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Our Research

This list features some of the best online schools in Kansas. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. We included liberal arts colleges and research universities as well as small, midsize, and large institutions. Next, we compared this comprehensive list to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report among others to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

To help confirm that each of these institutions employs a high standard of education, we only included accredited schools. Many of these colleges have been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), an organization consisting of voluntary professionals committed to evaluating and improving postsecondary institutions across north central America. To make its evaluations, the HLC evaluates several factors, including academic mission, integrity, and effectiveness.

We evaluated each school on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for online students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

Online College Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

The Top 50 Online Colleges in Kansas

Best Online Colleges in Kansas Badge

Fort Hays State University

Kansas State University

University of Kansas

Emporia State University

Newman University

Wichita State University

Pittsburg State University

Ottawa University

Barclay College

Baker University

Friends University

MidAmerica Nazarene University

Southwestern College Professional Studies

Central Christian College of Kansas

Washburn University

University of Saint Mary

Manhattan Christian College

Tabor College

Kansas Wesleyan University

Sterling College

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Frequently Asked Questions: Online Colleges in Kansas

Does Kansas have good online colleges and universities?

Yes, Kansas’s online bachelor’s and graduate degree programs are relatively well-regarded. For instance, U.S. News & World Report ranks Kansas State University as No. 39 in the country for online bachelor’s degree programs. At the graduate level, Kansas State University is ranked No. 16 for Online Master’s in Education, and University of Kansas is ranked No. 1 for Online Master’s in Special Education. Kansas’s online degree options, especially at the graduate level, combine quality with affordability.

It’s also worth mentioning that we selected Kansas State University as one of the 30 best schools in the entire United States for distance education. For more information, check out our guide to the best accredited online colleges. In addition to showing you the top options in the country for remote learning, this guide offers expert advice on how to choose a college and complete the application process.

Do online college credits in Kansas cost more than in-person classes?

The answer to this question depends on which college you attend. Some colleges offer discounted rates for online courses regardless of where you live, while others charge an additional fee for online courses to help cover the cost of software licenses, technical support, etc. Most online degree programs in Kansas charge the same tuition for in-state and out-of-state students. At the community college level, in-state students tend to pay less than out-of-state students.

Why should you choose Kansas for online higher education?

Kansas has online bachelor’s and graduate degree programs that consistently rank toward the top of nationwide comparisons, particularly at the graduate level. This tells you that as an online student, you will get a flexible education that sacrifices nothing in the way of quality. Moreover, compared to the online programs in other states, Kansas’s offerings stand out for their affordability.

The Cost of Online College in Kansas

How much does an online degree in Kansas cost?

The cost of an online degree in Kansas depends on which institution you attend as well as the type of degree you choose to pursue. For example, undergraduate programs are usually more affordable than graduate degrees. Also, you may find yourself paying more for your degree if you major in a STEM field rather than the humanities.

Regardless of the cost per credit, you should also consider that you may be able to save a lot of money on indirect expenses, such as transportation and housing, by earning your college degree online.

To give you a sense of exactly how much you should expect to pay for your online education, we’ve listed the current rates for earning an online bachelor’s degree in Kansas below:

Most affordable online college in Kansas: Sterling College, $145 per credit

Most expensive online college in Kansas: Southwestern College, $610 per credit

Average College Tuition Cost

Source: Education Data Initiative

How long do you have to live in Kansas to get in-state tuition rates?

Establishing Kansas residency typically requires you to have resided in Kansas for at least 365 days prior to declaring Kansas residency. You must prove you are in the state for a reason other than education. This requires, for instance, earning income in the state, not enrolling in a state university during the year you are establishing residency, and proving that you intend to stay in Kansas for the foreseeable future.

Who qualifies for reduced tuition costs in Kansas?

Kansas offers several ways to reduce your tuition costs. One is through participation in the Midwest Student Exchange Program (MSEP), which caps tuition for out-of-state Midwest students at 150% of in-state tuition at public universities in participating Midwestern states. This can save you thousands, if not tens of thousands, on your degree.

The state also sponsors the Kansas Comprehensive Grant, which awards need-based aid (up to $10,000 per year) to Kansas students who attend accredited public or private universities in the state. Eligibility is determined based on FAFSA application data, so it’s important to file early and accurately. The FAFSA will also show if you are eligible for Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), and other financial aid awards.

College Financial Aid, Scholarships, and Grant Programs in Kansas

In addition to MSEP tuition reciprocity agreements and the Kansas Comprehensive Grant, there are a number of other programs available that can help you cover the cost of college. Some of these programs are also based on financial need, while others are awarded based on factors such as demographics or academic merit. We’ve reviewed a few of the most prominent financial aid options for you below:

Kansas Career Technical Workforce Grant

Sponsored by the Kansas Board of Regents, this grant awards up to $1,000 per year to Kansas students enrolled in eligible high-value certificate and associate degree programs at approved technical colleges and state universities in Kansas. Preference is given to students with financial need.

Who’s eligible? Graduates of Kansas high schools who enroll in a certificate or associate degree program deemed by the state to be connected to a high-demand industry.

Contact information: [email protected] | 785-430-4240

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Kansas State Scholarship

This state-sponsored grant awards up to $1,000 per year to students in the top 20-30% of their graduating high school class who take the Kansas Scholars Curriculum and earn the distinction of Kansas State Scholar. Awards are based on financial need.

Who’s eligible? Kansas high school graduates who complete the Kansas Scholars Curriculum and earn the distinction of Kansas State Scholar. You must take a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester, maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, and demonstrate financial need.

Contact information: [email protected] | 785-430-4240

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Promise Act Scholarship

This program offers funding to Kansas students who attend eligible technical and public two-year colleges in the state and are working toward a degree in a high-need area, such as information technology and security, mental and physical healthcare, advanced manufacturing and building trades, or early childhood education and development.

Who’s eligible? Kansas residents enrolled at an eligible technical or two-year college who demonstrate financial need, pursue a high-demand degree/certificate, and commit to certain service requirements after graduation.

Contact information: [email protected] | 785-430-4240

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Kansas Teacher Service Scholarship

This state-sponsored program awards merit-based funding to students planning to teach in an accredited school in Kansas upon graduation. You must specialize in a hard-to-fill discipline and/or commit to teaching in an underserved area of the state. This is a service-obligation scholarship program, meaning that you must commit to teaching in a Kansas public school for a set number of years upon earning your degree. Funds are rarely available for college freshmen and sophomores; juniors, seniors, and graduate students have priority.

Who’s eligible? Kansas residents who attend an accredited institution in Kansas and are earning a teaching degree in a hard-to-fill discipline (currently Elementary Education, English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Special Education) at the bachelor’s or master’s degree level. Funding is merit-based, so you must excel academically.

Contact information: [email protected] | 785-430-4240

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Top 5 Fast-Growing Industries in Kansas

If you’re still in the process of assessing your college options, you may also be undecided on your major. When selecting a major, one of the most important factors to consider is your future employability. Thinking about which industries and careers are growing the fastest in Kansas can make it easier to find a job once you graduate, and being in demand should also help you earn a higher salary.

By consulting the U.S. Department of Labor’s Long-Term Occupational Projections (2020–2030), we’ve determined that the following five careers have some of the highest projected growth rates in Kansas:

Nurse Practitioners

Nurse practitioners offer advanced nursing services and typically specialize in a particular area of medicine, such as pediatric health or mental health. You’ll need to earn a master’s degree to become qualified for this occupation, which offers an average salary of $111,670 in Kansas.

Physician Assistants

Physician assistants (PAs) are one of the most in-demand health professionals. They work under physicians to support patient care, and they must complete extensive education and medical training. They are not as highly compensated as physicians, but they still make six-figure salaries. The average annual PA salary in Kansas is $114,470.

Software Developers and Testers

As governments, companies, and individuals become ever more reliant on web-based technologies, it’s no surprise that the skills of software developers and testers are in high demand. Salaries in this field tend to be quite high — in Kansas, software developers earn an average salary of $108,890, and software testers make $84,090.

​​Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists

Market research analysts and marketing specialists use data to understand consumer preferences and tailor a company’s marketing campaigns to what will bring the greatest return on investment. In Kansas, market research analysts and marketing specialists make an average salary of $65,520 per year.

Personal Care Aides

As Kansas’s population ages and chronic and acute medical conditions become more prevalent, the state is in increasing need of personal care aides to assist patients, often older adults or disabled people, with tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and bathing. In Kansas, personal care aides make an average annual salary of $25,750.


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