Best Public Colleges in Kansas 2022

Public colleges and universities account for almost 75 percent of all undergraduate students in the U.S. The best public colleges in Kansas provide broad access to reputable degree programs, affordable tuition, and sprawling educational communities.

Best Public Colleges in Kansas 2022

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

What is the difference between public and private colleges?

Public and private colleges and universities operate under different business models. Public colleges and universities are owned by the state and receive both state and federal funding to operate. Private colleges and universities are private companies with private funding. If you’re looking at the pros and cons of private vs. public colleges, consider that many public colleges provide diverse course offerings, influential professors, and an excellent return on your investment.

Public colleges are schools that receive most of their funding from tax revenues. As a result, the cost of a bachelor’s degree at a public university is often lower than the equivalent cost at a private college — especially for students attending a public school in their home state. Attending a college in-state is usually the cheapest option. Private universities and colleges can be very competitive with their funding opportunities, so do not simply believe that private colleges are always going to be more expensive. According to National Center for Educational Statistics, the average annual cost (tuition, fees, room and board for full-time students) at a public university was slightly over $20,000. In contrast, private universities cost, on average, nearly $43,000 annually. But in the end, the cost of college comes down to each student’s academic and financial situation.

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This list is composed entirely of public colleges and universities that offer bachelor’s degrees. We’ve identified 7 public universities in Kansas. To be included in our list of the best public colleges in Kansas, shcools must receive direct funding from the state, be fully accredited, and offer a broad range of bachelor’s degress.

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

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great! 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 in their fields of study.

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

To rank the influence of schools, we first determine the influence of scholars and professionals based on the number of citations and publications they have had over the past 10 years. In addition to publications and citations, we consider the web links to and from these sources, and the page views of those sources. We then match the influential people to their alma maters and institutions of employment, so that their influence is attributed to those schools. Our machine-learning Influence Ranking algorithm produces a numerical score of academic achievements, merits, and citations across Wikipedia, wikidata, Crossref, Semantic Scholar and an ever-growing body of data. If you are interested in exploring how and why we rank by influence, explore our methodology in more depth.

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Best Public Colleges in Kansas 2022

  1. #1

    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:

    • Social Work
    • History
    • Anthropology
    • Psychology
    • Education
    • Sociology
    • Earth Sciences
    • Criminal Justice
    • Mathematics
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  2. #2

    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
    • Chemistry
    • Engineering
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science
    • Economics
    • Physics
    • Anthropology
    • History
    • Earth Sciences

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #3

    Wichita State University

    Wichita , KS
    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
    • Criminal Justice
    • Mathematics
    • History
    • Earth Sciences
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Education
    • Computer Science
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #4

    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
    • Nursing
    • Mathematics
    • Communications
    • History
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Psychology
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #5

    Pittsburg State University

    Pittsburg , KS

    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
    • Engineering
    • History
    • Sociology
    • Psychology
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Literature
    • Economics

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #6

    Emporia State University

    Emporia , KS
    Other Rankings

    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:

    • Biology
    • History
    • Nursing
    • Education
    • Business
    • Physics
    • Mathematics
    • Social Work
    • Computer Science
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. 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:

    • Biology
    • History
    • Computer Science
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Communications
    • Social Work
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Earth Sciences

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
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Kansas’s Best Public College in Your Area of Interest

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utiulized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. University of Kansas
  2. Kansas State University
  3. Washburn University
  4. Wichita State University
  5. Pittsburg State University
  6. Emporia State University
  7. Fort Hays State University

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