Financial Aid and Student Loans in Kansas

The Sunflower State is a pretty great place to go to college, with the total yearly cost of attendance ranking the 8th lowest in the country, at $22,486 average per year as of 2017-2018. Still, 58% of students in Kansas graduate with student loans.

Though student loans are common and offer some advantages, they also come with many disadvantages. Many students take on way too much debt. Thus, after they graduate, they find it difficult to keep up with the required payments on their student loans.

Scholarships and grants are an excellent way to fund your studies without having to pay too much out-of-pocket. The application process can be time-consuming, so it is a good idea to start well in advance of application deadlines.

Kansas offers numerous scholarship programs and grants to prospective students. Some are available to most Kansas residents, while others are more specialized. We’ve compiled a small list (see below) of some of the grants and scholarships available, as well as their deadlines and eligibility requirements.

The list will give you an idea of potential funding opportunities you should be aware of to help pay for your education. You can also find a great deal of valuable information about scholarships online at,, and

What scholarship programs does Kansas have?

Scholarships are usually awarded based on merit, either academic or athletic. They usually award a set amount of money (every semester or year), and renewal hinges on continued satisfactory performance.

There are also a few scholarships that will only pay out once and don’t renew yearly. We’ve taken a look at five of the more notable scholarships available to Kansas students, but there are many more that you can apply for, depending on your area of study.

Since it costs nothing to apply for a scholarship, we recommend applying for as many as possible. Every scholarship you receive will help decrease your student debt and set you up for success when you graduate.

Kansas State Scholarship

The state of Kansas awards scholarships through its Board of Regents, the body that oversees the state’s universities. Graduating seniors who are designated as State Scholars (generally in the top 30% of students) can apply for the State Scholarship, which is both merit- and need-based. Recipients get up to $1,000 per school year, renewable if the requirements are met. For State Scholars who don’t meet the financial-need criteria for their freshman year, the Board encourages students to apply again in future years if they do meet the criteria.

Applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible:

  • Graduated (or graduating) from a Kansas high school
  • Have received a letter from the Board of Regents that they are designated State Scholars (about the top ⅓ of students)
  • Demonstrate financial need through the FAFSA and Kansas aid applications

University Scholar Award

Kansas State University awards over $42 million each year in scholarships. One of these scholarships is the prestigious University Scholar Award, which provides a total value of $20,000 over four years, as long as students meet the general renewal requirements.

Applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible for this scholarship:

  • Incoming freshman to KSU
  • Minimum 31 ACT, 1420 SAT and 3.90 high school GPA

The deadline for priority applications is the 1st of December.

Kansas Ethnic Minority Scholarship

The Kansas Ethnic Minority Scholarship funds academically competitive students who are members of the African American, American Indian, Alaskan Native, Asian, Pacific Islander, or Hispanic ethnic groups.

In addition to considering academic merit, the scholarship also considers financial need. It awards up to $1,850 annually for up to four consecutive years. Students looking to renew their scholarship must maintain satisfactory academic progress while also remaining in financial need.

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Meet one of several academic requirements (ACT score of 21, GPA of 3.0, or a high school rank in the upper 33%)
  • Must attend a Kansas community college or a four-year private or public college or university
  • Must be enrolled full-time (12 credit hours or more)
  • Be part of an ethnic minority

Applications for the scholarship close on the 1st of May.

James B. Pearson Fellowship

One of several awards offered by The Kansas Board of Regents, the James B. Pearson Fellowship was established by the former Kansas senator. The scholarship aims to provide Kansas graduate students with the resources to study abroad.

While preference is given to applicants who major in Foreign Affairs, it is not a prerequisite for application. The average awarded value is $2,445, and the number of awards given out depends on funding. Only Kansas residents are eligible to apply for the award.

The deadline for applications for the James B. Pearson award is the 17th of April. You can apply directly through the scholarship’s website or your graduate school office.

National Society of Professional Engineers William R. Kimel PE Engineering Scholarship

Funded by the National Society of Professional Engineers, this scholarship funds a Kansas or Missouri engineering student who displays a passion for the field. The scholarship awards a one-time disbursement in their senior year of $2,500.

Applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the scholarship:

  • A permanent resident of Kansas or Missouri
  • Enrolled in an ABET-accredited engineering program and in their junior year of study
  • A U.S citizen

The committee evaluates applications based on several criteria, including:

  • GPA
  • Involvement with other activities
  • Recommendations from at least two engineering faculty members
  • Previous honors and scholarships received, beginning in their high school senior year
  • A 500-word essay

Applications close on the 1st of March. The committee will notify successful applicants by the 1st of May.

The Horatio Alger Kansas Scholarship Program

The Horatio Alger Association has awarded more than $180 million in need-based scholarships since 1984. The Association offers scholarships in most states, including Kansas. Currently, the Association offers five scholarships in the state, each worth $5,000.

In addition to providing funds, the Association also offers students support during their studies, including invitations to the annual Horatio Alger Association conference and continual mentorship from alumni.

Prospective applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be enrolled at a Kansas high school as a senior, progressing normally towards graduation
  • Have a strong commitment to complete a four-year bachelor’s degree at an accredited institution anywhere in the U.S.
  • Show critical financial need of under $55,000 adjusted gross family income
  • Involvement in community and co-curricular activities
  • Minimum GPA of 2.0
  • Be a resident of Kansas and a U.S citizen

Applications close on the 25th of October. The Association announces the results of the applications in early January of the following year.

What grant programs does Kansas have?

The terms “grant” and “scholarship” often get used interchangeably to mean approximately the same thing. The main difference between the two is that grants focus on financial need rather than academic success.

Most grants aim to help underprivileged students achieve their potential despite a lack of financial resources. Grants can be provided either by private funds or by the state or federal government. The application for grants is similar to that of scholarships, except that you also have to submit a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form as well as complete the grant application form.

Even if you’re not applying for a specific grant, filling out a FAFSA can make you eligible for many federal student aid programs as well.

Kansas Comprehensive Grant

While the state funds the Kansas comprehensive grant, The Kansas Board of Regents manages the selection process. It provides needy students with limited funding to help them pay for their tuition. Awards range between $200 and $3,500 for private institutions and $100 and $1,500 for public institutions. Students must renew their reward yearly, as renewal isn’t automatic.

Students must display their financial need and be enrolled full-time at one of the 18 private colleges/universities or one of the six state universities located in Kansas, or at Washburn University. While funding is limited, approximately a third of all applicants receive funding.

The deadline for applications is the 1st of April.

Kansas Career Technical Workforce Grant

The grant funds students who want to enroll in a technical certificate or Associate of Applied Science degree in a high-cost, high-demand, critical industry field. The grant pays out a maximum of $1,000 annually for full-time students. The award is renewable for up to four semesters, based on satisfactory academic progress in the critical-industry field.

Grant applicants must be residents of Kansas and have graduated from a Kansas high school. They must enroll in one of the eligible programs at a community college, technical college, or public four-year college that offers an Associate of Applied Science degree.

The deadline for grant applications is the 1st of May, though the application says you must submit your FAFSA by the priority 1st of April deadline.

Kansas Career Work-Study

The Kansas Career Work-Study program allows students to work on a part-time basis while enrolled at one of the six state universities for at least half-time. Students can work at any private business, a non-profit organization, or public agency within Kansas.

The student benefits by gaining invaluable work experience that prepares them for their job, as well as enhancing their academic program. As the state of Kansas funds the program, employers benefit by getting half of the student’s gross wages back from the government.

Students must apply for the work-study program through their institution’s financial aid department.

What student loan programs does Kansas have?

Kansas does not have any separate state-run student loan programs. Instead, students in Kansas have access to federal loans and to private loans.

Federal student loans in Kansas

Prospective Kansas students can receive federal financial aid assistance by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid(FAFSA). You can find out more here. 

Private co-signed student loans in Kansas

There are many private student loan opportunities for those who need additional assistance on top of federal student loans. Many banks, credit unions, and dedicated lending companies offer private student loans, but almost all require a co-signer.

No co-signer student loans in Kansas

Funding U began because we identified thousands of students who were unable to qualify for a private student loan because they didn’t have an eligible co-signer. While we’re no longer the only provider of such loans, we offer no co-signer student loans to career-focused students currently enrolled full time in college. The requirements for receiving a loan are dependent upon the GPA of the student and the graduation rate of the institution they attend. To learn more about no cosigner student loans, click here.

What schools does Funding U lend to in Kansas?

Generally speaking, Funding U’s no co-signer loans are offered to students at eligible four-year, non-profit, undergraduate degree-granting universities (which means we do not lend to for-profit schools, 2-year schools, graduate schools, or trade schools). Our eligibility requirements are based on models that aim to predict how likely a student is to graduate, and because of that, we have minimum GPA requirements that students must meet and minimum 6-year graduation rates that schools must reach in order to be eligible. To find out more about how we determine our eligibility, click here.

Below is a table listing all of the schools in Hawaii that Funding U is currently lending to, with additional details on which grades we are currently lending to, based on the school’s 6-year graduation rate. 

School NameFreshman
6 yr
Grad Rate
Baker UniversityNoNoYesYes5968
Barclay CollegeNoNoNoNo4365
Benedictine CollegeNoNoYesYes6080
Bethany College (Kansas)NoNoNoNo2956
Bethel College-North NewtonNoNoYesYes5261
Central Christian College of KansasNoNoNoNo3753
Cleveland University-Kansas CityNoYesYesYes10050
Emporia State UniversityNoNoNoNo4573
Fort Hays State UniversityNoNoNoNo4471
Friends UniversityNoNoNoNo3974
Haskell Indian Nations UniversityNoNoNoNo4562
Kansas State UniversityNoNoYesYes6484
Kansas Wesleyan UniversityNoNoNoNo3755
Manhattan Christian CollegeNoYesYesYes7035
McPherson CollegeNoNoNoNo3764
MidAmerica Nazarene UniversityNoNoNoNo4263
Newman UniversityNoNoYesYes5480
Ottawa University-OttawaNoNoNoNo4561
Pittsburg State UniversityNoNoYesYes5374
Southwestern College (Kansas)NoNoNoNo4862
Sterling CollegeNoNoYesYes5355
Tabor CollegeNoNoNoNo4260
University of KansasNoNoYesYes6583
University of Saint MaryNoNoYesYes5564
Washburn UniversityNoNoNoNo4473
Wichita State UniversityNoNoNoNo4773

Don’t see the school you want to apply to on the list? Begin the application process, and we’ll check if it’s eligible. Find out more about how to determine eligibility here. 

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