Last Updated: September 24, 2021
Kansas - The Sunflower State
The state of Kansas is located in the Midwestern part of the United States. The population of this state as per the United States Census Bureau is around 2.9 million in 2021. The capital of the state is Topeka, while the largest city is Wichita with a population of 0.4 million. The state experiences a humid continental climate with cool to cold winters and hot summers. The monthly average temperature ranges from 37 F to 89 F.
Kansas is a land that used to be originally inhabited by various Native American tribes such as the Kansa, Osage, Pawnee, Kiowa, and Comanche. The state got its name from one of these tribes called the Kansa tribe. The state got its nickname 'The Sunflower State' because of the abundance of sunflowers grown here. In fact, it is the state flower and is even the major emblem in the state flag. It is also popularly known as the Wheat State because of its large-scale wheat production.
Major Cities in Kansas
Wichita is the largest city in Kansas with a population of about 390,000. It was founded in 1868 and was established as a city in 1870. The city is well-known for its rich culture and diversity as well as its aircraft industry and was once known as the air capital of the world. It is also a major educational hub and houses major institutes of higher learning such as Wichita State University, Newman University, and Friends University. Popular places in this city include Sedgwick County Zoo, Wichita Art Museum, Botanica: The Wichita Gardens, Old Cowtown Museum, and The Keeper of the Plains.
This is the second-biggest city in Kansas that was founded in 1905 by William B. Strang Jr. The estimated population of the city is roughly 192,000. Given that the crime rates are below 12.97% than the national average, the city is considered to be a safe place to live in. However, the cost of living is higher than the national average. The predominant economic sectors of this city are retail, health care, finance, and insurance. One of the largest companies, Sprint Corporation, is headquartered in this city. Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, Museum at Prairiefire, and Johnson County Museum are some of the most fascinating sites here.
Established as a city in 1866, Kansas City is the third-largest city in the state. It has a population of around 153,000 and is located in Wyandotte County. The city is known for its famous water body called the Kaw River. Farming has always been an important economic sector in this city followed by healthcare. As much as it is known for its cultural diversity, the city is also extremely popular for its food and music, and was once called the 'Barbeque Capital' or the 'Jazz District'. Popular attractions include the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial, Kansas City Zoo, LEGOLAND Discovery Center, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Worlds of Fun, and a lot more.
- Agriculture has always been the most important sector contributing to the economy of Kansas. Being the largest wheat-producing state of the country, Kansas is often called the Wheat State and the breadbasket of America.
- Apart from wheat, the major crops grown in the state of Kansas are corn, sorghum, sunflower, and soybeans. Cattle production is also a major part of Kansas's agricultural scene.
- Other than agriculture, other important economic sectors here are manufacturing, bioscience, food production and processing, wind energy, renewable fuels, and bioenergy.
- The state is also home to major companies such as Koch Co., Koch Chemical Technology Group, Koch Industries, Dillons, Synergy Group, Sprint Corporation, NPC International, Cessna Aircraft Corporation, AMC Theatres, YRC Freight, and YRC Worldwide.
- The covid-19 pandemic did not affect the state of Kansas as drastically as the other states in the US. In fact, the unemployment rate is the same as how it was before the outbreak of the pandemic, that is, 3.5%. Employment is expected to grow further with time, especially in the service sector.
- The state is doing exceptionally well during this pandemic and has a visible GDP growth of 7.3%.
Tuition Fee and Living Cost in Kansas
The cost of living in the Sunflower State is lower than the national average. Housing costs are incredibly cheap in Kansas, and transportation is also very economical. Healthcare services and utilities are on the more expensive side as the rates are higher than the national average. Some of the most affordable cities in the state of Kansas are Pratt, Mulvane, Concordia, Arkansas City, Atchison, Parsons, and Park City. According to a survey by the American Community Survey (ACS), the state's median household income is around $62,000.
For the year 2021-2022, the average tuition cost for in-state students in a public institution is around $10,500 to $11,000, whereas it is roughly $23,000 for out-of-state students. The average tuition fee in a private institute is about $38,000 to $39,000. Considering the average value, in-state tuition costs in public universities are reasonable, whereas it is above average for out-of-state students. However, the tuition fee charged in private institutes is comparatively lower than the average. There are also several private institutions in Kansas compared to public institutions.
List of Few Major Universities/Colleges
Colleges and universities of the state are under the supervision of the Kansas Board of Regents. It supervises and regulates 19 community colleges, 6 technical colleges, 6 state universities, and a municipal university. With increasing employment opportunities and the growth of the industrial sector, universities in the state of Kansas are drawing the attention of many students. The higher education system of Kansas is considered to be the finest in the southern part of the country. The top educational institutes in Kansas are:
- University of Kansas Situated in Lawrence, the University of Kansas is the most reputed institution of higher learning in the state. It is a public research university founded in 1865. The university offers more than 400-degree programs and is known for its extensive research and interdisciplinary curriculum. With more than 31,000 students and about 2,800 faculty members, the student-to-faculty ratio is 17:1. The tuition fee for in-state undergraduate students is about $13,000 and $31,000 for out-of-state students.
- Kansas State University This is another prestigious university located in the city of Manhattan. It is a public university founded in 1863. With more than 24,000 students and roughly 1,300 faculty members, the student-to-faculty ratio is 18:1. It is known for its homely atmosphere and student diversity. The university is also popular for providing excellent scholarships for its students, the most popular one being the Vanier Family Business Administration Best of Kansas Scholarship. The tuition fee for in-state undergraduate students is around $12,000 and around $29,000 for out-of-state students.
- Wichita State University Founded in 1895, the Wichita State University was established in the largest city of Wichita. It is a public university with more than 17,000 students and has a student-to-faculty ratio of 18:1. The university was formerly known as Fairmount College and was later renamed Wichita State University in 1963. It is highly acclaimed for offering the best education at affordable rates. The tuition fee for in-state undergraduate students is about $10,000 and around $19,000 for out-of-state students.
- Baker University Situated in Baldwin City, this is a private liberal arts university in Kansas. The university was founded in 1858 and was named after a bishop named Osman Cleander Baker. It is popular for its student diversity, excellent teachers, and the best learning experience. The university has a United Methodist Church affiliation. Popular majors in this university include Mass Communication, Psychology, and Sociology. With more than 3,500, the student-to-faculty ratio is 12:1. The tuition fee is roughly $32,000 for all undergraduate students.
Scholarships/Financial Aid for Students
- Kansas Comprehensive Grant: This is a need-based grant provided by the government of Kansas. To be eligible, the student must be a US citizen, a permanent resident of Kansas state, and should enroll at an accredited institute in Kansas. The award amount will vary based on the type of university and the student's level of financial need. It can range from $200 - $3,500 for students attending private institutions, and $100 - $1,500 for those attending public institutions.
- Vanier Family Scholarship: This is a scholarship program initiated by Kansas Wesleyan University to assist high school graduates or undergraduate students. They must plan to pursue a major in teacher education at Kansas Wesleyan University. The candidate should also secure and maintain a score of 3.0 GPA, submit the highest ACT or SAT score, academic transcripts, and two letters of recommendation. The student should also be a permanent resident of Kansas state. The award amount is $500.
- Vanier Family Business Administration Best of Kansas Scholarship: This is a popular scholarship program for high school graduates who are planning to pursue business from Kansas State University’s College of Business. To be qualified for the program, the student must score 3.85 GPA during high school, secure and maintain a minimum of 3.5 GPA during college, secure a minimum ACT score of 32 or a minimum SAT score of 1450, and display leadership qualities. The award amount is $20,000 per academic year and a total of $80,000.
- Kansas Ethnic Minority Scholarship: This is a popular scholarship program based on financial need and ethnicity. To be eligible, the candidate must belong to certain ethnic groups such as "African American; American Indian or Alaskan Native; Asian or Pacific Islander; or Hispanic". The student should pursue an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution in Kansas on a full-time basis. The student should also display a satisfactory academic performance. To be considered qualified, the student is required to submit the FAFSA as well as the State of Kansas Student Aid Application. The award amount is $1,850.
- Consolidated Grain & Barge Co. Scholarship: This is a scholarship program initiated by the National Future Farmers of America (FFA) Organization. To be qualified for the program, the student must pursue an undergraduate degree in an agricultural field from an accredited institution in Kansas, and be a member of the organization called Future Farmers of America. The students are supposed to secure and maintain a 3.0 GPA during the academic year. Candidates will also be evaluated based on leadership qualities, Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE), and community service. The student should also be a permanent resident of Kansas. The award amount is $1,500
The Sunflower State is known for its abundant sunflowers, but apart from that, this agricultural state is also popular for its beautiful fields, parks, and cultural sites. Some of the best tourist attractions are Botanica: The Wichita Gardens, Kansas Cosmosphere, and Space Center, Sedgwick County Zoo, Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Evel Knievel Museum, Fort Larned National Historic Site, Monument Rocks (Chalk Pyramids), Museum of World Treasures, Oz Museum, and so much more. Venturesome tourists who wish to experience a massive adrenaline rush should check out one of the world’s tallest water slides at Schlitterbahn Waterpark, which is located in Kansas City. Kansas also houses the world’s first Pizza Hut that opened in the city of Wichita. Popular dishes one must try in the state are Zwiebach, Barbecue, Bierocks, and Burgers.
Universities & Colleges in Kansas
*UG - Undergraduate
*G - Graduate
*in - In-state Fees
*out - Out-of-State Fees
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