Online Colleges in Kansas
If you live in Kansas, there’s no place like home to begin your college search. The state offers a long list of award-winning institutions to choose from.
Kansas has had recent setbacks, however. In 2012 and 2013, Kansas lawmakers implemented unprecedented changes to tax policies, which resulted in drastic cuts to higher education funding. Ongoing deficits have continued to impact the state’s colleges and universities directly, and have limited financial aid resources for students.
It will take the state time to stabilize its revenue stream, but reports show that the higher education system is doing quite well!
Overview of Higher Education in Kansas
In 2015-2016 the National Center for Education Statistics (NES) reported that there are 75 degree-granting institutions in Kansas. Of those, 33 are public, 26 are private non-profit and 16 are for-profit.
Tuition and fees to one of the state’s public 4-year schools will run Kansas residents $8920 on average, according to Collegeboard.org. Non-residents will pay closer to $22,790.
Tuition may be more affordable for other Midwesterners, though, thanks to Kansas’ participation in the Midwest Student Exchange Program (MSEP). The MSEP allows students to enroll at public schools in any of the 10 participating states for no more than 150% of the in-state tuition rate.
In Kansas, public colleges and universities are overseen by the Kansas Board of Regents, which consists of nine members, each appointed by the governor to represent one congressional district.
In 2010 the Kansas Board of Regents approved a 10-year strategic plan, called Foresight 2020, which sets specific and measurable goals for the state’s higher education system. As of January 2017, despite major budget constraints, the state has shown the following improvements:
- a slight increase in the number of certificates and degrees awarded
- improved on-time graduate rates at state universities
- increased retention rates system-wide
- continued improvement in the transition of students from adult education programs to postsecondary education
The Board of Regents also launched Kansas DegreeStats, a unique online resource that provides comprehensive cost and earnings data for each degree program available at the state’s public universities.
About Online Colleges in Kansas
Online degree programs are gaining popularity as students look for ways to complete their education while still maintaining their personal and/or professional responsibilities.
In 2012 the NES reported that 15.3% of students in Kansas were enrolled in fully online degree programs, and another 15.4% were enrolled in one or more online courses. The numbers have continued to rise, and schools are working hard to keep up with the demand.
Kansas’ largest public universities, University of Kansas and Kansas State University, both offer online degree and certificate programs as well as hybrid programs that involve both online and on-campus experiences. Additionally, Fort Hays State University ranks among the top 20 in US News and World Reports’ “Best Online Bachelor’s Programs” and offers 50 online degrees! Top-ranked private schools such as Baker University also offer impressive online catalogues.
Support for online programs comes from the Kansas Association for Interactive Distance Education (KAIDE), an organization that advocates and promotes interactive distance education.
Local resources like Kansas City Regional Access Consortium for Higher Education (KC REACHE) are also instrumental in supporting distance education opportunities. KC REACHE brings together the Kansas City region’s best colleges and universities, providing access to more than 700 courses and 40 online degree programs.
At the community college level, EDUKAN enhances online learning opportunities by connecting 6 of the state’s community colleges.
Scholarships and Financial Aid in Kansas
The first step to attending a college or university in Kansas is filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), so that you have access to federal, state and private financial aid.
The FAFSA application becomes available each year on October 1st, and the earlier you fill it out, the more funds you will have access to.
To complete the FAFSA, you must provide information about your own finances as well as those of your parents (unless you are considered independent). This information will be used to determine how much and what types of financial aid you are offered.
The ideal forms of financial aid are grants and scholarships because they do not have to be repaid.
The Kansas Board of Regents administers the following financial aid programs for residents pursuing their undergraduate degrees:
|Kansas State Scholarship||Need based and academic based||
Up to $1000 annually
|Kansas Career Technical Workforce Grant||Must be working toward a technical certificate or associate of applied science degree program in a high cost, high demand or critical industry field (as defined)||
Maximum of $1000 per year
|Kansas Ethnic Minority Scholarship||Need based and academic based; Must be African American, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian or Pacific Islander or Hispanic||
Up to $1850 annually
|Kansas Military Service Scholarship||For candidates who served in overseas military operation and received hostile fire pay, were honorably discharged or meet other requirements as defined||
|Kansas National Guard Educational Assistance Program||Non-commissioned National Guard officers who have less than 20 years of service||
|Kansas Nursing Service Scholarship||Requires an obligation to practice as a LPN or RN in an adult care home, psychiatric hospital, medical care facility, home health agency, local health department or any state agency||
Up to $2500 per year for LPNs; Up to $3500 per year for RNs
|Kansas Teacher Service Scholarship||Requires an obligation to teach in hard-to-fill disciplines and/or an underserved geographic area (as defined)||
Additional private aid can be found through scholarship search sites such as Fastweb.com, where you can enter information about yourself and be matched with scholarship opportunities.
Finally, most colleges and universities offer grants and scholarships available to their students exclusively. Some are awarded based on merit, some are need-based, and some are based on other criteria. Ask about additional assistance in the financial aid office at the school you plan to attend.
List of Online Colleges in Kansas
|Online Colleges in Kansas||Location||Annual Tuition||Accreditation||Application Fee|
|Baker University||Baldwin City, Kansas||$28,030||Regional||$0|
|Emporia State University||Emporia, Kansas||$6,179||Regional||$30|
|Barclay College||Haviland, Kansas||$15,990||Regional||$0|
|Fort Hays State University||Hays, Kansas||$4,88||Regional||$30|
|Pinnacle Career Institute||Lawrence, Kansas||$15,765||National||$0|
|University of Kansas||Lawrence, Kansas||$11,455||Regional||$40|
|University of Saint Mary||Leavenworth, Kansas||$26,650||Regional||$25|
|Grantham University||Lenexa, Kansas||$6,540||National||$0|
|Kansas State University||Manhattan, Kansas||$9,874||Regional||$30|
|Central Christian College of Kansas||McPherson, Kansas||$16,850||Regional||$0|
|Pittsburg State University||Pittsburg, Kansas||$6,910||Regional||$30|
|Friends University||Wichita, Kansas||$26,865||Regional||$0|
|Southwestern College||Winfield, Kansas||$27,250||Regional||$25|
Kansas’ college retention and graduation rates are improving, numerous financial aid opportunities are available for residents, and schools are working hard to meet the demands for more online degree programs.
In spite of drastic budget cuts and funding concerns, Kansas’ colleges and universities continue to flourish.