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.

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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?

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 “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.

Find out more about our ranking methodology here.

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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

    #2056 institution's historical influence
    #231 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    58%

    Graduation

    42%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1050/22

    Wichita, KS

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    What is Friends University known for?

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

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #2

    University of Kansas

    #125 institution's historical influence
    #620 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    63%

    Student body

    23K

    Lawrence, KS

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    What is University of Kansas known for?

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

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

    Most Influential Alumni

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  3. #3

    Kansas State University

    #326 institution's historical influence
    #1154 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    94%

    Graduation

    68%

    Student body

    19K

    Manhattan, KS

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    What is Kansas State University known for?

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

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #4

    MidAmerica Nazarene University

    #7928 institution's historical influence
    #1454 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    64%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    2K

    Olathe, KS

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    What is MidAmerica Nazarene University known for?

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

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #5

    Southwestern College

    #3092 institution's historical influence
    #974 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    56%

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    995/21

    Winfield, KS

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    What is Southwestern College known for?

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

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #6

    Ottawa University

    #2537 institution's historical influence
    #1428 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    37%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    975/19

    Ottawa, KS

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    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

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. #7

    Baker University

    #1595 institution's historical influence
    #947 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $30K

    Acceptance

    93%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1085/22

    Baldwin City, KS

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    What is Baker University known for?

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

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #8

    Washburn University

    #691 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    5K

    Topeka, KS

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    What is Washburn University known for?

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

    • Law
    • Literature
    • Business
    • Education
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Communications
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

  9. #9

    Bethel College

    #4951 institution's historical influence
    #1200 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    61%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1030/21

    North Newton, KS

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    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

  10. #10

    Wichita State University

    #843 institution's historical influence
    #407 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    11K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1150/23

    Wichita, KS

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    What is Wichita State University known for?

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

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. #11

    Benedictine College

    #2365 institution's historical influence
    #389 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    97%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1185/24

    Atchison, KS

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    What is Benedictine College known for?

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

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  12. #12

    Kansas Wesleyan University

    #3633 institution's historical influence
    #1153 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $30K

    Acceptance

    62%

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1041/21

    Salina, KS

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    What is Kansas Wesleyan University known for?

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

    • Biology
    • Education
    • Medical
    • History
    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • Religious Studies
    • Nursing

    Most Influential Alumni

  13. #13

    Tabor College

    #6160 institution's historical influence
    #1028 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    46%

    Graduation

    42%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1045/19

    Hillsboro, KS

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    What is Tabor College known for?

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

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  14. #14

    Pittsburg State University

    #1904 institution's historical influence
    #1370 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1050/21

    Pittsburg, KS

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    What is Pittsburg State University known for?

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

    • Education
    • Business
    • History
    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • Medical
    • Engineering
    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  15. #15

    McPherson College

    #5200 institution's historical influence
    #1184 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $30K

    Acceptance

    52%

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1050/21

    McPherson, KS

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    What is McPherson College known for?

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

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  16. #16

    Emporia State University

    #1410 institution's historical influence
    #1371 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    86%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1002/22

    Emporia, KS

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    What is Emporia State University known for?

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

    • Business
    • Education
    • Biology
    • History
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • Mathematics
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

  17. #17

    Sterling College

    #10176 institution's historical influence
    #1383 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $27K

    Acceptance

    37%

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    985/20

    Sterling, KS

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    What is Sterling College known for?

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

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

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  18. #18

    Newman University, Wichita

    #5163 institution's historical influence
    #1055 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    83%

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1087/21

    Wichita, KS

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    What is Newman University, Wichita known for?

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

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  19. #19

    Fort Hays State University

    #2293 institution's historical influence
    #1261 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    10K

    Hays, KS

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    What is Fort Hays State University known for?

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

    • Biology
    • Business
    • Education
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • Engineering
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  20. #20

    Bethany College

    #5714 institution's historical influence
    #290 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $30K

    Acceptance

    68%

    Graduation

    34%

    Student body

    <1K

    Lindsborg, KS

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    What is Bethany College known for?

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

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  21. #21

    University of Saint Mary

    #10055 institution's historical influence
    #1399 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $30K

    Acceptance

    60%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1045/20

    Leavenworth, KS

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    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
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • Psychology
    • Biology
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

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