By BVS Staff
Welcome to our best value ranking of online colleges in Kansas.
There are just over 30 different institutions of higher education in Kansas, but only about half enroll a decent portion of students in online courses. Of those online-accessible schools, we’re bringing you the 10 “best value.” These top 10 colleges all earned at least 50 points (out of 100) in our ranking.
10. Southwestern College
Although Southwestern’s 15+ online undergraduate programs should appeal to all students, veterans, active-duty military, and their families will especially appreciate the flexibility of this accredited online school in Kansas. Many degree programs are appropriate for professional development or advancing a military career, and Southwestern accepts up to 64 credits from various military training programs. The college even provides a robust set of resources specifically for military personnel, including a breakdown of the best programs for each branch of the military and a list of military-specific scholarships. But military and civilian students alike will appreciate Southwestern’s six-week classes and liberal credit transfer policies.
In-State Tuition: $25,946/yr
9. Emporia State University
Students in search of a highly customizable online bachelor’s degree program should seriously consider Emporia State’s Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies. This online program allows learners to design their own major under the guidance of a dedicated academic advisor, blending two or more fields of study – like history and communication – into a one-of-a-kind curriculum. The program culminates in a capstone project that gives students the opportunity to demonstrate the breadth of their studies. Online learners can choose to pursue this degree part- or full-time, making it a truly flexible program. In addition to Emporia State’s focus on academic freedom and flexibility, it’s also one of the most affordable schools on this Kansas online colleges ranking.
In-State Tuition: $5,936/yr
8. Washburn University
Students at Topeka’s Washburn University call themselves “Ichabods” after the school’s founder, Ichabod Washburn, a philanthropist who believed everyone deserved an education. The school’s current focus on offering affordable online degrees in Kansas makes a quality education even more accessible today. Students can choose from a variety of undergraduate degrees and programs, including highly focused specialty programs like Diagnostic Medical Sonography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Washburn also demonstrates its commitment to accessibility by partnering with community and technical colleges. Students can earn associate degrees from one of the partner colleges and then complete online bachelor’s degrees from Washburn. As an added bonus, distance-only learners save big on costs because they’re not charged student activity fees.
In-State Tuition: $6,350/yr
7. Pittsburg State University
Pittsburg State University calls itself a “springboard to a good career,” and its online college courses in Kansas make that possible. As one of the few Kansas colleges to offer an online RN to BSN degree, Pitt State deserves a close look from students interested in pursuing nursing. It’s also one of the most affordable schools on this Kansas online degrees ranking. Combine its low cost with the well-advertised 100% job placement rate for graduates and Pitt State becomes a great choice for anyone who sees a future in nursing. The school is also pursuing accreditation in its new Doctor of Nursing Practice program, meaning that students could start their careers online and potentially pursue graduate work on-site at Pitt State.
In-State Tuition: $6,508/yr
6. Barclay College
As the only school in this Kansas online degrees ranking specifically tailored to evangelical Christians, Barclay College offers a great fit for students looking for a faith-based education. Barclay’s focus on Christian life and leadership is evident in its Biblical Studies and Christian Ministry Leadership online bachelor’s degrees. Both programs require core courses that provide a deep dive into Christianity, theology, and the Bible. Even degrees that aren’t based in religion incorporate the Bible; for example, the Bachelor of Science in Business Management bases its required Models of Conflict Management course on Philippians and Acts. Whether students are looking for a career in ministry or want to prepare for a graduate program, Barclay’s online programs fit the bill.
In-State Tuition: $14,390/yr
5. Ottawa University
It’s easy to see why Ottawa University ranks highly in this list of online colleges in Kansas: From its student-faculty ratio of 4:1 to the opportunity for interested students to try out the virtual classroom in advance, Ottawa is dedicated to providing an all-around positive experience for online learners. Courses are designed specifically for online learning, not retrofitted from on-campus versions. Academic advisors take an active interest in students’ learning. And Ottawa offers a broad selection of undergraduate degrees in business, the arts and sciences, education, and health and applied sciences. The ability to earn a nursing or teaching degree online should appeal to adults who are ready to change careers but need to retain their current jobs while pursuing degrees.
In-State Tuition: $11,760/yr
4. Central Christian College of Kansas
True to its name, Central Christian College of Kansas is a faith-based institution open to students of all religious backgrounds. Its mission is to “nurture Christian leaders who lead lives of character and service for the betterment of our society and the world,” and its online offerings make that possible. Criminal justice, healthcare administration, and ministry leadership are just a few undergraduate degrees available entirely online. Students can request credit transfers for courses taken up to 10 years ago – a policy that is especially beneficial for adults who want to get back on track with a degree. And Central Christian is one of the only schools in this Kansas top online degrees ranking to include e-textbooks in the cost of tuition.
In-State Tuition: $14,501/yr
3. Wichita State University
Students at Wichita State University can use an immersive virtual reality room to mock up designs and test data for multiple industries. With this focus on cutting-edge technology, it should come as no surprise that Wichita State also offers some of the most attractive online degrees in Kansas. Wichita State seems to have it all: students with varied interests can pursue a Bachelor’s in General Studies, students who never finished college can enroll in degree completion programs, and students with specific career goals can earn specialty degrees. The fully online nursing and dental hygiene programs are particularly well-regarded; motivated students can become dental hygienists in just 15 months.
In-State Tuition: $7,528/yr
2. Fort Hays State University
Students looking for support as they take online college courses in Kansas will appreciate Fort Hays State University’s commitment to online learners. The school’s virtual college consistently receives accolades in national rankings, no doubt in part because of that strong support system. Students have access to many resources beyond standard academic advising, including career assessments, career exploration resources, and a truly impressive online tutoring system from Smarthinking. This on-demand virtual program offers round-the-clock help for basic subjects and extended hours for targeted subjects. Adults with families and full-time jobs in particular will appreciate the late-night hours. Fort Hays is dedicated to success, and with nearly 30 programs, few students will struggle to find a degree that appeals to them.
In-State Tuition: $4,654/yr
1. Grantham University
With an extremely affordable average cost, unusual degree programs, and established history, it’s no surprise that Grantham University is the top online school in Kansas. Its motto is “Online. But not alone,” a nod to the fact that it’s fully online programs do not come at the cost of personal mentoring to students. Applicants can choose from 16 undergraduate degrees, and Grantham is the only school on this list to offer degrees in engineering technology and computer science. These tech-focused programs are perfect for students who want to take advantage of the growing technology sector, and the cost can’t be beat. Grantham further supports students by offering free career- and learning-focused e-books, webinars, and whitepapers to augment the great classes themselves.
In-State Tuition: $6,500/yr
This concludes our ranking of the top online degrees in Kansas. For traditional on-campus options, see: 15 Best Value Colleges and Universities in Kansas 2016