Best Online Colleges in Kansas

By OnlineU Staff | Updated 2/18/2020
2020 Best Online Colleges in Kansas Badge

These schools represent the best online options in Kansas based on tuition rates and average alumni salaries. The #1- and #2-ranked schools, the University of Kansas and Kansas State University respectively, have reported alumni salaries over $85,000. Tuition at both schools is also quite affordable. Fort Hays State University, ranked #11, offers one of the lowest annual tuition rates at $6,560. FHSU has an enormous catalog of distance programs, offering 83 online bachelor's degrees.

Alumni salaries were provided by PayScale. View our methodology for more details or learn more about OnlineU.

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RankSchool Annual Tuition Mid-Career Salary
# 1 #1 University of Kansas $11,916 $87,700
# 2 #2 Kansas State University $13,092 $85,400
# 3 #3 Ottawa University-Ottawa $15,469 $77,500
# 4 #4 Wichita State University $10,267 $76,500
# 5 #5 Pittsburg State University $9,060 $75,800
# 6 #6 Southwestern College - KS $16,337 $72,100
# 7 #7 Newman University $30,386 $73,200
# 8 #8 Emporia State University $6,204 $68,500
# 9 #9 University of Saint Mary $14,700 $68,700
# 10 #10 Washburn University $11,700 $68,200
# 11 #11 Fort Hays State University $6,560 $65,800
# 12 #12 Friends University $28,944 $62,300
# 13 #13 Kansas Wesleyan University $29,500 $60,700
# 14 #14 Manhattan Christian College $14,850 $54,700
# 15 #15 Barclay College $16,000 $54,800
# 16 #16 Central Christian College of Kansas $12,750 $52,500
Salary data provided by Payscale Logo

Online Colleges in Kansas Ranking Details

For each school, we conducted manual research to provide prospective students with more details about the schools' online programs. Explore online degrees offered and accreditation information below.

#1 University of Kansas

  • Annual Tuition: $11,916
  • Median Salary: $87,700
  • Locations: Lawrence
  • Accreditation: HLC

Founded with a class of 55 students in 1866, the University of Kansas has grown to include about 28,000 enrolled students and more than 350,000 alumni. The university’s dedicated online branch, KU Online, offers a selection of undergraduate and graduate programs as well as certificates and noncredit courses in Lean Six Sigma, Osher Lifelong Learning, Law Enforcement, and other subjects. Students pursuing careers in healthcare or education will find an extensive selection of online degree programs offered via the KU Online School of Pharmacy, School of Nursing, School of Medicine, School of Health Professions, and School of Education.

#2 Kansas State University

  • Annual Tuition: $13,092
  • Median Salary: $85,400
  • Locations: Manhattan
  • Accreditation: HLC

In addition to its brick-and-mortar campus location in Manhattan, Kansas, Kansas State University maintains an all-online Global Campus that offers more than 70 programs, including bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees; stand-alone minors; certificate programs; and endorsement options. Undergraduate degree programs are available in popular areas of study including social science, technology, and business. Master’s programs are available across a wide spread of fields, including nuclear engineering, dietetics, gerontology, and community development. Students interested in the food industry, in particular, will find a range of specialized education options via the College of Agriculture, which offers degree programs in food science, agribusiness, agricultural education, horticulture, animal sciences, and grassland management.

#3 Ottawa University-Ottawa

  • Annual Tuition: $15,469
  • Median Salary: $77,500
  • Locations: Ottawa
  • Accreditation: HLC

Founded as a collaborative effort between Baptist missionaries and the Ottawa tribe in the wake of the Civil War, Ottawa University today serves about 4,000 students across its physical and online campuses. Online degree programs designed for working professionals are available for undergraduate students in 19 different fields. Ottawa University also offers several online master’s degree programs, notably an MS in addiction counseling, an MS in nursing, and an MA in leadership, among others. Students considering a career in accounting may be especially interested in the dual bachelor’s/master’s program in accounting.

#4 Wichita State University

  • Annual Tuition: $10,267
  • Median Salary: $76,500
  • Locations: Wichita
  • Accreditation: HLC

Wichita State University (WSU) is a public research university with about 11,000 students currently enrolled. WSU offers fully online degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels with coursework administered via Blackboard and Panopto. Popular online bachelor’s programs include business administration, dental hygiene (RDH to BSDH), homeland security, and general studies (with multiple available concentrations). Specialized master’s programs—including Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Health Administration (MHA), Master of Learning & Instructional Design (MEd), and Master of Public Administration (MPA), among others—are available and generally require between 30 and 36 credit hours to earn.

#5 Pittsburg State University

  • Annual Tuition: $9,060
  • Median Salary: $75,800
  • Locations: Pittsburg
  • Accreditation: HLC

Located in Pittsburg, Kansas, Pittsburg State University (PSU) offers a range of online degree and certificate programs at the in-state (resident) tuition cost for remote students. Four undergraduate programs are available in human resources, nursing, supervision and leadership, and workforce development. Popular online master’s programs include technical programs in engineering, electronics, construction, plastics, and manufacturing. PSU also offers online master’s degrees in teaching for all grade levels and online MBA programs with four different concentrations (accounting, international business, human resource development, and general administration).

#6 Southwestern College - KS

  • Annual Tuition: $16,337
  • Median Salary: $72,100
  • Locations: Winfield
  • Accreditation: HLC

Founded in 1885, Southwestern College is a non-profit institution with several flexible options for online students interested in undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees, and/or certificates. Certificate programs, available at graduate and undergraduate levels, allow students to gain knowledge and skills in a specific area, but they can also be applied toward the college’s undergraduate and graduate programs. Online bachelor’s degree programs are offered in six-week sessions with eight sessions throughout the year. Online bachelor’s programs include nursing, criminal justice, strategic leadership, and information systems management, and online master’s programs are offered in the fields of business, leadership, education, and ministry.

#7 Newman University

  • Annual Tuition: $30,386
  • Median Salary: $73,200
  • Locations: Wichita
  • Accreditation: HLC

Founded as a Catholic institution in 1933, Newman University remains a sponsored ministry of The Adorers of the Blood of Christ while welcoming students of all faiths and traditions. The university offers several online bachelor’s programs, including business-organizational leadership, business and strategic intelligence, and interdisciplinary studies. It also offers online master’s programs in subjects such as theology, business administration, and education. Newman University is active in helping students afford their education, and 99 percent of first-time students receive some kind of financial assistance in the form of grants, scholarships, and/or work-study programs.

#8 Emporia State University

  • Annual Tuition: $6,204
  • Median Salary: $68,500
  • Locations: Emporia
  • Accreditation: HLC

Emporia State University, originally founded as a school for teachers, has broadened its course offerings while maintaining a focus on education-related fields. Accordingly, those pursuing careers as educators will find a sizable selection of online programs via the university’s Distance Education program. All-online master’s degrees are offered in special education, elementary education, and physical education, among other fields. Available certificates include Autistic Spectrum Disorders, Teaching with Technology, eLearning and Online Teaching, and Psychology of Learning and Exceptionality. A doctorate in Library Sciences is also available through a hybrid program in which online coursework is supplemented by two weekend-intensives. Students connect with the university using a centralized portal called Buzz In, where they can access grades, course materials, academic e-mail addresses, announcements, and other information.

#9 University of Saint Mary

  • Annual Tuition: $14,700
  • Median Salary: $68,700
  • Locations: Leavenworth
  • Accreditation: HLC

Founded by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, Kansas, the University of Saint Mary (USM) is a Catholic institution that prioritizes small class sizes and one-on-one interaction between students and professors. Although it was originally founded as a school for women, it is now a co-ed institution. USM offers several degree programs entirely online, including an RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Master of Business Administration, and a Master of Science in Nursing. Like the on-campus programs, the online college programs promote small class sizes and enable students to receive individualized attention from professors.

#10 Washburn University

  • Annual Tuition: $11,700
  • Median Salary: $68,200
  • Locations: Topeka
  • Accreditation: HLC

Located in Kansas’ capital city, Topeka, Washburn University offers flexibility to its students with a range of online programs offered through the university’s various schools and departments. Some of the university’s degree and certificate programs have been offered completely online, including Bachelor of Health Science, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Health Information Technology, and Radiation Therapy. Due to recent changes in Washburn’s online programming, students interested in all-online degree programs in 2020 are encouraged to contact the Admissions Office directly.

#11 Fort Hays State University

  • Annual Tuition: $6,560
  • Median Salary: $65,800
  • Locations: Hays
  • Accreditation: HLC

Fort Hays State University (FHSU) is a public university founded in 1902. Although its campus is in Hays, Kansas, FHSU has a strong focus on distance education through its Virtual College. FHSU Virtual College offers students a variety of online undergraduate and graduate programs. Associate degrees are available in applied science in applied technology and general studies, and over 50 bachelor’s degree programs are available in fields of study including finance, accounting, education, general studies, social science, computer science, marketing, management, pre-law, and more. FHSU’s online graduate programs includes degrees at both the master’s and doctoral levels. Graduate degree fields include education and nursing. Online certificate programs are also offered in business, health and geoscience disciplines.

#12 Friends University

  • Annual Tuition: $28,944
  • Median Salary: $62,300
  • Locations: Wichita
  • Accreditation: HLC

Founded in 1898, Friends University is a Christian-based college with roots in the Quaker tradition and a small community of about 2,000 enrolled students. Friends University offers several online degree programs for both graduates and undergraduates, including bachelor’s programs in computer science and information systems, and business administration. Online master’s programs include cybersecurity, health care leadership, management information systems, education, and business administration. Additionally, the university offers an online global MBA program, which involves a short business residency abroad.

#13 Kansas Wesleyan University

  • Annual Tuition: $29,500
  • Median Salary: $60,700
  • Locations: Salina
  • Accreditation: HLC

Kansas Wesleyan University offers flexibility to its students with a range of online college courses, making a semi-online or hybrid education possible for students who need to balance school with work or other responsibilities. In addition, Kansas Wesleyan offers four all-online degree programs: emergency management (BA), criminal justice (BA), RN to BS with a major in nursing, and Master of Business Administration (MBA). The MBA program can be completed within a single year, allowing students to finish their degree at a quicker rate while staying on budget.

#14 Manhattan Christian College

  • Annual Tuition: $14,850
  • Median Salary: $54,700
  • Locations: Manhattan
  • Accreditation: HLC

Historically affiliated with nondenominational, independent Christian Churches and Churches of Christ of the Restoration Movement, Manhattan Christian College (MCC) focuses on preparing adult students for ministerial and Christian leadership roles. The college’s online branch, MCC Online, offers two bachelor's degree-completion programs: biblical leadership and management and ethics. Additionally, MCC Online offers a 21-hour certificate program in biblical leadership. Each three-credit-hour online course has been adapted into an accelerated eight-week format. This format is designed to allow students to limit themselves to two courses in an eight-week term and remain qualified for full financial aid (12 credit hours per semester).

#15 Barclay College

  • Annual Tuition: $16,000
  • Median Salary: $54,800
  • Locations: Haviland
  • Accreditation: HLC

Founded by Quaker settlers in Haviland, Kansas in 1917, Barclay College welcomes students from all evangelical faith traditions who seek a solid biblical foundation as part of their academic training. The college’s stated mission is to "prepare students in a Bible-centered environment for effective Christian life, service, and leadership.” Barclay offers an online associate degree in general studies and online bachelor’s degrees in five fields: biblical studies, business management, Christian leadership, pastoral ministries, and psychology. Master’s degrees are also offered online in subjects such as sports outreach, missional multiplication, and transformational leadership. Additionally, online certificate programs are available in several subjects, including biblical studies, business management, Friends ministry training, and psychology.

#16 Central Christian College of Kansas

  • Annual Tuition: $12,750
  • Median Salary: $52,500
  • Locations: McPherson
  • Accreditation: HLC

Although it is rooted in the Christian tradition, the Central Christian College of Kansas (CCCK) welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds. CCCK offers online degree programs that are fully asynchronous, allowing students to log in and learn anytime. Both associate and bachelor’s degree programs are available in fields including criminal justice, health and human services, and business administration. Coursework is delivered via a collaborative course delivery system, and each student receives individualized support from a dedicated Student Success Advisor.


This website offers school details to prospective students as an informational resource. The appearance of a school listing on this website should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the school by this site.

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