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.

Jeff Amburgey, Berea’s vice president for Finance, explained how gifts to Berea’s endowment, now worth about $1.2 billion, allows the College to cover the cost of tuition for every student. Since 1920, the board of trustees have ruled that all unrestricted money given to Berea College would be invested in an endowment to grow over time to support Berea’s distinctive mission.

Hollie Jamison, a senior nursing student at Berea, explained how she would graduate debt-free, something that her friends from high school have not been able to do.

Berea’s Labor Program, in which every student is employed 10 or more hours per week, was also cited as a potential model for other schools with small- to mid-sized enrollments.

Listen to the full feature on NPR.

Categories: News, Places
Tags: Labor Program, NPR, 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.