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 here (pdf).

Washington Monthly Ranks Berea No. 1 as Best Bang for the Buck and No. 4 Best Liberal Arts College

2019 Washington Monthly College Rankings magazine coverWashington Monthly ranked Berea College No. 1 as the Best Bang for the Buck Colleges in the South. No other college in Kentucky was in the top 25. Berea also was named the nation’s No. 4 top liberal arts college in the 2019 Washington Monthly College Rankings guide. The 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.

In announcing the rankings, Washington Monthly author Robert Kelchen noted that there is “growing public attention paid to colleges’ roles in fostering upward social mobility among their students. This is our eighth year of producing a ranking of ‘best bang for the buck’ colleges, which is laser focused on showing which colleges do a good job promoting social mobility—and which don’t.”

Kelchen noted that Berea held the top spot again this year due to the College’s “economic diversity, relatively strong graduation rates and commitment to meeting students’ financial need.”

Washington Monthly’s rankings focus on what colleges are doing for the good of the country at large by the way they educate their students. The publication measures schools’ success in three key areas—social mobility (admitting and graduating low-income students), research and Ph.D. production and community service—to determine the rankings.

“We find such recognition for Berea’s success in serving students who might otherwise not be able to attend college most gratifying, especially since the criteria for Washington Monthly rankings aligns with Berea’s mission,” said Berea College President Lyle Roelofs. “The economic data and peer surveys that other publications use for their rankings typically favor wealthy, elite colleges. By contrast the Washington Monthly criteria recognizes the value of social mobility, transformative education and service, which are consistent with our ‘Great Commitments’ that inform Berea’s work and inspire support from donors.”

Berea’s distinctive mission is serving low-income students. Between 80 and 90 percent of Berea students receive federal Pell grants and annual household of students’ families is about $29,000. The national graduation rates for that demographic averages only in the mid-teens. By contrast, about two-thirds of Berea’s students graduate on time and a healthy number go on to earn doctoral and other advanced degrees.

The Washington Monthly College Rankings and guide appear online here.

Berea Named One of the Best 385 Colleges in the Princeton Review’s 2020 Guide

Graduates celebrating in Seabury Center

(Photo: Crystal Wylie ’05)

Princeton Review 2020 CoverThe Princeton Review has once again included Berea College in its just-released publication of The Best 385 Colleges: 2020 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 $44,100 annual tuition cost for every student. That is particularly meaningful for Berea’s students since most come from families making an average of $29,000 and are the first in their families to attend college.

The Princeton Review’s list of best colleges is based on input from students at America’s schools on a survey that asked students 84 questions about their school’s academics, administration, campus community and themselves. The answer format uses a five-point Likert scale to convert qualitative student assessments into quantitative data for school-to-school comparisons. The company does not rank the 385 schools in the book hierarchically, from 1 to 385 in any category. Instead The Princeton Review surveyed 140,000 students at 385 of the nation’s top colleges to rate their schools on dozens of topics important to applicants and their parents.

“Berea’s continued recognition among America’s top schools is gratifying,” said Lyle D. Roelofs, president of Berea College. “Berea’s no-tuition model is especially important to our students whose families seek the kind of high-quality liberal arts education Berea College offers, but cannot afford to pay tuition. The national attention on Berea from organizations such as The Princeton Review helps families connect with a school that will meet their needs. This recognition also puts a spotlight on Berea’s many alumni and friends whose contributions replace tuition so that our student’s outcomes are not limited by their financial situations.” 

“The 385 colleges for this edition were chosen as ‘best’ overall, academically, based on data gathered in 2018–19 from more than a thousand school administrators about their schools’ academic programs and offerings,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s editor-in-chief and lead author of the book.

Berea College Nursing Program Named No. 1 Best Value in Kentucky

Three nursing students performing work on a dummy

Nursing students, from left, Palkyi Palkyi ’20, Bidhya Dhital ’20 and Bridget Bill ’20, administer a nebulizer treatment to the new SimMan Essential High-Fidelity simulator in the nursing wing of the new Margaret A. Cargill Natural Sciences and Health Building. (Photo: Oluwatobi Adejumo ’20)

Berea College has been ranked by Nursing Explorer as the best-value RN program, taking the No. 1 spot out of 39 programs ranked in Kentucky. The annual ranking is made after reviewing data from more than 3,000 U.S. nursing schools. The ranking is based on information from governmental organizations, institutional information from the Department of Education and accreditation information from Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.

Using National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) pass rate for nursing students and net-price of nursing schools to formulate the ranking parameters, in 2019 Nursing Explorer ranked 1,721 schools across 45 states. A 70 percent weight was assigned to the NCLEX pass rate and a 30 percent weight was given to net-price. The result of the calculation is a score between one and 100 that reflects the quality of education offered at each school and its affordability. If a school has a high NCLEX pass rate and low tuition (or provides sizeable financial aid), then its ranking will be higher.

The data is made available to prospective students through a searchable database to provide students with useful insights into the nursing programs available in every state.

Berea College’s Nursing Department is the oldest college-affiliated program west of the Alleghenies. In keeping with the College’s aims and commitments, the mission of the nursing program is to prepare students with great promise and limited economic resources for the practice of professional nursing in a variety of health care settings and to provide a foundation for graduate study in nursing. Berea’s baccalaureate degree program in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and is also approved by the Kentucky Board of Nursing.

View the complete list of nursing schools along with their rankings.


Upcoming Event

Berea College Department of Nursing is hosting an educational and interactive experience as distinguished professor and author, Laura Dzurec, PhD, PMHCNS-BC, ANEF, FAAN, presents healthy responses to workplace bullying on Thursday, August 22.

Dr. Dzurec currently serves as Senior Scholar in the Boston College Connell School of Nursing. Previously, she served as Dean at Widener University, Kent State University, and the University of Connecticut and held various posts at Oregon Health Science University, University of Maine, The Ohio State University, Kent State University, and Case Western Reserve University. She is a Fellow in the National League for Nursing’s (USA) Academy of Nursing Education and the American Academy of Nursing.

See full event details, including how to reserve your spot by August 9, here.

Elite and Affordable

Draper Building

Question: What do Harvard, Duke, Stanford, Princeton and Berea have in common?
Answer:  They were all named as the top five elite universities that also are the most affordable for low-income families.

Skyler Lucci, CEO of HeyTutor, says that with need-blind admissions and generous financial aid programs, “America’s most elite universities are also the most affordable for low-income families while also providing an excellent education.” Berea College is among the top 5.

Using data from research conducted by The Hamilton Project, an economic policy initiative at the Brookings Institution, Lucci’s article, published by T74 (the74million.org) states that sometimes students and parents don’t fully understand the financial aid process or the difference between the published and net prices. As a result, low-income students may (wrongly) assume elite schools will be too expensive for them, when in fact, substantial financial resources are available to them. For example, Lucci points out that “Unlike most colleges in the U.S., Berea does not charge tuition in the traditional sense. Instead, it covers costs through endowment income, funds from donations and other sources of financial aid.” The article also states that Berea is an “. . . excellent institution of higher education for students with limited economic means.”

Berea College Named as a Gilman Top Producing Institution

Spectrum News recently highlighted Berea’s recognition as a Gilman Scholarship top producing institution. View the broadcast above and the full story on the Spectrum News 1 website.

The U.S. Department of State recognized Berea College as one of the U.S. higher education institutions that sent the most students overseas through the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program in academic year 2017-2018.  Berea was noted for its success in making international study and internships more accessible and inclusive for American students of all backgrounds through the Gilman program.

Continue reading Berea College Named as a Gilman Top Producing Institution

Berea Named a “Best Value” College by the Princeton Review

Student forming a clay mugBerea College, widely known for its no-tuition policy, is one of the nation’s best colleges for students seeking a superb education with great career preparation at an affordable price, according to The Princeton Review®.

The newly-published 2019 edition of The Princeton Review’s annual guide, The Best Value Colleges: 200 Schools with Exceptional ROI for Your Tuition Investment, recommends colleges considered the nation’s best for academics, affordability and career prospects. The distinction is based on a ROI (return on investment) rating score developed by The Princeton Review that weights more than 40 data points, including data from previous years’ surveys of students and administrators at more than 650 U.S. colleges. Other factors include starting and mid-career salaries and career social impact. Continue reading Berea Named a “Best Value” College by the Princeton Review

Berea College Ranked among Nation’s Top Colleges

The 2018-19 academic year is off to a great start at Berea College. Just two months into the semester, the school is making the grade with several national accolades highlighting diversity, affordability, the high-quality liberal arts education students receive, and sustainability.

In September, INSIGHT into Diversity magazine announced that Berea was one of 96 institutions to receive its Higher Education Excellence in Diversity or HEED Award. The award is the only national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion across their campus. Continue reading Berea College Ranked among Nation’s Top Colleges

Berea College Among the Top 25 B.A. Theatre Programs for 2018-19

Two theatre students in a production locking eyes

Berea College’s Theatre Department concluded its 125th Anniversary Season with William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which opened April 13, and ran April 14, and 18-21.
(Photo: Desiree Dunn ’20)

OnStage Blog, a media site that covers theatre on an international level, ranked Berea College’s Theatre Department in the top 25 Bachelor of Arts programs in America.  Each year, OnStage Blog reviews theatre programs across the country to provide a resource to prospective students and families who are researching the best academic theatre programs in the country for dance, design, tech and performing. Berea came in at No. 23, with a major highlight of its “First Theatre in Human Culture” course, which studies the first theatres and extant play scripts of selected human cultures representing Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe. Continue reading Berea College Among the Top 25 B.A. Theatre Programs for 2018-19

Washington Monthly Again Ranks Berea No. 1, Twice; As Best National Liberal Arts College and Best Bang for the Buck in the South

Washington Monthly once again ranked Berea College No. 1, in two major classifications, citing Berea as the nation’s top liberal arts college and ranking Berea as the Best Bang for the Buck College in the South. Berea’s top rank in the 2018 Washington Monthly College Guide and Rankings comes from its success in educating and graduating academically-talented students who have great financial need to become service-oriented leaders in their professions and communities. Continue reading Washington Monthly Again Ranks Berea No. 1, Twice; As Best National Liberal Arts College and Best Bang for the Buck in the South

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. Continue reading Berea College Highlighted for Low Student Debt, Nationally and Locally

Berea College Named as a Gilman Top Producing Institution

The U.S. Department of State announced its inaugural list of U.S. higher-education institutions that sent the most students overseas on the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program in the 2016-17 academic year. Berea College has been recognized for its success in making international study and internships more accessible and inclusive for American students of all backgrounds through the Gilman Program.

The State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, in collaboration with the Institute of International Education, compiles the list, organized by institution size and type. Berea College was cited for success among top small colleges and universities with fewer than 5,000 undergraduates. Only two other schools—Spelman College and Worcester Polytechnic Institute—were in cited in this category. Continue reading Berea College Named as a Gilman Top Producing Institution

Berea Takes No. 1 Spot for Least Graduate Debt in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Ranking, Named a “Best College Value” Institution

Berea graduates at midyear commencement 2017Long known for providing access to high-quality, low-cost education, Berea College has again been named as the No. 1 College with Lowest Average Graduating Debt by Kiplinger.

Berea also ranked in the top 50 of Liberal Arts Colleges (#49) in the U.S. and in the top 100 of all colleges and universities (#95) in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance’s list of the 300 Best College Values for 2018. Continue reading Berea Takes No. 1 Spot for Least Graduate Debt in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Ranking, Named a “Best College Value” Institution

Boone Tavern Earns High Marks from Great Britain’s Telegraph

Historic Boone Tavern Hotel

Historic Boone Tavern Hotel—long-known throughout the U.S. for serving up gracious hospitality—has gained international attention following a review by the London Telegraph. In a recent article loaded with photos, the landmark hotel, owned by Berea College, gets high mark for style, character, dining, value and service. The Telegraph article calls Boone Tavern “a great advertisement” for the College, “which is an attraction in its own right,” and notes that “with students providing many of the hotel staff, there is an energetic and eager-to-please style to most of the service aspects, with plenty of Southern-influenced hospitality.” Continue reading Boone Tavern Earns High Marks from Great Britain’s Telegraph

Mortar Board Presents Gold Torch Award to Berea College Chapter

Mortar Board National Honor SocietyMortar Board National College Senior Honor Society presented a Gold Torch award to its chapter at Berea College. The Gold Torch, a national distinction conferred annually upon the most outstanding chapters of Mortar Board, honored Berea’s excellence in all areas of chapter operations while promoting scholarship, leadership and meaningful service to the College. Continue reading Mortar Board Presents Gold Torch Award to Berea College Chapter

CNBC Applauds Berea College for No Tuition and Least Debt for Students

CNBC logoOnce again Berea College’s distinctive model of not charging students for tuition has gained national attention. Americans have more student debt than ever before, but CNBC, a national media network for consumer news and business, recently published two articles by Abigail Hess citing Berea for its affordability and its top spot for students with the lowest average amount of debt. Continue reading CNBC Applauds Berea College for No Tuition and Least Debt for Students

Washington Monthly Ranks Berea No. 1 Twice; As Best National Liberal Arts College and Best Bang for the Buck

Student with Washington Monthly 2017
Washington Monthly has once again ranked Berea College #1 in two major classifications, citing Berea as the nation’s top liberal arts college and ranking Berea as the Best Bang for the Buck Colleges in the South. Berea’s top rank in the 2017 Washington Monthly College Rankings Guide comes from its success in educating and graduating academically talented, low-income students who become service-oriented leaders in their professions and communities. Continue reading Washington Monthly Ranks Berea No. 1 Twice; As Best National Liberal Arts College and Best Bang for the Buck

Forbes Names Berea as a “Standout” for Low Debt

Rising student debt continues to alarm many families. The amount of debt American colleges take on—while making fewer headlines—also is of extreme concern. Forbes, in its latest list titled “2017 College Financial Grades: How Fit Is Your School?” gives kudos to Berea College for keeping institutional debt low and scores Berea with an “A” grade.

In a newly-published article, Matt Schifrin, a Forbes staff writer, focuses on factors that indicate the financial fitness of schools: endowment assets per student; primary reserve ratio; viability ratio; return on assets; and instruction expenses per student. Continue reading Forbes Names Berea as a “Standout” for Low Debt

Berea featured as one of the best colleges in the Princeton Review’s 2018 guide

Berea College is one of the nation’s best colleges for students seeking a superb education with great career preparation and at an affordable price according to The Princeton Review. The education services company lists Berea College as one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education in the new 2018 edition of its college guide, “The Best 382 Colleges.” (Penguin Random House / Princeton Review,$24.99, August 1, 2017)  Continue reading Berea featured as one of the best colleges in the Princeton Review’s 2018 guide

MONEY Ranks Berea College #1 in Affordability

MONEY Magazine lists Berea College as the country’s most affordable liberal arts college. The No. 1 ranking puts Berea at the top of 50 high-quality private schools that scored well for affordability. The schools on MONEY’s list are judged as providing a great education at an affordable price that helps students launch promising careers. Continue reading MONEY Ranks Berea College #1 in Affordability

Berea Featured in Princeton Review Book, “Colleges That Pay You Back: 2017 Edition”

Once again Berea College is one of the nation’s best colleges for students seeking a superb education with great career preparation and at an affordable price according to The Princeton Review (www.princetonreview.com).

Berea is featured in the 2017 edition of, Colleges That Pay You Back: The 200 Schools That Give You the Best Bang for Your Tuition Buck,” a new book just published by the education services company. Continue reading Berea Featured in Princeton Review Book, “Colleges That Pay You Back: 2017 Edition”

Berea Named a 2017 “Best College Value” by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

-Recognized for Embodying Exceptional Academic Quality and Affordability-

Long known for providing access to high-quality, low-cost education, Berea College has been named to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance’s list of the Top 300 Best College Values of 2017. Continue reading Berea Named a 2017 “Best College Value” by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Berea College Farm #2 in National Ranking

Berea College Farm #2 in National RankingA national ranking of college farms that provide locally produced and sustainable food sources puts Berea College in the #2 spot, besting elite schools including Yale, Dartmouth and Vassar.

During October, which is Farm to School Month, Online College Plan named the top 60 college-affiliated farms, ranking them on criteria such as farm size in acres, crop variety, and sustainability-related degree options. Berea College, was in the top ten, “Cream of the Crop” schools. The ranking helps in spreading awareness and celebrates the efforts of the student-run farms. Continue reading Berea College Farm #2 in National Ranking

Berea College Honored as a Champion of Appalachia

Christian Appalachian Project logoChristian Appalachian Project (CAP) honored Berea College as a Champion of Appalachia at its second annual award celebration Oct. 20. Berea College has made a significant impact on the central Appalachian region. The first interracial and co-educational school in the South, Berea College is firmly embedded in Appalachia. Continue reading Berea College Honored as a Champion of Appalachia