How It Works

Open Learning Works For You

Fill in the gaps.

Need science courses for medical school? Business or humanities credits for graduate studies? OLA’s course offerings are designed to set you up for success by building a strong foundation for further education.

Learn from real professors.

The OLA offers all the benefits of a Doane education, experienced right where you are. Having access to Doane’s top professors means you always have the support you need to succeed.

Learn faster.

OLA provides full courses in condensed, 8-week, terms. You learn the same material on a shorter timeline, so you can get it done and move on to your next step.

Decide when you begin.

Each eight week course is offered five times a year, so you can learn whenever it works for you.

Start without the hassle.

There's no application required to enroll in OLA courses. Just fill out the registration and payment details, and you’re ready for class.

Take your credits with you.

OLA credits have been accepted at major learning institutions across the country, included top Ivy League schools. Wherever you’re headed, OLA can help get you there.

How Open Learning Works

Step 1. Check with Your Registrar

OLA credits are accepted at most institutions across the country. Before enrolling, check to confirm with your institution that your course will transfer.

Step 2. Register for Your Course

You don’t need to submit an application or a transcript to enroll in OLA courses. Simply fill out your registration and payment details and you’re ready to begin.

Step 3. Get All the Details

Once your registration is complete, you’ll receive information regarding textbooks, computer and email access, WebAdvisor, and Canvas—everything you need to complete your OLA coursework.

Step 4. Finish in 8 Weeks

OLA courses are entirely online—even labs—and you complete weekly assignments. Meet the deadlines, earn the credits, and round out your education.

Step 5. Transfer Your Credits

You can request your transcripts up to 30 days prior to completing your course. Once your final grade is posted your course credits will be released to your institution.

You Have Questions
We Have Answers:

  • Are these courses regionally accredited?

    Yes, Open Learning Academy courses are accredited through the Higher Learning Commission.
  • Is it possible to only take a 1-credit lab without taking the entire course?

    No. At this time, all labs are integrated into the course which makes them four credit courses. Three-credit courses do not include a lab.
  • Is federal financial aid available for Open Learning Academy courses?

    No, Federal Financial Aid (Pell Grants, Federal Subsidized Loan, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Parent Plus Loan, Grad Plus Loan) is not available for students who take courses through the Open Learning Academy. These courses are not eligible for any Federal Financial Aid as they are independent courses that do not lead to a degree from Doane University.
  • Can I use a 529 Plan for courses in the Open Learning Academy?

    Yes, please refer to the plan provider's distribution rules and regulations. A student will be required to pay up and register for courses and then if 529 Plan payment is received by the school then the student will be reimbursed any credit amount on their Doane student account. 
  • Can students use Military Assistance/GI Bill to pay for courses?

    The Department of Veteran Affairs has updated its rules & regulations pertaining to when student can use their tuition assistance benefits. According to the new policy, VA students taking courses through the Open Learning Academy are no longer eligible to use VA assistance benefits towards non-degree seeking courses. Any student who wishes to use VA benefits must be accepted into a Doane Program.  There is an exception to this rule: If the VA student will be transerring the course credit to another school in which they are enrolled in a degree-seeking program, the primary school can send Doane University a Guest letter authorizing the specific courses.  For more information, please contact Sarah McNeel at or cal 402.467.9070
  • Are payment plans available for these courses?

    No, due to the accelerated, non-degree seeking nature of these course, payment plans are not available for Open Learning Academy courses.
  • Are there alternative payment options available?

    Yes, since Open Learning Academy courses are not eligible for Federal Financial Aid or a traditional payment plan, there are alternative private student loan options for a non-degree seeking student through a bank/lender. We encourage students to do some extensive research to determine if an alternative private student loan is the right fit for you. Please note that an alternative private student loan must be in the student's name, but can include a co-signer if required by the lender. Make sure that the private student loan that you are applying for is for a Non-Degree Seeking Alternative Private Student Loan. If you choose a private alternative student loan and have been approved through a lender's online application, the Doane Financial Aid office will need to certify the loan and register you for the course. Download and complete the OLA Loan Request Form. This form requires a physical signature and must be sent to the Doane Financial Aid Office at or faxed to 402-466-4228
  • When using an Alternative Private Student Loan, can I borrow more than the cost of tuition and fees?

    No, Doane University will only certify an Alternative Private Student Loan for the cost of tuition and fees for the courses listed on the Open Learning Academy Private Loan Request Form.
  • Can I make changes to the Alternative Private Student Loan Request Form?

    Yes, we understand that course planning, pairing and sequencing are important and changes can be made to an Alternative Private Student Loan certification prior to when courses start for the term. Once the course starts no changes can be made to the certification of the loan.  If changes need to be made to courses rior to the start of classes please contact and to notify both departments of any changes that need to occur. 
  • Can I use tuition reimbursement from my employer?

    Yes, please refer to your employer's tuition reimbursement policy in regards to non-degree seeking courses. A student will be required to pay upfront and register for courses and then if the student receives any tuition reimbursement and it is received by the university then the student will be reimbursed any credit amount on their Doane student account. 
  • What is the refund policy?

    Student who choose to drop their course are eligible for a refund of their tuition through the first week of the term.
    • 100% up until the first day of class
    • 40% first week
    • $0 after first week
  • Will I receive a Form 1098-T for these courses?

    No, the IRS does not require universities to provide Form 1098-T documents for non-degree seeking courses. Learn more about college credit requirements at
  • Are there Proctored Exams?

    Proctoring is only used in certain courses and may not be required for your course. Please review your course syllabi for proctoring requirements. To learn more about proctored exams, click here. 

Have More Questions?