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2021 Best Colleges in Kansas by Salary Score

By the GradReports team | Updated 3/1/2021

We ranked the top schools in Kansas by bachelor's degree Salary Scores to give students a clear picture of how alumni salaries at each school stack up against one another. The Salary Score is based on real-world salary data and is calculated by comparing median alumni earnings in the first year after graduation to data for graduates from the same major at other universities. We compiled these comparisons to create an overall score highlighting how each school stacks up against universities across the country. Kansas is the third most affordable state in the country, so alumni in the state may have lower salaries that are in line with lower living expenses. Even with a low cost of living, Southwestern College, Kansas State University, and the University of Kansas all had Salary Scores above the median for colleges in the United States.

To be considered for our state rankings, schools must offer and provide data for at least 8 bachelor's programs. This list includes all eligible schools in Kansas. You can click on a school's name to view individual program scores. Read our methodology to learn more about how schools were ranked.

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Salary Scores based on data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Rank School Location Annual Tuition Salary Score
#1 #1 Southwestern College - KS Winfield Winfield $31,650 79.76
#2 #2 Kansas State University Manhattan Manhattan $10,440 63.87
#3 #3 University of Kansas Lawrence Lawrence $11,166 58.63
#4 #4 Fort Hays State University Hays Hays $5,280 49.00
#5 #5 Washburn University Topeka Topeka $8,704 48.17
#6 #6 Benedictine College Atchison Atchison $30,530 45.94
#7 #7 Emporia State University Emporia Emporia $6,797 36.73
#8 #8 Pittsburg State University Pittsburg Pittsburg $7,338 35.61
#9 #9 Wichita State University Wichita Wichita $8,298 31.31

2021 Best Colleges in Kansas Highlights

Salary Score 79.76
Annual Tuition $31,650
Graduation Rate 42%

Many of the undergraduate programs with the highest Salary Scores at Southwestern College are in business related fields. The business administration, management, and operations program scores a 96, the human resources management and services program scores an 87, and the business, management, marketing, and related support services program scores an 80. Graduates from the top scoring business administration, management, and operations program also report the highest median annual salary, at $58,220. Alumni of the criminal justice and corrections program, which has a Salary Score of 95, report median annual earnings of $46,790.

School Overview

Southwestern College is a small, private college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. It is located in Winfield, a small town south of Wichita and close to the border of Oklahoma. The student-to-faculty ratio is 11:1, and there are 41 undergraduate and graduate degrees available. All students receive some type of grant from the college to help cover the cost of tuition, and the average award amount is $7,896. The school also offers a monthly payment plan, allowing students to spread their costs out over the course of the year.

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Salary Score 63.87
Annual Tuition $10,440
Graduation Rate 65%

The program area with the highest Salary Score at Kansas State University (KSU) is linguistic, comparative, and related language studies and services, which scores a 97. Other notable programs include family and consumer sciences/human sciences (95), social work (93), and zoology/animal biology (91). Of these programs, the one with the highest annual median salary is linguistic, comparative, and related language studies and services, at $40,650. The program that has the overall highest median salary is chemical engineering, at $75,990 annually. It has a Salary Score of 87.

School Overview

Kansas State University is a large, public university located in Manhattan, a mid-sized college town situated about an hour's drive from the state's capital of Topeka. The university is home to a wide array of research institutes and centers, focusing on everything from infectious diseases at the Biosecurity Research Institute to unmanned aircraft systems at the Applied Aviation Research Center. KSU offers various scholarships, as well as the Freshman Wildcat Grant, which is for first-year Kansas residents who demonstrate financial need.

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Salary Score 58.63
Annual Tuition $11,166
Graduation Rate 66%

The program area with the highest Salary Score at the University of Kansas is journalism, which scores a 92. The annual median salary for new graduates of this program is $40,470. Other program areas with high Salary Scores include business administration, management, and operations (88), health and medical administrative services (87), and mental and social health services and allied professions (88). The program area with the highest median salary reported by graduates is petroleum engineering, at $72,210.

School Overview

The University of Kansas is a large, public university located in Lawrence, a mid-sized city in the northeastern part of the state. Though the university is large, it maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 17:1. The university offers a broad range of study abroad options, and there are programs available to students in any major. Scholarships are available specifically for study abroad students, and they are based on both academic merit and financial need.

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