If you’re looking to pursue higher education in Kansas, you might get bogged down by the long list of potential institutions and programs. Because there are so many options, it can be hard to know where to begin. In this guide, we’ll take a look at the best community colleges in Kansas to help you make an informed decision.
We’ll look at strong degree and certificate programs, transfer options, and the best online community colleges in Kansas. You’ll learn about the most in-demand jobs in the state and the job outlooks of each of these potential career paths. Last, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions about community colleges in Kansas to round out this comprehensive look at your options.
How Many Community Colleges Are in Kansas?
There are 33 community colleges in Kansas. This statistic has been verified both by the National Center for Education Statistics and also the US News and World Report. These schools are all accredited to offer certificate and two-year associate degree programs.
How Many Community College Districts Are in Kansas?
There are 19 community college districts in Kansas. Some of the largest community college districts in Kansas include Dodge City, Colby, and Garden City. The smallest districts are Neosho, Johnson, and Kansas City.
What Is the Biggest Community College in Kansas?
The biggest community college in Kansas is Johnson County Community College which has a total enrollment of over 18,000 students. Following (at a distance) is Butler Community College with close to 8000 students. In third place is Kansas City Kansas Community College with 6,000 students.
What Are the Best Community Colleges in Kansas?
|Ranking||Community College||Graduation Rate||Student-to-Faculty Ratio|
|1||Seward County Community College||50%||15:1|
|2||Cloud County Community College||47%||14:1|
|3||Hutchinson Community College||44%||18:1|
|4||Cowley County Community College||43%||18:1|
|5||Garden City Community College||43%||14:1|
|6||Neosho County Community College||33%||11:1|
|7||Kansas City Kansas Community College||32%||12:1|
|8||Dodge City Community College||30%||12:1|
|9||Johnson County Community College||26%||17:1|
|10||Labette Community College||24%||12:1|
The Best Community Colleges in Kansas: Explained
The best community colleges in Kansas include Johnson County Community College, Cloud County Community College and Neosho County Community College. These institutions are highly ranked by reputable platforms due to their high standard of education quality. In the next section, we’ll take a closer look at each of these schools as well as other colleges with impressive reputations.
Best Online Community Colleges in Kansas
- Barton County Community College. Barton Online is one of the best online community colleges in Kansas. It is a virtual campus that offers associate degrees and certificate programs. Course schedules are flexible and costs are affordable. There are also 15 different sessions that take place in four different time frames, ensuring students are able to take advantage of this program even if they have busy schedules.
- Coffeyville Community College Online. CCC offers a wide range of online programs for motivated students. The classes are delivered through the digital learning service Moodle. Online course tuition fees range from $132 to $259 per credit hour.
- Pratt Community College. Pratt Online courses are delivered through the college’s online platform. Students from across the globe can apply to take individual online classes. However, complete online degree programs are not available.
Best Online Associate Degrees
Other Kansas Community College Rankings
Kansas community colleges can be ranked according to many different factors. Below, we take a look at how easily graduating students can transfer courses for credit to four-year institutions. Next, we look at rank based on the nursing programs, since it’s one of the most popular programs in the state.
Best Community Colleges in Kansas for Transfer
- Independence Community College. This two-year school located in Independence, Kansas was founded in 1925. It has one of the highest transfer-out rates at 45 percent. This means it offers a considerable number of transferable credits in its programs.
- Highland Community College. This public institution in Highland, Kansas was established in 1858. It now offers some of the best transfer degree programs in the state, and has a transfer rate of 36 percent.
- Donnelly College. Established in 1949, Donnelly College has developed into a reputable institution in Kansas that offers associate degrees and certifications. Its credits are highly transferable to colleges and universities.
Best Community Colleges for Nursing in Kansas
- Butler Community College. A well-recognized institution for nursing education, Butler College prepares you for professional life as a healthcare worker. BCC is partnered with the Kansas University School of Nursing to allow passionate students to earn two degrees at the same time.
- Manhattan Area Technical College. Manhattan Tech offers an LPN to RN bridge program which builds upon your nursing knowledge and experience, allowing you to transfer 10 credits toward the RN curriculum. You’re able to earn an Associate of Science to qualify for the RN license exam.
- Fort Scott Community College. This institution offers an RN program that allows you to earn a bachelor’s degree through its partnerships with the University of Kansas, Ottawa University, Washburn University, and Pittsburg State University among other public schools.
Best Associate Degrees
Best Community College Programs in Kansas
The best community college programs in Kansas include liberal arts and sciences, nursing, business administration, welding, and general studies. These programs are offered to prospective students as certificates or associate degrees.
Often, the college credit earned during these programs can be transferred if students want to continue their education after attending one of the community colleges in Kansas. Let’s look at each of these options.
Liberal Arts and Sciences
You can study liberal arts and sciences at any of the community colleges in Kansas. It’s one of the most popular degree programs offered in the state. Institutions usually offer associate degrees or certificates, both with transferable credits for students who want to upskill by earning higher education levels and acquiring a bachelor’s degree.
Another popular option in Kansas is nursing, which is taught using many different program formats depending on the institution. Some of these formats include an Associate of Applied Science, an Associate of Science, a nursing diploma, or a certificate in Practical Nursing. After completing any of these programs, students can gain licensure or continue their studies at a university.
Most community colleges offer academic programs in business administration and related fields of study. These are either certificate programs or associate degree programs. For instance, you can get an AAS (Associate of Applied Science), an AGS (Associate of General Studies), or an AS (Associate of Science) in Business at many of the best community colleges in Kansas.
Welding is another popular field of study at community colleges in Kansas that can lead to a decent living. Welding programs are designed to prepare students for entry-level employment in welding.
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Institutions typically offer welding certificate programs as well as some welding Associate of Applied Science degree programs. Most of these programs are based on curricula created by the National Center of Construction Education and Research.
General studies programs are designed to educate students on a wide range of topics. This allows students to make intentional choices about what they’d like to study as their further education and what they’d like to do in their professional lives. Some of the best community colleges in Kansas offer general studies associate degrees with transferable credits.
Kansas Community College Admission Requirements
The admission requirements to attend a community college in Kansas include a high school diploma or GED certificate and a final high school transcript. You will also need to complete an application online or by filling out a physical form. While these are the typical admission requirements, you should always double-check the requirements of any program you’re applying to.
Kansas Community College GPA Requirements
Kansas community college GPA requirements are not something to worry about. Most community colleges in Kansas have an open admission policy and will take you no matter what your GPA is. For example, Seward County Community College, which is the best community college in Kansas, has an open admissions policy.
Residency Requirements for Community Colleges in Kansas
Residency requirements for community colleges in Kansas are as follows: students must be able to establish physical presence in Kansas, have intent to stay there, and must have financial independence.
Often you’ll be required to live in Kansas for at least one year before establishing residency. The challenges you can face from failing to establish residence or from being an out-of-district or out-of-state student include lack of access to grants and scholarships and lack of access to financial aid.
Kansas Community College Age Requirements
Kansas community college age requirements depend on the institution. Some schools require students to be at least 16 years of age, some schools require students to be at least high school sophomores, and some schools have age requirements contingent on the type of student. If you’re confused by age requirements for community colleges in Kansas, don’t hesitate to reach out to admissions departments.
Kansas Community College Admission Requirements: A Summary
- High School Diploma or GED certificate
- High School Transcripts
Why Study in Kansas?
You should study in Kansas because of the extensive education system. After pursuing higher education in Kansas, you’ll have the foundation necessary to pursue a wide range of career opportunities. Also, Kansas community colleges are ranked well in national surveys for their undergraduate academic degrees.
Great Education System
The Kansas community college education system is under the stewardship of the Kansas Community College Trustees Association. This system has a positive impact on students as they prepare for the workforce by gaining new knowledge and skills. It also prepares them to attend universities to earn bachelor’s degrees or beyond.
Kansas has highly ranked community colleges. For instance, North Central Kansas Technical College in Beloit is ranked as the 41st best community college in America by niche.com. Hutchinson Community College has a very strong community college nursing program.
Many Options to Choose From
Kansas has a wide range of program options to choose from. There are 33 community colleges each offering certificate and associate degrees in many fields of study. All you have to do is to select a reputable college and a program based on your needs.
Kansas Employment Outlook for Community College Students
The job outlook for community college students in Kansas is good. From March 2021 to March 2022, the number of nonfarm jobs grew by 18,800 representing a 1.8 percent growth in employment, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
By March 2022, the unemployment rate in the state was at 3.4 percent, which is lower than the national average of 3.8 percent. In general, unemployment rates in Kansas have been steadily decreasing over the past year.
5 In-Demand Kansas Jobs
The top five most in-demand jobs in Kansas are registered nurses, wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives, nurse practitioners, electrical and electronics installers, and nursing assistants. All of these jobs are well compensated and provide interesting and challenging work environments. Let’s dig deeper into each of these jobs.
What Community Colleges in Kansas Have Dorms?
Some of the best community colleges in Kansas that have dorms include Cloud County Community College, Neosho County Community College, and Kansas City Kansas Community College. The most significant advantage of residency is the convenience. On the other hand, downsides can include small spaces, limited privacy, and limiting dorm rules.
Kansas Community Colleges With Dorms
- Cloud County Community College
- Hutchinson Community College
- Kansas City Kansas Community College
- Labette Community College
- Neosho County Community College
What Community Colleges Offer Winter Intersession in Kansas?
Some of the community colleges in Kansas that offer winter intersession include Johnson County Community College, Barton Community College, and Fort Scott Community College. A winter intersession is a condensed course that allows you to satisfy your degree requirements so you can expedite your education. You’ll want to take advantage of this opportunity if you’re focused on completing your studies quickly.
Kansas Community Colleges With Winter Intersession
- Barton Community College
- Butler Community College
- Cowley County Community College
- Fort Scott Community College
- Johnson County Community College
What Community Colleges in Kansas Have Summer Classes?
Some of the community colleges in Kansas with summer classes include Kansas City Kansas Community College, Johnson County Community College, and Garden City Community College. Summer classes also give you the opportunity to complete your classes ahead of time so you can get ahead. If you’re a highly motivated student, you might want to look for a community college with summer classes.
Kansas Community Colleges With Summer Classes
- Butler Community College
- Coffeyville Community College
- Garden City Community College
- Johnson County Community College
- Kansas City Kansas Community College
How to Apply to Community College in Kansas
You can apply to community college in Kansas by following the procedures set forth by the institution you’re applying to. Generally, you’ll submit an online application form, upload your documents and apply for financial aid if you need it. For international students, proof of English proficiency might be an extra necessary step.
Kansas Community College Application Steps
- Fill out and submit an online community college application
- Upload your high school diploma, GED, or transcripts
- Provide proof of residency
- Submit your FAFSA
- Attend student orientation
Cost of Community Colleges in Kansas
The average cost of attending community colleges in Kansas is $3,542 for public two-year programs if you’re an in-state resident student, and $4,695 for the same program if you’re an out-of-state student. These figures come from the National Center for Education Statistics. This works out to be approximately $116 per credit hour for in-state students and $153 per credit hour for out-of-state students.
Are Community Colleges Ever Free in Kansas?
Community colleges in Kansas can be free if you can secure funding from scholarship programs. For instance, the Kansas Promise Scholarships can sometimes cover full tuition, fees, and other educational costs. Kansas Promise Scholarship recipients are required to work in the state for at least two years after graduation.
Which Community Colleges Are Free in Kansas?
There are no community colleges in Kansas that offer free education without scholarships or other external funding. The only way to attend one of the best community colleges in Kansas for free is by securing scholarship opportunities that fund your education. For instance, the Kansas Promise Scholarships offers full funding for your education as long as you work for at least two years in the state after you graduate.
Who Qualifies for Free Community College in Kansas?
To be eligible for the Kansas Promise Scholarship, you must be studying in one of four fields: information technology and security, advanced manufacturing and building trades, mental and physical health care, or early childhood education and development. You also must have graduated from a Kansas high school in the past year. This scholarship is also awarded based on financial eligibility, so not everyone who applies for it will receive the full amount.
How to Apply for Free Community College in Kansas
- Fill out and submit the Kansas Promise Scholarship application.
- Complete the FAFSA Application.
- Enroll in an eligible program of study.
- Sign a Kansas Promise Scholarship Agreement stating you’ll work in Kansas for at least two years after completing your program.
- Complete your program of study within 30 months of being awarded the scholarship.
Scholarships for Community Colleges in Kansas
There are a lot of good scholarships for community colleges in Kansas. Some of the best include the Kansas Promise Scholarship, the Kansas Military Service Scholarship, the Kansas Nursing Service Scholarship, the Kansas State Scholarship, and the Kansas Career Work-Study. In the next section, we’ll look more closely at how to get a scholarship or financial aid for community colleges in Kansas.
How to Get a Scholarship for Community Colleges in Kansas
- Start your scholarship applications early.
- Seek advice from college counselors and advisors.
- Explore scholarship programs offered by individual colleges and apply.
- Search for private scholarships and apply.
- Apply for as many scholarships as you can.
Kansas Community College Scholarships List
- Kansas Nursing Service Scholarship | Amount: $3,500 – $4,500. This scholarship is made possible through financial sponsorship. A sponsor takes responsibility for the cost of tuition and fees for an LPN or RN student in Kansas. In return, the student provides work for the sponsor upon licensure.
- Kansas Career Technical Workforce Grant | Amount: $1,000 per year. This scholarship is available to students who are in technical education programs at institutions that offer technical associate degrees or certificates.
- Kansas State Scholarship | Amount: $1,000 per year. This scholarship is offered to students who are in the top 30% of any accredited Kansas high school. These high school graduates are designated as state scholars during their senior year of high school.
Other Kansas Community College Financial Aid Options
Other Kansas community college financial aid options include federal grants, state grants, student loans, and work study programs. While all of these options together can seem overwhelming, they can all be important when trying to fund your education. Let’s find out what each of these options entails.
Federal grants are financial aid provided to college students by the United States government from the general federal revenue. Examples of federal grants available to Kansas students include the Federal Pell Grant and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant. Unlike loans, federal grants do not have to be repaid.
Kansas State Grants
State grants are funds provided by a state to students who are enrolled in college in their state of residence. Kansas has several state-sponsored grants including the Kansas State Grant, the Kansas Comprehensive Grant, and the Kansas Career Technical Workforce Grant. State grants also do not have to be repaid.
Student loans are loans given to students who are financially eligible. Federal loans are usually the best financial option because they have fairly low interest rates and negotiable payment plans. Sallie Mae is one of the most popular private education loan programs available to students at community colleges in Kansas.
Work-study programs provide part-time jobs to students. To get a work-study job you must demonstrate financial need. Kansas Career Work-Study is the flagship program funded by the state that offers employers incentives to hire college and university students in various positions.
The Best Financial Aid for Your Situation
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What Are the Financial Aid Requirements for Community Colleges in Kansas?
Financial aid requirements for community colleges in Kansas include the ability to demonstrate Kansas residency and a high school diploma. You may need to be at least 21 years old and have lived in Kansas for three years, or be a dependent child of a military service member. You should also be enrolled in an eligible program in college.
Kansas Financial Aid Requirements: Overview
- Be a Kansas Resident
- Have graduated from an accredited high school in the last 12 months
- Or be 21 years of age and Kansas resident for at least three years
- Or be a dependent child of military service member who graduated from high school within the last 12 months
- Be enrolled in an eligible program in an accredited community college
Should You Attend Community College in Kansas?
Yes, you should attend community college in Kansas. The best community colleges in Kansas offer high-quality education at an affordable cost. You will have the opportunity to build a strong foundation of knowledge and skills that you can use to pursue employment or further education.
If you are not interested in earning an associate degree, there are other options that can help you start a career. If you are interested in the tech field, you could consider joining one of the best coding bootcamps to gain job-ready technical skills in just a few weeks or months.
Kansas Community College Rankings: Methodology
Our ranking of Kansas community colleges is based mainly on graduation rate. If graduation rate statistics were not available, we used data on student-to-faculty ratios to rank the remaining schools. These figures, sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), best reflect a student’s chances of getting the education and help they need to succeed.
Best Accelerated Degrees
Best Kansas Community Colleges FAQ
The Kansas legislature has enabled communities to create college districts that are funded through county taxes and motor vehicle taxes. Community colleges get the remainder of their funding from state aid programs and student tuition.
The average cost of in-state tuition at a community college in Kansas is $3,480 per year, according to Education Data Initiative. This comes to about $1,740 per semester and $116 per credit hour. The average cost of out-of-state tuition is $4,750 per year, amounting to $2,375 per semester and $153 per credit hour.
The cheapest community college in Kansas state is Seward County Community College, with tuition at only $2,115. This means you can attend one of the best community colleges in Kansas at a very low cost. Other community colleges with low tuition include Allen County Community College and Dodge City Community College, which cost $2,784 and $2,850 respectively.
Kansas University is not a community college. Kansas University is a public research institution with its main campus in Lawrence, Kansas. It is a member of the Association of American Universities.
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