Independent group ranks online programs; shows FHSU as national leader in affordability

A consumer group that compiles rankings for the affordability of online college courses has recognized a Fort Hays State University program as among the best in the country.

FHSU's Master of Liberal Studies with a concentration in justice studies is No. 1 as the most affordable online program in the country. Online graduates nationwide will pay about $7,000 for this degree at FHSU. The national average higher education cost for this degree area was $19,705.

According to, the rankings indicate that the online learning programs have been independently reviewed and found to offer credible, high quality distance degrees at a cost well below the national average. The rankings are done every two or three years.

"GetEducated does its own research from university websites to compile the rankings," said Dennis King, director of the Virtual College and learning technologies. "The universities provide no information directly and are not permitted to make a sales pitch."

He explained that the degrees are ranked on lowest price. If a university's in-state rate is lower than another university's out-of-state rate, the university with the lower in-state rate is ranked higher. "This lowered our ranking in a couple of instances," King said.

King noted that FHSU has consistently rated high in both affordability and quality.

"FHSU and the Virtual College achieved regional accreditation, which is the highest accreditation possible. We were recognized as a top leadership school, as military friendly, and we received numerous awards, including an Award of Excellence for campuswide online programming," said King. "Those various recognitions, combined with the GetEducated rankings, confirm FHSU as a national leader in online education."

King said the previous awards, recognitions and rankings highlight the outstanding faculty, staff and students at FHSU and the Virtual College. "It takes all of FHSU's stakeholders to create a successful online educational community, and we all should be proud of what we have contributed and accomplished."
GetEducated is a consumer group that publishes online college rankings and online university ratings along the dimensions that matter most to online students themselves: affordability and credibility.

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