Whether you are a senior in high school trying to figure out what to do after graduation or have been out of school for a while and realize now that your life, your confidence, your opportunities, and your back pocket will be a lot fuller with a college diploma, there is no better time like the present to start (or finish) that college degree. Earning a degree in an area of interest is a personal accomplishment that no one can take away from you or understand how you feel unless they have accomplished the same. While there are lots of wonderful colleges in Kansas City, there are three, in particular, worth exploring further.
Ranked by U.S. News & World Report in 2012 as one of the Top 20 “Best Universities” in the Midwest for their Masters’ programs is Rockhurst University – a co-educational Jesuit University. Although you don’t have to be Catholic (or a Jesuit) to earn an undergraduate or graduate degree at this private, liberal arts school, you will no doubt graduate with a renewed sense of self and a desire to be of service to your community and your world. While they have continuously ranked high among all universities for their advanced degrees, their undergraduate programs (taught by many of the same professors) offer studies, experiences, and internships that profoundly transform and inspire the lives of their 3,000 students. Their acceptance rate is 76%, so take your time with your application, visit the campus, and meet with advisors to answer any questions.
Of all the colleges in Kansas City that offer diverse academic programs and choices for new and returning college students, The Kansas City Art Institute is perhaps the most specialized for students seeking a four-year liberal arts foundation with a degree in Fine Arts or Design. This private, accredited, independent college was established in 1885 and offers majors in all things creative, including Animation, Creative Writing, Graphic Design, and Sculpture. Their campus serves 600 students.
Another college in Kansas City worth exploring is the National American University – an accredited, for-profit university that offers not only diploma programs and undergraduate and graduate degrees at its Kansas City campus, but also classes and graduate programs online! While this university has multiple beautiful campus locations across the country where you can interact – in person – with other students and professors, the convenience of its online division helps bring many busy adults back to college. There are four locations in the area: Overland Park, Kansas City, Wichita, and Wichita West.
Of course, whatever college you choose – what matters more than anything is how much you embrace the opportunity. As with everything in life – the time, energy, focus, and discipline you put into it will determine how much you will get out of it.