Turns out one of the best deals in the country is in Kansas.
When it comes to higher education in Kansas, most of the attention centers on the University of Kansas or Kansas State University.
But there are three other regent schools in the state. And according to U.S. News and World Report, for in-state students, Fort Hays State University has the second-lowest tuition and fees in the country.
Charles and David Koch are well known for funding political campaigns, but the Kochs also donate tens of millions of dollars to colleges and universities.
Nothing unusual about wealthy people giving to higher education, but some professors warn that Koch funding can come with conditions that threaten academic freedom, and that has sparked a debate about the influence of big donors in an age of diminishing public university funding.
Donors deposited a record-breaking amount of money into the University of Missouri’s coffers last fiscal year.
The university in Columbia, Mo., beat its 2013-14 fiscal year goal of raising $150 million by pulling in $164.5 million. The amount broke the previous record of $160 million raised in fiscal year 2008.
Thomas Hiles, MU vice chancellor for advancement, says the record is noteworthy because it was reached without mega gifts, which the university has received the previous two years.
A new agreement signed by universities and community colleges in Kansas can help students earn associate degrees.
The program is aimed at helping students who transfer from a community college to a university, and puts in place a "reverse transfer" policy.
Students who can be helped by this include those who transfer to a university before finishing their associate degree at a community college. After the student earns the required credits for an associate degree at a university, the community college the student previously attended will automatically issue the degree.
The Kansas Board of Regents will consider proposed tuition increases at a meeting this week. Breeze Richardson with the board, says this will be the final step in the process. Universities have spent the last few months developing and submitting their proposals.
"Those proposals were brought forth at last months meeting, and then the final proposals will be presented [Wedesnday] and voted upon" Richardson said.
Kansas Lawmakers wrapped up the 2013 session in the early hours of Sunday morning, narrowly passing a budget that reduces spending through major cuts, particularly to higher education.
The biggest responsibility lawmakers have every year is to pass a state budget. It was questionable whether this proposal could pass the House. The chamber’s leadership was putting pressure on Republicans to pass the budget, saying if they didn’t pass one over the weekend the state could miss payments, like a payment for state worker health insurance.