Best Online Colleges in Kansas

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As one of 12 states in the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC), Kansas provides its students with a multitude of resources and support for online and distance education. The state’s membership in MHEC translates to lower tuition rates, more opportunities for postsecondary education, and educational support for military veterans, among other benefits. As more and more jobs in the state require advanced degrees, Kansas has committed to increasing the percentage of higher degree-holding adults in the state to 60 percent by 2020, and MHEC’s resources can help the state reach that goal.

With these initiatives, Kansas aims to make online education more affordable and accessible for all students. Public higher education institutions in Kansas, including the state’s six universities as well as community and technical colleges, can take advantage of the Kan-ed program, a high-speed, statewide network that provides video communication for online and distance learning and telemedicine. Historically, the Kan-ed program has also assisted in procuring grants and other funding for online education programs.

Online colleges in Kansas give students greater opportunities to pursue higher education. While the state has lower-than-average degree completion rates, online learning programs can work to bridge that gap by providing increased flexibility, courses that can be completed at a students’ preferred pace and the convenience of earning a degree from home.

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1Fort Hays State University 1/543.01%Hays, KS

Fort Hays State University has highly flexible offerings and a range of associate, bachelor’s and graduate degrees offerings, including the following:

  • Associate of Applied Science in Applied Technology
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Business Education
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Professional Studies

Notably, the school offers a total of 15 master’s, 28 bachelor’s and two associate degree programs, as well as continuing education for many disciplines.

More information can be found through the school’s main Web portal.

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2Manhattan Christian College 3/545.45%Manhattan, KS

Recognized as being among the top online Christian colleges in the country, Manhattan Christian College has eight-week semesters and their programs are designed to be both flexible and affordable make this a great choice for Christian learners.

The school offers two online degree programs: a Bachelor of Science in Management and Ethics and a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Research. Both curricula are heavily based in Christian ideologies, and require 120 hours of coursework to complete. Manhattan Christian College also offers a Certificate in Biblical Leadership program.

Prospective students can learn more about the courses through the main online portal.

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3University of Kansas 1/560%Lawrence, KS

As one of the biggest powerhouse institutions west of the Mississippi River, the University of Kansas offers the following undergraduate programs:

  • Bachelor of General Studies in Liberal Arts
  • BGS in Psychology
  • Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care for Registered Respiratory Therapists
  • Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing

The school also offers 17 graduate degree and three graduate certificate programs. The University of Kansas designed its online programs to maximize the convenience and affordability of education for students.

Prospective students can learn more through the school’s online learning program portal.

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4Emporia State University 2/538.74%Emporia, KS

Emporia State University offers six bachelor degree programs, including in Business Administration, Accounting, Interdisciplinary Studies and Elementary Education.

The school’s graduate degree catalogue is expansive, with more than 30 programs available including the following:

  • Master of Science Accountancy
  • Master of Science in Business Administration
  • Master of Science in Educational Administration
  • Master of Science in Library and Information Management
  • Master of Science Rehabilitation Counseling

When it comes to distance learning, Emporia State University works hard to offer convenient and flexible options.

Prospective students can find more information through the school’s main website.

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5Kansas State University 2/558.58%Manhattan, KS

An iconic school in the Midwest, Kansas State University offers an expansive repertoire of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees, as well as many certificate programs.

Bachelor’s degrees in Animal Science and Industry, General Business, Nutrition and Health, and Technology Management are available. The school’s master’s degree programs span from various engineering, ecological and agricultural disciplines to education and art.

Kansas State University proudly offers its modestly priced degree programs to adult learners from around the globe, and maintains partnerships with organizations in roughly 20 countries.

More information can be found through the school’s Global Campus portal.

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6Newman University 4/547.83%Wichita, KS

Newman University might not have the largest list of Web-based degree programs, but remains among the top colleges in the state thanks to its intuitive and refined approach to distance learning. The school offers a Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Business Studies.

Additionally, Newman University has two master’s degree programs, one in Theological Studies and the other a Master of Arts in Theology.

The school leverages Blackboard’s online services to ensure students have all of the information and support they need to complete their coursework from a distance.

Prospective Students can learn more through the school’s online portal.

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7Sterling College – Kansas 4/539.33%Sterling, KS

Sterling College offers several online degree programs, including those in the following disciplines:

  • Criminal Justice Administration
  • History
  • Special Education
  • Theological Studies

It is worth noting that the school does have restrictions on the states from which students can learn for certain programs, and it requires as many as three visits to its campus to be accepted into any education-related degree programs.

When meeting the requirements, though, this school offers its online learners support and user-friendly systems to complete coursework.
Prospective students should check out Sterling College’s website for more information.

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8Pittsburg State University 2/550.1%Pittsburg, KS

Pittsburg State University is known for some of the best programs for engineering, health, history, nursing, technology and workforce learning, and teaching in the state.

Below are a few of the degree programs the school offers:

  • Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering Technology
  • Master of Science in Health, Human Performance and Recreation
  • Master of Arts of in History
  • Bachelor of Science in Workforce Development

The school also lists an impressive list of majors.

More information can be found through Pittsburg State University’s online portal.

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9Friends University 4/534.32%Wichita, KS

Friends University offers flexible schedules and program completion timelines.

Bachelor’s degrees are offered in the following studies:

  • Business Management
  • Human Resources Management
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Organizational Leadership and Transformational Change

The following master’s degrees are also available online:

  • Teaching
  • Global Master of Business Administration
  • Information Security
  • Health Care Leadership
  • Management Information Systems

Considering current market outlooks, virtually all of these disciplines will provide students with immense job opportunities following graduation. Interested parties should note that the programs are not offered to students in every state.

More information can be found through the school’s online learning portal.

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10MidAmerica Nazarene University 4/550%Olathe, KS

MidAmerica Nazarene University has a diverse range of programs, which include options for students seeking associate and master’s degree offerings, as well as certifications.

Graduates can complete their Master of Business Administration, Education, and Nursing online. Some accelerated programs are available for associate degrees.

The school notes that interested students should first check to ensure their state is on MidAmerica Nazarene University’s list. Adult learners might be particularly interested in the Accelerated Associate of Arts in Business program.

More information regarding the school’s requirements and offerings can be found through its website.

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11University of Saint Mary 4/534.51%Leavenworth, KS

With particular strengths in medical and business learning, University of Saint Mary offers a Bachelor’s of Science in Health Information Management and Registered Nurse to Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degrees.

As for master’s degrees, only three core disciplines – Nursing, Business Administration and Teaching - are offered, several concentrations are available for each. This includes administration and educator specialization for nursing, finance and risk management for business administration, and teacher leadership and learning technologies for teaching.

More information can be found through University of Saint Mary’s main online learning portal.

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12Wichita State University 2/544.45%Wichita, KS

Wichita State University has committed to making its online degree programs as strong as its exceptional traditional offerings. The school offers eight different undergraduate programs, including those in the following disciplines:

  • Aging Studies
  • Criminal Justice
  • Sociology
  • Women’s Studies

The school also offers several graduate degree programs including Master of Arts in Aging Studies and Criminal Justice. Degree completion programs, certificates and badges are also available.

Learners with busy schedules, or those who need more support, will find a good option for distance learning in Wichita State University’s offerings.

More information can be found through the school’s website.

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13Southwestern College – Kansas 4/553.8%Winfield, KS

Southwestern Collegefocuses its online education efforts on educating adults, active military members and veterans.

Undergraduate degrees are available in a range of fields, including the following:

  • Accounting
  • Business Administration
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Christian Ministries
  • Computer Programming Technology

Graduate degree programs include four concentrations in business, six in education and one in ministry studies.

Southwestern College also accepts credit transfers from professional experience, military education and other institutions to meet the needs of all learners.

Interested individuals can find more information through the school’s online learning webpage.

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14Tabor College 4/548.23%Hillsboro, KS

Tabor College offers a range of bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. Coursework can be completed toward a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, six business concentrations, Nursin and Christian Ministry.

The school also offers the following graduate degree programs:

  • Master of Business Administration in Leadership
  • MBA in Sales Management
  • Entrepreneurial Ministry Leadership
  • Master of Science in Nursing Nurse education
  • MSN in Informatics

Business and health care professionals -- or those who wish to begin their careers in these fields -- will enjoy a diversity of courses.

More information can be found through the Tabor University’s online learning website.

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15Ottawa University – Ottawa 4/531.34%Ottawa, KS

Ottawa University - Ottawa boasts four separate field-specific schools in its web-based degree programs. The School of Arts and Sciences offers undergraduate degree programs ranging from communications and human services to psychology and law enforcement, as well as a Master of Arts in Counseling.

The Angell Snyder School of Business provides 10 undergraduate and 3 graduate programs, while the Schools of Education and Health and Applied Sciences add another seven programs to the tally.

Potential applicants can find more information through the school’s website.

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16Washburn University 2/534.02%Topeka, KS

Washburn University has devoted resources from its Schools of Business, Nursing and Applied Sciences, and College of Arts and Sciences to its web-based education offerings.
The school offers the following bachelor’s degree programs:

  • Health Science
  • Integrated Studies
  • Criminal Justice
  • Applied Science in Human Services
  • Applied Science in Technology Administration

Several medical certificate programs and other online courses are also available.

Washburn University’s main online learning portal provides more information for interested parties.

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More About Online Colleges in Kansas

As of 2012, 33,339 students attended distance learning programs exclusively in Kansas. The state offers 46 accredited online programs in higher education, which often have similar if not identical curriculums and access to the same campus faculty and staff. In 2013, the state expanded the use of broadband technology video communication for distance learning at its schools, libraries and hospitals through its Kan-ed program.

In addition to its in-state online programs, Kansas is a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), which allows students access to approved distance education courses and programs in other states. Students concerned about tuition should note that from 2012-2013, the average in-state tuition at public institutions was $6,970, well below the national average of $8,070. The state of Kansas values the proliferation of online education while providing it at an affordable rate.

Browse our list of the best online colleges in Kansas for more insight into distance learning programs in this state.

NCES Report

Recent NCES reports indicate that 13.8% (26,519) of undergraduate students enrolled in Kansas’ Title IV institutions were in exclusively online programs.

  • 13.2% of students at public four-year institutions studied entirely online
  • 16.1% of students at public two-year institutions studied entirely online
  • 65.8% were living in Kansas
  • 19.3% were living elsewhere in the United States