- Associated Press - Friday, March 25, 2016

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) - The Kansas Board of Regents has created a new tool that’ll help students and parents research the cost and return of degrees available at state universities.

The Manhattan Mercury (bit.ly/1Uq8i2z ) reports that Kansas DegreeStats is now available online, but only includes data for bachelor’s degrees.

The tool uses real graduates’ data to allow users to study statistics of 600 degrees with the typical costs to cover university fees as well as how former students paid the fees. The Kansas Department of Labor also provides wage information on the first five years of employment after earning each individual degree.

Regents spokeswoman Breeze Richardson said that the program was built in response to a state Legislature request to require a “degree prospectus” to be published for every postsecondary degree program in Kansas.

Six other states have a tool that publishes data about each degree, but Kansas is the only one that gives data on the actual costs for students and combines the degree-level costs with earnings.

“Kansas is now today the only state in the nation with a tool like this giving real data from graduates who came through our degrees programs,” Richardson said.

Regents president and CEO Blake Flanders said he hopes the tool will allow students to make better decisions about borrowing money, especially those whose fields of study tend to have low initial wages.

“I think it really gives a fair demonstration of what your costs will be,” Flanders said. “I think it will be a good thing for parents and students.”

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Information from: The Manhattan (Kan.) Mercury, http://www.themercury.com

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