Kansas State vs. Arkansas: Which Should I Choose?

As a transplant from New York City, I knew very little about the American South until I moved to Nashville. Since then, I’ve learned a lot about the cultures, the people, and of course, the food! I’ve got to admit, the things they eat down there are amazing!

I was lucky enough to visit both Kansas State and Arkansas this year. I had the chance to not only eat their delicious food but to truly understand what makes them so special. The following are some pros and cons of both universities that you should know before making your decision.

Kansas State

Located in the middle of the country, Kansas State is best known for its friendly atmosphere and its beautiful campus. Home to the flagship campus in Manhattan and the University of Kansas in Lawrence, there are plenty of extra amenities like museums, galleries, and jazz performances to keep you busy.

The biggest pro of choosing Kansas State is its low pricing. Tuition is incredibly competitive, especially since it is a public school. Moreover, the entire campus is available to you. There are no locked doors, no gates, no walls that cordon off the buildings and prevent you from walking around. You can literally go anywhere on campus and meet anyone. The atmosphere is one of openness and acceptance. It’s a place where you can find your niche and flourish.

One con of Kansas State is how cold it can get. Being from New York City, where I usually stay at an even temperature, I didn’t realize how warm it could get in Kansas. There is almost no snow, but it gets so cold that it hurts your bones just to go outside. The wind is merciless, so you have to be prepared for all sorts of weather when walking around campus. During the winter months, the temperatures can dip well below freezing, making it the perfect setting for frostbite accidents. Keep that in mind if you plan to visit in winter.


Arkansas is located in the South and is home to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. It is one of the most well-known universities in the state, as well as the entire country. It is also the second-largest employer in the state, following Walmart. That’s pretty impressive for a school that encourages its students to become entrepreneurs!

Arkansas has something that Kansas State doesn’t; it’s near the coast. The beach is just 20 minutes away, and yet it feels like another world. The sand is so white and the waves so buoyant that you’ll believe you’ve gone back in time to the days of Amelia Earhart. There are also lots of lakes nearby, which provide some spectacular views.

The biggest con of Arkansas is its relatively high crime rate. It’s not a dangerous place, but it does have a very high rate of violent crimes. Thanks to a lot of rural development, there is also a high rate of drug abuse and addiction problems in the state. It’s not a place you’ll want to be late at night, especially if you’re a woman.

One pro of Arkansas is its beautiful campus. It is a place where you’ll feel comfortable and at home. It does get incredibly hot and humid down there, so make sure you’re prepared for the heat!

Overall, if you’re looking for an outdoorsy experience, then Arkansas is the place for you. The beaches are beautiful and there are plenty of hills to climb. You won’t get bored on your travels around the campus, as there are lots of trees and green space to explore. You can also go for a bike ride with the students if you’re feeling adventurous.

If you have the budget and you don’t want to get too far from home, then Kansas State is the preferable choice. You’ll get a good taste of what the American South is like without having to spend a fortune. Plus, it’s a little closer to New York City, so you can continue your journey home easier. Or you can stay a little longer in Kansas and make the most of the balmy climate. Either way, you’re bound to have an adventurous time!