Why This Matters

  • 35 COLLEGES IN KENTUCKY

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

  • $11,000 AVERAGE IN-STATE TUITION & FEES

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

  • $14,940 AVERAGE FINANCIAL AID PACKAGE FOR U.S. COLLEGE STUDENTS

    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. Our top picks for the best Colleges In Kentucky program are affordable, respected, and flexible. (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 50 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, software developers, 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 to offered to undergraduates.

  • Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA). KHEAA connects students with the types of financial aid that are available and offers information on qualifications, the amount award, and how to apply.
  • Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Federal financial aid is the starting point for most financial aid packages. You can determine whether or not you qualify for federal aid by filling in information at the FAFSA4caster. Once you are ready to apply, you can fill out an online form.
  • CareerOneStop. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, CareerOneStop contains a searchable database that tells you what scholarships, grants, and other types of aid are available.