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Berea College at a Glance

Berea Overview

Berea College offers a high-quality liberal arts education to students who have great promise but limited economic resources. Founded upon inclusive Christian principles in 1855, Berea College was the first interracial and coeducational college in the South. The College promotes understanding and kinship among all people, service to communities in Appalachia and beyond, and sustainable living practices that set an example of new ways to conserve our limited natural resources.

Tuition and Other Costs

Every Berea student is awarded a four-year, full-tuition scholarship. The amount of the scholarship will vary depending on financial need and the presence of any additional outside scholarships. The important thing is that, together, these resources cover the entire cost of tuition, which totals $22,100 per student in 2013-14. The tuition cost to students and their families is $0.
But a Berea education isn’t free. We have the same financial obligations as other colleges. The difference is our endowment. It’s a resource made available by people who believe exceptional students shouldn’t be denied an outstanding education. This endowment helps offset the costs of higher education and allows our students to focus on their schooling, not how they’re going to pay for it.



Room and Board $6,150 / year
Fees $1,070 / year
Books / Supplies $2,550 / year

Our Great Commitments

Berea College, founded by ardent abolitionists and radical reformers, continues today as an educational institution still firmly rooted in its historic purpose “to promote the cause of Christ.” Adherence to the College’s scriptural foundation, ”God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” shapes the College’s culture and programs so that students and staff alike can work toward both personal goals and a vision of the world shaped by Christian values, such as the power of love over hate, human dignity and equality, and peace with justice.

Our Great Commitments

Majors, Minors, and Programs

Berea College offers bachelor degrees in 33 majors, including arts and sciences and select professional programs as well as independent, student designed majors.


  • 1,587 undergraduates representing 46 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and 56 countries other than the U.S.
  • 71% of students from the Appalachian region and Kentucky
  • 23% minority student enrollment—364 students (not including international students)
  • 8% international student enrollment—120 students

Student Life

  • Convocation series brings notable national and regional  speakers, scholars, and performers to campus.
  • Wellness program encourages healthy lifestyles by offering free personal training to students.
  • A member of the National Collegiate Althletic Association (NCAA) in Division III. Berea fields teams in 16 intercollegiate sports (8 men’s and 8 women’s) as well as a cheerleading squad.
  • More than 60 student clubs and organizations

Labor Program

  • Every student works 10-15 hours per week while carrying a full academic load.
  • Students gain valuable job experience for their future careers by working in more than 100 College offices, departments, and programs off campus.


Berea, with a population of 14,148, is located 35 miles south of Lexington, where Kentucky’s Bluegrass Region meets the foothills of the Cumberland Mountains. The Kentucky legislature designated Berea the “Folk Arts and Crafts Capital of Kentucky.” The College is located near the center of town and is easily accessible by car from Interstate 75. Driving time from Louisville, Kentucky; Knoxville, Tennessee; or Cincinnati, Ohio is about two hours. Commercial airline service is available through Blue Grass Airport in Lexington.


Berea College, Berea, KY 40404, Phone: 859-985-3000; toll-free: 800-457-9846


The College environment is designed to enhance student learning, and features:

  • 140 beautifully landscaped acres on central campus.
  • Historical buildings showcasing many eras of American architecture, including Draper Hall classroom building (modeled after Philadelphia’s Independence Hall); Phelps Stokes Auditorium (a 1,500 seat facility built by students in 1904); Danforth Chapel; Fairchild Hall (the first brick building on campus); Jekyll Drama Center; Seabury Center (for physical education and health); and the Woods-Penniman Crossroads Complex.
  • A residential campus with 14 residence halls and 2 specialty houses, plus 50 family housing apartments, accommodating about 88% of students on campus.
  • Berea College Ecovillage student family housing complex, including a state-of-the-art child care center for 120 children. The Ecovillage models sustainable living with ecological design elements to vastly reduce energy and water usage, and to model sustainable living.
  • 8,400 acres of forest and 1,200 acres for instruction in agriculture and natural resources.
  • Historic Boone Tavern Hotel on College Square, staffed with a number of student workers.


133 full-time; 35 part-time

Student/Faculty Ratio


Living Alumni


Graduation Rate

61.7% (Statistics show that the types of students we serve have a less than 10 percent chance of graduating from college by the age of 24.)


  • Each student receives the equivalent of a full-tuition scholarship worth $22,100 annually
  • Nationally recognized labor program in which all students participate
  • Serves the Appalachian region and the Commonwealth of Kentucky
  • National recognition for innovative and outstanding service learning
  • For the second consecutive year, Berea College tops Kiplinger’s list of the country’s best-value private colleges where students pay less than $20,000 a year. In determining the ranking, Kiplinger cited Berea College’s generous financial aid and commitment to providing an education to students with limited financial resources.
  • Listed as one of the top 378 colleges in the nation by Princeton Review in 2014.
  • Berea College’s Speech and Debate Team received a top 10 national ranking by the National Parliamentary Debate Association for the 2013-2014 season.
  • Berea College’s Deep Green Residence Hall has earned LEED Platinum Certification, making the facility the highest-scoring, LEED-certified residence hall in the world.
  • A record 13 students were awards the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad in 2014. This has made Berea College the #1 receiving private school in the United States for Gilman Scholarship this summer- and in the top ten in the nation overall.
  • Multiple Compton, Fulbright, Truman, Udall, and Watson fellowship winners.
  • Ranked #6 on the Top Colleges 2013: Best Value Colleges by Forbes in 2013.
  • Listed by Washington Monthly as #3 among America’s top liberal colleges in 2013.
  • Member of the President’s Higher Education Community Services Honor Roll in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011.
  • Best collection of resources documenting the Southern Appalachian region, gathered over nearly a century.
  • Ranked as the #1 liberal arts college in America by Washington Monthly in 2011.
  • One of the nation’s 25 most desirable small schools  - Newsweek, 2011. Berea was also named one of the 25 most desirable rural schools and one of the 25 most diverse schools by Newsweek.
  • Among the “Most Wired” colleges in American as ranked by U.S. News & World Report in 2011.
  • Historic Boone Tavern Hotel and Restaurant on College Square is Kentucky’s first green hotel, having attained LEED Gold status in 2010.
  • Greenest school in Kentucky - 2010 College Sustainability Report Card.
  • Listed as a “Best Buy” college in 2009 by Forbes magazine.
  • Home to Kentucky’s first ecological village (Ecovillage), an ecologically-sustainable housing and learning complex with a state-of-the-art child care facility.
  • Lincoln Hall was the first Kentucky building certified by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) in 2004.

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