Washington 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.
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 →
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 →
Washington Monthly ranked Berea College as the nation’s top liberal arts college and also ranked Berea College as number 1 in the Best Bang for the Buck Colleges in the South category again this year. Berea’s top rank in the 2016 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 →
Berea, KY (January 20, 2016) – During 2015, several national publications and websites recognized Berea College for its excellence in academics and as a significant value for students and their families.
Commenting of the rankings, Berea College President Lyle Roelofs stated, “We are gratified that Berea was recognized with strong rankings such as these. Our current students, alumni and donors also can take pride in knowing the school they attend and support continues to serve the public good by providing a high-quality education for talented, low-income students from Appalachia and beyond.” Continue reading Berea College Recognized for Exceptional Financial & Academic Value →
Washington Monthly ranked Berea College as the nation’s third top liberal arts college again this year and also ranked Berea College as number 1 in the Best Bang for the Buck Colleges in the South category in the 2015Washington Monthly College Rankings Guide. Berea was so highly ranked because of its success in educating and graduating academically talented, low-income students who become service-oriented leaders in their professions and communities. Continue reading Berea College at No. 1 and 3 in Washington Monthly’s Latest College Rankings →
Berea College is “sainted.”
So says Gregg Easterbrook in his Tuesday Morning Quarterback (TMQ) commentary on ESPN this week. Easterbrook, talking about recent multi-million dollar gifts to elite college endowments, contends “. . . the rich should not donate to the Ivy League, Stanford or a few other colleges that exist for the elite and already have ginormous endowments. Rather, the rich should give to schools for the average. At such colleges, donations reduce inequality, and make a difference in people’s lives. Donations to Harvard only make inequality worse.” Easterbrook goes on to state that if donors had “. . . given their fantastic sums to any of the colleges where students from average backgrounds struggle with loans — or to those schools that the [Washington] Monthly finds offer students the best bang for the buck — they would have changed the lives of ordinary people. Imagine the impact of either bundle at sainted Berea College, which accepts only students with financial need, amongst other criteria.” Continue reading Elevated Status for Berea College →
According to the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), Berea College is the nation’s least expensive private college when calculating the costs of tuition and fees, and continues to be a model institution for making college accessible and affordable for students with great promise but limited financial resources. Continue reading National Report Shows Berea College Has Lowest Tuition and Fees in the Nation →
Washington Monthly has named Berea College (Kentucky) as the nation’s top liberal arts college in its 2011 College Rankings. Berea was ranked number one because of its success in educating and graduating academically talented, low-income students who become service-oriented leaders in their professions and communities. Continue reading Berea College #1 in Washington Monthly’s 2011 College Rankings →