The famous saying is, “There’s no place like home.” Dorothy says this phrase in The Wizard of Oz about where she resides:  Kansas.

Do you also live in Kansas? Have you ever thought about moving to the Sunflower State? Whether you are a Kansas resident or are thinking about moving within its 82,278 sq. miles of borders, you should know the state offers great college financial aid programs to its residents to help them attend in-state colleges and universities.

Some of the financial aid programs offered to Kansas residents by the Kansas Board of Regents include the Kansas Comprehensive Grant, the Kansas Ethnic Minority Scholarship, the Kansas State Scholarship and the Kansas Nursing Service Scholarship.

Kansas Comprehensive Grant

The Kansas Comprehensive Grant is funded by the state and its legislature. It is a need-based grant to help Kansas residents attend certain in-state, eligible schools.

To be eligible for the grant, a student must:

  • Be a Kansas resident
  • Demonstrate a financial need for funding
  • Be enrolled as a full-time student (at least 12 credit hours per semester)
  • Be enrolled at an eligible Kansas postsecondary institution
    • There are 18 private colleges, six state universities and Washburn University that are eligible for students to receive the grant.
  • Complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Complete and submit the State of Kansas Student Aid Application (KSAA)

There is no separate application to submit for this grant, but a student does need to have FAFSA and KSAA submitted no later than April 1 each year; this grant is also renewable.

One in three eligible students are typically given funds from this grant program. Students attending a public college or university can receive between $100 to $1,500 per academic year. Students attending a private college or university can receive between $200 to $3,500 per academic year.

Kansas Ethnic Minority Scholarship

The Kansas Ethnic Minority Scholarship is both a need-based and merit-based award provided to minority students who demonstrate a financial need for funding and are academically competitive.

To be initially eligible for the scholarship, a student must:

  • Be a Kansas resident
  • Be of a minority ethnic or racial group such as:
    • African American
    • Native American
    • Native Alaskan
    • Asian American
    • Pacific Islander
    • Hispanic or Latino American
  • Be a graduating high school senior
  • Meet at least one of the following academic criteria:
    • Score a 21 or higher on the ACT
    • Score between a 1060 to 1090 (or higher) on the SAT
    • Earn a cumulative 3.00 GPA or higher in high school
    • Rank in the upper 33% of their graduating high school class
    • Complete the Kansas Scholars Curriculum (KSC)
    • Be selected by the National Merit Corporation in any category
    • Be selected by the College Board as a Hispanic Scholar
  • Be enrolled to attend any Kansas postsecondary institution
  • Be enrolled as a full-time student (at least 12 credit hours per semester)
  • Demonstrate a financial need for funding
  • Complete and submit FAFSA
  • Complete and submit KSAA
  • Complete and submit the Kansas Ethnic Minority Scholarship Information Form

A student needs to have all materials submitted for a complete application by May 1 annually. The competition to receive funds from this scholarship is extremely competitive, yet is based on both the student’s academic achievements and financial need.

Undergraduate students can receive up to four consecutive years of funding, so the scholarship is renewable; it is possible to receive five years of funding if the student is enrolled in a five-year degree program.

A student does need to re-apply for the scholarship every year. To re-apply, a student must:

  • Complete and submit the renewal application
  • Continue to remain enrolled as a full-time student
  • Maintain at least a 2.00 GPA
  • Continue to demonstrate a financial need for funding
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress

A scholarship recipient can receive up to $1,850 per academic year from the program (up to $925 per semester).

Kansas State Scholarship

The Kansas State Scholarship is another need-based and merit-based award provided by the Sunflower State.

To be initially eligible for the scholarship, a student must receive a Kansas Scholars Curriculum (KSC) completion certificate from the Kansas Board of Regents and acquire a Kansas State Scholar designation letter from the Kansas Board of Regents.

It is important to note that a student’s designation as a Kansas State Scholar is based on an index which combines the student’s ACT scores and the GPA from the student’s seventh semester of high school.

To be designated as a Kansas State Scholar, a student must:

  • Take the ACT by December of their senior year of high school
  • Complete the KSC in high school
    • The student’s high school counselor will automatically report this achievement to the Kansas Board of Regents from February to April of the student’s senior year if it has been completed.
  • Be a graduating high school senior
  • Receive the designation from the Kansas Board of Regents

For Kansas State Scholars in 2020, the average ACT score was a 30 and the average GPA was a 3.91. Only one-third of students who complete KSC will receive the designation, so it is an incredibly competitive status to achieve.

To then also be eligible for the Kansas State Scholarship for college, a student must:

  • Be a Kansas resident
  • Demonstrate a financial need for funding
  • Complete and submit FAFSA annually
  • Complete and submit KSAA annually
  • Be enrolled as a full-time student (at least 12 credit hours per semester)

There is no separate application for the scholarship, but all materials and information must be submitted by May 1.

The scholarship is renewable and a student can receive funding for up to four undergraduate years of schooling; if the student’s degree program is a five-year program, five years of funding can be granted. To remain eligible for the scholarship, a student must:

  • Continue to demonstrate a financial need for funding
  • Maintain a 3.00 cumulative GPA
  • Continue to be enrolled as a full-time student

A scholarship recipient can receive up to $1,000 per academic year (up to $500 per semester) from the program.

Kansas Nursing Service Scholarship

The Kansas Nursing Service Scholarship is designed to encourage Kansas students to enroll in Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) programs or Registered Nurse (RN) programs in Kansas and then commit to being a practicing nurse in Kansas after their schooling has been completed.

The initial application and renewal application process for the scholarship program is the same. To be eligible for the program, a student must:

  • Have already earned or be currently earning a nursing degree, but not yet have earned their nurse licensure
  • Already be accepted into a Kansas nursing program (pre-nursing is not applicable)
  • Sign a commitment with an eligible, Kansas-licensed sponsor who agrees to fund between $1,000 to up to half the scholarship award (unless the sponsor is a mental health treatment facility) and provide full-time employment to the student after they have received their licensure
    • These sponsors can include any adult care home, psychiatric hospital, mental health/treatment facility, medical care facility, home health agency, local health department or any Kansas agency that employs Kansas licensed-LPNs or -RNs.
    • Kansas will cover the remaining funding of the scholarship.
  • Sign an agreement/promissory note with their Kansas-based sponsor to promise to practice nursing full-time at their Kanas-based facility for as many years as they receive scholarship support from this program
  • Complete and file FAFSA
  • Complete and file KSAA
  • Be enrolled as a full-time student (at least 12 credit hours per semester)

If a student fails to complete the service agreement to work with this Kansas-based sponsor in Kansas on a full-time basis, the student will have to pay back the state’s portion of the scholarship funds PLUS accrued interest.

A student who is enrolled full-time in an LPN program can receive up to $3,500 per academic year from the scholarship program. A student who is enrolled full-time in an RN program can receive up to $4,500 per academic year from the scholarship program.

Major Kansas Colleges and Universities

There are many popular postsecondary institutions in Kansas, but some of the major public colleges and universities include:

  • Emporia State University in Emporia
  • Fort Hays State University in Hays
  • Kansas State University in Manhattan
  • University of Kansas in Lawrence
  • Washburn University in Topeka
  • Wichita State University in Wichita

If you travel from border to border in Kanas, you will find plenty of sunflowers, wheat, prairie grasses, purple coneflowers and prairie phlox, but you will also find great financial aid programs that help Kansas residents afford to attend in-state colleges.