Berea College tops the list of the 15 least expensive colleges in America in a newly-published article by USA TODAY.
Access and affordability continue to be hot-topics nationwide. Average tuition costs at many universities, some at more than $200,000, have been outpacing inflation rates for decades. USA TODAY researched the “15 least expensive colleges to get your degree,” citing Berea as the most affordable.
To calculate affordability, USA TODAY multiplied the average net cost most students pay (including average amounts of financial aid) by the average length of time to graduate. By the time students end their time in the school, the resulting number is the average price most students will end up paying.
Berea College tops the list because the average annual cost for students is just $2,382. Berea students graduate after an average of 4.31 years, bringing the grand total to $10,257. Students at Berea pay no tuition; the College promises to cover those expenses for every admitted student. If they can afford it, students and their families pay for other educational costs, such as room and board. At Berea, 100% of the students receive financial aid and all students participate in the College’s labor program in order to keep operating expenses as low as possible and to provide opportunities to learn valuable work skills.
Berea College President Lyle Roelofs says, “We are very pleased to receive national recognition such as this. Since our founding in 1855, Berea College has been committed to making a high-quality, academically rigorous education affordable, especially for those least able to pay for a college education. Today, that commitment continues, as nearly 98% of Berea College students are PELL eligible.”
Berea, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor, and service. Berea admits only academically promising students, primarily from Appalachia, who have limited economic resources. Repeatedly ranked for excellence in academics and service learning, Berea’s graduates go on to distinguish themselves and the College in many fields, living out the College’s motto “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth” (Acts 17:26).