Berea College Highlighted for Low Student Debt, Nationally and Locally

Berea College captured the national spotlight again for helping students graduate with little or no debt. In a newly-released report focused on student-loan debt for each state, Kentucky’s Berea College was ranked No. 1 among private colleges and universities in the state and fourth among private schools nationwide.

The report by used data licensed from Peterson’s LLC, a national educational services company, to rank Berea College as having one of the very lowest average student-loan debt figures in the entire United States and the least among students at Kentucky’s private colleges. This is the third annual Student Loan Debt Report compiled by

Out of the 1,080 institutions analyzed in the report, Berea College ranked No. 8 for having the lowest student-debt figures in the U.S. for any school, public or private. The report covers the most recent data available for the Class of 2017.

Many students and families across America are seeking an affordable college education without acquiring a mountain of debt upon graduation. In 2017, Kentucky students who borrowed money graduated with average student loans totaling $28,078. Nationally, 2017 graduates had an average student-loan debt of $28,288, and at some schools debt loads of $50,000 or more were not uncommon. Berea College covers the cost of tuition for every admitted student allowing them to graduate with little or no debt. Of Berea’s students with debt, the average upon graduation is just $7,468.

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Categories: News, Places
Tags: Accolade, Peterson's LLC, Student debt, Tuition-free

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College only admits academically promising students with limited financial resources—primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia—but welcomes students from 41 states and 76 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly to earn 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.