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Updated: May 16, 2017

Is going to college worth it? Tuition rates keep rising, students keep taking on more debt, and people are worried about whether going to college will actually help you get a job. Well, if you’re thinking about going to college in Kentucky, then there’s some good news: the state’s Council on Postsecondary Education has put hard limits on tuition increases at public colleges.

Most of the new jobs that have been created during the recovery from the Great Recession require college degrees. Even if they are getting more expensive, college degrees are still an enormous advantage in the job market. So whether you’re a high school senior wondering about next year, or a working adult, going to college is probably worth it. And if you’re considering going to school in Kentucky, whether in-state or out-of-state, then this is the list for you.

And it’s a great place to go to school. With highly ranked public research universities, as well as historic and dynamic private schools, there’s really something for everyone in the Bluegrass State. That’s true with regard to colleges, but also the state’s culture. Just a quick glance at the many achievements and institutions in Kentucky should convince you of that: the Kentucky Derby, bluegrass music, bourbon whiskey, Kentucky Fried Chicken, college basketball, as well as a storied literary tradition that includes the famous books Uncle Tom’s Cabin and All the King’s Men, to name just two.

What are the best colleges in Kentucky?

On to the rankings—we’ve put together a list of the best colleges in Kentucky by factoring in both academic quality, student body diversity, and return on investment, so you know that the education that you get will be meaningful, at a campus where you can thrive, and that it will pay off in the job market. After all, we don’t want you to graduate, saddled with debt, and unable to find a good job. Our data comes from the IPEDS database, courtesy of the National Center for Education Statistics.

1

Berea College

College Choice Score: 100

Average Net Price: $1,990

School Website

Berea College

Overview

Berea College is in the small town of Berea, Kentucky. The college is near the Appalachian Mountains and about 35 miles south of Lexington. Berea College was founded by abolitionist John Gregg Fee in 1855. The first classes began in 1866, only a year after the Civil War ended. John Gregg Fee’s dream was to have a place where all students were welcome and able to pursue their degree without worrying about the upfront costs or having to worry about dragging student loans around for the rest of their life.

Features

Starting in 2002, all students receive a laptop to do their coursework. In Fall of 2016, there were 1621 undergrads onsite studying over 32 degree programs and participating in over 70 different student organizations on campus. Students and faculty work together closely as seen in the school’s 10:1 ratio. Top declared majors are:

  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Visual and Performing Arts
  • Business
  • Social Sciences

Notables

Berea College is one of 8 mandatory work-study program schools in the United States. For the school to provide free tuition for the students, accepted students must work at least 10 hours a week on campus while pursuing their degree. Additionally, all students are responsible for their own room and board and all students under the age of 23 must live on campus. As of this writing, students are not permitted to have off campus jobs during the academic school year.

2

Centre College

College Choice Score: 77.58

Average Net Price: $24,855

School Website

Centre_College

Overview

Centre College was founded in 1819 by the Presbyterian Church (USA) in rural Danville, Kentucky. It is a top 50 liberal arts college. Students are guaranteed a study abroad or research opportunity. The College also guarantees that the student will be able to graduate in 4-years. The college will pay for any coursework beyond four years.

Features

At Centre College, students are encouraged to participate in collaborative research. This is easy to accomplish with a student population of 1400 undergraduates, an average class size of 18, and the student-faculty ratio is 10.5 to 1. There are 26 majors available. The most popular are:

  • Economics
  • Biology
  • History
  • International & Global Studies
  • Political Science

Notables

For those who like engineering. Centre College has a dual degree engineering program with Columbia University, University of Kentucky, Vanderbilt University and Washington University in St. Louis. If engineering is not what you are looking for, there are plenty of opportunities to study abroad – over 80% of the students do so at least once during their academic career. But when you are at the home campus, you will probably see the portrait of former Chief Justice Fred Vinson, also known as Dead Fred) show up at the local sporting or campus event.

3

University of Kentucky

College Choice Score: 77.12

Average Net Price: $14,842

School Website

UniversityofKentucky

Overview

The University of Kentucky is in Lexington, Kentucky – the horse capital of the world. It was founded by John Bryan Bowman as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Kentucky in 1865. It is one of two land grant universities whose charge is to create solutions for the local community. Today, if you count the entire student population, it is the largest institution in Kentucky – almost 30,000 students. With over 350 student clubs, Greek life and NCAA Division I sports, there is always something happening on campus.

Features

Today, there are over 22,000 are undergraduate students. It has 16 colleges that support over 93 undergraduate degrees and 120 master degrees. There are 15 libraries on campus. Even with such a large student body, the university has found a way to keep the student faculty ratio 12-1. However, nearly a third of the classes have less than 20 students – expect large class sizes. Top majors at this school:

  • Biology
  • Marketing
  • Physical Education: Teaching & Coaching
  • Nursing
  • Psychology

Notables

The University of Kentucky sits on 814 acres 80 miles south of Cincinnati and 200 miles northeast of Nashville. One point of note is their NCAA team, the wildcats. They became known as the Wildcats after a game against Illinois in 1909. Someone made a comment that the Kentucky football players played like wildcats. Their current Mascot originated in 1976 when someone started showing up at athletic events to entertain. Nowadays, the wildcat mascot does it all, academic and athletic events.

4

University of Louisville

College Choice Score: 74.16

Average Net Price: $14,635

School Website

University of Louisville

Overview

The University of Louisville is in Louisville, Kentucky, the largest metropolitan center in Kentucky. It has three campuses: The 287 acre Belknap is located 3 miles from downtown and has most of the academics housed there. The Health sciences center is located downtown Louisville in the medical complex. All health programs are located here. The third campus is Shelby on 243 acres and located in eastern Jefferson County.

Features

This NCAA division I school has amazing opportunities for students in this 17th largest US city on the Ohio River. The Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Shakespeare Festival and the museums are just a few of the opportunities in this area of over 1 million people. On campus, students can experience over 400 student organizations but should expect class sizes since about one-third of the classes are under 20 seats. However, the University can maintain a 16:1 student-faculty ratio. So, it is possible to get to know your department faculty. Popular majors include:

  • Business, Management & Marketing
  • Parks, Recreation, Leisure and Fitness
  • Engineering
  • Health Professions

Notables

The school was technically founded in 1798 by 8 men attempting to build the Jefferson Seminary. It finally opened in 1813 only to close in 1829. The Louisville Medical institute opened in 1837 and inherited part of the seminary property in 1844. In 1846, University of Louisville was created by Kentucky legislature merging the medical school, college and new law school. In 1970, the university joined the state system of higher education. Since then it continues to expand to new heights.

5

Spalding University

College Choice Score: 73.31

Average Net Price: $18,334

School Website

Spalding University

Overview

Spalding University was founded in 1814 by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in Louisville, Kentucky. It was the first 4-year catholic college for women. Over 100 years later in 1973, the institution became a co-educational environment. In 1984, the Spalding College changed its name to what its knowns as today, Spalding University. The name might have changed but its original commitment to charity, compassion and an active leader in the community.

Features

This small 6-acre campus in the heart of the SoBro neighborhood of Louisville has a tight knit community of over 920 undergraduates and a student-faculty ratio of 14 to 1. Popular majors include:

  • Nursing
  • Psychology
  • Health service preparatory studies
  • Business

Notables

The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth was founded by Mother Catherine Spalding. It is accepting of everyone, just like the SoBro Neighborhood, the sisters look to build a well-blended community. Spalding University is known as the 1st certified compassionate university in the world.

6

Alice Lloyd College

College Choice Score: 71.72

Average Net Price: $12,562

School Website

Alice Lloyd College

Overview

Alice Lloyd College was founded in 1917 to address the healthcare, education and agricultural situation in Pippa Passes, Kentucky. Because many students couldn’t afford their education, she instituted a mandatory student work program. By 1923, the tiny little school received junior college status. In 1982, Alice Lloyd College received accreditation to grant 4-year degrees. Today, it has grown but has stayed true to the students and community needs. It is one of 8 work colleges in America. Full-time students work up to 20-hours per week as a requirement for graduation. Free education is guaranteed to students in the central Appalachian service area.

Features:

Alice Lloyd College provides the opportunity for 18 degree programs and 8 pre-professional programs. Currently, there are 616 students on this rural campus of 175 acres. It is a tight knit community that strives to brighten the area’s lives and to pursue goodness just as Pippa Passes did in the verse drama written by Robert Browning. Popular majors include:

  • Biology
  • Sociology
  • History
  • Accounting
  • Elementary Education

Notables:

Alice Lloyd College is privately funded – no direct state or federal funding. Most of the alumni return to their local communities either right after their 4-year education or after their finish their professional degree requirements. However, they have not forgotten their undergraduate education. The college remains debt free even with all the renovation and expansions.

7

Transylvania University

College Choice Score: 71.21

Average Net Price: $23,093

School Website

Transylvania_University

Overview

Transylvania University is in Lexington, Kentucky. It was originally intended as a seminary established by the Virginia Assembly and strongly supported by then-governor Thomas Jefferson in 1780. It is the 16th college in the United States. By 1799 with the addition of the medical and law schools, it became the first university west of the Appalachian Mountains.

Features

Today, Transylvania has an affiliation with the Disciples of Christ with 40 majors and over 50 student organizations. The total enrollment is 1050 and students enjoy the 11:1 student-faculty ratio. Over 70% of the classes have less than 20 students in them. Popular majors include:

  • Psychology
  • Business
  • Biology
  • Spanish Language & Literature
  • Accounting

Notables

In 1780, Virginia and Kentucky was one “state” in the union. Much of Kentucky had not been explored. In terms of history, this is where Daniel Boone was still leading pioneers over the Appalachian Mountains. They originally called the area surrounding what is now known as Lexington, Transylvania. It means “across the woods”. Today, Lexington, Kentucky, has over 300,000 people in the metropolitan area. So, students have opportunities to experience all that a large metropolitan area offers.

8

Bellarmine University

College Choice Score: 69.56

Average Net Price: $24,736

School Website

Bellarmine_University

Overview

Bellarmine University is a Catholic University located in Louisville, Kentucky. It was founded in 1950 under the sponsorship of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville and the Conventual Franciscan Fathers. In 1968, Bellarmine merged with Ursuline College (a women’s Catholic college) to become a co-ed institution. The first graduate programs began in 1975. In 2000, Bellarmine rebranded to be called Bellarmine University. The university is located 5 minutes from downtown and has over 150 partnership locations where one can study globally.

Features

Bellarmine University is within walking distance of the famous Bardstown Road Corridor. It offers undergraduate and graduate programs to the student population. Over 2600 students are undergraduates. They enjoy a student-faculty ratio of 12 to 1 and an average class size of 20. There are over 150 programs to study and you can enjoy NCAA Division II varsity sports and NCAA Division I Lacrosse. Popular Majors are:

  • Nursing
  • Business
  • Psychology
  • Kinesiology and Exercise Science
  • Biology

Notables

The property that it is currently on has an interesting history. It was part of a loyal land grant from King George II to James McCorkle for his service in the French and Indian War. After the American Revolution, Thomas Jefferson, governor of Virginia gave it to the Griffin Family. By the Civil War, the war-torn Griffin family sold it to Catholic church. The Catholic Church used it for several endeavors prior to opening Bellarmine University in 1950.

9

Union College

College Choice Score: 69.00

Average Net Price: $15,033

School Website

Union_College_KY

Overview

Union College is a private, 4-year college in Barbourville, Kentucky. Union was founded in 1879 by A. H. Harrit and 35 local resident stockholders looking to create better opportunities to support their families and community. In 1886, the Kentucky conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church purchased the college. It is known as the first Kentucky college located in the mountains. Since then the tiny town of Barbourville has grown to over 3,100 people and is located 17 miles east of interstate 75.

Features

Union College has over 900 undergraduate and over 200 graduate students. With a campus of this size, you get to know the community through over 30 different student organizations and athletic events. In the classroom, there is opportunity to study over 40 different degrees. Students enjoy a 15 to 1 student-faculty ratio. Popular majors at Union College include:

  • Business Administration & Accounting
  • Athletic Training
  • Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration
  • Biology
  • Psychology

Notables

Union college’s learning environment does not just exist on the rural campus. It also is connected to other state, regional, and national networks. If you need something at the library that Union College doesn’t have, the college is connected to a vast network to transfer the media to campus for you. Another form of learning occurs through the 15,000 community service hours that the campus community performs annually.

10

Georgetown College

College Choice Score: 66.43

Average Net Price: $20,764

School Website

Georgetown College

Overview

Georgetown College is the first Baptist college west of the Allegheny Mountains in Georgetown, Kentucky. It was founded by Silas Noel in 1829. The local community of Georgetown raised over $20,000 and provided 52 acres of property – the former Rittenhouse Academy site. Due to the Civil War and local depressions, the college has survived almost 200 years. However, it is within the last 50 years that it has solidified its position in the community as a local center for community pride.

Features

Georgetown College has just under 1,000 undergraduates in attending. Over 91% live on campus. So, you will see familiar faces participating in over 50 different student groups, Greek life, athletics and volunteer organizations. Inside the classroom, students experience a 13 to 1 student-faculty ratio in their programs. Popular majors include:

  • Business & Commerce
  • Biology and Biological Sciences
  • Kinesiology and Exercise Science
  • Psychology

Notables

Georgetown College is located 12 miles north of Lexington, 70 miles east of Louisville and 75 miles south of Cincinnati. The college has also increased from 52 acres to over 100 acres to support its growing student population. In 2014, Georgetown College elected their 24th president, Dr. M. Dwaine Green. So, there is a sense of expectation for even better things to come.

11

University of the Cumberlands

College Choice Score: 66.15

Average Net Price: $16,877

School Website

University of the Cumberlands

Overview

The University of the Cumberlands is in Williamsburg, Kentucky to serve the Appalachian Mountain region. It was originally founded in 1889 by Baptists as the Williamsburg institute. In 1913, it acquired Highland College and changed its name to Cumberland College. In 2005, the college changed its name to university. Today, the main university campus has about 150 acres in this rural area.

Features

The University of the Cumberlands has about 6,000 students that study over 88 majors, 72 minors, 8 masters, 1 certificate program and 2 doctoral programs. The student population contains 1410 undergraduates, 395 online undergraduates, 718 dual enrolled students, 355 non-degree students and 3151 graduate students. For the on-campus students, there are over 40 different student organizations and athletic events to participate in. In the classroom, the student-faculty ratio is 16 to 1.

  • Business
  • Psychology
  • Parks, Recreation, Leisure, and Fitness Studies
  • Biological & Biomedical Sciences
  • Social Service Professions

Notables

University of the Cumberlands has built over 147 houses for charity organizations in the Appalachian Mountains. To graduate, students must also have at least 40 hours of volunteer service. There is no specification if it must occur in the Appalachian Mountain region. It is a beautiful campus that enjoys its relationship with the city of Williamsburg.

12

Murray State University

College Choice Score: 64.76

Average Net Price: $9,970

School Website

Murray State University

Overview

In the 1920s, there was a pressing need for more teachers. Kentucky State legislature created senate bill 14 to settle this need. Murray State founder Rainey T. Wells presented a case to the legislature to have Murray, Kentucky be home to one of the new state universities. Murray, Kentucky procured the university site and raised over $117,000 for the school to open in September 1923. Since then, the university has grown to have over 5 regional campuses with 6 distinct departments offering over 245 majors and programs.

Features

At Murray State University, you are one of 9,000 students studying at all levels of education. The main campus has over 250 acres with over 160 student and Greek organizations. They are proud of their NCAA division I athletics as well as their 15:1 student-faculty ratio. Popular majors include:

  • Animal Health Technology
  • Nursing
  • Agriculture
  • Occupational Safety and Health
  • Business Administration

Notables

During the first weekend of December, the Dickens Alley Festival turns historical downtown of Murry, Kentucky into London, England from the time of Dickens. It is complete with a street fair, home made goods and carolers. Murray State University has hosted the Festival of champions, the oldest marching band festivals in the south since 1976.

13

Campbellsville University

College Choice Score: 63.55

Average Net Price: $14,646

School Website

Campbellsville_University

Overview

Campbellsville University was originally founded in 1906 by the Kentucky Baptist convention to prepare people for college. In 1949, it became a junior college. In 1963, it earned the right to bestow 4-year degrees. In 1996, it became a university. It was named after the town of Campbellsville, a small town of 11,000 inhabitants. It is located where Kentucky 545 and 210 intersect with US 68, about 40 miles southeast of Elizabethtown, Kentucky.

Features

The main campus has about 95 acres and maintains 6 regional sites to prepare Christian Servant Leaders. Between all the locations, they have an undergraduate enrollment of almost 2700 students. The student-faculty ratio is 13 to 1. The popular majors include:

  • Business
  • Nursing
  • Social Work & Youth Services
  • Criminal Justice & Law Enforcement Administration
  • Biblical Studies

Notables

There are several nearby attractions and festivals for students visit. You can see the Perryville Battlefield State Historic site or Abraham Lincoln’s Birthplace National Historic Site. Or you can go to the local Green River Lake and take in the sights there.

14

Kentucky Wesleyan College

College Choice Score: 62.91

Average Net Price: $16,872

School Website

Kentucky Wesleyan College

Overview

Kentucky Wesleyan College is in Owensboro, Kentucky, right on the Ohio River about 40 miles east of Evansville, Indiana, 2 hours north of Nashville, Tennessee and 2 hours west of Louisville, Kentucky. It was founded in 1858 by the Methodist Episcopal Church (also known as United Methodist Church). Classes began in 1866 in a town called Millersburg as a training school for preachers. However, after adding several other majors, becoming co-ed, and several locations, the college settled in Owensboro which is Kentucky’s 4th largest city.

Features

Today, the college has just under 700 undergraduate students on 55 acres. While it is a United Methodist institution, all faiths are welcome to study one of its 29 majors or 13 pre-professional programs. This smaller organization has a student-faculty ratio of 12 to 1. Outside of the classroom, there is NCAA Division II sports, 40+ student organizations and great Greek life.

Notables

Kentucky Wesleyan College is in Daviess County is home to 94,000 residents. This area was originally settled in 1797 and the city of Owensboro was founded in 1817. It is the area where Lewis and Clark wintered prior to their famous travels and home to the International Bluegrass Museum (a genre of music). You can find this great area where Route 64 and Route 65 meet.

15

Asbury University

College Choice Score: 62.51

Average Net Price: $20,399

School Website

Asbury_University

Overview

Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky, was founded in 1890 by Reverend John Wesley Hughes. Hughes decided on the city of Wilmore Kentucky because the town was on his preaching circuit and the town could finance the initial aspects of getting started. Asbury is named after Bishop Francis Asbury, the founder of American Methodism. Today it is a multi-denominational institution located 15 miles south of Lexington, Kentucky.

Features

Asbury University has over 1,300 undergrad students learning in 14 academic departments and 54 undergraduate programs. There are also over 500 students pursing seven master degrees and certificates. The average class size is 20 students. Student faculty ratio is 13 to 1. Top majors include:

  • Media Communication
  • Business
  • Elementary Education
  • Equine Studies
  • Communication

Notables

Asbury University is well known for their faith and character of the campus community and alumni. They have won awards for this from the Templeton Foundation. When on campus, you can walk over 739 acres that includes the 65-acre walking campus and an equine center. The Equine center that includes an indoor riding arena and a ropes challenge course.

16

Kentucky State University

College Choice Score: 61.99

Average Net Price: $8,386

School Website

Kentucky State

Overview

Kentucky State University is a Historical Black College located in Frankfort, Kentucky. In 1886, the school was chartered by the state and the city donated $1,500 and a real estate for the school property. Since the charter in 1886, it has become a Land Grant, liberal arts institution. The institution was originally created to train black teachers to work in the black schools of Kentucky. Today, it has expanded into many different educational pursuits.

Features

Today, there are about 2,200 total students learning on this 916-acre property containing a 311-acre agricultural research farm and a 306-acre environmental educational center. 1,433 are undergraduate students pursuing various degrees and over 77% of classes have less than 20 students. Student-faculty ratio is 11 to 1. Top majors include:

  • Nursing
  • Business
  • Criminal Justice
  • Psychology
  • Physical Education

Notables

Frankfort, Kentucky, offers tremendous opportunities for students in terms of jobs, culture and shopping. You can visit Daniel Boone’s Burial Site or learn more about bourbon from the distilleries in the area. Frankfort is has won numerous awards for their bourbon technique. It is a true art.

17

Eastern Kentucky University

College Choice Score: 61.50

Average Net Price: $11,561

School Website

Eastern Kentucky University

Overview

Eastern Kentucky University was founded in 1906 in Richmond, Kentucky. The goal was to train teachers for Kentucky schools. The motion was started by the Kentucky general assembly. In 1922, Eastern Kentucky became a 4-year institution with the first bachelor degrees awarded in 1928. In 1966, Eastern Kentucky changed their name to Eastern Kentucky University so that it could award various graduate degrees outside the field of education.

Features

Today, there are over 14,000 undergraduates and 2,400 graduate students that study on either the main campus or one of its 6 satellite campuses in online, undergraduate or graduate programs. Over half of the classes have less than 20 students in the class. So, there is a student faculty ratio of 16 to 1. Top majors include:

  • Education
  • Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting
  • Health Professions
  • Business
  • Forensic Science

Notables

Eastern Kentucky University’s main campus in Richmond, Kentucky, is on 675 acres in a suburban environment. There is plenty of activities for students to attend on campus and off. The University has an award-winning Honors Program and Mock Trail Team. Both are recognized as one of the nation’s best programs for developing the next generation leaders.

18

Brescia University

College Choice Score: 61.10

Average Net Price: $10,795

School Website

Brescia University

Overview

Brescia University was founded in 1925 by the Ursuline Sisters in Maple Mount, Kentucky. It started as a junior college to prepare women for college and to get a college degree. After a while, they set up co-educational extension courses in Owensboro, Kentucky. By 1949, the Sisters merged the Maple Mount campus into Owensboro and moved their administrative offices there. By 1951, the name changed to what it is known as today: Brescia University.

Features

Today, Brescia University serves as the co-ed Catholic university with an undergraduate enrollment of 1043. It is located in the heart of Owensboro on 9 acres. Over 90% of the classes have less than 20 students. The student-faculty ratio is 12 to 1. Popular majors are

  • Social Work
  • Psychology
  • Audiology & Speech-Language Pathologist
  • Business & Commerce
  • Liberal Arts & Sciences

Notables

Owensboro, Kentucky is the fourth largest city in Kentucky located on the southern banks of the Ohio River. It has the only year-round municipal ice arena in Kentucky. Every summer they have an international Bar-B-Q Festival and call it the Bar-B-Q capital of the world. Owensboro offers a rich array of opportunities to expand your experience at Brescia.

19

Western Kentucky University

College Choice Score: 59.02

Average Net Price: $11,072

School Website

Western-Kentucky-University-1024x678

Overview

Western Kentucky University was created to serve a need in the Kentucky community: a lack of teachers. In 1906, the Kentucky General Assembly appointed two locations with teacher training institutions. The site selected in Bowling Green, Kentucky went on to be known as Western Kentucky University. Initial classes started in 1907. By 1922, the site could grant 4-year degrees. After several additional mergers, the school became known as Western Kentucky University.

Features

Western Kentucky University is part of the NCAA Division I athletics. They are also known for their academics. There are six schools within the university that have classes on the main campus and on 3 regional sites. All together there are over 17,595 undergraduates study at this institution. Another 2,600 students are graduate students. Even with the large number of students, Western Kentucky University is able to have a 18 to 1 student faculty ratio and almost half of the classes have less than 20 students. Popular majors include:

  • Liberal Arts & Humanities
  • Nursing
  • Business Administration
  • Elementary Education
  • Biology

Notables

In addition to the various student activities and traditions, there are numerous ghost stories. Some only show up on an anniversary but there are others that are more active and vibrant within the community. When you are on campus, you should ask about it.

20

Thomas More College

College Choice Score: 58.82

Average Net Price: $19,734

School Website

Thomas More College

Overview

Thomas More College is in the small town of Crestview Hills, Kentucky – is near Cincinnati, OH. It was founded in 1921 by the Benedictine sisters as Villa Madonna College to train catholic school teachers and education for young women. In 1929, the first graduating class and the responsibility changed from Benedictine Sisters to the Diocese of Covington. Over time, it became co-educational and directly connected with St. Thomas Moore College. By 1945, the two colleges merged under the name Villa Madonna. In 1968, the college moved to Crestview Hills and the college branding changed to Thomas More College and dedicated by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Features

Today, Thomas More College has over 1900 students that are taking traditional, accelerated and online opportunities. They enjoy over 35 student organizations and over 71% of their classes have less than 20 students. Top Majors include:

  • Business Administration
  • Biology and Biological Sciences
  • Nursing
  • Psychology
  • English Language & Literature

Notables

Thomas More College has an impressive graduation and certification rate for the nursing and education students. 100% of graduating nursing students passed the NCLEX exam. 100% of all undergraduate education majors passed the Praxis tests for certifications.

21

Northern Kentucky University

College Choice Score: 58.17

Average Net Price: $8,298

School Website

Northern Kentucky University

Overview

Northern Kentucky University started in 1946 as a way for students to take extension classes from the University of Kentucky. Because the need was so great, lawmakers in Northern Kentucky lobbied to create Northern Kentucky University is in Highland Heights, Kentucky. Just 7 miles south of Cincinnati, Ohio. Since then, the university has expanded in every way including partnering with local community engagement.

Features

Today, Northern Kentucky University serves over 14,000 students. Students can participate in over 100 campus organizations and NCAA sports. There are over 70 undergraduate and over 30 graduate programs to pursue. Popular majors include:

  • Organizational Behavior Studies
  • Nursing
  • Psychology
  • Business
  • Communications

Notables

Northern Kentucky University has the Haile Digital Planetarium. It is the first laser projection planetarium stystem to be installed on a higher education campus. There are only six other planetariums that have this technology. Even if studying the heavens is not in your educational plan, it would be worth auditing a class or taking a tour at this facility.

22

Kentucky Christian University

College Choice Score: 57.91

Average Net Price: $19,298

School Website

Kentucky Christian University

Overview

Kentucky Christian University was established in Grayson, Kentucky in 1919 by co-founders J. W. Lusby, J. O. Snodgrass, and R. B. Neal. It is affiliated with Churches of Christ denomination in Eastern Kentucky. When it first opened, it was a high school and junior college. In the 1920s, the high school was phased out. In 1944, the junior college became a 4-year institution. Then in 2004, the college changed its name to Kentucky Christian University.

Features

Today, there are 613 students that attend classes in an average class size of 14 students at this 121-acre campus. These students study over 42 majors and minors. There is high interaction with faculty due to the 12 to 1 student-faculty ratio. Popular majors include:

  • Biblical Studies
  • Nursing
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • Business Administration

Notables

Several well-known music groups have come out of Kentucky Christian University. One is Audio Adrenaline, a Christian, Alternative rock with some funk and rap influences that started in the mid-1980s. Another musical group is called Bleach, a Christian rock band that started in 1990s that had its music played on various TV shows.

23

Morehead State University

College Choice Score: 57.82

Average Net Price: $11,373

School Website

Morehead State University

Overview

Morehead State University was founded in 1887 as a church-sponsored school to train teachers in the foothills of the Daniel Boone National Forest in Rowan County. It is in a city called Morehead, Kentucky, located halfway between Lexington, Kentucky and Huntington, West Virginia.

Features

Today, Morehead State has over 10,600 students studying at the undergraduate and graduate levels at the main campus and four regional centers. There are 140 undergraduate degrees and 70 graduate programs to study. Students also enjoy an average class size of 19 students with a student-faculty ratio of 18 to 1. There are over 100+ student organizations to join, including Greek Life and NCAA Division 1 Sports. Popular majors include:

  • Nursing
  • Social work
  • Business
  • Sociology
  • Radiation Therapy

Notables

Morehead State University is ranked the safest in the nation. It is located in a rural area with over 1187-acres. 30 of those acres include Eagle Lake and hiking trails. The student Recreation and Wellness center has all sorts of activities to energize the body: ropes course, fitness areas, swimming pool, etc.

24

University of Pikeville

College Choice Score: 55.36

Average Net Price: $16,099

School Website

University of Pikeville

Overview

The University of Pikeville opened in 1889 as an outreach of the Presbyterian Church for primary and secondary education in Pikeville, PA. In 1909, the State of Kentucky allowed them to start offering 2-year degrees. In 1961, it became a 4-year institution. In 2010, it became a tobacco free campus. In 2011, it is rebranded as the University of Pikeville.

Features

Today, the University of Pikeville has 1150 undergraduate students and over 750 graduate students. On the rural campus of 25 acres, students will find that over 50% of their classes have less than 20 students and strong connection with the faculty with a 15 to 1 student-faculty ratio. Popular majors include:

  • Business Administration
  • Biology
  • Nursing
  • Communications
  • Psychology

Notables

The University is home to the Kentucky college of Osteopathic Medicine. It is one of three medical schools in the state of Kentucky.

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Midway University

College Choice Score: 50.45

Average Net Price: $18,346

School Website

Midway College

Overview

Midway University was originally created to be the Kentucky Female Orphan School in Midway, Kentucky. The founders were Dr. Lewis Letig Pinkerton and James Ware Parrish who were affiliated with the Disciples of Christ Church who were looking to educate the orphans so that they could have a better life. The school has gone through several different names over the years. Yet, it remained the only women’s college in Kentucky. However, the last name change prompted a fundamental change within the organization. As of Fall 2016, Midway University is now a co-ed institution.

Features

Midway University has one main campus and one off campus site. Between the two sites, there are 1194 undergraduates and over 400 graduate students studying on 200 acres. There are over 30 areas for students to choose. However, the more popular majors include:

  • Business
  • Equine Studies
  • Nursing
  • Healthcare
  • Education

Notables

Midway, Kentucky is a rural town of 3,000 people. However, it has been the center of history several times. It houses the world’s top Thoroughbred farms and bourbon distillery. But those are just some of the unique things about the area. It is also the center of a church doctrine discord and split a congregation forever. The disagreement was over a melodeon – which is an early piano.

Degree Finder

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