Park University - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Park University
"Founded in 1875, Park University is a four-year, independent, nonprofit liberal arts institution with...

Park University

Parkville, Missouri

Park University serves more than 1,400 students at its flagship campus in Parkville, Mo., and more than 18,700 students at its 42 campus centers, globally and online. Park is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.


The University has educated generations of students from diverse backgrounds and continues to provide affordable access to a private university education. While Park offers a traditional setting for learning, the University also provides quality educational opportunities in a variety of formats. In addition, Park prides itself on its long-standing partnership with the U.S. military and is recognized as one of the largest providers of online undergraduate education to the armed forces.

Student Profile

Fall 2014 Enrollment
9,892 undergraduate students
12% of undergrad students are full time
53% male — 47% female
68% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2014-2015 Academic Year
129 full-time faculty
814 part-time faculty
12 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

308 students live on the Parkville Campus

School Location

Parkville, Mo.

Retention Fall 2014

75% of students began in Fall 2013 and returned in Fall 2014 (full time, first time freshmen)

6 year graduation rate 2014

42% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 1%
Hispanic/Latino 13%
Black or African American 19%
White 61%
American Indian or Alaska Native 1%
Asian 3%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 3%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 0%


Park University competes in the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) and has 13 teams that compete at the NAIA level:
Men: Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Soccer, Track and Field, Volleyball
Women: Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Soccer, Softball, Track and Field, Volleyball

Mascot: Pirates
Colors: Canary and Wine

Other Information

Founded in 1875 in Parkville, Mo., a suburb of Kansas City, Park University is a comprehensive, independent institution that is a national leader in higher education. Achieving university status in 2000, Park now annually serves more than 18,700 students at 42 campus centers. Campus centers include: Parkville, Independence and Kansas City, Mo.; Austin and El Paso Texas; Barstow and Victorville, Calif.; and military installations across the country.

Serving an ethnically diverse student population and non-traditional adult learners has, for many years, been central to Park’s educational mission. Even in its first year, Park enrolled women students as well as men, something that was unusual at the time; and two of the original 17 students were Native Americans. Park was also an early integrator when it welcomed African-American students to live in it’s residence halls in the 1950s.

Providing such access has developed considerable diversity among the student population, with more than 430 international students from 65 countries, and a 41 percent student representation from racial, ethnic and cultural groups typically underrepresented in colleges and universities. The University has repeatedly been recognized as one of the top 100 American colleges/universities in the nation graduating Hispanic, African-American and American-Indian students. In addition, extracurricular activities and championship-caliber athletic programs complement Park’s outstanding scholastic programs.

Park’s Promise: Serving those who serve their community and country with personalized, globally-relevant education for life.

Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective, and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.

More Distinctions

  • Park University has been named to the Colleges of Distinction list for four consecutive years (August 2014)

  • Park University received a pair of rankings from Best Value Schools, a website that assists students in getting the most value in a college or graduate degree. Park was ranked No. 9 on the “30 Best Affordable Online Colleges 2014” list and No. 19 on the “Best Online Colleges 2014” list. The “best affordable online” ranking is based on a number of factors, including tuition, freshman retention rate, six-year graduation rate, student-to-faculty ratio, number of bachelor’s degree programs offered, breadth of subjects available to study, College Prowler academics rating and percent of “excellent” and “strongly agree” student poll responses on College Prowler. The “best online” ranking includes all of the factors previously listed except for tuition.

  • Park University was honored by Victory Media on its list of Military Friendly Schools for the sixth consecutive year. The list recognizes the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools doing the most to embrace America’s military service members and veterans as students. Schools on the 2015 Military Friendly Schools list offer additional benefits to student veterans, including on-campus veterans’ programs, credit for service and military spouse programs. In addition, schools on the list are recognized for their efforts to recruit and retain military and veteran students, results in recruiting military and veteran students, and academic accreditations.

  • Park University is one of 20 colleges/universities nationwide to receive a Best Value School distinction from University Research & Review. (July 2014)

  • Park University was placed on’s “50 Colleges with the Lowest Out-of-State Tuition” list. Park is one of just eight private schools nationwide on the list (April 2014)

  • Park University’s School of Business was selected the No. 8 “Best for Vets” business school in the country by Military Times magazine, earning a top 10 designation for the second year in a row. In addition, as a part of the rankings, Park was one of only three schools nationwide to receive four stars out of a possible four in regard to both staff support and academic support. (March 2014)

  • For the sixth consecutive year, Park University was selected as one of the top military-friendly colleges and universities in the country by Military Advanced Education magazine. Park was selected for inclusion on the list in the magazine’s 2014 Guide to Military-Friendly Colleges & Universities, which provides information about the wide range of benefits the schools provide in four key categories of consideration to service members, veterans, spouses and dependents (in order of assigned weighting): support services, flexibility, financial assistance and military culture. (December 2013)

  • Military Times, an independent source for news and information for the military community and its associated newsweeklies, ranked Park University No. 5 among all private colleges/universities in the country and No. 8 overall in the “online and nontraditional” category (schools that serve military students primarily online or through a network of small campuses). The publication gave Park “3.5 stars” (out of four) for its extracurricular activities and “3 stars” for staff support. (November 2013)

  • Park University ranked as the seventh-most affordable private university/college in the nation — and first in the Midwest — for tuition and fees, according to a report by U.S. News and World Report. Park is also the only school west of the Mississippi River ranked in the top 10 on the list. In addition, the magazine ranked Park No. 29 in the Midwest for ethnic diversity, and No. 2 in the Midwest for the most international students. (September 2013)

  • Park University was ranked among the safest four-year universities in the United States. Park was ranked No. 35 among all schools in the country and No. 29 among all private universities nationwide. Park is considered the safest school in the Kansas City metropolitan area and No. 3 in Missouri. (August 2013)

  •, a resource of college affordability and financial aid information, ranked Park University among the nation’s “Most Affordable Online Colleges.” Park is ranked No. 2 among the nation’s private colleges/universities and No. 24 overall on the list which identified colleges across the country with distance learning options, affordable tuition and fees, and alumni who earn top dollar immediately after graduation. Detailed criteria for the list included having a maximum net price (tuition plus fees) of less than $15,000; full accreditation; nonprofit college; four-year, degree-granting institution; students with starting salaries of at least $31,000 upon graduation; and at least one course available online. (July 2013)

  • Park University was ranked No. 10 in the nation for the quality of its online programs, according to rankings released by the Guide to Online Schools. Park is the only school based in Missouri or Kansas ranked in the top 15. The data/statistics used for the rankings were compiled from the National Center for Education Statistics, the primary governmental department responsible for gathering education-related data. The criteria the Guide to Online Schools used included (in order of weighting): recommendation rates; cost of tuition and textbooks; retention rates; repayment rates of student loans; and accreditation, as well as student reviews. (January 2013)

  • Park University continues to hold down the top spot as the No. 1 ranked value among private universities/colleges in the United States, according to Parents & Colleges, an online resource for parents of college-bound students. Park has been ranked No. 1 in the category “Top 10 Best Value Private Colleges and Universities” since the summer of 2010. According to Parents & Colleges, which recently released updated rankings, institutions included on this list offer a diversity of degrees, have affordable tuitions and/or offer generous financial aid, and report the highest SAT or ACT scores for incoming classes.

Diversity and Global Education

Park University opened its doors to its first international students in 1880. Today, the University is home to more than 430 international students from 65 countries across the globe. Park students and faculty participate in study abroad programs throughout the world — everything from short-term sojourns to yearlong, in-depth stays. The University also works with students and faculty at all campus centers and online to develop international components in coursework and extracurricular activities.


Park values service, and offers multiple ways for students to get involved in the betterment of the local, state and global community. Service trips provide an opportunity for Park students to travel and commit their fall or spring breaks to serving others. Campus and local service opportunities also are organized three to four times a semester, and additional programs are sponsored by various student clubs and organizations.

Talented Faculty

Park University’s faculty includes Fulbright scholars, internationally known experts and acclaimed musicians and artists. The University is committed to keeping classes small (the student-to-faculty ratio in undergraduate classes is 12:1) so that students can interact, and even collaborate, with talented faculty who bring a wealth of expertise to the classroom.

Honors Academy

One of Park’s premier programs is its Honors Academy, which includes challenging coursework in the liberal arts and sciences, independent investigation, and research opportunities for students. Participants work one-on-one with a special Academy faculty fellow, a prestigious designation for especially gifted Park faculty.

Park Online

Park is one of the few comprehensive universities in the world where students can earn a degree entirely online. Faculty provide individualized instruction and guidance for all coursework, both face-to-face and online. And, they understand that students bring different life situations to the classroom. A number of classes are scheduled in accelerated eight-week terms that start five times a year, allowing some students to complete their degree in just two to three years.

Student Life and Organizations

Park University offers all the amenities — great teaching, campus life and intercollegiate athletics — with a more intimate look and feel than most universities. Park prides itself on having a family-like atmosphere, where friendliness and a genuine concern for students infuse a comfortable and caring campus environment.

At Park, students can develop both friends and leadership experience through campus organizations, clubs, and honor and professional societies. On the historic Parkville Campus, residence halls, intercollegiate athletics, intramural sports, and a rich array of social and cultural events enable students to truly live the college life. At Park, students develop personal relationships with peers from across the region and every corner of the world.

The Office of Student Life serves as a resource for campus housing, student activities, clubs and organizations, counseling center, fitness, student leadership opportunities, service programs, special events and more. Park is also home to the International Center for Music, which trains and educates the next generation of accomplished musicians for careers at the highest level of  music.

The University frequently brings well-known speakers and authors to the Parkville Campus through the Ethnic Voices Poetry Series, which exposes students to artistic thought and expression that challenges their preconceptions. Park also provides a number of other cultural events throughout the year and thought-provoking symposia through Park institutes and centers, such as the Center for Global Peace Journalism.

Preparation for Success

A liberal arts education requires students to take classes across a wide range of disciplines, resulting in a well-rounded education. Students graduate from Park University with a global perspective, a broad network of contacts and a deeper understanding of international relations and markets. Students are trained to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning.

Whether studying business, education, athletic training, biology, graphic design or social work, students at Park are prepared for more than a job. They learn to be critical thinkers, problem solvers and people who can adapt to the world and rise to its challenges. Park alumni hold prestigious positions all over the world and lead extraordinary careers across a spectrum of industries from technology and manufacturing to transportation and health care.

Career Planning

Career planning for Park students starts when they begin classes, continues through declaration of a major and the decision of where to intern, and culminates with graduation and procurement of a full-time job. The University’s Career Development Center works individually with students to find job and internship opportunities that will allow Park students to be ahead of the curve when they graduate and throughout their careers.

Alumni Relations

The Office of Alumni Relations, in conjunction with the Career Development Center, works with graduates to assist them with reaching their professional goals and managing their careers. These resources are available to alumni regardless of what campus center they attended. Students who graduate from Park are considered Pirates for life and always have the Park family to support them and help them in their journey after college, wherever that might lead.

Financial Aid Information

The application process for financial aid includes the submission of the Park University Request for Financial Assistance and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid forms for the current award year.

For students enrolling in the traditional program, Park has a variety of scholarships, ranging from $1,000 departmental scholarships, academic scholarships with awards from $2,500 to $7,500, the Park McAfee Honors Scholarship which provides full tuition, the Presidential Honors Scholarship which provides full tuition and room and board, and transfer student scholarships. Students must apply for admission and be admitted to be eligible. Scholarships are determined by 7th semester transcripts, and students must submit an application for scholarship for consideration.

In addition to these awards, Park University has endowed scholarships that may be applied for. Applications must be received by February 1 each year.

Students enrolling in 8-week terms are eligible for federal financial aid if they are attending as half-time students and have a valid FAFSA on file. And, as a noted military friendly institution, the University coordinates benefits from a wide variety of military resources for our students.

For complete details about Park University’s financial aid opportunities, visit


Admissions Fall 2014

839 Total Applicants
559 Total Admissions
165 Total Freshmen Enrollment

66.63% of applicants admitted




Tuition $10,500
Fees $100
Total $10,600
Room and Board (on campus) $7,980
Room Only $4,230
Board Only $3,750
Estimated Total On Campus $18,580


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

94% of full-time first-time undergraduates receiving any financial aid
78% of full-time first-time undergraduates receiving student loan aid

$10,109 Average amount of federal, state, local, or institutional grant aid received
$5,442 Average amount of student loan aid received by full-time first-time undergraduates

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