Online Schools & Colleges
in Kansas

Resources and Advice on Finding the Best Online College Experience

There are six state universities, 26 community colleges, and several more technical schools in the state of Kansas, with more than 226,000 students enrolled between them. But the value of college is underrated in parts of the state, despite well-paying jobs that require a college degree, such as nurses and engineers, being highly in-demand. With the expansion of online learning, earning a degree is more accessible and flexible than it used to be; if you want to learn more about how a college degree can increase your career and salary opportunities and how to find the right college for your needs, take a look at our guide to identifying the best online colleges in Kansas below.

Best Online Colleges in Kansas

2-Year Colleges

When researching online colleges in Kansas, first and foremost consider your interests and how they match up with programs available for distance learners. From there, a number of personal priorities become factors: personnel in the armed forces may want to find a military-friendly college that works around moves and deployments, while other students may prefer a college that allows them to blend multiple fields of study to form a custom curriculum. But before narrowing the list too far, there are some baseline factors to consider, such as cost and student support systems, that could heavily impact your college success. This is why we’ve identified the online programs in Kansas that provide the best mix of qualitative and quantitative features for online students:

Rank University Title Tuition # of Online Programs Expand Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Description
1 Hutchinson Community College $2,688 24 33% 66% Yes Yes Yes
2 Garden City Community College $1,824 54 31% 44% Yes No Yes
3 Barton Community College $2,304 34 29% 69% Yes Yes Yes
4 Highland Community College $2,218 13 28% 66% Yes Yes Yes
5 Neosho County Community College $2,144 4 23% 75% Yes No Yes
6 Kansas City Kansas Community College $2,580 22 23% 25% Yes Yes Yes
7 Pratt Community College $1,888 4 29% 72% Yes Yes Yes
8 Seward County Community College $1,888 9 38% 42% Yes Yes Yes
9 Johnson County Community College $2,820 9 16% 20% Yes Yes Yes
10 Allen County Community College $1,800 87 42% 70% No No Yes
11 Colby Community College $2,100 4 27% 61% No No Yes
12 Flint Hills Technical College $4,352 14 57% 25% No Yes Yes
Rank University Title Tuition # of Online Programs Expand Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Description
1 Baker University $27,600 10 78% 59% 100% Yes Yes Yes

Located in Baldwin City, Kansas, Baker University is a private, Christian university affiliated with the United Methodist Church. BU offers a variety of both bachelor's and master's degrees that can be earned entirely online, with an emphasis on the fields of business, finance, education and leadership and management. In addition, education professionals can choose from among dozens of online professional development and recertification courses to help meet their continuing education certification requirements. Courses are provided in an asynchronous format, allowing students to access course materials and complete assignments at any time during a course's weekly modules.

2 Wichita State University $6,385 16 86% 50% 74% Yes Yes Yes

Established in 2013, Wichita State Online allows students to earn bachelor's and master's degrees and degree completion programs in a wide range of disciplines through distance learning. Of particular note are a number of healthcare-related degree options, including a registered dental hygienist to Bachelor of Science in dental hygiene, Master of Arts in aging studies, and MSN to DSN. Online students pay in-state tuition rates regardless of where they live. Each student is assigned a dedicated Online Success Specialist who acts as the student's first stop in connecting with all support services, including tutoring, money management, Veterans services and more.

3 Kansas State University $9,012 24 94% 61% 71% No Yes Yes

Through its Global Campus, Kansas State University offers more than 60 degrees and certificates that can be earned fully or partially online in fields ranging from agriculture and the arts and sciences to education and engineering. The field of human ecology is substantially represented with over a dozen undergraduate and graduate online degree options. Additionally, KSU's Global Campus has partnered with the state's network of 19 community colleges to offer 2+2 bachelor's degree completion programs that allow a student to earn an associate degree at his/her local community or technical college and complete a bachelor's degree in 1 of 3 majors (general business, interdisciplinary social science, or technology management) entirely through distance learning.

4 Pittsburg State University $5,396 13 87% 51% 59% Yes Yes Yes

Pittsburgh State University offers an impressive number of online degree and certificate options, with particular emphasis on master's degrees in the fields of business, education and technology. Programs of particular note include a Master of Science in technology with an emphasis in automobile techology, a Master in Business Administration - International Business, and Ed.S in advanced studies in leadership with 2 emphasis options (general school administration and special education). All non-resident, part-time PSU online students pay the same in-state tuition rates as their Kansas resident counterparts.

5 Fort Hays State University $3,789 36 91% 44% 73% No Yes Yes

Fort Hays State University, the third-largest school in the Kansas public university system, is home to a substantial distance learning program known as the Virtual College. FHSU currently offers a large variety of associate, bachelor's and master's degrees in subjects that include accounting, business, computer science, criminal justice, education, information networking and telecommunications and many more. Additionally, FHSU offers 2 Ed.S degrees and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice that can be completed through online study. FHSU's online tuition prices rank among the lowest in the nation.

6 Barclay College $12,500 6 67% 42% 89% Yes Yes Yes

Barclay College is a private, four-year, Christian institution whose mission is to prepare students in a bible-centered environment that results in effective Christian life, service and leadership. Barclay offers 4 bachelor's degrees (Biblical Studies, Business Management, Christian Leadership and Psychology) through its online degree-completion program. A general studies associate degree and 5 undergraduate certificates are also available. Students are required to earn a minimum of 40 college credit hours prior to beginning an online degree program at Barclay. Students with less than 40 credit hours can earn the needed credits by enrolling in the college's online AA degree program. Additionally, master's degrees in 7 Christian-related concentrations can be completed through distance learning.

7 University of Kansas $9,579 10 93% 62% 62% No Yes Yes

The University of Kansas is the largest public university in Kansas and the flagship school of the state's public university system. KU Online is currently home to a substantial number of bachelor's, master's and doctorate degree programs, as well as several undergraduate certificate programs. Degrees can be earned either fully or partially online depending on the specific degree. Areas of study include business, health care, education, engineering, journalism, nursing, social work and many more. Of particular note is KU's fully online RN to BSN degree program, which can be completed in as little as 1 year.

8 Newman University $26,416 12 58% 47% 100% Yes Yes Yes

Newman University, a private, Catholic university based in Wichita, Kansas, offers 5 online degree programs, including a Bachelor of Arts in business studies, a Master of Arts in theology, a Master of Theological Studies, a Master of Education and a Master of Business Administration. Students interested in NU's BA in business studies who are returning to complete their degree after being out of school for four years or longer may be eligible for a reduced tuition rate or community college transfer scholarship through the university's Adult Re-Entry program.

9 MidAmerica Nazarene University $27,650 3 52% 51% 96% Yes Yes Yes

MidAmerica Nazarene University is a private, Christian, liberal arts college located in Olathe, Kansas. MNU offers 11 online degrees and certificate options, including 6 master's degrees, 3 certificate programs, a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, and an accelerated Associate of Arts degree. Of particular note is the university's MSN/MBA, a dual-degree program designed for licensed nurses with BSN degrees who want to earn both the MS in nursing and an MBA. The program combines online coursework presented in an asynchronous format with attendance at a once-per-week online or on-campus class.

10 Washburn University $7,644 17 - 38% 64% Yes Yes Yes

Washburn University offers 3 bachelor's degrees (health services administration, medical imaging, and clinical laboratory science) and four professional certificates (diagnostic medical sonography, magnetic resonance imaging, health information technology, and radiation therapy) that can be earned online through its School of Applied Sciences-Allied Health Department. All programs combine online coursework with a required clinical component. For example, the clinical component for both the bachelor's and certificate diagnostic medical sonography programs requires 24 hours per week in clinical participation by the student at a program-approved clinical site for the entirety of the program. Approved clinical sites are available throughout the U.S. and Canada, and a few are available worldwide.

11 Emporia State University $4,893 19 87% 42% 66% No Yes Yes
12 Tabor College $25,700 4 56% 50% 100% Yes Yes Yes
13 Southwestern College $27,100 38 92% 54% 89% Yes No Yes
14 Sterling College $23,400 8 37% 43% 99% Yes Yes Yes
15 University of Saint Mary $25,900 12 49% 35% 99% Yes Yes Yes
16 Kansas Wesleyan University $28,000 6 55% 33% 99% Yes Yes Yes
17 Friends University $26,550 10 55% 37% 95% Yes No Yes
18 Ottawa University-Ottawa $26,194 16 50% 32% 100% No No Yes
19 Central Christian College of Kansas $16,000 8 54% 32% 36% Yes No Yes
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How can I find which online colleges offer the degree I'm looking for in Kansas?

The best way to discover which college offers your degree of choice is to connect with schools directly. The Kansas Board of Regents offers a list of all of the state's public institutions and an interactive map of Kansas. The state university data book that provides details about each of Kansas's six state universities.

Many schools list available online degrees on their website. For instance, Wichita State University provides a directory of their online associate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees.

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Which online schools in Kansas will accept my transfer credits or work/life experience?

Most online colleges in Kansas accept transfer credits from other accredited schools. Public colleges maintain articulation agreements with community colleges, allowing students to easily transfer their associate degrees to four-year schools, and the University of Kansas CredTran system allows you to search for the courses you’ve taken at other institutions to see how they’ve transferred over for other students in the past.

Previous military service or work experience might also be eligible to translate to college credit. Examples include:

  • Students at the University of Kansas can receive four credit hours in exercise sciences, sport, and health for completing basic military training.

  • Credits for prior knowledge are assessed based on a variety of exams at the University of Wichita, including their Life Experience Evaluation, College Level Exam Program (CLEP) and DANTES military service assessment.

How Much More Do College Grads in Kansas Make?

Students repeatedly hear that they must earn a college degree to earn higher salaries over the course of their careers. While it’s not true for every job in every industry, in Kansas there’s a clear distinction in pay for jobs that require a college degree over those that don’t. On average, Kansas careers that require a bachelor's degree pay $30,000 more per year than positions that require just a high school diploma. As education-level requirements increase, so does average pay in Kansas, across the board.

Mean Annual Salary for All Occupations in Kansas, by Minimum Degree Level Required:

No Formal
High School
$30,360 $40,656 $53,483 $70,694 $71,282 $102,443

State economic reports show the fastest-growing jobs in Kansas are in data communications and computer network systems. Other rapidly growing jobs include personal financial advisers, home health aides, enrichment education teachers and computer software engineers—all of which hold additional education as a minimum requirement.

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The Impact of Accreditation for Online Colleges and Universities in Kansas

Accreditation is an important quality assurance mechanism in the age of online college scams. Students should always attend a regionally accredited college, since these schools are closely monitored to meet the highest standards of academic excellence and offer the best academic programs. Students who do not attend regionally accredited schools may not qualify for federal financial aid or receive employment after graduation.

The Higher Learning Commission grants regional accreditation to colleges in Kansas that meet all of the commission's standards. Here’s more on how accreditation impacts online colleges in the state.

Regional Accreditation:

Higher Learning Commission

In Kansas, students should look for schools accredited by the HLC, which regulates colleges and universities online and on-campus programs and services in more than a dozen midwestern states, including Missouri, Oklahoma, Colorado and Nebraska.

National & Specialized Accreditations

In addition to regional accreditation, top online schools in Kansas may have subject-specific accreditation in certain fields. For instance, Newman University's education program holds accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. This ensures both educational and industry standards are being met for new students training to enter specialized fields.

Paying for Online College in Kansas: Tuition & Financial Aid

Paying for college is one of the leading factors determining college choice. In Kansas there are many financial aid and tuition break programs to take advantage of, you just need to know where to look.

  • Out-of-state students attending Kansas universities online might be able to receive reduced tuition through the Midwest Student Exchange Program. As part of this reciprocity agreement, students can avoid paying out-of-state tuition if they reside in neighboring states like Indiana, Ohio, or Michigan.

  • Local students can check their county of residency for deals on college tuition, such as at the University of Kansas City, where a Kansas rate is offered despite the school’s location on the border of Missouri.

  • Military status could mean a discounted tuition rate beyond the GI Bill and other federal education benefits that students in the service receive, like Ottawa University’s dedicated Military Tuition Rate.

These are just a few answers to the financial questions on the minds of Kansas students—take a look below for more information on funding your online degree.

What are Kansas's requirements to qualify for in-state university tuition?

You can qualify for in-state tuition if you live in Kansas and remain financially independent for at least one year before classes begin. In addition, you must show your intent to permanently reside in Kansas. You should provide proof that you work full time in the state, have registered to vote in Kansas, or possess a state driver's license. Furthermore, you must have moved to Kansas for some purpose other than in-state tuition, ane may take no more than three credit hours per semester during the year leading up to the session for which you request residency.

Are online credits more affordable in Kansas than other places?

Public college tuition in Kansas costs $9,200 for in-state students. This number falls slightly below the national average of $9,400. However, specific costs vary from school to school. For instance, Fort Hays State University charges just $5,000, while Kansas Wesleyan University costs nearly $29,000. While that seems like a large difference, it doesn’t take financial aid into account—Kansas Wesleyan University offers financial aid to 99 percent of new students.

But what about online tuition rates? They aren’t always the same as in-state tuition totals. Residency plays a factor at some schools, as well as your desired program length (whether you choose an part-time, full-time or accelerated timeline). Stripping away the fees and additional charges, lets take a look at what the 2018-2019 Semester online undergraduate cost per credit is at some Kansas colleges and universities compared to schools in neighboring states:

$218 to $288 per credit hour

Columbia College (Missouri)

$375 per credit hour
$178 to $696 per credit hour
$325 per credit hour
$476 per credit hour

How can I get help paying for online college in Kansas?

Besides taking advantage of federal college aid and filling out the FAFSA, you can find a wide variety of scholarship and grants to help fund your education. Below are a handful of funding opportunities available to college-bound students who study online in Kansas.

Examples of adult education programs that can kickstart a college education in Kansas:

  • Kansas Ethnic Minority Scholarship: This scholarship assists minority students who demonstrate financial need. Students must also have a history of academic excellence.

  • Kansas State Scholarship: Kansas students who finish high school in the top 20 percent-30 percent of their class qualify for this scholarship.

  • Kansas Comprehensive Grant: This scholarship benefits Kansas students who decide to study full time at an approved private or public college in the state. The grant awards $200-$3,500.

Online College & Adult Education in Kansas

Between July 2016 and June 2017, more than 7,000 people across Kansas participated in adult education programs. These include college preparation and basic education courses for adults who have been out of the classroom and need to brush up on their skills before feeling comfortable enrolling in an online degree program. In Kansas, adult education programs serve mostly students between the ages of 25 and 44.

Examples of adult education programs that can kickstart a college education in Kansas:

A complete list of adult education centers in Kansas is available from the Kansas Board of Regents.

In 2017, nearly 20,000 people across Kansas participated in adult education programs.
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