Kansas’s Best Colleges & Universities of 2021

Here are the best colleges and universities in Kansas. Our list will help you find the right kind of school for you.

Kansas’s Best Colleges & Universities of 2021

Colleges and Universities in Kansas

Beyond the 23 community and technical colleges, Kansas also has nine public universities, the largest being the University of Kansas (KU) with over 28,000 students. The school’s main campus is located in Lawrence, Kansas, but there are four other locations where students can attend KU classes: Overland Park, Kansas City, Wichita, and Salina. Kansas is also home to 22 private higher education institutions, with tuition ranging from $7,000 to $31,000.

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In addition, students can choose from one of 18 religiously affiliated schools, including Newman University, Wichita — a Catholic liberal arts university serving the state’s largest private school student population at just over 2,000. Just under the national tuition average at $9,230, Kansas is also an affordable state in which to earn your degree. The state awards associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in common fields of study, like economics, nursing, business, and education. Specialized degrees include aerospace engineering at the University of Kansas and agribusiness from Kansas State University. Those in the medical and health fields can check out loan forgiveness programs, such as the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program, which awards up to $50,000, tax free, for those who serve two years at an approved site.

Arguably, it was the 1939 cinema classic, The Wizard of Oz, that put Kansas on the map. But The Sunflower State is also known for its mouth-watering barbecue, open plains, and vast sunflower fields. Prospective students can also choose from 50 colleges and universities across this Midwestern state.

See what Kansas has to offer by checking out the top programs and career paths available.


What are Kansas’s Colleges & Universities?

Kansas’s Best Overall

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

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How do we determine Kansas's best colleges and universities?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we call “Concentrated Influence”. Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.


Every fall, more than 2 million high-school graduates will enroll in colleges and universities across the United States. Finding the best college for your educational, personal, and professional goals may be challenging. The purpose of this ranking is to help you manage this challenge with an accurate, objective, and up-to-date ranking of the best colleges and universities in Kansas for earning a bachelor’s degree.

We’ve identified a total of 25 colleges and universities in Kansas, 21 of which satisfy our criteria. The list below of the best schools in the state focuses on those that offer four-year undergraduate degrees, includes both public and private colleges and universities, and also meet the following conditions:

  1. It must be fully accredited.
  2. It must be a non-profit institution.
  3. It must offer a broad array of bachelor’s degrees.
  4. It must have a graduation rate of greater than 30%.

Best Colleges & Universities in Kansas

  1. #1

    Friends University

    Wichita , KS
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $30K

    Acceptance

    58%

    Graduation

    42%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1050/22

    What is Friends University known for?

    Friends University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Psychology
    • Education
    • Business
    • Literature
    • Religious Studies
    • Mathematics
    • Political Science
    • Communications
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  2. #2

    University of Kansas

    Lawrence , KS
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    63%

    Student body

    23K

    What is University of Kansas known for?

    University of Kansas’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Business
    • Mathematics
    • Psychology
    • Engineering
    • Medical
    • History
    • Literature
    • Law
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  3. #3

    Kansas State University

    Manhattan , KS
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    94%

    Graduation

    68%

    Student body

    18K

    What is Kansas State University known for?

    Kansas State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Education
    • Chemistry
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • History
    • Medical
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  4. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    64%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    2K

    What is MidAmerica Nazarene University known for?

    MidAmerica Nazarene University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • History
    • Business
    • Religious Studies
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    • Literature
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  5. #5

    Southwestern College

    Winfield , KS
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    56%

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    995/21

    What is Southwestern College known for?

    Southwestern College ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Education
    • Communications
    • Business
    • History
    • Criminal Justice
    • Religious Studies
    • Computer Science
    • Biology
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  6. #6

    Ottawa University

    Ottawa , KS
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    37%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    975/19

    What is Ottawa University known for?

    Ottawa University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Biology
    • Business
    • Social Work
    • History
    • Religious Studies
    • Sociology
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    REQUEST INFO
  7. #7

    Baker University

    Baldwin City , KS
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    93%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1085/22

    What is Baker University known for?

    Baker University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Medical
    • Education
    • History
    • Nursing
    • Philosophy
    • Psychology
    • Religious Studies
    • Literature
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  8. #8

    Washburn University

    Topeka , KS
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Washburn University known for?

    Washburn University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Law
    • Literature
    • Business
    • Education
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    • History
    • Communications
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    REQUEST INFO
  9. #9

    Bethel College

    North Newton , KS
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $30K

    Acceptance

    61%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1030/21

    What is Bethel College known for?

    Bethel College ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • History
    • Literature
    • Religious Studies
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • Business
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  10. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    12K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1150/23

    What is Wichita State University known for?

    Wichita State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Education
    • Business
    • History
    • Literature
    • Mathematics
    • Chemistry
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  11. #11

    Benedictine College

    Atchison , KS
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    97%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1185/24

    What is Benedictine College known for?

    Benedictine College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Engineering
    • History
    • Nursing
    • Political Science
    • Physics
    • Biology
    • Economics
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  12. Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    62%

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1041/21

    What is Kansas Wesleyan University known for?

    Kansas Wesleyan University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Education
    • Criminal Justice
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Literature
    • Communications
    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  13. #13

    Tabor College

    Hillsboro , KS

    Tuition + fees

    $41K

    Acceptance

    46%

    Graduation

    42%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1045/19

    What is Tabor College known for?

    Tabor College ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • History
    • Religious Studies
    • Psychology
    • Communications
    • Mathematics
    • Medical
    • Philosophy
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  14. Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1050/21

    What is Pittsburg State University known for?

    Pittsburg State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • History
    • Literature
    • Engineering
    • Psychology
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • Biology
    REQUEST INFO
  15. #15

    McPherson College

    McPherson , KS

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    52%

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1050/21

    What is McPherson College known for?

    McPherson College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Mathematics
    • Medical
    • Philosophy
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  16. Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    86%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1002/22

    What is Emporia State University known for?

    Emporia State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Biology
    • History
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • Literature
    • Physics
    REQUEST INFO
  17. #17

    Sterling College

    Sterling , KS

    Tuition + fees

    $27K

    Acceptance

    37%

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    985/20

    What is Sterling College known for?

    Sterling College ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • History
    • Education
    • Business
    • Literature
    • Communications
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Philosophy
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  18. Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    83%

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1087/21

    What is Newman University, Wichita known for?

    Newman University, Wichita’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • History
    • Education
    • Literature
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Philosophy
    • Mathematics
    • Nursing

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  19. Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    10K

    What is Fort Hays State University known for?

    Fort Hays State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Biology
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Engineering
    REQUEST INFO
  20. #20

    Bethany College

    Lindsborg , KS

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    68%

    Graduation

    34%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Bethany College known for?

    Bethany College ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • History
    • Education
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • Religious Studies
    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  21. #21

    University of Saint Mary

    Leavenworth , KS

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    60%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1045/20

    What is University of Saint Mary known for?

    University of Saint Mary’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Education
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Nursing
    • Psychology
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • Biology
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO

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