Berea College Featured in The Princeton Review Guide to Green Colleges 2021 Edition

 

Berea College sign on campus

(Photo: Crystal Wylie ’05)

Berea College is one of the nation’s most environmentally responsible colleges, according to The Princeton Review’s 11th annual Guide to Green 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.

The Princeton Review chose schools based on a survey of administrators at 695 colleges in 2019-20 about their institutions’ commitments to the environment and sustainability. The company’s editors analyzed more than 25 survey data points in the process of choosing schools for the guide.

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Tags: Accolade, LEED, Princeton Review, sustainability

Berea College Ranked No. 1 “Best Value College” by The Wall Street Journal/THE

A Berea College student reading the Wall Street Journal's article ranking Berea College Number 1Berea College once again tops the list of “Best Value Colleges” in the nation in The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education (THE) 2021 College Rankings. Berea’s no-tuition model contributed to its No. 1 best-value ranking.

To determine the best value among the top 250 schools WSJ/THE divided each institution’s overall score by its net price, which includes the total cost of attending a school, such as tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies, minus federal or institutional financial aid that doesn’t have to be repaid. Students who don’t receive any aid aren’t included in the calculation. The College ranked No. 144 overall, climbing from l55 last year.

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Tags: Accolade, best-value private colleges, Times Higher Education, Wall Street Journal

Berea Ranked No. 1 as Best Bang for the Buck and No. 3 Best Liberal Arts College

Washington Monthly 2020 College Rankings CoverWashington Monthly ranked Berea College No. 1 as the Best Bang for the Buck Colleges in the South. Berea also 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 for Berea comes from its success in educating and graduating academically talented, low-income students who become service-oriented leaders in their professions and communities. Last year, Berea held the No. 1 and No. 4 spots respectively.

Berea College was recognized by Washington Monthly author Robert Kelchen for maintaining “consistently high rankings thanks to their economic diversity, relatively strong graduation rates and commitment to meeting students’ financial need.”

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Tags: Accolade, Washington Monthly

Berea Named One of the Best 386 Colleges in the Princeton Review’s 2021 Guide

The Best 386 Colleges Princeton Review CoverThe Princeton Review has once again cited Berea College as “one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduates to earn their college degree.” This citation was made in their just-released publication of The Best 386 Colleges: 2021 edition of the annual college guide.

Berea is nationally recognized for its high-quality education and its distinctive labor program, which hires every admitted student to help operate the school. Berea is also known for its Tuition Promise Scholarship that covers more than $44,000 in annual tuition costs for every student. Berea’s students mostly come from families making an average of $29,000 and are the first in their families to attend college.

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Tags: Accolade, Princeton Review, tuition, Tuition-free

Statement on Supreme Court Ruling Protecting LGBTQ+ Members in the Workplace

Drone photo over campus with a rainbow in the background

We are heartened by the recent Supreme Court ruling that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects members of the LGBTQ+ community from discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation and gender identity. At Berea College, we are guided by the motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth.” That all-encompassing scripture from Acts 17:26 implies that we are all equal, giving no consideration to race, gender, ethnicity, economic status, religion or sexual orientation. The Court’s ruling affirms our commitment to employees and provides another level of security in the workplace. June is Pride Month, and yesterday, June 28, was the 50th anniversary of the first Pride march, held on the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. We, indeed, are of one blood.

Categories: News, Places
Tags: Civil Rights, Human rights, lgbtq, Mission

Berea College Announces Plan for Fall Semester; All Students Invited to Return to Campus

The Administrative Committee of Berea College has decided to invite all Berea students to return for the upcoming semester. The fall 2020 semester will begin on Aug. 12 and conclude Nov. 24, prior to Thanksgiving.

The Administrative Committee carefully reviewed input from various College groups, including the Division Council, logistics groups and the Fall Re-opening Task Force, as well as information from various agencies regarding the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic nationally, statewide and locally to inform its decision.

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Tags: coronavirus, covid-19, fall 2020

An important announcement from President Lyle Roelofs regarding the Fall 2020 semester

We’re excited to invite all Berea College students to return to campus this fall. Adhering to our Great Commitments, we aim to create a democratic community, allowing students to make the best decision for themselves about whether to return to campus during this challenging time. Hear more from President Lyle Roelofs and see some key takeaways below.

  • The Fall 2020 semester will begin on August 12 and will conclude prior to Thanksgiving.
  • Students will have three choices: to return to campus, continue distance learning or defer their semester (we will share more details as further decisions are finalized).
  • We will be operating with heightened sensitivity to healthy behaviors that everyone on campus must strictly follow.
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Tags: coronavirus, covid-19, fall 2020

As ‘Working College,’ Berea Provides High Quality at No Cost

Originally posted by Kentucky Ag Connection

Student loan debt in the United States is no joke. The total amount of debt has tripled since 2005 with college graduates and former students owing a jaw-dropping $1.6 trillion. Student loan debt is only surpassed by mortgage debt in the U.S.

The debt burden today’s college grads are carrying is actually changing the way millennials live their lives when compared to previous generations. Some have delayed marriage, put off buying a home, and even foregone having children due to their student loan burdens.

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Tags: Labor Program, Mission, Student debt, tuition, Work College

As a ‘Working College,’ Berea College Provides High-Quality Education to Low-Income Students at No Cost

Guest post by Matt Walker, credit strategist and contributing editor to badcredit.org

Student loan debt in the United States is no joke. The total amount of debt has tripled since 2005 with college graduates and former students owing a jaw-dropping $1.6 trillion. Student loan debt is only surpassed by mortgage debt in the U.S.

The debt burden today’s college grads are carrying is actually changing the way millennials live their lives when compared to previous generations. Some have delayed marriage, put off buying a home, and even foregone having children due to their student loan burdens.

The student loan crisis recently gained a bit more attention on the national stage as COVID-19 has spread across the country. Social distancing and shelter-at-home orders have left millions out of work. Thankfully, Congress was able to quickly come together to pass the CARES Act, which halted student loan payments for six months and also paused collections on overdue student loan payments.

But after the COVID-19 crisis ends, the student loan debt crisis will remain.

What if students didn’t have to pay tuition to receive a high-quality college education? What if they went out into the world after four years debt-free and ready to contribute to society?

That’s what’s happening at Berea College in Berea, Kentucky. The private college uses its endowment to accept academically promising, low-income students who likely would not have any other way to pursue higher education. And as part of their tuition-free education, students work 10 hours or more per week for the college in some capacity.

As the college itself puts it, it’s the best education money can’t buy.

We recently spoke with Berea College’s President Dr. Lyle Roelofs about the institution’s history and differentiating approach to higher education.

An Institution Founded on Progressive Ideals in the Pre-Civil War Era

“The college actually goes back to just before the Civil War,” Roelofs said. “It was founded by an abolitionist. Early on, it wasn’t completely free but it was always interracial and co-educational from the start.”

Berea College was the vision of Rev. John G. Fee, who started the institution as a one-room school in the central Kentucky town in 1855.

Berea was the first interracial and co-educational college to be founded in the South.“Fee, a native of Bracken County, Ky., was a scholar of strong moral character, dedication, determination, and great faith,” according to the college website. “He believed in a school that would be an advocate of equality and excellence in education for men and women of all races.”

Like so many businesses and institutions in the south, the college shuttered its doors during the Civil War but reopened as a bigger and better institution shortly after the war ended. The college made its next big step toward the model it operates on today with the tenure of its third president, who made some big changes.

“One was to eliminate tuition and another was to provide on-campus jobs for every student,” Roelofs said. “The idea was that those two things would enable students — instead of going away, working for a semester, coming back, then going away, and coming back — they might be able just to go right through and get their degree.”

To replace the cost of tuition, the college began a fundraising campaign aimed at wealthy people, mostly in the Northeast, who were willing to support schools in the South during the Reconstruction Era, Roelofs said.

“That was successful. (The president) promoted our service to Appalachia,” Roelofs said. “The idea was, as he put it, ‘to educate those undiscovered Abraham Lincolns that are still in the mountains and would otherwise not have access because they just don’t have any money.”

In the 1920s, the college established an endowment to move away from a model of only fundraising.

These early visionary and progressive efforts laid the foundation for the successful institution that Berea College is today.

How the Working College Model Functions and Allows Students to Attend Tuition-Free

Roelofs said Berea College’s endowment has now grown to a point that on a per-student basis it is comparable to some of the most highly ranked colleges in the country, and so is able to support a very high-quality educational experience.

“Until the recent downturn, it was about $750,000 per student,” he said. “That spins off about $35,000 to $40,000 per student per year. And that’s the foundation for the business model. We also raise another $4 million from donors annually. And we get a lot of Pell support because we don’t take students unless they have high need.”

Besides accepting no tuition, one of Berea College’s other main distinctions is that it is one of only nine federally recognized Working Colleges in the U.S.Roelofs explained that if a student can afford to pay any tuition at all, his or her application will not be accepted at Berea College. The mean family income of the college’s first-year students is less than $30,000 per year.

At Berea, every student works 10 to 15 hours per week while carrying a full academic load. The students are able to choose work options in more than 100 college and off-campus programs.

“Students gain valuable workplace experience, earn money for books, food and other expenses, and their appreciation for the dignity and utility of labor is enhanced,” according to the Berea College website.

And there is plenty of work to go around.

“The students are such good workers that every department around here wants more students,” Roelofs said. “The jobs are there — we’re always short on students to fill every job.”

The big upside for Berea College students is that they can graduate from college debt-free, unlike students from so many other institutions in the U.S.

Roelofs said that about one-third of Berea College students don’t incur any debt at all. Other students may incur small debts if they want to study abroad for a semester or perhaps they have family members they help care for.

But for those two-thirds, the average debt upon graduation is a meager $6,700. Not bad, considering the average college graduate in 2017 left school with an average debt of $28,650.

An Academic Curriculum That Sets Students Up to Succeed and Share Their Success

Although Berea College’s business model as a Working College is much different than most higher education institutions, it still offers a high-caliber education in an array of degree programs.

Students can earn a Bachelor of Arts or Science degree in one of 32 different majors or choose alternative options such as student-designed majors or a dual-degree engineering program. Berea also houses 16 national and international honor societies.

“Berea’s educational experience provides students the knowledge and skills to successfully navigate the world,” according to the college website. “Berea provides a stimulating and challenging environment. Whether in the classroom, attending a Convocation, interning, studying abroad or linking labor with academic goals, the educational experience is truly like no other.”

Roelofs praised the students’ work ethic, saying they don’t take their education opportunity for granted. About 70% of Berea College students are from the Appalachian region, but overall, there are 1,600 undergraduate students representing nearly every U.S. state and more than 60 countries. And 1 out of 3 students is a person of color, according to the college.

“Berea students are much more aware that this is probably their best and only chance to get a college degree,” he said. “It’s not like, ‘If this doesn’t work out for me, Mom and Dad will let me transfer to another school, and they’ll continue to pay tuition.’ If you don’t make it at Berea, you probably don’t have other good options. Maybe you go into the military or to a community college and see how that goes.”

Additionally, the student body is less cynical than it may be at other schools, Roelofs said.

And with Berea College graduates entering the workforce with little to no debt, they are free to make positive impacts on society and help their families in ways that may not have otherwise been possible.

“When you change the economic trajectory of a student’s life you actually change many trajectories,” Roelofs said. “That student will go on to have a family, and that family will be in completely different circumstances than they otherwise would have.”

This also means the student can help his or her other family members, such as parents, brothers, sisters, and cousins as well.

“So the impact of changing one life is really much, much broader than that one life,” he said.

Berea College has seen its graduates go on to an array of successful careers. One graduate won the Nobel Prize, Roelofs said, while another went on to become a doctor who founded the Cancer Center at Vanderbilt University.

While Berea College’s business model may not be realistic for every higher education institution, maybe it can serve as an inspiration for leaders and decision-makers to seek alternatives to the current system that has resulted in student debt problems for so many.

Categories: News, Places
Tags: History, Mission, Student debt, tuition, Tuition-free

Berea Certified as a Bee Campus USA Affiliate

Student beekeeper examining a honey super

Berea College is now certified as an affiliate of the Bee Campus USA program.

Long known as a leader in sustainability and stewardship of natural resources, Berea College is the 85th educational institution in the nation to achieve certification of its efforts in creating sustainable habitats for pollinators, which are vital to feeding the planet.

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Tags: Bee Campus USA, beekeeping, sustainability

Berea College Recognized for Outstanding Service to Environmental Education

Berea College forester speaking with visitors at the Forestry Outreach Center

Berea College Forester Clint Patterson speaking with visitors to the Forestry Outreach Center. (Photo: Moriah Avery ’21)

Berea College was recognized by the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) with the 2019 Outstanding Service to Environmental Education by an Organization award for incorporating environmental education into its sustainability initiatives.

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Tags: Accolade, Berea College Farm Store, environmental conservation, Forestry, Forestry Outreach Center, sustainability

NAACP Honors Berea College

NAACP Banquet Group

The Richmond-Madison County (Ky.) branch of the NAACP honored Berea College at the recent Freedom Fund Banquet.

The NAACP recognized Berea College because it was the first interracial and co-educational college in the South, and for its inclusive Christian character expressed in its motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth.”

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Tags: Accolade, Freedom Fund Banquet, NAACP, Sharyn Mitchell

NPR Features Berea College’s No Tuition Policy and Labor Program

Draper Building

Berea College was the focus of a feature story by Jeff Tyler recently broadcast by National Public Radio. Tyler, a journalist for NPR’s Marketplace and All Things Considered, recently visited Berea’s campus to prepare the story that focused on how Berea College and Alice Lloyd College provide no-tuition enrollment for college students and offer examples other American colleges might follow.

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Tags: Labor Program, NPR, tuition, Tuition-free

Berea College Featured in The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges: 2019 Edition

Aerial view of Berea's campus in the summer

(Photo: Jay Buckner)

Berea College is one of the nation’s most environmentally responsible colleges, according to The Princeton Review, the education services company that just published the 2019 edition of its Guide to Green Colleges.

Known as a leader in turning the Bluegrass state “green,” Berea College is one of 413 schools profiled in the new guide.

The guide is based on a survey the company conducted in 2018–19 of administrators at hundreds of four-year colleges about their institutions’ commitments to the environment and sustainability. The guide states, “Berea College is a model for sustainability in higher education for the Appalachian region and beyond.”

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Tags: Accolade, Boone Tavern, Deep Green, Deep Green Residence Hall, Ecovillage, LEED, Princeton Review, sustainability

CNN Features Berea as Counterpoint to American Admissions Scandals

Amid media coverage of the FBI’s “Varsity Blues” college scam cases, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria contrasted how Berea College offers “a high-quality education to economically-disadvantaged students in pursuit of their American dreams.”

A special CNN documentary that aired Sunday, October 20, examined how the college admissions process in America became so broken. Titled SCHEME and SCANDAL: Inside the College Admissions Crisis, the documentary investigated how some students and their high-profile celebrity parents have turned to criminal rigging of their applications in pursuit of entrance to the most in-demand colleges. The hour-long program also reported on lesser-known cases of cheating that did not make the headlines: paying bribes to coaches, admissions officers, and other school officials, hiring standardized test takers, obtaining false diagnoses to secure more time for testing, and more.

In contrast, Berea College was highlighted as an alternate model for access and affordability to quality higher education, especially for those who can least afford it. Students were interviewed and spoke about the opportunities Berea provides that they and their families could not otherwise afford. The program featured Berea’s distinctive no-tuition model and how the College’s endowment and contributions from alumni and other donors provides the capital to invest in lives of great promise.

The program will be rebroadcast on November 2, 2019. Check local listings for times in your area.

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Tags: Admissions, CNN, Fareed Zakaria, tuition, Tuition-free

Berea College Ranked No. 1 “Best Value College” by The Wall Street Journal/THE

A Berea College student reading the Wall Street Journal's article ranking Berea College Number 1Berea College tops the list of “Best Value Colleges” in the nation in The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education (THE) 2020 College Rankings. Looking at the top 250 schools overall, the rankings calculated which schools provide the best value by dividing each school’s overall score by its average net price according to data from the U.S. Department of Education. The average net price is the total cost of attending a school—including tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies, and other costs—minus federal or institutional financial aid that doesn’t have to be repaid. Students who don’t receive any aid aren’t included in the calculation.

Berea’s no-tuition model contributed to its No. 1 best-value ranking. The College ranked No. 155 overall.

“We are thrilled to be ranked at the top of this impressive list of colleges and universities and are proud to be leading a cohort of schools that are committed to the important American ideal of social mobility through educational opportunity,” said Berea College President Lyle Roelofs. “Our no-tuition policy allows us to provide talented students who might not otherwise be able to afford access to a high-quality liberal arts education and transformative experiences and enables them to graduate with little or no debt.”

Following Berea on the list are three schools in the City University of New York (CUNY) system: CUNY City College of New York, CUNY Bernard M. Baruch College and CUNY Hunter College. The University of Washington-Seattle rounds out the top five.

Eight of the top 10 best-value colleges in this year’s Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings are public schools whose financial resources are constrained by government budgets.

Read the Wall Street Journal article (pdf) and watch this segment from Spectrum News 1 about our ranking.

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Tags: Accolade, tuition, Tuition-free, Wall Street Journal

Berea College Cited as Top Performer in Sustainability

Cover image for the AASHE Sustainable Campus IndexBerea College gained the No. 1 spot in the nation for Campus Engagement in the newly released 2019 Sustainable Campus Index (SCI). The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) recognizes top-performing colleges and universities in 17 sustainability impact areas and overall by institution type, as measured by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) reporting system. Berea, long-known for a strong commitment to sustainability, was recognized with a perfect score for campus engagement. Since 2017, Berea College has had a “gold” STARS rating.

The newly-released SCI report also highlights innovative and high-impact initiatives from institutions that submitted STARS reports in the most recent calendar year. The institutions and initiatives featured in this year’s SCI showcase the great work higher education institutions are doing to lead the global sustainability transformation.

Berea College is a leader in “turning the blue grass state green,” achieving many sustainability “firsts.” Berea College had both the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified building in Kentucky (Lincoln Hall, the College’s administration building) and the first LEED-certified hotel (Historic Boone Tavern Hotel and Restaurant). Berea’s campus also is home to several LEED-certified residence halls and the newly-built Margaret A. Cargill Natural Sciences and Health Building (MAC), which was awarded LEED gold certification and full-project certification by the Forest Stewardship Council. Berea College is also home of the first Ecovillage in the commonwealth.Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council to assess and recognize buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance, LEED promotes environmentally- and socially-responsible construction and operation of green buildings in order to improve quality of life.

Facade of the Margaret A. Cargill Natural Sciences and Health Building
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Washington Monthly Ranks Berea No. 1 as Best Bang for the Buck and No. 4 Best Liberal Arts College

2019 Washington Monthly College Rankings magazine coverWashington Monthly ranked Berea College No. 1 as the Best Bang for the Buck Colleges in the South. No other college in Kentucky was in the top 25. Berea also was named the nation’s No. 4 top liberal arts college in the 2019 Washington Monthly College Rankings guide. The recognition for Berea comes from its success in educating and graduating academically talented, low-income students who become service-oriented leaders in their professions and communities.

In announcing the rankings, Washington Monthly author Robert Kelchen noted that there is “growing public attention paid to colleges’ roles in fostering upward social mobility among their students. This is our eighth year of producing a ranking of ‘best bang for the buck’ colleges, which is laser focused on showing which colleges do a good job promoting social mobility—and which don’t.”

Kelchen noted that Berea held the top spot again this year due to the College’s “economic diversity, relatively strong graduation rates and commitment to meeting students’ financial need.”

Washington Monthly’s rankings focus on what colleges are doing for the good of the country at large by the way they educate their students. The publication measures schools’ success in three key areas—social mobility (admitting and graduating low-income students), research and Ph.D. production and community service—to determine the rankings.

“We find such recognition for Berea’s success in serving students who might otherwise not be able to attend college most gratifying, especially since the criteria for Washington Monthly rankings aligns with Berea’s mission,” said Berea College President Lyle Roelofs. “The economic data and peer surveys that other publications use for their rankings typically favor wealthy, elite colleges. By contrast the Washington Monthly criteria recognizes the value of social mobility, transformative education and service, which are consistent with our ‘Great Commitments’ that inform Berea’s work and inspire support from donors.”

Berea’s distinctive mission is serving low-income students. Between 80 and 90 percent of Berea students receive federal Pell grants and annual household of students’ families is about $29,000. The national graduation rates for that demographic averages only in the mid-teens. By contrast, about two-thirds of Berea’s students graduate on time and a healthy number go on to earn doctoral and other advanced degrees.

The Washington Monthly College Rankings and guide appear online here.

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Tags: Accolade, Tuition-free, Washington Monthly

Berea Named One of the Best 385 Colleges in the Princeton Review’s 2020 Guide

Graduates celebrating in Seabury Center

(Photo: Crystal Wylie ’05)

Princeton Review 2020 CoverThe Princeton Review has once again included Berea College in its just-released publication of The Best 385 Colleges: 2020 Edition.

Berea is nationally recognized for its high-quality education and its distinctive labor program, which hires every admitted student to help operate the school. Berea is also known for its Tuition Promise Scholarship that covers the $44,100 annual tuition cost for every student. That is particularly meaningful for Berea’s students since most come from families making an average of $29,000 and are the first in their families to attend college.

The Princeton Review’s list of best colleges is based on input from students at America’s schools on a survey that asked students 84 questions about their school’s academics, administration, campus community and themselves. The answer format uses a five-point Likert scale to convert qualitative student assessments into quantitative data for school-to-school comparisons. The company does not rank the 385 schools in the book hierarchically, from 1 to 385 in any category. Instead The Princeton Review surveyed 140,000 students at 385 of the nation’s top colleges to rate their schools on dozens of topics important to applicants and their parents.

“Berea’s continued recognition among America’s top schools is gratifying,” said Lyle D. Roelofs, president of Berea College. “Berea’s no-tuition model is especially important to our students whose families seek the kind of high-quality liberal arts education Berea College offers, but cannot afford to pay tuition. The national attention on Berea from organizations such as The Princeton Review helps families connect with a school that will meet their needs. This recognition also puts a spotlight on Berea’s many alumni and friends whose contributions replace tuition so that our student’s outcomes are not limited by their financial situations.” 

“The 385 colleges for this edition were chosen as ‘best’ overall, academically, based on data gathered in 2018–19 from more than a thousand school administrators about their schools’ academic programs and offerings,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s editor-in-chief and lead author of the book.

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Tags: Accolade, Princeton Review, tuition, Tuition-free

Berea College Science Building Gains LEED Green Building Gold and FSC Certifications

MAC Building Exterior

Berea College announced that the newly-built Margaret A. Cargill Natural Sciences and Health Building (MAC) has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification and full project certification by the Forest Stewardship Council.

The LEED rating system was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to assess and recognize buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human-health performance. The Forest Stewardship Council, which promotes environmentally sound, socially beneficial and economically prosperous management of forests worldwide, certified the full project.

“Gaining LEED Gold is no easy task to accomplish with any building, much less one as large and complex as the MAC,” said Derrick Singleton, vice president of operations and sustainability at Berea College. “This building continues to support Berea’s mission to promote an environmentally safe and sustainable way of life.”

Berea College achieved LEED certification for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at achieving high performance in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

“We also received the Forest Stewardship Council’s Full Project Certification for the MAC,” said Richard Dodd, LEED AP, director of Project Management at Berea College. “This certification requires a full audit of all wood products used in construction and verified to have been sourced with ecological responsibility.”

“This makes Berea home to five of eight such FSC certified projects in the U.S. and one of only 85 worldwide. These are testaments of our efforts to ‘tread softly’ on the environment while still making big impacts,” Dodd continued.

LEED promotes environmentally- and socially-responsible construction and operation of green buildings in order to improve quality of life. Berea College had both the first LEED-certified building in Kentucky (Lincoln Hall, the College’s administration building) and the first LEED certified hotel (Historic Boone Tavern Hotel and Restaurant). Berea’s campus is also home to several LEED certified residence halls.

“Achieving LEED certification is more than implementing sustainable practices. It represents a commitment to making the world a better place and influencing others to do better,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC. “Given the extraordinary importance of climate protection and the central role of the building industry in that effort, Berea College demonstrates their leadership through their LEED certification of The Margaret A. Cargill Natural Sciences and Health project.

Categories: News, Places
Tags: Forest Stewardship Council, FSC certification, LEED, Margaret A. Cargill Natural Sciences and Health Building, sustainability

Elite and Affordable

Draper Building

Question: What do Harvard, Duke, Stanford, Princeton and Berea have in common?
Answer:  They were all named as the top five elite universities that also are the most affordable for low-income families.

Skyler Lucci, CEO of HeyTutor, says that with need-blind admissions and generous financial aid programs, “America’s most elite universities are also the most affordable for low-income families while also providing an excellent education.” Berea College is among the top 5.

Using data from research conducted by The Hamilton Project, an economic policy initiative at the Brookings Institution, Lucci’s article, published by T74 (the74million.org) states that sometimes students and parents don’t fully understand the financial aid process or the difference between the published and net prices. As a result, low-income students may (wrongly) assume elite schools will be too expensive for them, when in fact, substantial financial resources are available to them. For example, Lucci points out that “Unlike most colleges in the U.S., Berea does not charge tuition in the traditional sense. Instead, it covers costs through endowment income, funds from donations and other sources of financial aid.” The article also states that Berea is an “. . . excellent institution of higher education for students with limited economic means.”

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Tags: Accolade, College Affordability, The74Million, tuition

Wood Worker’s Journal Features Berea’s Craft Expansion Through New Pine Croft School

Berea student working with woodcraft

Pine Croft, a woodworking school for adults, has been added to the repertoire of the Berea College Crafts Program and extends Berea’s support to the local, regional and national crafts communities. Located just minutes from campus and adjacent to the Berea College Forest, the woodworking school is on the site of the former Kelly Mehler’s School of Woodworking, which has been renamed The Woodworking School at Pine Croft.

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Categories: News, Places, Programs and Initiatives
Tags: Woodcraft, Woodworking Crafts, Woodworking School at Pine Croft

Nerdwallet Spotlights Berea’s Student Work Program

Student carrying a plant at the Ecovillage

Nerdwallet, a personal financial services blogsite that provides information on banking, credit cards, college loans, mortgage loans, insurance, and stock trading, highlighted Berea College in a recent article. The feature focused on Berea’s Student Labor Program and two other schools that are members of the Work Colleges Consortium that also require students to work.

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Categories: News, Places, Programs and Initiatives
Tags: Collis Robinson, Labor Program, Nerdwallet, Sylvia Asante, tuition, Tuition-free, Work Colleges Consortium

Hyde Park Living Features Berea College and Boone Tavern

Group of Berea students outside at Fee Glade

Berea College and Historic Boone Tavern Hotel and Restaurant each were featured in recent issues of Hyde Park Living, a lifestyles publication based in the metro-Cincinnati area. Given Berea’s close proximity, many Cincinnati residents find Berea an enjoyable destination for day trips and weekend visits. Laura Hobson, a writer for Hyde Park Living, visited the College and the City of Berea for her three-part article series, which not only describe historic and contemporary features, but also include connections to Cincinnati. Several of the College’s buildings were designed by Cincinnati-based architects, and students, such as Gerald Thomas, a junior majoring in technology and applied science came to Berea from Cincinnati. Read part two of the article, featuring Berea College, and part three of the article, featuring Historic Boone Tavern Hotel and Restaurant.

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Berea Hosts Race Dialogue in Washington, D.C.

Naomi Tutu speaking at podium

Rev. Nontombi Naomi Tutu ’83 addressed around 80 people at the Dialogue on Race and Education held in Washington, D.C. on April 27.

Rev. Nontombi Naomi Tutu captivated her audience of fellow Berea College alumni and donors while speaking at the Dialogue on Race and Education hosted by Berea College at the Newseum in Washington D.C. on April 27. Tutu, a 1983 alumna, shared experiences from her own life—both as the daughter of Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu growing up in Apartheid in South Africa and as a mother in the U.S.—to illustrate the challenges that people of color face in dealing with race in their everyday lives.

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Tags: Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Dialogue on Race and Education, education, Naomi Tutu, race, Washington D.C.