfer credit limits of your home university.

Are you ready for online learning?

Before you apply, take our online course readiness assessment to be sure you will be successful as you jump into online learning. This helps you gauge your skills and comfort with pursuing your program in an entirely online format. You can also listen to our Get Online... Great Plains IDEA podcast that provides expert advice and resources to ensure you have an enriching online educational experience.

Ask Questions!

Contact campus coordinators for more information about programs and faculty. The campus coordinators can assist you through Great Plains IDEA processes and connect you to distance education resources at your university.

These are some questions you may want to ask when speaking with your campus coordinator:

  • What will my degree title be?  What can I do with this degree?
  • What are the faculty researching? What are their specialties?
  • What are the admission requirements? Is the GRE required?
  • How long will it take to get admitted?
  • Will my program have a culminating experience (report, project, or thesis)?

Read this helpful article to learn additional questions that are important to ask when choosing an online program. You can also learn more about asking questions in this video from Theresa Ireland, former South Dakota State University Campus Coordinator.

Get Started with Great Plains IDEA - Apply Now!

Great Plains IDEA helps you achieve your goals by offering online master’s and bachelor’s degrees, as well as certificate programs. Our team is here to help you throughout the admissions process and can be reached at 785-532-1999 or if you need assistance. If you are ready to get started, apply now!


Who You Need to Know

When you get started pursuing your program, it is important to know the people who are here to help you every step of the way. Your Campus Coordinator can answer any questions you might have about your home university. The Military & Veteran's Affairs and Disability Support Services offices are also available to provide additional information regarding their services.

In addition, it is important to be familiar with the following representatives and offices at your home university:

Academic Advisor: Your academic advisor assists you in selecting courses and building your schedule to ensure you meet your academic goals. You are assigned your academic advisor once you are admitted.

Graduate School: For students admitted to graduate programs,  the Graduate School Office or Office of Graduate Admissions is the hub of information for you. They provide more information about student life.

Financial Aid Office: The Office of Financial Assistance can help you plan how to pay for your education, including learning more about federal financial aid and scholarship opportunities.