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Kansas's economy is thriving, and its unemployment rate ranks among the lowest in the nation, at 3.3%. Jobs are plentiful both in traditional industries like manufacturing and in modern sectors like tech and healthcare. The cost of living in Kansas is almost 9% lower than the national average, and the state consistently ranks among the best places in which to do business. Jobs in aviation , green energy, nursing, bioscience, and tech are readily available to recent graduates of online colleges in Kansas.
Kansas has developed a reputation as a well-educated place, ranking high against other states for its percentage of adults with a bachelor's degree or higher. The high school graduation rate sits well above the national average. Kansas puts a premium on education and is home to several top universities, including some of the best digital campuses in the country. Read on to discover all you need to know about online colleges in Kansas.
Job Outlook for Students With College Degrees in Kansas
Unemployment remains low in Kansas, and the state has successfully balanced traditional sectors like manufacturing and agriculture with innovative, up-and-coming industries like bioscience and wind energy. The job market proves especially strong around urban areas like Topeka, Kansas City, and Wichita. The Sunflower State currently ranks among the best in the nation for online program graduates.
The Kansas Labor Information Center recently ranked the state's high-demand , high-wage occupations. Of the top 20, 15 require a bachelor's degree or higher, while one requires a master's. The mean wage for many of these jobs exceeds the national average. More than half pay $60,000 or more annually, and seven pay at least $80,000. These provide plenty of purchase power in a state with a relatively low cost of living. A degree from an online college in Kansas makes sense in the current market.
Unemployment Rate, August 2018
Annual Mean Wage, May 2017
Search, Compare and Research Online Kansas Colleges
Cost of Online Colleges in Kansas
With the rising cost of college nationwide, applicants should know what they are getting into before they enroll. Tuition expenses in Kansas track close to the national average, both for two-year colleges and four-year universities. Online program costs often mirror those of on-campus programs. Schools integrate digital classes into their course offerings so thoroughly that many make no distinction between online and on-campus learning. You still have to pay for books in most cases, and in some cases technology fees, as well. However, some online colleges offer deals.
Students can often substantially lower their overall college costs by attending an affordable online college in Kansas. Several schools charge distance learners less for tuition than their on-campus counterparts, or extend tuition breaks. Distance students can also save a great deal in travel, parking, and room and board.
Average Price for In-State Tuition and Fees by Institution Type, 2018-19
|Public Two-Year||Public Four-Year|
Source: The College Board
In-State vs. Out-of-State Tuition in Kansas
Because they are taxpayer-funded state institutions, Kansas' public universities charge state residents less than they do students from other states. For example, students from Wichita who attend a public, four-year college or university in Kansas would pay an average tuition of $9,300 per year. Nonresident students, however, might pay more than twice that. Kansas residents pay almost $1,000 below the national average tuition. Their out-of-state peers pay about $3,000 less.
Online programs in Kansas often provide a cheaper alternative to students who want to attend college out of state. Students from other midwestern states may take advantage of the Midwest Higher Education Compact . This 12-state agreement provides reduced "good neighbor" tuition to public universities for students in the region. Similarly, Kansas State belongs to the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education program. This consortium of universities allows students from participating states to take classes at any member institution for the same affordable, flat-rate tuition.
Average Tuition and Fees, 2018-19
|Public Two-Year In-State||Public Four-Year Out-of-State|
Source: The College Board
Financial Aid in Kansas
Students in Kansas have several financial aid options available to them, including federal grants, loans, and loan-forgiveness programs. The first step for every college student seeking aid is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which helps students understand the aid for which they qualify. Filling out the FAFSA also signifies to colleges that you take your education seriously.
Kansas hosts an array of scholarships, grants, and tuition-reimbursement programs for students in all areas of study, including nursing, teaching, National Guard personnel, and dentistry. These loans and grants can help finance a Kansas City online college, a private school in Winfield, or the cheapest online college in Kansas. Some require a future commitment to work in underserved areas in Kansas. You can find all kinds of information on the financial help available to Kansans at the Kansas Board of Regents site.
State Grant Aid per Full-Time Equivalent Undergraduate Student, 2016-17
Source: The College Board
Scholarships and Grants for Kansas College Students
Kansas is home to an array of programs that help Kansans pay for school, many of which don't require students to hold a particularly high GPA. These forms of aid focus primarily on community service, leadership potential, and other factors.
Who Can Apply: The Kansas State Legislature funds these grants, which go to students who demonstrate financial need. Recipients must reside in Kansas and attend one of the state's 18 private colleges and six state universities. Applicants must fill out the FAFSA.
Amount: $200-$3,500 at private schools, $100-$1,500 at state universities
Who Can Apply: Overseen by the Kansas State Board of Regents, these scholarships provide financial support to students from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. Eligible applicants must be Kansans of Native American, African American, Alaskan Native, Asian or Pacific Islander, or Hispanic heritage. Judges consider students' need and academic ability.
Who Can Apply: Kansas residents who currently serve in the armed forces, or who have served and received honorable discharges, qualify for these grants. Candidates must attend a public university, and judges assess them based on financial need.
Who Can Apply: Enlisted members of the Kansas National Guard are eligible for financial help through these grants. They must hold a high school diploma or GED, and pursue an undergraduate degree in-state.
Who Can Apply: Kansans studying in state nursing programs can apply for these awards. They must rank below the registered nurse level, and sign a commitment to work in the state upon graduation.
Amount: Up to $3,500 for LPN programs, up to $4,500 for RN programs.
Who Can Apply: The state of Kansas has attempted to fill vacancies in underserved areas with these merit-based scholarships. Undergraduates studying to become educators may apply, as may current teachers adding degrees or endorsements in needed specialties. Candidates must reside in Kansas and agree to teach in the state upon graduation.
Amount: Up to $5,536
Who Can Apply: Sponsored by the Kansas Dental Association and the Kansas Dental Charitable Foundation, the initiative promotes dentistry in rural areas. Kansans in dental programs, who agree to work for a specified amount of time in underserved regions of the state, can qualify for aid. They can renew each year.
Amount: Up to $25,000 per year
Who Can Apply: These grants serve Kansans who intend to attend an accredited, two- or four-year Kansas college for career technical education. They must have graduated from a Kansas high school or GED program, and must demonstrate financial need. Recipients can renew for up to four semesters.
Amount: $1,000 for full-time students
Who Can Apply: Tortoise Capital Advisers established these grants to encourage entrepreneurial spirit among young residents of Kansas and Missouri. They go to students planning to enroll or currently enrolled in a bachelor's program at an accredited university in Kansas or Missouri.
Amount: $3,000, $2,000, $1,000
Who Can Apply: The Pearson Fellowship promotes life experience and study abroad. Kansas residents who attend graduate programs at public universities may apply. Judges give preference to students in foreign affairs programs.
Amount: Average is $2,445
Best Majors for Online Students in Kansas
According to state economic officials, the most in-demand jobs offering the highest wages in Kansas exist in business, nursing, and teaching. The Kansas Labor Information Center ranked the state's hottest, best-paying jobs for 2017. Of the top 10, six related to business, including general managers, finance managers, accountants, and several different types of salespeople. Nurses ranked third, elementary and secondary school teachers placed seventh and eighth, and software engineers rounded out the top 10.
Students who want to land lucrative jobs upon graduation from an online Kansas college would do well to look for bachelor's programs in business administration, nursing, and education. Online schools in the Sunflower State brim with opportunities in these fields. Take your pick from several public universities, or enroll in one of the state's many private schools. Students may also begin their studies at an online community colleges in Kansas, and transfer into a four-year school to finish their degree.
Business AdministrationTo set yourself up for one of the lucrative business-related professions in Kansas, you can enroll in a bachelor of business administration program. These exist at most schools across the state, and many allow you to specialize in an area of interest. Graduates could move right into the job market, or continue on to get their MBA, with all the earning power those degrees bestow.
NursingNursing continues to provide graduates with strong job placement both in Kansas and elsewhere across the country. Many online colleges in Kansas offer nursing degrees, with programs ranging from initial licensing to master's-level. You can easily find work while continuing your education, and be virtually guaranteed a job in Kansas upon graduation. You can also continue on to become a nurse practitioner , which is also in high demand in the Sunflower State.
EducationSchools across the state are hiring and paying good wages, according to the Kansas Labor Information Center. Education classes rank among the most common online college courses in Kansas. Jobs at both the elementary and secondary level are available across the state, and you can specialize your major to suit your interests. Kansas even offers scholarship help and loan forgiveness programs to help teachers start their careers.
Resources for Online College Students in Kansas
Kansas Board of Regents : The governing board of the state's public universities, community colleges, and technical schools hosts a site featuring useful information. Find scholarship information, transfer details, residency requirements, higher education statistics, and the latest news.
Kansas State Department of Education : The official agency overseeing education in the state, the ED provides a clearinghouse of information on everything education-related. You can look into accreditation, visit the data center, and find an array of career services at the state's site.
Kansas Association of Community College Trustees : Learn everything you need to know about online community colleges in Kansas through this association. Search programs, look into transfer options, and explore each of the 19 community colleges in the Sunflower State.
Kansas Independent College Association : The association represents the 19 accredited private schools spread across Kansas. Its site hosts a variety of resources, including program searches, scholarships and grants, and professional development information. You can research individual schools, access the FAFSA, and download a guidebook to the association.
KansasWorks : A state career services site, KansasWorks helps you land a job after graduating from an online college in Kansas. Search employers, post your resume, or conduct research to help you select a major.
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