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2021 Best Colleges in Kansas

28 Colleges
$39,756 Avg Salary*
32% Avg 4-Year Grad Rate*

When pursuing a degree in today's world, there are many different options to choose from. College Factual was founded, in part, to help students make the decision as to what would be the best school for them. Our Top in Kansas Colleges and Universities ranking is part of that endeavor.

After analyzing 28 schools in Kansas, we came up with our list of those that offered the highest quality education. Our ranking is based on over 20 objective factors, including post graduate earnings, freshman retention, and graduation rate. We steer clear of subjective measures since they don't give a clear picture when determining how one school compares to another.

See what other factors we include in our ranking methodology.

Customizing Your List

We've developed a number of other tools and rankings to help you make your college decision. Start by filtering this list by location or field of study and then explore our other rankings that feature schools great for different groups of students such as veterans or returnings adults.

You can create your own custom comparison that focuses on the factors most important to you using our tool, College Combat. We encourage you to try it out and pit your favorite colleges and universities head to head!

Top Colleges in Kansas

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

#1

University of Kansas

Lawrence, Kansas

Our 2021 rankings named University of Kansas the best school in Kansas in terms of overall quality for students working on their bachelor’s degree. KU is located in Lawrence, Kansas and has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 4,536 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The low student loan default rate of 4.6% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1% During the early years of their career, graduates from KU make an average of $48,800 a year.

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#2

Kansas State University

Manhattan, Kansas

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around if you attend Kansas State University. The school came in at #2 in Kansas on this year’s overall quality ranking. Kansas State University is a large public school located in Manhattan, Kansas that handed out 4,048 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The low student loan default rate of 4.7% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1% Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $45,600 during the early years of their career..

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#3

Benedictine College

Atchison, Kansas

Out of the 28 schools in Kansas that were part of this year’s ranking, Benedictine College landed the #3 spot on the list.Atchison, Kansas is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 512 students in 2018-2019.

The low student loan default rate of 3.1% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1% The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Benedictine College is $40,100 during the early years of their career.

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#4

Baker University

Baldwin City, Kansas

Out of the 28 schools in Kansas that were part of this year’s ranking, Baker University landed the #4 spot on the list. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Baldwin City, Kansas, and it awarded 358 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The student-to-faculty rate of 7 to 1 is a sign that students will have more opportunities to engage with their professors one-on-one. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Baker go into careers with an average salary of $51,300 during the early years of their career.

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#5

Pittsburg State University

Pittsburg, Kansas

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around if you attend Pittsburg State University. The school came in at #5 in Kansas on this year’s overall quality ranking. Pitt State is a public institution located in Pittsburg, Kansas. The school has a medium-sized population, and it awarded 1,099 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

During the early years of their career, graduates from Pitt State make an average of $39,400 a year.

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#6

Emporia State University

Emporia, Kansas

Emporia State University landed the #6 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges in Kansas ranking. ESU is located in Emporia, Kansas and has a medium-sized student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 822 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

During the early years of their career, graduates from ESU make an average of $37,100 a year.

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#7

Wichita State University

Wichita, Kansas

Wichita State University came in at #7 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in Kansas ranking. WSU is located in Wichita, Kansas and has a fairly large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 2,231 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from WSU go into careers with an average salary of $40,400 during the early years of their career.

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#8

Hesston College

Hesston, Kansas

With a ranking of #8, Hesston College did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges in Kansas list.Hesston, Kansas is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 65 students in 2018-2019.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 94%. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $41,000 during the early years of their career..

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#9

University of Saint Mary

Leavenworth, Kansas

University of Saint Mary did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges in Kansas ranking, coming in at #9. Located in Leavenworth, Kansas, the small private not-for-profit school awarded 233 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

With a student-to-faculty rate of 9 to 1, it’s easy to see that the school is committed to helping their undergraduates succeed. During the early years of their career, graduates from University of St. Mary make an average of $38,500 a year.

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#10

Washburn University

Topeka, Kansas

Washburn University landed the #10 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges in Kansas ranking. Washburn University is a public institution located in Topeka, Kansas. The school has a medium-sized population, and it awarded 896 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Washburn University is $40,300 during the early years of their career.

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#11

Newman University

Wichita, Kansas

Newman University did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges in Kansas ranking, coming in at #11. Located in Wichita, Kansas, the small private not-for-profit school awarded 308 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Newman University go into careers with an average salary of $44,000 during the early years of their career.

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#12

Bethel College - North Newton

North Newton, Kansas

Bethel College - North Newton landed the #12 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges in Kansas ranking. Bethel College - North Newton is located in North Newton, Kansas and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 147 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

During the early years of their career, graduates from Bethel College - North Newton make an average of $40,800 a year.

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#13

Fort Hays State University

Hays, Kansas

Fort Hays State University landed the #13 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges in Kansas ranking. Located in Hays, Kansas, the fairly large public school handed out 2,888 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $38,200 during the early years of their career..

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#14

Friends University

Wichita, Kansas

With a ranking of #14, Friends University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges in Kansas list. Friends University is a private not-for-profit institution located in Wichita, Kansas. The school has a small population, and it awarded 326 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Friends University is $41,800 during the early years of their career.

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#15

Southwestern College

Winfield, Kansas

Southwestern College landed the #15 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges in Kansas ranking. SC is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Winfield, Kansas. It awarded 364 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from SC make an average of $46,400 per year during the early years of their career.

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#16

McPherson College

McPherson, Kansas

McPherson College ranked #16 on this year’s Best Colleges in Kansas list. McPherson College is a small private not-for-profit school situated in McPherson, Kansas. It awarded 145 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from McPherson College is $39,300 during the early years of their career.

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MidAmerica Nazarene University ranked #17 on this year’s Best Colleges in Kansas list. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Olathe, Kansas, and it awarded 396 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The impressive student-to-faculty rate of 7 to 1 means that students may have more opportunities to work more closely with their professors than they would at other schools. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from MNU is $42,900 during the early years of their career.

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#18

Sterling College

Sterling, Kansas

Sterling College came in at #18 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in Kansas ranking. Sterling College is a small private not-for-profit school located in Sterling, Kansas that handed out 113 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $35,700 during the early years of their career..

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#19

Manhattan Christian College

Manhattan, Kansas

Manhattan Christian College did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges in Kansas ranking, coming in at #19. Manhattan Christian College is a small private not-for-profit school located in Manhattan, Kansas that handed out 47 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from MCC go into careers with an average salary of $35,500 during the early years of their career.

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Haskell Indian Nations University came in at #20 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in Kansas ranking. This small public school is located in Lawrence, Kansas, and it awarded 71 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

During the early years of their career, graduates from Haskell make an average of $24,900 a year.

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#21

Tabor College

Hillsboro, Kansas

Tabor College came in at #21 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in Kansas ranking. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Hillsboro, Kansas, and it awarded 185 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

During the early years of their career, graduates from Tabor make an average of $40,800 a year.

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#22

Kansas Wesleyan University

Salina, Kansas

Kansas Wesleyan University came in at #22 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in Kansas ranking. Kansas Wesleyan University is a small private not-for-profit school located in Salina, Kansas that handed out 140 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $40,300 during the early years of their career..

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#23

Ottawa University - Ottawa

Ottawa, Kansas

Ottawa University - Ottawa came in at #23 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in Kansas ranking. Located in Ottawa, Kansas, the small private not-for-profit school awarded 109 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

During the early years of their career, graduates from Ottawa make an average of $41,500 a year.

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#24

Barclay College

Haviland, Kansas

Barclay College ranked #24 on this year’s Best Colleges in Kansas list. Barclay College is a small private not-for-profit school located in Haviland, Kansas that handed out 54 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

During the early years of their career, graduates from Barclay College make an average of $33,900 a year.

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#25

Donnelly College

Kansas City, Kansas

With a ranking of #25, Donnelly College did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges in Kansas list. Donnelly College is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Kansas City, Kansas. It awarded 16 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The low student loan default rate of 4.7% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1% Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $25,400 during the early years of their career..

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Notes and References

Footnotes

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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