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Why This Matters


    According to College Navigator, the four-year colleges in Kentucky include 8 public and 26 private non-profit options.


    For the 2022-23 school year, the average in-state tuition for public four-year colleges in Kentucky is $11,390, according to College Board.


    In the U.S., full-time undergraduate students attending college in 2021-22 received an average of $15,330 per year in financial aid.

Our Research

This list features some of the best brick-and-mortar colleges in Kentucky. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality. We included liberal arts colleges and research universities as well as small, midsize, and large institutions. Next, we compared this comprehensive list to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications, such as U.S. News & World Report, to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

The colleges on our list are accredited by either the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) or Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE). These organizations examine the objectives, quality, and overall effectiveness of postsecondary education programs.

We evaluated each school on tuition costs, admission standards, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the resources and services provided for on-campus students. Then, we used this information to calculate the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

Online College Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

The Top 50 Colleges in Kentucky

Best Colleges In Kentucky

University of Louisville

University of Kentucky

Transylvania University

University of the Cumberlands

Spalding University

Western Kentucky University

Thomas More University

University of Pikeville

Union College

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What You Should Know About Graduating From College in Kentucky

When deciding on a major, you should consider the largest industries in Kentucky. As of May 2022, the top five industries are office and administrative support occupations, transportation and material moving, production, food preparation and serving, and sales.

You should also consider the fastest-growing occupations for those with a bachelor’s degree. In Kentucky, these jobs include music directors and composers, fashion designers, logisticians, medical and health services managers, and information security analysts.

Some of the largest employers in Kentucky include UofL Health, which has more than 18,000 employees, Humana, Ford, Haier, and Lexmark.

What’s Next?

Before applying for college in Kentucky, it’s important to explore the financial aid opportunities that are available to you. The resources listed below will help you find scholarships, grants, and other forms of aid that are offered to undergraduates:

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