Q: Is a college education
worth the expense?

A: Absolutely. It is one of the best investments you can make.


For example, the average student debt of a K-State graduate is $27,198, which is equivalent to the cost of a new Ford Taurus. The car will last about 10 years, but the college degree will bring benefits for a lifetime. A college education prepares people not just for their first job, but for their fourth and fifth job as well. Attending college teaches students how to think, not what to think. While they do receive training in their specified fields, the most important skills they gain are critical thinking, problem solving, relationship building, how to present themselves professionally, and how to intelligently and thoughtfully discuss issues with people of varying opinions and backgrounds. As technology and jobs change and evolve, these skills make a person marketable for their entire life.

Kansas State University has been recognized as providing the best return on investment in the state of Kansas. For the fourth year in row, the national study SmartAsset found K-State is the best education value in Kansas. The study measures tuition, living costs, average scholarships and grants, starting salary upon graduation and retention rates of 10 Kansas schools to determine the state’s best value schools. SmartAsset is a financial data and technology company. 

How philanthropy supports education affordability

Scholarships and other forms of student support provided by generous donors help make a college education more affordable for many K-State students and their families. They also provide opportunities for enhanced learning experiences in and out of the classroom.

“Students in the College of Architecture, Planning and Design learn and develop a tremendous work ethic and graduate with a set of skills that can be applied in any number of professions. It was my education at K-State that gave me the base to build my professional career, and it was my experience at K-State that taught me the importance of community.” – Kurt Thompson ’01 graduate in architecture

Value of higher education is undeniable

Sources: National Association of College and University Business Officers (nacubo.org), Lumina Foundation (luminafoundation.org), Kansas Board of Regents (kansasregents.org).

Students walking on campus

More Stories

Straight talk: How do I benefit from research conducted at K-State?

Benefits of research at K-State spread across the United States and the world.

Straight talk: Why is K-State making such an effort toward diversity and inclusion on campus?

The richness and perspectives that diversity brings to Kansas State University is healthy for the growth of students and the university.

Straight talk: Why should donors give to support faculty? Aren't they paid by the state?

State funds and tuition cover the base salary for K-State faculty and staff. Private gifts enable K-State to offer more competitive salaries to recruit and retain outstanding faculty.

Straight talk: Does K-State Athletics take money from the academic budget?

It does not. In fact, K-State Athletics (KSA) is the lone athletic department in the state and one of only eight across the country to operate with no direct university and student funding or state support.

Straight talk: What does state funding support at K-State? And what does philanthropy support?

State funds and tuition cover most salaries and operating expenses at K-State. Private gifts pick up where state support ends, providing a margin of excellence for students, faculty and programs.