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2023 Best Online Colleges in Kansas

By OnlineU Staff Writers | Updated 9/19/2023
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Online colleges in Kansas can provide relatively convenient options for earning a bachelor's degree, which has helped many graduates secure higher-paying jobs and less chance of unemployment. Kansas has many schools with online degree options for extra flexibility, which is important for students who balance school with work and other responsibilities. Distance learners in Kansas can start their online education in a variety of majors, including the most popular undergraduate subjects in the U.S.: business, general and liberal arts studies, the social sciences, and psychology. 

Our rankings use Salary Score data to determine the best colleges in Kansas. View our methodology for more details about our list, or learn about OnlineU

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2023 Best Online Colleges in Kansas

RankSchool Salary Score Online Enrollment
# 1 #1 Southwestern College - KS 68 870
# 2 #2 Ottawa University Online 66 261
# 3 #3 Kansas State University 60 2,386
# 4 #4 Baker University 57 712
# 5 #5 Friends University 55 335
# 6 #6 University of Kansas 52 1,982
# 7 #7 Fort Hays State University 44 6,864
# 8 #8 Washburn University 40 673
# 9 #9 Emporia State University 38 2,248
# 10 #10 Pittsburg State University 37 1,020

#1 Southwestern College - KS

  • Salary Score: 68
  • Online Enrollment: 870
  • Locations: Winfield
  • Accreditation: HLC

Southwestern College - Kansas is a private school affiliated with the United Methodist Church that offers several online bachelor's degrees. Some of the more popular online options include degrees in business administration, criminal justice, and computer science and information systems. Courses last six weeks and there are eight terms per academic year. Southwestern accepts 56% of bachelor's candidates and graduates 45% of them with degrees.

The college uses the Blackboard LMS to deliver online courses, which are largely asynchronous. Forty-eight percent of Southwestern students take online courses exclusively. In addition, 44% of enrollees are part-time students.

#2 Ottawa University Online

  • Salary Score: 66
  • Online Enrollment: 261
  • Locations: Ottawa
  • Accreditation: HLC

Ottawa University is a private Baptist school with more than 40 online degrees and certificate programs at the bachelor's and master's levels. Undergraduate students can study popular majors including business administration, psychology, computer science, early childhood education, and healthcare management. Available master's degrees include accounting, business administration, counseling, education, nursing, and other majors. The university uses the Blackboard learning management system to deliver online classes and offers a sample online class so prospective students can get a feel for what it would be like to learn remotely. Classes are offered in accelerated eight-week rounds which often allows students to focus on fewer online classes at a time.

#3 Kansas State University

  • Salary Score: 60
  • Online Enrollment: 2,386
  • Locations: Manhattan
  • Accreditation: HLC

The public Kansas State University (KSU) features many online bachelor's degrees to choose from. Programs in early childhood and elementary education have relatively high enrollments, as do the university's Bachelor of Science in Animal Sciences and Industry and Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in marketing. The university has a 94% acceptance rate for bachelor's degree applicants, and the 62% graduation rate is higher than the national median rate of 57%.

Online learners at KSU sign in to the Canvas LMS to view coursework and submit assignments. Both part-time study and online learning are fairly uncommon among KSU enrollees: 90% of students take a full-time course schedule, and only 8% are exclusively distance learners.

#4 Baker University

  • Salary Score: 57
  • Online Enrollment: 712
  • Locations: Multiple Locations
  • Accreditation: HLC

Baker University offers a wide range of online associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in fields such as business administration, criminal justice, nursing, and education. The university also features unique bridge programs including an ADN to BSN or an ADN to MSN program, as well as different certification options for educators. Graduate students can also pursue five different online graduate certificates in business, including finance and supply chain management. Baker also offers a variety of different ways for students to save money on their degree, including tuition discounts to employees at partner companies across the state and scholarships for eligible students in the Kansas City area. The university was founded by members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and still has close ties with the United Methodist Church today.

#5 Friends University

  • Salary Score: 55
  • Online Enrollment: 335
  • Locations: Wichita
  • Accreditation: HLC

Friends University, a private Christian college in Wichita, has roots in the Quaker community and emphasizes equity and diversity of experience. Students at Friends University can pursue online bachelor's and master's programs in business administration, cybersecurity, elementary education, general studies, strategic leadership, healthcare leadership, and management information systems. The university also offers some hybrid degree options for students who want to attend some classes in person. Online students can also access career services to help them apply for jobs, create a resume, and explore what they might want to do with their degree. Friends University is a small school serving just under 1,700 students.

#6 University of Kansas

  • Salary Score: 52
  • Online Enrollment: 1,982
  • Locations: Lawrence
  • Accreditation: HLC

The University of Kansas (KU) is a public institution that offers more than a dozen online bachelor's degree programs. Students can choose from popular programs such as the Bachelor of General Studies in Psychology degree and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree for current registered nurses. KU's acceptance rate is 91% for bachelor's degree programs, and its graduation rate is 64% for the same population.

The university is currently in the middle of an LMS migration from Blackboard to Canvas; by the fall of 2024, distance learners will sign in to Canvas to take online courses. More than half of all KU undergraduates take at least some online classes, though only 5% are exclusively online learners.

#7 Fort Hays State University

  • Salary Score: 44
  • Online Enrollment: 6,864
  • Locations: Hays
  • Accreditation: HLC

Fort Hays State University, a public institution, provides a choice among dozens of online bachelor's degrees, including programs in education that reflect the school's origins as a teacher's college. Some of the university's most popular programs include a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management degree and a Bachelor of General Studies with several possible concentrations. Fort Hays has a 91% acceptance rate for bachelor's students, 57% of whom graduate with their degrees.

The university uses the Blackboard learning management system (LMS) to deliver online courses. At 54%, part-time students form the majority at Fort Hays. About 36% of enrollees take an online-only course of study.

#8 Washburn University

  • Salary Score: 40
  • Online Enrollment: 673
  • Locations: Topeka
  • Accreditation: HLC

Public four-year Washburn University serves more than 5,500 students each year through its online programs and at its Topeka campus. Washburn's available online degrees include bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs and certificates. Undergraduate degrees are primarily focused on healthcare, with majors in health services administration, medical imaging, psychology, public health, and an RN to BSN program. Online certificates are also available in gerontology, MRI, radiation therapy, sonography, ultrasound, and other health professions. Graduate degrees include an online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and master's programs in psychiatric nursing and communication and leadership. Online students at Washburn pay the same tuition whether they live in Kansas or not, and save money on activity fees.

#9 Emporia State University

  • Salary Score: 38
  • Online Enrollment: 2,248
  • Locations: Emporia
  • Accreditation: HLC

Emporia State University (ESU) offers online bachelor's programs in accounting, business administration, interdisciplinary studies, elementary education, and general studies. The university also has an accelerated master's program in curriculum and instruction that allows working educators to finish their graduate degree in one year. Online students at ESU can access resources online including academic support through the writing center and math lab. Graduate students can also access GradShare, an online resource hub for students writing their dissertation. ESU is a four-year public university serving just over 5,600 students. While most undergraduates attend on campus, the majority of graduate students at ESU are enrolled in online-only programs and attend part-time.

#10 Pittsburg State University

  • Salary Score: 37
  • Online Enrollment: 1,020
  • Locations: Pittsburg
  • Accreditation: HLC

At Pittsburg State University (PSU), students can earn an online degree at every level. Undergraduate programs include education, healthcare, and human resources degrees. PSU also offers a wide array of master's programs in everything from business administration to nursing, with a strong emphasis on master's degrees in teaching and education. Doctoral degrees are focused on nursing. The university also offers education specialist degrees for educators who want to advance their knowledge beyond a master's program alongside a broad range of certificates. PSU offers online student resources such as a student success program, a writing center, career services, and tech support. PSU is a public four-year university in Pittsburg with around 6,000 students each year. More than half of graduate students at PSU are online-only, and 71% are enrolled part-time.

#11 Wichita State University

  • Salary Score: 36
  • Online Enrollment: 2,904
  • Locations: Wichita
  • Accreditation: HLC

Wichita State University (WSU) is a public university with a range of online bachelor's degree options. The programs with the highest enrollments include a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (an RN-to-BSN track for current registered nurses), a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree, and a Bachelor of General Studies degree-completion program for students with an associate degree. WSU accepts 80% of undergraduate applicants, and 50% of them graduate.

The university uses the Blackboard learning platform to host online courses. Twenty-one percent of WSU students are exclusively online, and 29% of students take a part-time course schedule. About 40% of WSU students are the first in their families to attend college.

#12 MidAmerica Nazarene University

  • Salary Score: 35
  • Online Enrollment: 704
  • Locations: Olathe
  • Accreditation: HLC

MidAmerica Nazarene University is a small private evangelical Christian school located in Olathe serving roughly 1,500 students each year. MNU offers online associate and bachelor's degrees, master's programs, and certificates. Students can study cybersecurity, nursing, software design, business administration, nursing, education, and other specializations to help advance their career or enter a new field. The university uses tools including software and gaming simulations to provide students with hands-on learning opportunities in healthcare and other experiential fields. While most undergraduate students are enrolled completely on-campus, about half of graduate students at MNU attend some or all online classes. Most graduate students are also enrolled part-time.

#13 Central Christian College of Kansas

  • Salary Score: N/A
  • Online Enrollment: 348
  • Locations: McPherson
  • Accreditation: HLC

Students can choose from a range of different online degrees from the associate to the master's level at Central Christian College of Kansas (CCCK). The college offers online undergraduate programs in popular fields of study including criminal justice, business administration, health and human services, healthcare administration, organizational leadership, and psychology. CCCK also has one master's degree in strategic leadership available online. Students at CCCK Online don't have to log in at a set time and can review class materials and turn in assignments when it's convenient for them. The college also pairs students with student success advisors to help them stay on track throughout their program. CCCK is a small evangelical Christian college with just under 600 students enrolled in online programs and at the college's McPherson campus.

#14 Barclay College

  • Salary Score: N/A
  • Online Enrollment: 93
  • Locations: Haviland
  • Accreditation: HLC

This small private Christian college in Haviland serves around 200 students each year through campus-based programs and online degrees. The college offers online associate and bachelor's degrees in biblical studies, christian ministry leadership, criminal justice, general studies, business management, psychology, and nursing. Students can also earn an online certificate in biblical studies, christian leadership, friends ministry training, psychology, or business management. The college offers open enrollment with start dates every six weeks, and students can log into class whenever they want to complete coursework and turn in assignments. Students at Barclay also take a free orientation class to learn how to use the online learning management system.

#16 Kansas Christian College

  • Salary Score: N/A
  • Online Enrollment: 42
  • Locations: Overland Park
  • Accreditation: ABHE

Students at Kansas Christian College (KCC) can choose from online associate and bachelor's degrees in a range of fields, including business leadership, worship ministry, religion, healthcare administration, and elementary education. At KCC, classes last five weeks at a time to make it easier for working adults to fit college into their schedule. Online students at KCC use Canvas to access class materials and turn in assignments, and can access campus resources including the school's library. KCC is a small private Christian college in Overland Park with roughly 125 students enrolled in undergraduate programs each year.

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