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Online Colleges in Kansas

Most Affordable Online Colleges

Introduction

Kansas boasts some strong achievements in higher education. For its graduation rate at two-year institutions, Kansas lands among the top 10 states in the nation, according to the 2012 Leaders & Laggards Report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Kansas also ranks above average in the number of credentials produced per 100 full-time undergraduate students.

However, the future could require an even higher number of degrees. An estimated 64 percent of jobs in Kansas will require a college credential by 2018, as reported by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. Registered nurses are an example of an in-demand career requiring specialized postsecondary training. The Kansas Labor Information Center listed RNs as one of the occupations with the most vacancies statewide in the second quarter of 2012. For individuals seeking accessible educational opportunities, online or hybrid studies are now available at a variety of schools, including the University of Kansas, Kansas State University and Wichita State University.

More than 2.8 million people call Kansas home, and of the 1.8 million who are 25 and older, 10 percent have a graduate or professional degree and nearly 20 percent have a bachelor's degree. An additional 32 percent have attended some college or have earned an associate degree.

Workers in Kansas -- there are more than 1.3 million of them -- earn an average hourly wage of $19.83, for an annual mean wage of $41,240. Workers here who are interested in returning to school to earn their bachelor's degree can choose from 35 colleges and universities who offer four-year degree programs in the state.

Most Affordable Colleges in Kansas

The following list ranks the 10 schools in Kansas that offer online degrees at the lowest tuition costs. This ranking is based on a number of factors that are important to prospective students such as the actual degree programs that are taught online, and information on tuition fees and accreditation. Tuition figures are sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics (2013-2014) and reflect in-state tuition (when in-state tuition is available) for all students, including online students. See our Methodology section for more details on the ranking methodology.

1

Fort Hays State University

Tuition/Year
$4,358
Graduation Rate
45%
# of Online Degrees
39
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Fort Hays offers the full range of online degree programs in Kansas, from Associate degrees to Master's degrees, with a few certificate programs thrown in as well. Its Associate degrees online are offered in Applied Technology and General Studies. It's 27 undergraduate degrees online range from Business Education to Tourism and Hospitality. Its Master's degree programs include Business Administration; Education; Educational Administration; Health and Human Performance; Higher Education Student Affairs; Instructional Technology; Liberal Studies; Professional Studies; Nursing Administration; Nursing Education; School Psychology; and Special Education.
School Website: 
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2

Emporia State University

Tuition/Year
$5,614
Graduation Rate
41%
# of Online Degrees
21
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Of ESU's 31 graduate degree programs, 20 are available as fully online degree programs in Kansas. Its online Bachelor's degree program is offered in Interdisciplinary Studies. The college's online Master's degree program in Educational Administration was recently ranked No. 19 by the website TheBestSchools.org. The school is located in Emporia, Kansas.
School Website: 
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3

Washburn University

Tuition/Year
$5,774
Graduation Rate
37%
# of Online Degrees
5
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Washburn, which doesn't charge online students a student activity fee, tries to expand access to higher education through its degree-completion program. This approach allows students with an Associate degree from a partner school or a technical college to transfer their credits and complete their Bachelor's degree online at Washburn. Its online Bachelor's degree programs are in Health Science; Integrated Studies; Human Services; Technology Administration; and Criminal Justice.
School Website: 
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4

Pittsburg State University

Tuition/Year
$5,906
Graduation Rate
50%
# of Online Degrees
21
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Pittsburg State, located in Pittsburg, Kansas, offers three online undergraduate degree programs and 18 graduate degree programs that are fully online. One of the advantages for online students, no matter where they reside, is that they pay in-state tuition. The Bachelor's degree programs include Nursing; Workforce Development (Supervision and Leadership); and Workforce Development (Human Resources).
School Website: 
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5

Wichita State University

Tuition/Year
$6,926
Graduation Rate
46%
# of Online Degrees
1
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Wichita State offers a number of online courses through its WSU Online Learning program, but to date is still working to create a greater number of fully online degree programs in many disciplines. It's one Bachelor's degree online program in Nursing started in the Fall 2014, but more fully online degree programs are expected to follow.
School Website: 
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6

Kansas State University

Tuition/Year
$8,585
Graduation Rate
59%
# of Online Degrees
36
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Kansas State has been making a concerted effort to deliver a broad range of online degree programs in Kansas for students in other states. Its online Bachelor's degrees are offered in Dietetics; Early Childhood Education; Family Studies and Human Services; Nutrition and Health Management; Animal Sciences and Industry; General Business; Food Science and Industry; and Interdisciplinary Social Science. Its 27 online Master's degrees include programs in Academic Advising; Adult and Continuing Education; Agribusiness; Agricultural Education and Communication; Business Administration; Chemical Engineering; Civil Engineering; Community Development; Curriculum Development; Curriculum and Instruction; and 17 other fields. It also has a doctoral program in Personal Financial Planning.
School Website: 
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7

University of Kansas

Tuition/Year
$10,107
Graduation Rate
62%
# of Online Degrees
14
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

In addition to its online Bachelor's degree program in Nursing, Kansas also offers online Master's degrees in Curriculum and Instruction; Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in English for Speakers of Other Languages; Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on Reading; Educational Administration; High Incidence Disabilities; Special Education Transition; Dietetics and Nutrition; Occupational Therapy; Nursing; Pharmaceutical Chemistry; and Social Work. It offers doctorate programs in Nursing and Nursing Practice.
School Website: 
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8

Tabor College

Tuition/Year
$22,730
Graduation Rate
55%
# of Online Degrees
6
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Tabor's approach is to combine "ministry passion" with "entrepreneurial savvy" in delivering its courses to its Christian-based student body, both online and in face-to-face classes. Its online Associate's degree program is in Urban Ministry, and its online Bachelor's degree programs are in Business Administration; Christian Ministry; and Nursing. Its online Master's programs are in Business Administration and entrepreneurial Ministry Leadership.
School Website: 
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9

Newman University

Tuition/Year
$23,650
Graduation Rate
52%
# of Online Degrees
4
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Newman is a religious college that offers online Bachelor's degrees in Undergraduate Studies and Nursing, and online Master's degrees in Theological Studies and Theology. The school itself is located in Wichita, the largest city in Kansas, for those who want a little face-to-face instruction to go with their online degree programs in Kansas.
School Website: 
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10

Ottawa University

Tuition/Year
$23,964
Graduation Rate
NA
# of Online Degrees
29
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Ottawa prides itself on delivering the same caring and supportive environment its on-campus students get to its online learners. In addition to its 23 online Bachelor's degree program, Ottawa offers online graduate programs in Business Administration (with concentrations in Finance, Healthcare Management, Human Resources, Leadership and Management, and Marketing); Human Resources; Curriculum and Instruction; Education Intervention; Education Technology; and Educational Leadership
School Website: 
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School Interviews

Dennis King

Dennis King, Director of the Virtual College, Fort Hays State University

Q. What sets the online programs at your school apart from others?

Fort Hays State University has been offering programs at a distance for over 50 years. In 1998, the university launched the first online program. Today, Fort Hays State has 6,000 students and over 40 programs available online. Programs are available at the associate, bachelor's, master's, and now doctorate level. As a public university with the lowest 1 percent of tuition in the country, the university has focused on quality and word of mouth to grow the programs.

Q. What advice would you give to students interested in an online degree program?

I would recommend the student knows what level of accreditation the school has obtained. Regional accreditation is the highest available. Students enrolling in a nationally accredited program then expecting to transfer to a regionally accredited school will find it difficult to do so. I would also recommend the student research the services that are available to students. Today's technology allows schools to offer online tutoring, career services and free technical resources and many other services.

Knowing what type of teacher interaction will occur in the course is critical. Some students prefer instructor lead course, while others want self paced. Make sure you know which you are signing up for. Finally, I would check rankings and what others are saying. Social media provides all of us an excellent opportunity to research a school.

Q. How do you think online learning will evolve?

I expect delivery techniques, instructional technologies and support services to continue to improve. These would include items like online collaboration, teamwork tools and other soft-skills techniques. Open educational resources continue to show promise in providing quality access to education. Also, the acceptance of alternative learning will also be a key part in the enrollment process. The big question is funding and tuition in the future.

Top Cities For Students In Kansas

Wichita, Kansas

Mean Wage

$41,420

Average Cost of a House

NA

# of Employed People

284,210

Total Population

382,368

Avg Salary with a Bachelor's Degree

$44,263

Economics

Wichita is home to 284,210 workers, who earn an average hourly wage of $19.92 for an annual man wage of $41,420.

Demographics

More than 240,000 of Wichita's 380,000 residents are over the age of 25, and 9 percent of that age group has a graduate or professional degree. Nearly 20 percent have a Bachelor's degree, and roughly a third have attended some college or have earned an Associate degree.

Fun Facts

Wichita is home to Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, the Kansas Aviation Museum, and the Great Plains Transportation Museum. Wichita's attractions are rich in history, such as the Old Cowtown Museum and the Wichita-Sedgwuck County Historical Museum.

Overland Park, Kansas

Mean Wage

$46,000

Average Cost of a House

NA

# of Employed People

NA

Total Population

173,372

Avg Salary with a Bachelor's Degree

$

Economics

Overland Park is south of Kansas City and part of the metropolitan area that covers that urban area. Workers there earn on average $22.12 an hour for an average annual salary of $46,000.

Demographics

Overland Park is home to 173,372 residents, roughly 120,000 of whom are 25 years old or older. Of that group, one in five has a graduate or professional degree and more than one in three has a Bachelor's degree.

Fun Facts

One of the more popular attractions in Overland Park is the Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead, a 12-acre working farm with more than 200 animals and birds. The Arboretum and Botanical Gardens are also a popular spot for learning about environmentally sound community development.

Kansas City, Kansas

Mean Wage

$46,000

Average Cost of a House

NA

# of Employed People

NA

Total Population

145,786

Avg Salary with a Bachelor's Degree

$48,950

Economics

The Kansas version of Kansas City, whose big brother resides across the river in neighboring Missouri, is home to 145,786 Kansans. Workers here earn on average $22.12 an hour for an average annual salary of $46,000.

Demographics

Among the 90,000 Kansas City, Kansas, residents who are 25 and older, 5 percent have a graduate or professional degree, 10 percent have a Bachelor's degree and 29 percent have attended some college or earned an Associate degree.

Fun Facts

While the Missouri version of Kansas City is larger and more famous, its little sister across the Kansas River in the state of Kansas has its own appeal. Attractions include the Kansas Speedway and Lakeside Speedway, as well as the famous Sauer Castle. Kansas City, Kansas, is also home to the National Agricultural Hall of Fame and the Wyandotte County Museum and Historical Society.

 
Other Kansas Resources

  1. College Navigator, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=KS&l=93
  2. Dennis King, interview with the author, June 2015
  3. Emporia State University, http://www.emporia.edu/distance/index.html
  4. Fort Hays State University, http://www.fhsu.edu/virtualcollege/degrees/degrees/
  5. Fun Things to Do in Wichita, http://www.360wichita.com/Entertainment
  6. Fun Things to Do in Overland Park, http://www.360wichita.com/Entertainment
  7. Kansas State University, http://global.k-state.edu/courses/degrees
  8. List of Wichita State People, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Wichita_State_University_people
  9. List of Emporia State University people, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Emporia_State_University_people
  10. List of Kansas State University people, https://www.google.com/search?q=Notable+alumni+Kansas+State&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a
  11. List of University of Kansas people, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_University_of_Kansas_people
  12. List of Washburn University alumni, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Washburn_University_alumni
  13. Newman University, http://www.newmanu.edu/newman-online
  14. Notable Alumni Fort Hays State University, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Hays_State_University
  15. Notable Alumni Ottawa University, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottawa_University#Notable_alumni
  16. Notable Alumni Pittsburgh State University, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pittsburg_State_University#Notable_alumni
  17. Notable Alumni Tabor College, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tabor_College_%28Kansas%29#Notable_alumni_and_faculty
  18. Ottawa University, http://www.ottawa.edu/Online
  19. Pittsburg State University, http://www.pittstate.edu/office/graduate/online_programs.dot
  20. Tabor College, http://online.tabor.edu/programs/
  21. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_48620.htm
  22. U.S. Census Bureau: American Factfinder, http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=CF
  23. University of Kansas, http://online.ku.edu/programs
  24. Washburn University, http://www.washburn.edu/academics/community-continuing-education/online-education/2-2-plan.html
  25. Wichita State, http://www.wichita.edu/thisis/home/?u=onlineed
  26. The 25 Best Online Master's in Educational Administration Degree Programs, http://www.thebestschools.org/rankings/25-best-online-masters-educational-administration-degree-programs/