New Boone Tavern Executive Chef Looks to Return to Tradition

Chef Paul Runnels

Chef Paul Runnels, the new chef at Berea’s Historic Boone Tavern Hotel and Restaurant, has big plans for the historic restaurant.
Photo by Osman Bin Aamir ’24 / Berea College

Huntington-native Paul Runnels takes the helm as executive chef

At the young age of 14, Chef Paul Runnels knew he belonged in a kitchen.

He applied for a job at the Huntington Country Club, where he was hired to wash dishes. But he found he just couldn’t do that. He had too many questions. He wanted to know more.

“On my first day, I asked the chef what he was doing, and he said he was carving fruits and vegetables for trays,” Runnels recalled. “I told him I could do that, and he said ‘yeah, right.’ He found out really quick that I could.”

From his first job in his hometown of Huntington, W.Va., Runnells set his sights on becoming a chef, and from there, he hasn’t looked back. His path has taken him from the Culinary Institute of America to several high-profile chef positions and back close to home at Berea’s Historic Boone Tavern Hotel and Restaurant, where he recently was hired as Executive Chef.

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Tags: Boone Tavern

Berea Named One of the Best 387 Colleges in the Princeton Review’s 2022 Guide

Berea College has again been named one of the nation’s “best institutions for undergraduates to earn their college degree” in The Princeton Review’s book, The Best 387 Colleges: 2022 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 annual tuition cost for every student.

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

Berea College Listed as Top Kentucky College in The Wall Street Journal/THE 2022 Rankings

Berea College sign on campus in the spring

Photo by Tyler Rocquemore ’22 / Berea College

Berea College is ranked No. 148 – the highest-ranked Kentucky college – in The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education (THE) 2022 College Rankings. Berea also ranked No. 3 on the publication’s list of “Best Value Colleges” in the nation.

“We are thrilled to be the top-ranking Kentucky college in both The Wall Street Journal/THE overall list and their ‘Best Value Colleges’ list for 2022,” said Berea College President Lyle Roelofs. “One of our Great Commitments is to extend educational opportunity to all students – regardless of race or economic resources. Our no-tuition policy allows us to provide a high-quality college education to talented students who would not otherwise be able to afford it. Rankings like these put Berea on the map as students look for an affordable and transformative college experience.”

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Tags: Accolade, ranking, Times Higher Education, Wall Street Journal

Berea College First Higher Education Institution to Bring Hydroelectric Power to Region

RAVENNA, Ky. – Berea College is the first higher education institution in the nation to complete construction of a hydroelectric generating plant, located at Lock and Dam 12 on the Kentucky River near Ravenna, Ky. The small-scale demonstration project produces on average about half of the electricity the College uses on an annual basis, further reducing the school’s carbon footprint.

“The hydroelectric generating plant shows that local green initiatives like this one can be financially feasible and create reliable sources of income and acceptable rates of return on investment,” said Berea College President Lyle Roelofs. “At the same time, it displays to our students and everyone else both the College’s commitment to environmental sustainability and the viability of state-of-the-art renewable energy technologies.”

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Tags: Community, First Lady, Matilda Fee, Matilda Hamilton Fee Hydroelectric Station, sustainability

Berea College, City Officials Dedicate Boone Trace Trail at Brushy Fork

Mayor Fraley, Dr. John fox, Berea College President Lyle Roelofs and First Lady Laurie Roelofs

Berea Mayor Bruce Fraley, Dr. John Fox, Berea College President Lyle Roelofs and First Lady Laurie Roelofs cut a ribbon celebrating the opening of Boone Trace Trail at Berea College’s Brushy Fork Park. The new trail is open to college students and the public, and follows the trail made in 1775 by Daniel Boone. – Photo by Gaston Jarju / Berea College

Visitors to Berea College’s Brushy Fork can now walk along the path blazed through Kentucky by Daniel Boone and his axemen, thanks to a collaboration between Berea College and the city of Berea.

Boone Trace Trail is open to Berea residents, students and visitors, with a rock-paved ¾-mile trail that lines up almost exactly with the path Boone and his team took in 1775 from North Carolina through the Cumberland Gap and on to Boonesborough.

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Categories: News, Places, Programs and Initiatives
Tags: Bruce Fraley, Brushy Fork, Dr. Lyle Roelofs, Trail

Colleges That Give You The Biggest Bang For Your Buck In 2021

 

Drone photo over campus with a rainbow in the background

(Photo: Mark Huguely)

Originally posted on Forbes.com
By: Andrew DePietro

Finding schools that are both affordable and offer a quality education is something all college-seekers want, especially these days. College tuition costs have been on a seemingly unending, inexorable rise for the last 30 years. Looking at tuition costs, even after adjusting to inflation, the year-after-year increase since the 1980s is incredible. According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the average cost of tuition at a four-year institution rose from $12,551 in the 1985-86 academic year ($5,504 in 1985 dollars) to $27,357 in 2017-2018. This means college tuition costs today are more than double what they were in the mid-1980s. And yet incomes, when you adjust to inflation, have simply not kept apace with rising tuition costs. The Covid-19 pandemic has added an entirely new and disruptive layer on top of these financial issues. Many more Americans are now strapped financially and thus the cost of college is a central concern.

Both public college and private college tuition costs have increased constantly over the last three decades and at similar rates. In the face of such inevitability, the best strategy is to find schools that gives you a bargain. A recent study conducted by BrokeScholar analyzed nearly 400 of the best colleges in the United States and evaluated them all in terms of their affordability and academic quality. The study found a variety of colleges, both public and private, that offer cheap tuition without skimping on high-quality education. Geographically, the colleges that made the final list in the study are a good mix, with several from the South, Midwest, Mountain and West Coast states as well as a cluster in the Middle Atlantic states, like New York and New Jersey.

Read on to find out the colleges that give you top-quality education at affordable rates.

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Tags: affordable, best bang for the buck, Student debt, tuition, Tuition-free

Virtual Learning Challenges in Rural Appalachia

Draper Building

By Matt Stewart and Phillip Logsdon
Originally posted in College Services Magazine

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor, and service. The college admits only academically promising students with limited financial resources, primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia, although students come from 40 states and 70 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of eight federally-recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly, earning money for books, housing, and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.

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Tags: covid-19, information technology, pandemic, virtual learning

Berea College and Lehigh University Break Boundaries with Win-Win Educational Pact

Berea College sign on campus

(Photo: Crystal Wylie ’05)

New Berea-Lehigh Partnership Agreement Enhances Student Access to Graduate Management Education

Berea College, a federally recognized Work College, and Lehigh University’s College of Business jointly announced this week a new 4+1 partnership agreement.  This unique “4+1” joint partnership calls for a five-year program (four years of undergraduate studies at Berea College plus one year of graduate management education at Lehigh University). Students from Berea College in Liberal Arts or STEM field majors can enter Lehigh University’s MS in Management (M2) program to earn the Master’s level degree in just 10 months. The combination of Liberal Arts or STEM as well as skills learned in Berea’s Labor Program, coupled with business training further positions Berea graduates to be workforce ready as they pursue careers in a variety of industries ranging from consulting to banking to finance to brand marketing to pharma, just to name a few.

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Categories: News, Places, Programs and Initiatives
Tags: Lehigh University, Liberal Arts, STEM

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.

Categories: News, Places
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.

Categories: News, Places
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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