Online Degrees In Kansas (KS)

Online degrees in Kansas

Kansas, where America’s East meets its West and its mountains meet the plains, another sort of crossroads is found: It’s where some of its fastest-growing urban centers and its smallest rural towns live side by side. Kansas is America’s bread basket, an agrarian state where much of our wheat and other crops are grown. But 30 percent of the world’s aviation aircraft is also produced here in Wichita, and the state is a leader in alternative energy and other science and technology industries.

Herein lies a problem for Kansas: a brain drain. As economic opportunity abounds here, many of its brightest workers are leaving the state in search of bigger urban centers. Its economy will be unable to grow if its workforce cannot provide enough qualified workers to meet demand.

A major key to meeting this demand is online education in Kansas. This guide will highlight the opportunities online education provides, offer insights into the quality and accessibility of online education and much more.

Kansas’ educational attainment is currently at an all-time high, according to the Kansas Association of School Boards. It ranks 15th among all states for its educational attainment. Unfortunately, though, this simply isn’t enough to meet the state’s needs. Since the Great Recession, a whopping 99 percent of all new jobs created have required education beyond high school.

By 2020, 71 percent of jobs in Kansas will require some postsecondary credential. But as of 2016, its rate had only reached 50.7 percent. Though unemployment in the state is low, workers without postsecondary education may be completely shut out of the fastest-growing, highest-paying jobs.

As if employment prospects weren’t attractive enough, pay also has been shown to increase with education level. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that in 2017, weekly earnings for those with high school diplomas were $712. It jumped to $836 with an associate degree and $1,173 with a bachelor’s degree.

Earning an online degree in Kansas makes sense for those in rural areas or who simply aren’t geographically close to schools offering their chosen programs. Online programs allow students to complete their studies on their own schedules, making it possible to work, raise a family or fulfill other obligations. And research shows that online classes are typically less costly than on-campus classes.

The following list of colleges was developed using a methodology that evaluates such factors as tuition, number of online programs, student support resources and more, to help you make the right choice of program.

1
Fort Hays State University
Hays, KS
https://www.fhsu.edu
Average in-state tuition
$3,990
No. of online programs
36
% of students in distance education
83%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,629
Admissions Rate
92%
Graduation Rate
44%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
2
Allen County Community College
Iola, KS
https://www.allencc.edu
Average in-state tuition
$1,920
No. of online programs
81
% of students in distance education
74%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,251
Admissions Rate
N/A%
Graduation Rate
N/A%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
No
3
Colby Community College
Colby, KS
https://www.colbycc.edu
Average in-state tuition
$2,430
No. of online programs
12
% of students in distance education
100%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,372
Admissions Rate
N/A%
Graduation Rate
N/A%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
No
4
Cowley County Community College
Arkansas City, KS
https://www.cowley.edu
Average in-state tuition
$1,950
No. of online programs
3
% of students in distance education
59%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,476
Admissions Rate
N/A%
Graduation Rate
N/A%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
5
Emporia State University
Emporia, KS
https://www.emporia.edu
Average in-state tuition
$5,154
No. of online programs
26
% of students in distance education
55%
Avg. amount of Aid
$6,552
Admissions Rate
85%
Graduation Rate
45%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
6
Wichita State University
Wichita, KS
https://www.wichita.edu
Average in-state tuition
$6,709
No. of online programs
24
% of students in distance education
62%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,760
Admissions Rate
96%
Graduation Rate
47%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
7
Barton County Community College
Great Bend, KS
https://www.bartonccc.edu
Average in-state tuition
$2,368
No. of online programs
47
% of students in distance education
51%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,315
Admissions Rate
N/A%
Graduation Rate
N/A%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
8
Hutchinson Community College
Hutchinson, KS
https://www.hutchcc.edu
Average in-state tuition
$2,848
No. of online programs
20
% of students in distance education
38%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,683
Admissions Rate
N/A%
Graduation Rate
N/A%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
9
Washburn University
Topeka, KS
https://www.washburn.edu
Average in-state tuition
$8,202
No. of online programs
26
% of students in distance education
37%
Avg. amount of Aid
$5,857
Admissions Rate
N/A%
Graduation Rate
44%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
10
Fort Scott Community College
Fort Scott, KS
https://www.fortscott.edu
Average in-state tuition
$1,860
No. of online programs
1
% of students in distance education
27%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,959
Admissions Rate
N/A%
Graduation Rate
N/A%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
11
Wichita State University-Campus of Applied Sciences and Technology
Wichita, KS
Average in-state tuition
$4,206
No. of online programs
1
% of students in distance education
39%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,447
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
12
Pittsburg State University
Pittsburg, KS
Average in-state tuition
$5,694
No. of online programs
23
% of students in distance education
40%
Avg. amount of Aid
$8,653
Admissions Rate
89.578163771712
Graduation Rate
53
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
13
Flint Hills Technical College
Emporia, KS
Average in-state tuition
$4,512
No. of online programs
6
% of students in distance education
18%
Avg. amount of Aid
$2,121
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
14
Southwestern College
Winfield, KS
Average in-state tuition
$30,000
No. of online programs
41
% of students in distance education
58%
Avg. amount of Aid
$15,004
Admissions Rate
55.529411764706
Graduation Rate
48
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
No
15
University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS
Average in-state tuition
$10,092
No. of online programs
39
% of students in distance education
26%
Avg. amount of Aid
$8,671
Admissions Rate
91.709598698482
Graduation Rate
65
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
16
Kansas City Kansas Community College
Kansas City, KS
Average in-state tuition
$2,640
No. of online programs
15
% of students in distance education
32%
Avg. amount of Aid
$5,383
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
17
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS
Average in-state tuition
$9,375
No. of online programs
74
% of students in distance education
25%
Avg. amount of Aid
$6,427
Admissions Rate
93.402417962003
Graduation Rate
64
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
18
Pratt Community College
Pratt, KS
Average in-state tuition
$1,984
No. of online programs
3
% of students in distance education
34%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,466
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
19
Highland Community College
Highland, KS
Average in-state tuition
$2,346
No. of online programs
7
% of students in distance education
44%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,053
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
20
Friends University
Wichita, KS
Average in-state tuition
$27,965
No. of online programs
11
% of students in distance education
39%
Avg. amount of Aid
$13,443
Admissions Rate
47.348484848485
Graduation Rate
39
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
No
Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2018-19, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/

We’ve used information from the National Center for Education Statistics to create this list of top online degree programs in Kansas, which may be an indicator of employment demand in the state.

Program Name
No. of online programs
Business Administration and Management, General
41
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
18
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies
18
Accounting
13
Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration, General
13
Health/Health Care Administration/Management
12
Criminal Justice/Safety Studies
10
History, General
9
Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration
9
Psychology, General
9

The Kansas Board of Regents was awarded a $50,000 Lumina Foundation grant in 2017 for its Get AHEAD (Adult Higher Education Accessible Degrees) initiative to encourage more adult students to return to school and complete their degrees by 2020. Part of this grant funding is designated for online degree completion programs as Kansas works to expand online offerings and make college more accessible to residents.

Expanding programs helps, but there must be an assurance of quality. Fortunately, the state has joined the National Council of State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA). This mutual agreement among volunteer states is designed to create standards for content and quality across state lines, while making online colleges affordable, whether you’re in state or out of state. Currently, there are 43 SARA-approved Kansas colleges and universities.

Additionally, students may find that many schools adhere to their own self-imposed quality measurements. For example, The University of Kansas, Wichita State University and Washburn University all subscribe to the Quality Matters standards for online education quality. And EDUKAN is a consortium of four rural Kansas community colleges that have come together to develop new technologies for online education, increase choice and affordability and ensure consistent quality.

Whether you’re a recently graduated high school senior or a returning adult with a full-time job, you’ll have some important considerations to make. Here are a few things to look for:

  • Accreditation: A school’s accreditation status tells you about its commitment to quality, rigor, growth and student success. It’s required for federal financial aid and most state and private aid. Be sure any school you’re considering has current accreditation.
  • Type of program: Not only must the college offer the degree and subject you’re seeking to accomplish your goals, but its requirements must suit your life. Are its activities synchronous (in real time) or asynchronous? Is there a face-to-face requirement? Is the program going to suit your abilities and schedule?
  • Support and instruction: Do you need a lot of feedback and interaction with faculty and peers, or is a large class with little personal interaction going to suit you? Do you prefer a lot of advisement, counseling, tutoring and support, or do you prefer more independent pursuits? Be sure the class size, level of interaction and availability of support is suitable to your needs.

What industries in Kansas are experiencing the highest demand? Here’s a list of the top 10 occupations in Kansas, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Occupation
Number of Workers
Average Salary
Office and Administrative Support Occupations189,570$37,190
Sales and Related Occupations126,590$41,120
Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations123,440$22,510
Transportation and Material Moving Occupations118,620$37,160
Production Occupations115,610$41,530
Educational Instruction and Library Occupations93,450$46,230
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations86,100$70,060
Business and Financial Operations Occupations75,300$69,660
Healthcare Support Occupations63,760$27,790
Management Occupations63,400$105,360
Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations63,200$47,820
Construction and Extraction Occupations60,330$46,370
Fast Food and Counter Workers41,030$20,050
Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations40,130$28,810
Retail Salespersons36,230$27,780
Computer and Mathematical Occupations36,140$75,790
Cashiers32,610$21,990
Customer Service Representatives31,920$35,840
Registered Nurses30,370$62,450
Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive29,110$34,260

Source: 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2018-28 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

In order to qualify for financial aid, it’s essential that you submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, by October 1. All federal aid, and most state and private aid sources, will require this first.

At the state level, here are some sources of scholarships and grants offered by the State of Kansas that may be used at Kansas colleges that offer online degree programs:

  • Kansas Career Technical Workforce Grant: This need-based grant may be available to students enrolled in an eligible career technical education program operated by a designated Kansas educational institution. Typically, technical certificate and associate of applied science degree programs are included among the eligible programs.
  • Kansas Nursing Service Scholarship: This scholarship typically requires an obligation to practice as a registered nurse in Kansas and work for a sponsor. The sponsor may provide partial scholarship funding and may provide employment upon licensure of the recipient.
  • Kansas Teacher Service Scholarship: This merit-based scholarship is for both students pursuing bachelor’s degree programs and currently licensed teachers pursuing an endorsement in hard-to-fill disciplines or master’s degrees or either group planning to teach in an underserved geographic area.

Other awards exist for special populations, such as military or ROTC members, aspiring nurses or teachers and graduate students with a variety of interests.

Scholarship Listing

Kansas Comprehensive Grant
No. of Awards
9500
Deadline
April 1
Max. Award Amount
3,000
Renewable
Yes
Criteria
Applicant must be a Kansas resident, attend an eligible Kansas institution, be a full-time student, and demonstrate financial need.
More
Ted and Nora Anderson Scholarship
No. of Awards
4
Deadline
February 15
Max. Award Amount
500
Renewable
No
Criteria
Applicant must be a child of a Kansas American Legion or Auxiliary member and attending a school in Kansas.
More
Rosedale Post 346 Scholarship
No. of Awards
2
Deadline
February 15
Max. Award Amount
750
Renewable
No
Criteria
Applicant must be the child of a veteran; parents must have been members of the Kansas American Legion and/or Kansas American Legion Auxiliary for the past three consecutive years.
More
Kansas Ethnic Minority Scholarship
No. of Awards
180
Deadline
May 1
Max. Award Amount
1,850
Renewable
Yes
Criteria
Applicant must be an ethnic minority who is a Kansas resident, attending an eligible Kansas school. Selection is based upon academic performance, ethnic category, and financial need.
More
Kansas State Scholarship
No. of Awards
1283
Deadline
May 1
Max. Award Amount
1,000
Renewable
Yes
Criteria
Applicant must be a Kansas resident who is attending an eligible Kansas school as a full-time student, have been designated during senior year of high school as a State Scholar, and be able to demonstrate financial need.
More

Source: Scholarship directory data is copyrighted material which is reproduced on this website by permission of CollegeXpress, a division of Carnegie Dartlet. Copyright © 2020 by CollegeXpress.

In Kansas, there is no single college entrance exam that is required by all colleges and universities. You may be required to submit scores from the SAT, ACT or other exam, or you may not need to submit one at all. Contact your prospective school for details about what’s required.


See Methodology Information Here
Sources

  • Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2018-19, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
  • Institute for Research on Higher Education. (2016). College Affordability Diagnosis: Kansas. Philadelphia, PA: Institute for Research on Higher Education, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania. http://www2.gse.upenn.edu/irhe/affordability-diagnosis
  • U.S. Census, “QuickFacts: Kansas,” July 1, 2018, https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/ks/PST045218
  • “10 Questions to Ask Before Selecting an Online University,” Military.com, accessed Jan. 30, 2019,https://www.military.com/education/finding-a-school/10-questions-to-ask-before-selecting-an-online-university/
  • Institute for Research on Higher Education, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania, “College Opportunity Risk Assessment: Kansas,” accessed Jan. 30, 2019,https://irhe.gse.upenn.edu/sites/default/files/College-Opportunity-Risk-Assessment-2018-IDAHO.pdf
  • Young, Jeffrey R. “Do Online Courses Really Save Money? A New Study Explores ROI for Colleges and Students,” EdSurge, April 12, 2018,https://www.edsurge.com/news/2018-04-12-do-online-courses-really-save-money-a-new-study-explores-roi-for-colleges-and-students
  • National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements, “Kansas,” accessed Jan. 30, 2019,https://www.nc-sara.org/states/KS
  • Kansas Board of Regents, “Scholarships and Grants,” accessed Jan. 30, 2019,https://www.kansasregents.org/students/student_financial_aid/scholarships_and_grants
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections, “Unemployment rates and earnings by educational attainment, 2017,” March 27, 2018, https://www.bls.gov/emp/chart-unemployment-earnings-education.htm
  • Picchi, Aimee, “Rural America’s ‘brain drain’: How student debt is emptying small towns,” Valley News Live, Jan. 21, 2019,https://www.valleynewslive.com/content/news/Rural-Americas-brain-drain-How-student-debt-is-emptying-small-towns-504663872/
  • Bisaha, Stephen. “Strong Economy And Costly Tuition Stall Increases In Kansas College Graduates,” KCUR 89.3, Jan. 23, 2019, https://www.kcur.org/post/strong-economy-and-costly-tuition-stall-increases-kansas-college-graduates#stream/0.
  • EduKan, accessed Jan. 30, 2019,https://edukan.org/
  • Tallman, Mark. Kansas Association of School Boards. “Kansas’ educational attainment is at an all-time high, but it must continue to improve,” accessed Jan. 30, 2019,https://kasb.org/blog/kansas-educational-attainment-is-at-a/.
  • Kansas Department of Commerce, “Economic Indicators,” accessed Jan. 30, 2019, https://www.kansascommerce.gov/949/Economic-Indicators
  • Guevara, Natalie. “Washington has one of the most educate populations in America,” KOMO News, Jan. 26, 2019,https://komonews.com/news/local/washington-has-one-of-the-most-educated-populations-in-america
  • Washburn University, “RN-to-BSN Online Program,” accessed Jan. 30, 2019, https://washburn.edu/academics/college-schools/nursing/undergrad/rn-bsn/
  • Wichita State University, “Online Faculty Support,” accessed Jan. 30, 2019, https://www.wichita.edu/academics/online/facultyresources.php
  • The KU Center for Online and Distance Learning, The University of Kansas, “Resources for Teaching Online,” accessed Jan. 30, 2019,https://codl.ku.edu/get-support
Methodologies and Sources