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We’re looking for students with grit, determination and financial need. Students ready to take on a rigorous, top-ranked liberal arts education and turn it into a rewarding career. Students willing to work, to grow, and to expand their horizons through diversity. And students who want to join a community of support that is invested in their success.
Is this you? Learn more about what Berea College has to offer.
[Berea College is] the best in the nation at enrolling low-income students, and among the best at getting them to the podium on Commencement Day – at exceptionally low cost.
The Berea Difference
Berea College moved up three spots from its 2022 ranking in the Washington Monthly College Guide and Rankings.
Berea College is one of only 34 colleges nationwide—and the only Kentucky college—to receive Money Magazine’s highest rating. The magazine rated 736 colleges with above-average graduation rates on quality, affordability and future earning potential.
The national average for student loan debt is $35,000.
$0. That’s how much 1,454 Berea College students paid for tuition last year. Berea College believes your income shouldn’t limit your outcome, which is why we have not charged students tuition since 1892.
Recognized among America’s top schools, Berea College combines academic rigor with a diverse and supportive learning community. Berea College offers majors in more than 33 fields of study that can lead to Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and/or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees. Don’t see your exact major? An Independent Major option is available to students who want to pursue a customized field of study that isn’t already an established major program. Explore what Berea has to offer!
I am absolutely at a loss for words. This experience has been so great for me, and I could not ask for a better transition to college. Everyone has been so welcoming and helpful, I love all my classes, I love my roommate, my labor position, I love the spirit of the school, I have already made an emotional connection to this school. The campus has felt like more of a home to me than any of my other homes growing up. This is truly the place that I belong.
We're in this together
Nationally, just 21 percent of first generation and economically disadvantaged students graduate college within six years. At Berea, our graduation rate for these groups is three times as high.
It’s because we know that just selecting you for admission is not enough. Low-income students face pressures and life situations that wealthier students do not. Because of that, Berea College has developed programming to help students transition into college, through college, and out into a career after college. It helps, too, that all of our students are in the same financial boat, meaning nobody is alone here.
Learn more about the ways Berea College supports students and fosters belonging throughout the college experience.
Washington Monthly’s college rankings try to do just that, by rating institutions on their commitment to three goals: social mobility, public service and research. Rather than laud the universities that mostly cater to the sons and daughters of the wealthy, we reward those that welcome students from everyday and low-income backgrounds and help them to graduate on time, with good jobs and low debt.
Students answer your questions.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
A Diverse Experience
It's important that we continue the legacy of the South's first interracial and co-educational college
Our students come from 45 states, 1 U.S. Territory and 70 countries.
Most Berea students will be the first in their families to earn a four-year college degree
Diversity is in our DNA
Since 1855, Berea College has believed in the power of education to transform students and employees from all walks of life. The College was the first interracial, co-educational institution established in the South. Founded by ardent abolitionist, John G. Fee, the institution of Berea firmly believes that, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth.” This is the motto of the school.
Many former and current students will tell you their experience with diversity at Berea shaped them in several ways. It has made them better students, leaders, and people.
Since the 1800s, Berea College has been a leader in higher education. Because our founder, Rev. John G. Fee, was a staunch abolitionist advocating for immediate emancipation and full citizenship for enslaved Africans, diversity has always been in our DNA. The mission wasn’t just racial equality, but to erase the very idea that superficial attributes, including wealth, had anything to do with whether a student “deserved” a good education.
Berea College hires every student to work campus jobs that enhance their education while preparing them for life after college. When our students enter the professional world, the experience they have gained in the labor program gives them an advantage over graduates from other schools. Learn more about the program.
Novelist Alix Harrow ‘09 is the youngest woman in the history of the Hugo Awards to be nominated for best novel.
Life at Berea
Berea College offers a collaborative learning environment where faculty, staff and students grow as individuals and as a community.
Nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Berea is a place where art, crafts, music and the imagination thrive. We support a wealth of local eateries, and the area is a favorite of outdoor enthusiasts—including biking, hiking, kayaking and more.
On campus, we offer engaging programs, athletics, and 60+ active recognized organizations and clubs.