Online MBA Programs in Kansas
|1 – Affordable Programs|
|2 – Lowest Debt Programs|
|3 – Highest Graduation Rate|
|4 – Highest Acceptance Rate|
|5 – No GMAT Required|
|6 – Compare Programs|
|7 – Full Program Profiles|
|8 – Career and Job Outlook|
Choosing the right online MBA program can be difficult. It requires carefully weighing options like program length and material offered against tuition costs and program fit. While the rewards of completing a postsecondary degree are numerous — higher salary, greater ability to change careers and companies, more respect in the workplace — paying thousands of dollars and many months of work into one goal requires a great deal of sacrifice.
Luckily, the online MBA programs in Kansas the state stack up well against the national average and deliver excellent returns on investment. Thanks to a variety of programs, prospective students can pick from fast-paced programs that can be finished within a year, relaxed options that perfectly complement a full-time work schedule, MBA degrees that specialize in up-and-coming or niche fields like digital marketing or sports business, and universities founded on ethical principles that weave Biblical lessons throughout a rigorous curriculum.
While there is no single “best MBA program,” prospective students benefit from comparing options. Business schools in Kansas run the gamut from bare-bones programs that include some of the least expensive MBA options in the nation to well-heeled programs that take students to foreign countries and introduce them to cutting-edge technology.
No matter the price or educational concerns, an online MBA program in Kansas can deliver results. Every worker who wants to turbocharge their career, either by moving up the corporate ladder, launching their own business, or changing their trajectory, can find a suitable way to achieve their results from the comfort of their own home through an online MBA.
This article makes the choosing process easier. It uses state- and national-level data to compare and contrast 13 different online MBA programs from colleges and universities in Kansas. The list of schools has been limited to only accredited public and nonprofit institutions.
Affordable Online MBA Programs in Kansas
For many students, the cost of an online MBA is an important factor to consider. While the full range of programs in Kansas runs a wide gamut, from very inexpensive to costly, prospective students who are price sensitive have many options. There many several MBA programs in Kansas that offer competitively priced degrees to fit even the smallest budget.
Online MBA programs in Kansas rank well against the national average for affordability. Across the nation, an average online MBA runs $816 per credit hour. However, the average cost of an MBA degree in Kansas is $702, a savings of more than $100 per credit hour that can save more than $3,000 over the full course of a degree.
Here’s a closer look at the lowest-cost programs in the state:
Fort Hays State University holds the distinction as the lowest-priced tuition for an online MBA in Kansas. At a trim $350 per credit hour, it’s far less expensive than the national and state averages, delivering a full tuition cost that accommodate even the most price-sensitive student at just $11,550 in total.
Tabor College is also competitively priced, charging only $583 per credit. As a 36-hour program, the total tuition cost for the program run $20,988. At that rate, it’s far cheaper than the third-least-expensive option in Kansas.
The University of Saint Mary comes in third in terms of affordability per credit hour. The 33-hour program runs $595 per credit hour. Despite a higher per-credit-hour charge, the total cost of USM’s program is slightly less than Tabor College at $19,635.
The third- and fourth-place finishers are the Baker University and Newman University, which charge $618 and $639 per credit hour, respectively. Baker’s program requires 30 hours of instruction for a total tuition cost of only $18,540 — the second-lowest total tuition of all listed program. Newman University has a total tuition cost of just more than $23,000 thanks to its 36-hour curriculum. Even in fifth place, Newman University is a very affordable option by national standards.
Most Affordable Online MBA Program Tuition in Kansas:
- Fort Hays State University
- Tabor College
- The University of Saint Mary
- Baker University
- Newman University
Programs with the Lowest Debt at Graduation
Tuition cost, while important, only tells part of the story. Price-sensitive students should consider a constellation of financial factors before choosing a program. In addition to tuition costs, other charges — such as books, computers and software, the need to be present for certain events like orientation — can severely affect the total cost of attaining an online degree.
A good way to get a bird’s-eye view of total cost is the examine the programs with the lowest debt at graduation. This figure shows how many students in each program need to borrow to complete their degrees.
Statewide, about half (49%) of MBA graduates finish their degrees with some level of debt. Nationally, it’s almost the same. In the U.S., 44 % of online MBA students have debt upon graduation.
There is no one thing that causes programs to have low student debt. Programs with a lower percentage of indebted graduates usually do more to secure financial aid for their students and/or tend to attract students who need less assistance while also offering competitively priced tuition rates.
The Kansas program with the lowest student debt at graduation is Wichita State University — by a comfortable margin. Only 33% of WSU graduates have debt after earning their MBAs. The University of Kansas is next, with a mere 41% of its graduates finishing their online degrees while saddled with student loan debt. Fort Hays State University is the only program to be ranked as one of the most affordable options and one with the least debt at graduation. After graduation, just 44% of its students owe money. Kansas State University graduates slightly more than half of students with debt, at 52%, making it the fourth-ranked program on the list. Finally, Friends University finishes the program rankings with 62% of its graduates still owing money on their degrees after commencement.
Online MBA Programs in Kansas with the Lowest Debt at Graduation:
- Wichita State University
- The University of Kansas
- Fort Hays State University
- Kansas State University
- Friends University
Highest Graduation Rate
An MBA program’s graduation is a great tool for gauging a few different things at once, making them vital pieces of information for prospective students.
A high graduation rate signals that a school puts effort into retaining students and helping them complete their degrees on time. These resources can include free tutoring, hands-on help through writing labs, highly engaged faculty, and mental health or career counselors who can provide additional help to struggling or unmotivated students. High graduation rates also show that a university has done a good job accepting students who are a good fit for its academic rigor.
Conversely, low graduation rates sometimes indicate programs that are run for money instead of student success. They can also signal that the institution does a poor job in understanding how long its program should take students.
Importantly, these graduation rates do not indicate the real percentage of students who finish the program. This measurement only gauges how many students finish within the “expected” two- or three-year window the college advertises.
Both nationally and in online MBA programs in Kansas, two-thirds of students finish MBA programs in the expected time.
Tabor College has the highest on-time graduation rate. A full 90% of its online MBA students complete their degrees within the expected timeframe. That’s amazingly high. Tabor also has the smallest cohort size of any program, admitting just 31 students. After Tabor College, the rate drops off by more than 10%.
At the University of Kansas, 77% of students finish on time. That’s a full 10% above the state average and a solid 4% above the next-highest score. With a class size of 320, that 246 finish their degrees on time. Because of its large class size, it’s
Friends University graduates 73% of its MBA students on time. Friends University enrolled 183 students last year, meaning that 134 should finish the program within its allotted timeframe.
Kansas State and Fort Hays State universities have similar graduation rates that peak just above the national and state averages at 70% and 69%, respectively. Fort Hays has slightly fewer students, with a class size of 108, while Kansas State enrolled 118 students last year.
Online MBA Programs in Kansas with the Highest 3-Year Graduation Rates:
Highest Acceptance Rates
Prospective students should carefully check the acceptance rates of the programs they consider. Acceptance rates not only indicate the level of competition students will face when they apply but also signal whether the school uses admissions requirements as its sole screening process or as merely the first step toward acceptance.
Importantly, acceptance rates do not provide a full picture. They only tell the story of students who completed the admissions requirements. Programs automatically reject applicants who fail to complete their applications for various reasons — not including letters of recommendation, failing to turn in undergraduate transcripts, not having the required industry experience, etc. Acceptance rates tell students how likely they are to be admitted to a program provided they can deliver the admissions materials, including meeting a minimum GPA and/or standardized test score.
Across the country, MBA acceptance rates are 79%. In Kansas alone, the odds of entry are even greater, at 83%. Still, students should carefully look over acceptance rates and admissions requirements at several programs to get a better understanding of what a program requires — and what extra steps (if any) students will need to be accepted.
The four programs with the highest acceptance rates boast a clean 100% acceptance rate on this list. Tabor College, Kansas State University, Southwestern College, and Benedictine College took every student who met their criteria last year.
The fifth-highest acceptance rate belongs to Wichita State University, which welcomes 92% of applicants — still a high figure.
Prospective students pursuing an online MBA in Kansas are fortunate to have good options. Even as a safety school, choosing a program with a 100% acceptance rate can be a great stress-reliever. For many students, that means having fewer options, but not in Kansas. Students who want the comfort of a guaranteed acceptance still have plenty of other variables to pick and choose from when deciding on an MBA degree.
Online MBA Programs in Kansas with the Highest Acceptance Rates:
- Tabor College
- Kansas State University
- Southwestern College
- Benedictine College
- Wichita State University
No GMAT Required
Standardized tests have long been the gold standard for business school admissions. They provide a unique way to compare students from different undergraduate programs in a consistent way. However, some prospective students prefer not to deal with the headache and hassle of taking these tests. Some are afraid they will perform poorly. Others already have a graduate degree and don’t see the need to re-take the test. A few have achieved a senior-level position in the real world they feel should be sufficient for college acceptance.
While those applying to top-tier programs will always be at a disadvantage when choosing to forego taking the GMAT or GRE, many other universities and colleges have become increasingly willing to waive the requirement. In some cases, programs will ask applicants who wish to forego the GMAT for other qualifications, such as proof of work history or a personal essay. In other cases, programs that traditionally require a GMAT or GRE score will waive the requirement for students who demonstrate valid reasons, such as having an exceptional undergraduate GPA or already possessing an advanced degree.
Even when a program doesn’t require a GMAT, there can be advantages in taking the test. For those with below-average GPAs, submitted high standardized test scores can bolster applications and provide an additional way to distinguish oneself, especially when applying to more selective programs.
While most schools accept either GMAT or GRE scores, some schools rigidly require one or the other. Of the schools on this list, only Kansas State University requires applicants specifically to submit GMAT scores. The program does not accept GRE scores.
The following schools require prospective students to submit GRE or GMAT scores: Benedictine College, Emporia State University, Fort Hays State University, and Wichita State University.
These schools do not use GRE or GMAT scores in admissions at all: Baker University, Friends University, Ottawa University, Newman University, Southwestern University, and the University of Saint Mary.
The University of Kansas has done away with GMAT or GRE scores and replaced them with an Essential Skills Assessment exam that consists of 10 verbal and 15 quantitative questions. The test lasts 50 minutes and can be taken online. Prospective students are required to take this test to be considered for admission.
Compare All Online MBA Programs in Kansas
What follows is a table showing at-a-glance differences among the 13 programs compared in this article. Each institution is ranked on seven factors that prospective students can use to make informed decisions about their post-secondary options.
The fully sortable table acts as a guidepost toward selecting an online MBA program. It is simple to use and understand, but it does not tell the whole story. The full article goes into greater detail about the benefits and drawbacks of each program and provides important context for each category listed below.
|School||City||Accred.||Accept. Rate||Tuition||GPA||GMAT||3yr. Grad. Rate|
|Baker University||Overland Park||$618|
|Emporia State University||Emporia||AACSB||87%||$829|
|Fort Hays State University||Hays||99%||$350||3.4||450||65%|
|Kansas State University||Manhattan||AACSB||100%||$833||3.3||83%|
|University of Kansas||Lawrence||AACSB||82%||$865||3.3||557||83%|
|University of Saint Mary||Leavenworth||IACBE||61%||$595||63%|
|Wichita State University||Wichita||AACSB||87%||$756||3.5|
Online MBA Program Profiles
Life-changing decisions, like deciding to pursue an online MBA, can be difficult. Understanding the admissions requirements, timeline, cost, and educational options of each program can help prospective students make better-informed decisions. Whether that means spending more for a program that allows students to specialize in accounting, narrowing the focus to programs with tuitions under $20,000, or seeking out a program that mirrors the classroom experience through live and interactive lectures, each prospective student must find the program that best fits their situation.
Below is a closer look at each of the 13 programs discussed in this article. These quick snapshots provide a less disjointed view of each university’s education offerings and admissions requirements.
|Location:||Overland Park, KS|
With its low-cost tuition and high degree of specializations, Baker University’s online MBA is a great fit for students with a solid plan and a sensitive bank account. The 30-hour program is heavy on data analysis and offers five areas of concentration: finance, health care administration, strategic management, and supply chain management and logistics. Students must complete 18 hours of core credit hours and 12 hours toward a concentration. Tuition runs $618 per credit hour or $18,540 in total.
Baker University has simple application requirements. The school does not require standardized test scores or letters of recommendation. Prospective students do not have to write an essay. Instead, Baker University asks that applicants deliver their undergraduate transcripts and list their two most recent employers.
Students who want a traditional MBA experience from the comfort of their own homes should look no further than Benedictine College. Through live, interactive videoconferencing, remote students take the same courses at the same time as traditional MBA students. Benedictine is a private Catholic college with a 68-student enrollment that charges $950 per credit hour. The college runs on a semester system, with two 12-week semesters during the year and two six-week sessions offered during the summer term. Attending classes full-time allows students to earn an MBA in as little as 12 months, while students who attend part-time can finish in two or three years.
Prospective students are required to submit GMAT or GRE scores unless they have an undergraduate GPA of 3.25 or higher, already possess a post-graduate degree, have a 142 or higher GRE score, or have at least three years or professional work experience and can demonstrate “advancement” in a particular competency. Applicants must also write an essay, meet with a school administrator, and have completed undergraduate courses in accounting, economics, and finance. Students who take the GMAT must have a score of 440 or higher to be accepted.
Emporia State University
Emporia State University offers a fast-paced and low-cost MBA program that students can complete in as little as 12 months. The 33-hour program runs on seven-week courses delivered fully online. Students can choose to specialize in one of three areas of concentration: accounting, information system, or marketing. In addition to core curriculum, each MBA track includes nine credit hours of electives that cover topics ranging from systems analysis to electronic marketing. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree, a minimum GPA of 2.65, and submit GMAT scores.
To be accepted, students meet this formula: (200 x undergraduate GPA) + GMAT score must be greater than 1,050. However, students who have three years of professional management experience, an undergraduate business degree with a 3.5 GPA or higher, or a master’s degree in a different area, can waive the standardized test requirement. The college also accepts GRE scores.
Fort Hays State University
FHSU offers an inexpensive and completely online MBA experience. Created with working students in mind, this 34-hour program is among the state’s least costly at only $350 per credit hour or $11,900 in total tuition. The program offers several concentration areas, ideal for students who want to have a specific career trajectory or area of interest in mind. The specializations are corporate communication, digital marketing, finance, health care management, health and human performance/sport management, human resource management, information assurance, international business, leadership studies, management information systems, marketing, and tourism and hospitality management as well as a general MBA degree.
To be considered for acceptance, prospective students must provide a current resume, undergraduate transcripts, official scores from the GRE or GMAT, two letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. There is also a $40 application fee. The online program is accepted a whopping 99% of applicants last year. The average GPA of accepted students was 3.3, and the average GMAT score was 530. Fort Hays State has an annual enrollment of about 96 students.
Friends University offers an online MBA program that is specifically designed for working professionals. Built with a focus on leadership, the program offers seven focus areas — accounting, change management, finance, human resources, project management, sports administration, supply chain management — in addition to the general MBA degree. The program runs between 30 and 36 hours and runs $686 per credit hour.
Each course in the program is three credit hours long and meets once a week for eight weeks. A full degree includes 15 hours of core curriculum, nine hours of elective coursework, and six hours of program-specific classes. Additionally, students who choose to concentrate in a particular area are required to take 12 credit hours related to their specialization. To be accepted, applicants must possess an undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or higher, submit one letter of recommendation and a current resume, and complete a program interview. Those who wish to specialize in accounting must have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in accounting. There is no standardized test requirement.
Kansas State University
Although K-State accepts all qualified applicants, it has higher admissions requirements than some other programs. Students are required to submit GMAT scores unless than meet all other admissions requirements. All prospective MBA students must provide three letters of recommendation, have completed two undergraduate economics and statistics courses as well as a business calculus class, and write an essay. Applying students held an average undergraduate GPA of 3.4 last year, but students with a GPA above 3.5 can waive the program’s $65 application fee.
The Kansas State University online MBA program is between 30 and 36 hours long, depending on each students’ undergraduate business coursework, and includes a faculty-led international trip. Online students must also attend a two-day regional student orientation that includes team-building, networking, and professional development components. While Kansas State University has one of the higher tuition costs at $833, all required textbooks and course materials are included with tuition.
With a modest enrollment of 98 students and a low $639 per credit hour price tag, Newman University offers an online MBA built to work around the hectic schedules of professionals. Its flexible class schedules and eight-week long courses make it possible to complete an entire MBA course of study in one year. The private Catholic school offers three concentrations: leadership, healthcare administration, and business analytics. Newman University also has one of the most exclusive acceptance rates on this list, offering spaces to only 60% of applicants last year.
To be considered, applicants must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 overall or 3.2 in the final 60 hours of coursework. Additionally, applicants are required to pay a $35 fee and write a personal essay. The university strongly recommends that prospective students have completed macroeconomics, statistics, college algebra, and financial accounting. Those who wish to concentrate in business analytics must have a background in statistics.
Ottawa University’s online MBA program offers a wide variety of specializations. Fully online students can tailor their degrees to match their aspirations by concentrating in any of the following areas: accounting, business data analytics, finance, human resources, leadership development, population health/health care, school business operations, sports business, and strategic operations. The 36-hour program costs $649 per credit hour for a total tuition price tag of $23,364. The school boasts a 199-member enrollment and accepted 73% of qualified applicants last year.
To be considered for Ottawa University’s online MBA program, prospective students must pay a $75 application fee, have a 3.0 undergraduate GPA, write a two-page essay, provide a current resume, and deliver three letters of recommendation to the admissions office. Due to the current pandemic, the school has waived standardized test requirements. With an eight-week course schedule, most students finish this MBA program in two years.
Southwestern College offers a Professional Master of Business Administration degree, called the PMBA. With a low enrollment of only 26 students and a higher-than-average tuition costs of $770 per credit hour, Southwestern College offers an exclusive education option that takes about 14 months to complete. There degree is a generalized degree, focused on providing a wide range of business knowledge and skills, and does not offer specializations.
Applicants to Southwestern College must provide a current resume, two letters of recommendation (one of which must come from a current or former employer), a one-page personal essay, and their undergraduate transcripts. The college does not consider standardized test scores when deciding admissions. Students accepted last year had an average undergraduate GPA of 3.3.
Tabor College is a private Christian school that focuses on ethical leadership. The online MBA program boasts a high acceptance rate, low class size and a mid-range tuition cost per credit hour. In fact, Tabor has the lowest enrollment of any university on the list, with only 35 students. Tabor College is a great option for students who value small class sizes, lots of instructor attention, and a Christ-centric worldview. Each course takes eight weeks to complete and most students enroll in only one class at a time. The 36-hour MBA program can be completed in less than 24 months — and 100% of students finish on time. Student do not specialize and earn a general MBA degree.
Prospective students who apply to Tabor do not need to take any standardized tests but must turn in three letters of recommendation from professional sources. Applicants must also have an average GPA of 3.0 in undergraduate work. Those who meet all the requirements have a good chance of acceptance, as last year Tabor took in 100% of all qualified applicants.
University of Kansas
With the highest enrollment of all listed programs at 307, the University of Kansas offers all the benefits of a major university and a comprehensive, 42-hour educational experience. Designed with a focus on global leadership, KU’s program is 100% online and is designed for working professionals. Each credit hour costs $865, bringing the total cost of the program to $36,330.
To apply, prospective students must pay a $65 application fee, submit a resume with two or more years of work experience (preferred), deliver three letters of recommendation, write a personal statement, and have an undergraduate degree of 3.0 (although exceptions can be made for exceptional students with lower GPAs). Applicants must also take an essential skills assessment in lieu of standardized test scores. The exam focuses on descriptive statistics, ratios and proportions, basic algebra, applied problem solving, basic computation, and measurement conversion, in addition to reading comprehension and critical reasoning. Students who score at least 8 out of 15 are eligible for admission. KU has an 82% acceptance rate.
University of Saint Mary
Offering a Christ-centered, Catholic education, the University of Saint Mary’s online MBA program is fast and customizable. The 33-hour program can be completed in as little as one year, and costs $595 per credit hour or $19,635 altogether. Students can choose any of six concentrations: leadership and organizational health, finance, general management, health care management, human resource management, and marketing and advertising management. The program is large, with 207 enrolled students, and prides itself on producing ethically minded leaders.
To be accepted, students must have maintained a 2.75 GPA in undergraduate studies at an accredited institution of higher education. Applicants must also sign an academic honesty agreement and provide the school with an updated resume. The University of Saint Mary does use standardized test scores when considering acceptance.
Wichita State University
The Barton Business School at Wichita State University has a solid enrollment of 147 students, a moderate price tag of $756 per credit hour, and ties for the highest average GPA for applicants at 3.5. It’s also extremely customizable. Students can go fully online or attend some in-person classes through a hybrid model. Online-only students can specialize in marketing, health care administration, human resource management, or choose the general MBA track. Students who opt for the hybrid model may also specialize in finance, entrepreneurship and innovation, business analytics and information management, or supply chain management.
WSU offers the oldest MBA program in the state and delivers classes in eight-week structure. The average age of MBA students in 30, and more than one-third of them choose to take classes entirely online. The program is built for professionals, with 96% of students working full- or part-time while attending classes. To apply, students must submit standardized test scores (either GMAT or GRE), a personal goals essay, a current resume, and letters of recommendation. However, some students can waive the standardized test scores if they have three years of managerial work experience, an undergraduate business degree from an AACSB-accredited institution with a GPA of 3.5 or more, or a master’s degree in a different field. A full 87% of qualified applicants are accepted.
Kansas MBA Career and Job Outlook
According to the Kansas Labor Departments Labor Market Information, the state’s professional and business services sector has seen a 9.9 percent decrease since 2019: diminishing from 219,600 to 197,800 total jobs from April 2019 to April 2020, respectively. The sector has remained largely unmoved since 2015, slightly increasing over the years, as the state’s population has remained relatively unchanged. This expansion is expected to remain steady.
Obtaining an MBA allows working professionals to ascend to the role of management in their business operations. These business management positions are very lucrative and in high demand. In Kansas, the average annual salary for management occupations stands at nearly $122,000. Employment projections indicate a 10 percent growth in this occupational sector through 2026, illustrating an above-average need for managers and executives in the Nutmeg State. Comparatively, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, through 2028, management occupations are expected to grow by only 7 percent, with a median annual pay of $106,000.
Other career paths for MBA holders is the professional and business sector where accountants, analysts, and advisors are among the common titles. Kansas business and financial operations occupations boast an average annual salary of $76,240 with a demand increase of 9 percent over the next six years, according to the Kansas Department of Labor. Nationally, business and financial occupations are expected to grow at the same rate as their management counterparts, expanding by 7 percent through 2028, but with a much less lucrative median pay: $69,820. Again, Kansas industry outpaces the national outlook. Below are some of the most pronounced career paths for Kansans with an MBA degree and their average salary across the management, business, and financial industries:
- Accountants and Auditors: $76,423
- Administrative Services Managers: $102,918
- Business Operations Specialists: $74,188
- Education Administrators, Elementary and Secondary School: $134,833
- Financial Examiners: $97,968
- General and Operations Managers: $124,882
- Management Analysts: $95,060
- Marketing Managers: $135,537
With the third-highest concentration of management jobs in the nation and the fifth-highest annual pay, Kansas is the perfect location to burst through the proverbial doors of the business management industry. From Greater Hartford to the state’s nonmetropolitan areas and access to the world’s largest business center, New York City, Kansas is among the top destinations for business hopefuls interested in establishing themselves in the industry.
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1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Kansas: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ks.htm
2. Payscale.com, Average Salaries in Kansas: https://www.payscale.com/research/US/State=Kansas/Salary
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Career Outlook for Top Executives: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/mobile/top-executives.htm
4. Kansas Labor Market Information: https://klic.dol.ks.gov/vosnet/Default.aspx
5. U.S. News and World Report – Online MBA Rankings: https://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/mba/rankings
6. Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business Best Business Schools: https://aacsb.edu/
7. Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs: https://acbsp.org/
8. International Accreditation Council for Business Education: https://iacbe.org/