From the President

7/9/21 FHSU: A Different University

By Dr. Tisa Mason on October, 13 2021

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FHSU: A Different University

At Fort Hays State University (FHSU), we are breaking ground in today’s higher education landscape as a state university with highly accessible, award-winning programs and an extensive global reach. Nowhere else will you find faculty and staff as dedicated and willing to give 150% effort to our mission of developing engaged global citizen-leaders. Here, we invest in what matters most to us: our students.


We exist to improve lives. Our eagerness to innovate pushes our students to be their best, understanding their success is the community’s success, the region’s success, and ours. The world is ripe for advancement. We motivate students to go forth and lead the charge.

We are firmly committed to maintaining our hard-earned reputation as a high-value university. A high-value university expands access through affordability and flexibility; provides nationally ranked, engaging, and relevant academic programs; and maximizes the out-of-class student experience. An investment in a FHSU education is a strong investment in the future.

According to U.S. News and World Report, “the best jobs pay well, challenge us year after year, match our talents and skills, aren't too stressful, offer room to advance throughout our careers, and provide a satisfying work-life balance.” Sounds pretty good. Guess how many of those jobs require a college education? All of them!

Additionally, data from the U.S. Department of Education indicates college graduates with a bachelor’s degree typically earn 66 percent more than those with only a high school diploma. They are also far less likely to face unemployment. That is why we are committed to providing an affordable education.

This fall, our already affordable tuition and fees (per year) for full-time, in-state undergraduate students will decrease slightly for on-campus students and remain flat for online students. Our on-campus, full-time undergraduate students will pay $5,444 compared to the national average of $9,687 and the Kansas Regent university average of $9,048. Basically, our students are awarding themselves an annual scholarship that can range in value from $3,600 to $4,200 or more. On top of our low tuition, our philanthropists have generously funded additional scholarships. Our students clearly get the best value anywhere.

Our affordability is only a small part of our value story. Our programs are nationally ranked, many are accredited, and our 2019-2020 career placement rate is 94%. (A pretty good number given the pandemic.) We have exemplary programs and services to support students in and outside of the classroom. Our students discover their interests, connect, engage, and succeed from student activities, research opportunities, internships, on-campus employment, athletics, the arts, and so much more.

We are the in-state university leader in serving Kansans. Over the past seven years, the number of Kansans enrolling at FHSU has increased by 12%. That is why we are especially excited to announce a new regional tuition rate that is equal to our in-state tuition rate. Beginning in the fall of 2022, we will offer this regional tuition rate to on-campus students from the following states: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.

We are excited for our students and our state. Our success, fueled by our innovation and sound business plan, enabled us to award degrees to more than 37,000 professionals over the past decade. We educate the teachers, healthcare workers, social workers, speech pathologists, accountants, technology professionals, law enforcement officials, and other professionals who directly enhance the quality of life for Kansans. These future tigers will not only have a great experience at FHSU, but they will also help us respond to labor shortages in our state.

We have not forgotten our online students. You will find FHSU Online students all over Kansas, in nearly every state, and in numerous countries across the globe. Our online program is superb. We have been a global leader in serving the needs of adult learners since 1904, and we excel in distance education. We are only one of six universities in the world to meet the strict requirements of the United States Distance Learning Association.

Compare our undergraduate online rate of $266.88 per credit hour to National American University’s $342 per credit hour, Southern New Hampshire University’s $320 per credit hour, University of Phoenix’s $398 per credit hour, and the University of Arizona Global Campus’ $561 per credit hour. These popular online universities all boast about their affordable tuition, but the evidence is clear: Fort Hays State University is the best value in higher education anywhere! Oh, and by the way, FHSU does not have required fees for online students.

A college education provides a proven advantage for individuals and it contributes to the quality of life in our state. We intelligently apply and adapt our resources in our relentless search to add value, breaking the mold to create a culture of progress and inspire the world-changing contributions of today’s and tomorrow’s tigers. Fort Hays State University is indeed a different university.

Dr. Tisa Mason

President Mason is the 10th president of Fort Hays State University. A native of Massachusetts, Mason previously served as the president of Valley City State University in Valley City, N.d., where she served from 2014 to 2017. Before her time at Valley City State, Mason served as Fort Hays State's vice president of student affairs from 2008 to 2014. Her previous career stops include serving as the dean of student life at the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater in Whitewater, Wis.; executive director of the Sigma Kappa Sorority and Foundation in Indianapolis, Ind.; director of student life and assistant professor at Christopher Newport University, Newport News, Va.; and assistant dean of students, Hanover College, Hanover, Ind. In 2013, Mason received the Robert H. Shaffer Award from the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors for her long-term commitment to fostering positive change in fraternities and sororities. She received the Excellence in Service to Students Award from the National Society of Leadership and Success in the same year. Her academic credentials include a Doctor of Education degree in higher education from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va.; a Master of Science degree in education from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Ill.; and a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology/anthropology from Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky.


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