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, 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 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 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.