University of Kansas


This post is a little delayed, however I felt compelled to share so here it goes!

A couple weeks ago I attended a luncheon with the University of Kansas. Often-times the midwest gets the “fly-over” state reputation so I was excited to hear about a college I know of, but not much more than a competitive basketball school.

What impressed me initially was the sense of community. A large institution with a true “ra-ra” feel on campus. Students excited to be a part of the KU community, and students excited to get involved. I must be honest and admit my first reaction to the idea of the campus was a flat environment. Not at all. I was pleasantly surprised to see a beautiful campus rich with traditional college architecture, trees and that “college town” feel so many of my students deem as an important feature. I don’t see a “fly-over” campus at all. I see a campus with lots of opportunity for students who are willing to take a chance on a name they may not have considered initially. For the sake of me rambling on, I will list some of the key points about KU here:

  • Accessible out-of-state cost. There is no secret to the financial aid for an out-of-state student. No additional applications, just apply and you are considered. Students can earn anywhere from $4,000 – $10,000 just based of GPA and merit. With an out-of-state total cost of about $25,000 – $30,000 (depending on housing, etc.) students receiving merit scholarships could easily make the out-of-state price comparable to an in-state institution.
  • Alumni connections – “Hollywood Hawks” KU understands that not all student may continue living in Kansas upon graduation. Before students graduate there are opportunities to connect with alumni in large cities. For example, the Hollywood Hawks is a group of alumni from Los Angeles to New York in a variety of entertainment fields. Students can connect with film producers, composers and alumni in the visual and performing arts while they are in their undergrad.
  • Job Placement – A LARGE percentage of students graduate with a job within their chosen field of study. That’s huge to me! (I do not have my notes with me, but I will update this figure once I have an exact number)
  • Professional schools – Schools of Law, Medicine and Pharmacy
  • Sports – The Jawhawks participate in the Big 12 Athletic Conference = “Ra-Ra” at its finest. Community and pride.
  • Honors college – KU offers an honors college that students may apply to as a first-time freshman and any year after that. Students get access to research, resources and opportunities making a large school smaller (Honors college graduates have a job placement of 99% on average)
  • Undecided? Students who come into the college Undeclared get an opportunity to choose a track they are interested in. They will complete exploratory courses within an area of study until they decide to choose one.

I could continue on, but I’ll stop here. For more information, visit I truly believe in exploring colleges all over, including those you would have never considered. I encourage students to consider out-of-state options, especially when financial aid is accessible. Happy exploring!

Published by Casey Barneson

Author of The College Wellness Guide. Beverly Hills High School College Counselor.

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