Why This Matters


    According to College Navigator, Kentucky has eight public institutions, 22 non-profit private organizations, and five private non-profit colleges.


    According to College Board, the average cost of in-state tuition for the 2020-21 school year was $11,000.


    During the 2019-20 school year, the average financial aid package per person was $14,940 for full-time U.S. students.

Our Research

We based our ratings for the best colleges in Kentucky on the yearly cost of admission, the number of credits needed to graduate, and how classes are offered to students (including online and in-person). Our list includes all sizes of colleges, from the largest universities to small liberal arts institutions.

When researching the top colleges in Kentucky, we only included accredited institutions. Accreditation holds each college to the highest standards for learning. Most of the colleges on our list are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 53 hours to write this article
  • 196 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 385 education programs we compared

The Top 34 Colleges in Kentucky

Best Colleges In Kentucky
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What You Should Know About Graduating From College in Kentucky

When deciding on a major, it’s best to consider the fastest growing industries in Kentucky. As of October 2020, the top five growing industries are leisure and hospitality; information, professional and business services; retail trade; and financial services.

Job seekers in Kentucky should consider the fastest growing occupations for those with a bachelor’s degree. In Kentucky, these include software developers, operations research analysts, appraisers and assessors of real estate, and market research analysts.

In Kentucky, some of the largest employers include UK Healthcare Clg Dentistry, which hires more than 14,000 employees. Others include Humana Inc., GE Appliances A Haier Co., the Corrections Department, and Ferrellgas.

What’s Next?

Before applying for college in Kentucky, it’s important to explore the number of financial aid opportunities that are available to you. This list contains both state and federal resources that detail scholarships, grants, and other sources of aid that are offered to undergraduates.