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Kansas Online Colleges & Universities: Top Schools for 2018

Updated on: 01/04/2018

Online education makes higher education possible for more students than ever before. One of the advantages of online coursework is the ability to attend class from anywhere, even outside your home state. What are the advantages of attending a Kansas online college as a Kansas resident? Are there are tuition disadvantages in going to an online college in Kansas as a non-resident? The purpose of this guide is to answer those questions, as well as provide information about applying for Kansas state-based financial aid and getting college credit for prior work and life experiences.

Best Online Colleges in Kansas: 2018

Choosing the right school for you depends on finding the one that most effectively meets your personal goals. Therefore, your method for choosing among the best accredited online colleges in Kansas depends on what you plan to achieve by going to college in Kansas and your available resources. For example, if you have significant financial limitations, you will probably sort through various schools to choose one of the best affordable online colleges in Kansas.

  • Accredited public or private not-for-profit institution

  • At least 3 online associate degrees or certificate programs (2-year schools)

  • At least 3 online bachelor’s or master’s degrees (4-year schools)

  • Annual in-state tuition below $5,000 (2-year schools)

  • Annual in-state tuition below $25,000 (4-year schools)

Colleges receive a total score based on performance in the following categories:

  • Average in-state net price for first-time/full-time undergraduates

  • Count and breadth of online programs available

  • Student-teacher ratio

  • 6-year graduation rate (4-year schools only)

  • % of beginning, full-time undergrads receiving scholarship/grant aid from the college

  • Average $ of financial aid students receive directly from the college

  • Availability of academic/career counseling services

  • Availability of job placement services for students and graduates

  • 3-year loan default rate

  • AC Online Peer-Based Value (PBV)*

*PBV is a proprietary metric that compares the cost of a program to the cost of other programs with the same (or a similar) qualitative score. It also compares the qualitative score of the program to the score of other programs with the same (or similar) cost. In short, the PBV calculation denotes the overall value – or ‘bang for your buck’ – of an online degree.

Our college rankings are backed by data collected and analyzed from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, a program managed by the National Center for Education Statistics. Surveying over 7,500 colleges annually, it is among the most longstanding and trusted providers of U.S. postsecondary information.

  • Most recent “Final Release” data available as of October 2017

Rank University Location Score Annual Tuition # of Online Programs Financial Aid % Student-Teacher RatioGrad RateCredit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Information
1 Newman University Wichita, KS 100.00 $23,700 10 98% 14:150%yes yes yes
2 University of Saint Mary Leavenworth, KS 99.94 $23,750 12 96% 8:153%yes yes yes
3 Fort Hays State University Hays, KS 99.54 $3,450 34 74% 16:144%no yes yes
4 Southwestern College Winfield, KS 98.68 $24,685 31 91% 8:153%yes no yes
5 Tabor College Hillsboro, KS 98.65 $23,100 3 100% 12:154%yes yes yes
6 Sterling College Sterling, KS 98.27 $21,700 4 100% 12:142%yes yes yes
7 Emporia State University Emporia, KS 97.83 $4,500 20 74% 18:141%no yes yes
8 Kansas State University Manhattan, KS 97.79 $8,223 20 68% 19:160%no yes yes
9 Washburn University Topeka, KS 97.68 $5,952 14 64% 13:137%no yes yes
10 Wichita State University Wichita, KS 97.18 $5,869 11 74% 18:146%yes yes yes
11 Ottawa University-Ottawa Ottawa, KS 97.15 $24,370 13 99% 18:134%no no yes
12 Barclay College Haviland, KS 97.01 $11,000 6 83% 11:150%yes no yes
13 University of Kansas Lawrence, KS 97.01 $8,807 7 61% 16:162%no yes yes
14 Friends University Wichita, KS 96.88 $24,450 15 93% 11:132%yes no yes
15 Central Christian College of Kansas McPherson, KS 96.39 $15,854 7 58% 24:140%yes no yes
16 Pittsburg State University Pittsburg, KS 96.15 $4,936 11 54% 18:149%yes yes yes
17 MidAmerica Nazarene University Olathe, KS 95.95 $24,250 4 89% 7:155%yes no yes
18 Ottawa University-Online Ottawa, KS 90.42 $11,520 22 N/A 2:1N/Ayes no yes
Explore Online Degree Programs in Kansas

2-Year Best College Rankings

Rank University Location Score Annual Tuition # of Online Programs Financial Aid % Student-Teacher RatioGrad RateCredit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Information
1 Allen County Community College Iola, KS 100.00 $1,824 76 72% 16:1N/Ano no yes
2 Hutchinson Community College Hutchinson, KS 97.96 $2,432 25 65% 15:1N/Ayes yes yes
3 Barton County Community College Great Bend, KS 97.56 $1,984 33 55% 23:1N/Ayes yes yes
4 Kansas City Kansas Community College Kansas City, KS 96.87 $2,190 29 21% 13:1N/Ayes yes yes
5 Seward County Community College and Area Technical School Liberal, KS 96.82 $1,632 10 68% 14:1N/Ayes yes yes
6 Cowley County Community College Arkansas City, KS 96.40 $1,922 15 65% 23:1N/Ayes yes yes
7 Highland Community College Highland, KS 96.13 $2,112 12 62% 20:1N/Ayes yes yes
8 Pratt Community College Pratt, KS 96.10 $1,792 6 73% 24:1N/Ayes yes yes
9 Neosho County Community College Chanute, KS 94.86 $1,920 4 69% 12:1N/Ayes no yes
10 Coffeyville Community College Coffeyville, KS 94.02 $960 4 84% 25:1N/Ano no yes
11 Butler Community College El Dorado, KS 93.53 $2,850 21 41% 18:1N/Ano no yes
12 Johnson County Community College Overland Park, KS 92.97 $2,610 5 18% 20:1N/Ayes yes yes
13 Colby Community College Colby, KS 92.89 $1,950 5 71% 13:1N/Ano no yes
14 Flint Hills Technical College Emporia, KS 89.27 $3,616 4 10% 14:1N/Ano yes yes

Kansas Online College Growth

Kansas in home to several post-secondary institutions that offer not just online courses, but degree programs as well. The University of Kansas is home to over 20 graduate online programs, including a master’s degree in project management and special education – autism, as well about 10 undergraduate programs, such as psychology and RN to BSN. But large public universities aren’t the only schools with diverse online offerings. At Baker University, a private school with only a few thousand graduate and undergraduate students, there are more than a dozen online programs, such as criminal justice and sports management.

Kansas College Tuition & Financial Aid

There is no general rule Kansas online students can expect with respect to tuition rates. At some schools, all students pay the same online tuition rate, irrespective of their state or residency. At other schools, online students will pay their respective in-state, out-of-state or special discounted tuition rate (under certain reciprocity agreements) whether they’re taking an online course or a traditional on-campus course.

To qualify as a Kansas resident for in-state purposes, you must, for one year prior to enrollment:

  • Be a dependent on parents who reside in Kansas,

  • Demonstrate an intent to live in Kansas and become a Kansas resident (such as filing Kansas taxes, getting a Kansas driver’s license, etc.), or

  • Otherwise demonstrate that you moved to Kansas for a reason other than establishing residency for tuition purposes and take no more than three credit hours per semester.

Students attending school in Kansas can get a rough idea of what they will pay by examining the following average Kansas college tuition rates.

In-state tuition (public, four-year institution): $8,011

Out-of-state tuition (public, four-year institution): $20,901

In-state tuition (public, two-year institution): $3,201

Out-of-state tuition (public, two-year institution): $4,395

Private tuition: $17,827

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Explore Online Degree Programs in Kansas

Are online college students in Kansas expected to pay in-state or out-of-state tuition?

Online college students will generally pay one of two tuition rates. They may pay a special online tuition rate that all students pay, whether they’re a Kansas resident or not. On the other hand, taking courses online makes no difference with respect to the students’ tuition rate, so they pay their respective tuition rates (in-state, out-of-state or special discounted rate).

Students who choose to attend college in Kansas may be eligible for reduced tuition though the Midwest Student Exchange Program. Under this program, non-resident students attending school in Kansas can avoid the out-of-state tuition rate if they are residents of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio or Wisconsin and choose a major at a Kansas school that is not offered in their home state. These majors are generally in the architecture, agriculture or engineering fields.

Kansas also has a reciprocity agreement with Missouri and North Dakota with respect to specific programs. For instance, students from North Dakota choosing to study veterinary medicine will receive a discounted tuition rate at Kansas State University.

Quick summary on tuition:
  • 1. Kansas students enrolled in an online course or program can expect to pay either their respective in-state, out-of-state or special discounted tuition rate as if they were enrolled as an on-campus student, or a special online tuition rate that all students pay, whether they have Kansas residency or not.

  • 2. Kansas participates in the Midwest Student Exchange Program. Therefore, out-of-state residents from member states may be eligible for reduced tuition rates, but only if they enroll in a program at the Kansas school that’s not available at a school in their home state.

Explore Online Degree Programs in Kansas

How can Kansas students apply for financial aid?

Getting financial aid in Kansas has a similar process to most states in that it requires the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application is needed to obtain financial aid from the federal government, as well as Kansas state-based financial aid. But another application, called the State of Kansas Student Aid Application, is also required for state-based financial aid. Kansas state aid comes in the form of grants and scholarships that don’t have to be repaid. This application can be completed online or mailed in.

To keep receiving financial aid for college, students must meet certain Satisfactory Academic Standards, or SAP. The federal government has their own SAP guidelines, which apply to students receiving federal financial aid. Most Kansas institutions have their own SAP guidelines, although they largely mirror the federal standards. Below is a description of the most common SAP standards that most Kansas schools follow:

  • GPA

    Undergraduate students must keep a cumulative GPA of at least a 2.00. Graduate students usually have higher requirements, between 2.00 and 3.00.

  • Pace

    At least 67% of attempted classes must be completed with a passing grade.

  • Maximum time frame

    Students must achieve their intended degree within 150% of the average amount of time it takes to get that degree. If a student needs 60 credits to get their associate degree, for example, the degree must be granted before the student registers for 91 credit hours.

Kansas College Grants & Scholarships

If you’re looking for state-based financial aid, you’re in luck. Kansas has several gift-based aid awards available. This is the best financial aid, because it doesn’t need to be paid back. Many of the scholarships and grants available are based on merit and/or financial need, but numerous opportunities exist for those coming from particular backgrounds.

What college scholarships and grants can Kansas students apply for?

State-based grants and scholarships for Kansas students are administered by the Kansas Board of Regents. They offer several scholarships and grants, including:

  • Kansas Ethnic Minority Scholarship : Students of an ethnic minority who also demonstrate financial need and academic success are eligible for this scholarship.

  • Kansas Comprehensive Grant: This scholarship is for financially needy Kansas residents who enroll as a full-time student at one of the approved public or private post-secondary Kansas institutions. Awards range from $200 to $3,500. Students can apply for this grant by completing the FAFSA.

  • Kansas State Scholarship : Students who finish in the top 20%-30% of their Kansas high school class and also demonstrate financial need are eligible for this scholarship. There is a special online application form to apply.

  • Kansas Career Technical Workforce Grant : This grant is designed for those studying in a technical education program in which they receive a technical certificate or associate degree in a high-demand or critical industry.

How can students apply for Kansas college scholarships and grants?

Applying for Kansas state-funded grants and scholarships requires an application. Many of these have special applications that can be completed online or mailed in. A few utilize the FAFSA as the application form.

But Kansas isn’t the only source of grants and scholarships. Students can also apply to special scholarships that are exclusive to their chosen school. At the University of Kansas, students have numerous scholarships and grants available for just the freshmen. Most of these don’t require an additional application form beyond the application for admissions.

Don’t forget the privately funded and administered grants and scholarships offered by companies and charities, all of which have their own unique requirements. Many of these will require completion of the FAFSA plus other elements, such as an essay, transcript and letters of recommendation.

Explore Online Degree Programs in Kansas

Finding the Right Online College in Kansas

Looking for the right Kansas online colleges but have no clue where to begin? That’s okay – making the shift to the college experience requires lots of questions about what to expect. Here are some of the common questions students ask when looking for their best online program.

Do colleges in Kansas accept transfer credits and work/life experience?

Students who attend an online college in Kansas may be able to obtain transfer credits for prior work experience related to military service. For example, at the University of Kansas, students will receive four credit hours in health, sport and exercise sciences for completion of basic training.

Beyond military experience, some schools will offer transfer credits for other things. At Manhattan Tech, students with certain practical experience may obtain college credit, but the transfer profess is decided on a case-by-case basis. At Wichita State University, students have several options for turning work experiences into college credit. Not only can students receive college credit for prior professional licensing and training, but future experience as well, in the form of co-ops and internships.

Do I need to pick an online college in Kansas if that’s where I live?

No, but by choosing an online college in Kansas, you may be eligible for lower, in-state tuition rates. Also, as a Kansas resident, you might be able to pay reduced out-of-state tuition rates if you attend a non-Kansas school pursuant to the Midwest Student Exchange Program.

How do I pick an online college in Kansas?

Students should pick a school that most effectively and affordably provides them the academic training and professional advancement possibilities they need. However, whatever choice the student makes, they need to make sure that any school they attend is accredited.

Accreditation is the process by which schools receive a review from an independent organization, which ensures that the academic programs meet minimum standards of quality. Accreditation is important to ensure that a student’s degree actually means something and is acceptable to other schools and employers. To ensure you are avoiding a diploma mill, always look for proof of accreditation before applying to any college in Kansas or elsewhere.