Fort Hays State program allows students to earn degrees while finishing high school

Anniston Anderson was able to attend college at Fort Hays State University as she completed her high school requirements.
Published: May. 2, 2023 at 10:23 PM CDT
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HAYS, Kan. (KWCH) - In a few weeks, La Crosse High School senior Anniston Anderson will be getting her high school diploma and the equivalent of an associate’s degree. The opportunity comes from attending a special program, the Kansas Academy of Mathematics and Science (KAMS) Program, at Fort Hays State University. Through the program, Anderson earned more than 60 college credits.

At only 17, Anderson has been taking college classes at FHSU for the past two years.

“Being so young and coming to a college campus, you don’t really know what to expect, and no matter how much they drill into you, it’s still crazy,” she said.

KAMS Director Will Burns further explained the dual benefit the program offers.

“Those college credits that they earn through Fort Hays State University actually get sent back to their high school and count toward their high school diploma,” he said.

Burns said the state-funded program “gives students a great jumpstart on their undergraduate degree at a pretty discounted rate.”

Anderson said that jumpstart is significant as she expects to finish the program with about 72 credit hours. While setting her on an expediated path to earn a Bachelor’s degree, she said KAMS helped in more ways than credit completion.

“Definitely more confidence and independence for myself, but then also a lot less nerves going into college, knowing a little bit of what to expect,” she said.

Anderson said she plans to move on to study public health at the University of Arkansas. High school juniors interested in learning more about KAMS can find further information on the program here: