Rankings and Faculty Recognition

A chemistry class in the Margaret A. Cargill Natural Sciences and Health Building
Berea College students learn in classrooms with faculty from prestigious graduate programs across the nation and the world. The student-to-faculty ratio is 10:1.

Major media outlets say great things about Berea College. Top national and international evaluators of higher education consistently rank Berea College number one for academic quality, affordability, sustainability, diversity, low debt and a host of other things that actually matter to you. But don’t just take our word for it. See for yourself what the experts have to say about Berea College.

Rankings by Year

The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education says: “No. 1 Best Value”

For the third consecutive year, The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education (WSJ/THE) put Berea College at the top of the list of “Best Value Colleges” out of 250 schools in the nation. Berea’s no-tuition model contributed to this No. 1 best-value ranking. Plus, the College ranked No. 144 overall among more than 800 institutions (tops among schools in Kentucky), climbing from 155 last year.

Washington Monthly says:  At No. 3, Berea College maintains “consistently high rankings.”

Berea was named the nation’s No. 3 top liberal arts college in the 2020 Washington Monthly College Rankings guide. No other college in Kentucky was in the top 50. Such recognition comes from Berea’s success in educating and graduating academically talented, low-income students who become service-oriented leaders in their professions and communities.

Washington Monthly says: “No. 1 Best Bang for the Buck”

Washington Monthly again ranked Berea College No. 1 “Best Bang for the Buck” among colleges in the South. Washington Monthly lauded Berea for maintaining “consistently high rankings thanks to [Berea’s] economic diversity . . . strong graduation rates and commitment to meeting students’ financial need.”

The Princeton Review says: “one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduates to earn their college degree.”

The Princeton Review cited Berea College as “one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduates to earn their college degree.” Only 14 percent of America’s 2,800 four-year colleges were profiled by the Princeton Review in The Best 386 Colleges: 2021 edition of the annual college guide. The publication has also recognized Berea as:

  • Best Value College, based on academic rigor, affordability and graduates’ career outcomes
  • Best Green College
  • Tuition-Free Schools

The Princeton Review says: “Berea College is one of the nation’s most environmentally responsible colleges”

The guide, which profiles 416 colleges, is a resource college applicants can use to identify schools with exemplary commitments to the environment and sustainability. In addition to its annual Guide to Green Colleges, The Princeton Review is known for its dozens of categories of annual college rankings and books, including The Best 386 CollegesThe Best Value CollegesBest Southeastern and Tuition-Free Schools, all of which feature Berea College.

U.S. Department of State says: “Berea is Top Producer for Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program”

Berea College was named the top U.S. college with the most undergraduates to earn a Gilman International Scholarship during 2018-2019, with 21. The recognition is for colleges with enrollments under 5,000. Berea also was recognized in other categories, including:

  • Top producers for first-generation students
  • Top producer for most diverse destinations for studying abroad

The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education says: “No. 1 Best Value”

Berea College tops the list of “Best Value Colleges” according to The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education (WSJ/THE) in its 2020 College Rankings. Berea’s Tuition Promise Scholarship contributed to this top “best-value” ranking. The College ranked No. 155 overall among more than 800 institutions.

The Princeton Review says: Berea is one of the nation’s most environmentally responsible colleges”

The Princeton Review again included Berea College in The Best 385 Colleges: 2020 Edition. The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges also said, “Berea College is a model for sustainability in higher education for the Appalachian region and beyond.”

Nursing Explorer says: Berea College has “the best-value RN program” in Kentucky

Berea College is ranked by Nursing Explorer as the best-value RN program, taking the No. 1 spot out of 39 programs ranked in Kentucky.

U.S. Department of State says: “Berea is Top Producer for Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program”

The U.S. Department of State recognized Berea College as one of the U.S. higher education institutions that sent the most students to study abroad through the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program in the previous academic year. Berea was noted for its success in making international study and internships more accessible and inclusive for American students of all backgrounds through the Gilman program.

Berea College was cited for success in seven categories:

  • Top Producer: Small Colleges and Universities (less than 5,000 undergrads)
  • Top Producer: First-Generation College Students
  • Top Producer: Most Unique Destinations
  • Top Producer: Students with Disabilities
  • Top Producer: Racial and Ethnic Minority Students
  • Greatest Growth: First-Generation College Students
  • Greatest Growth: Students with Disabilities

The Princeton Review says: Berea is “Best Bang for Your Buck”

Berea was named in The Princeton Review’s book, Colleges That Pay You Back: The 200 Schools That Give You the Best Bang for Your Tuition Buck. Only 7 percent of the nation’s four-year colleges earn inclusion in this publication.

OnStage says: “Berea’s Theatre Department in top 25 Bachelor programs in America.”

OnStage Blog, a media site that covers theatre on an international level, ranked Berea College’s Theatre Department in the top 25 Bachelor of Arts programs in America. A major highlight was Berea’s “First Theatre in Human Culture” course, which studies the first theatres and extant play scripts of selected human cultures representing Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe.

The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education says: “No. 1 Best Value”

The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education (WSJ/THE) ranked Berea College No. 1 on the list of “Best Value Colleges.”

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance says: Berea, at No. 1, is “Best College Value” for “Least Graduate Debt”

Berea College was named as the No. 1 College with Lowest Average Graduating Debt by Kiplinger Personal Finance. The publication also ranked Berea among the top 50 of Liberal Arts Colleges (#49) in the U.S. and in the top 100 of all colleges and universities ( No. 95) in its list of the 300 Best College Values for 2018.

Washington Monthly says: Berea is “Nation’s top liberal arts college” and “Best Bang for the Buck College in the South”

For the third consecutive year, Washington Monthly ranked Berea College No. 1 in two major classifications, citing Berea as the nation’s No. 1 liberal arts college and ranking Berea the No. 1 Best Bang for the Buck College in the South.

INSIGHT into Diversity says: Berea is one of 96 institutions to receive its Higher Education Excellence in Diversity or HEED Award.

The HEED Award is the only national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion across campus.

Recognition

DIVERSE says of Dr. Nicholas Hartlep: “…has amassed an impressive research agenda”

DIVERSE, a national magazine focused on diverse issues in higher education, featured Dr. Nicholas Hartlep, chair of the Education Studies Department at Berea College and noted he is “intent on lending his voice to the national discourse surrounding the plight of education in America.”

Oak Ridge Associated Universities says: “Dr. Suzanne Birner, assistant professor at Berea College, wins the Ralph Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement award.”

Dr. Birner competed with 167 applicants, many from R1 institutions (doctoral universities with the highest level of research activity) and won the $5,000 grant award, which is matched by each applicant’s institution.

Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame says: bell hooks is one of the most influential cultural critics of our time”

bell hooks, Berea College’s Distinguished Professor in Residence in Appalachian Studies,  author, feminist and social activist, is one of four writers inducted into the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame in 2018.

Fellowship of Southern Writers inducts Silas House into Fellowship of Southern Writers:

Silas House, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Chair of Appalachian Studies at Berea College, was inducted into the Fellowship of Southern Writers, (founded by writers such as Robert Penn Warren and Eudora Welty) which recognizes writers from the region who are making the biggest impact.

Huffington Post says bell hooks is:Iconic Black Trailblazer” in Kentucky

bell hooks, professor in residence in Berea College’s Appalachian Center was named as one of “50 Iconic Black Trailblazers Who Represent Every State In America” by Huffington Post.