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Why This Matters


    According to College Navigator, there are 25 institutions that grant two-year associate degrees in Kentucky.


    Data from College Board shows that, during the 2022-23 school year, the average Kentucky resident paid $5,700 in tuition at public in-district community colleges.


    The National Center for Education Statistics estimates that 370,718 students attending two-year institutions during the 2020-21 school year received some type of financial aid.

Our Research

This list features some of the best community colleges in Kentucky. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. We included small, midsize, and large colleges as well as trade, technical, and vocational programs. Next, we compared this comprehensive list to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report among others 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 the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), a reputable organization that examines objectives, quality and overall effectiveness of education programs in the southern United States.

We evaluated each school on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for students. Then we calculated 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 Community Colleges in Kentucky

Best Community Colleges In Kentucky Badge

West Kentucky Community and Technical College

Madisonville Community College

Gateway Community and Technical College

Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College

Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College

Henderson Community College

Maysville Community and Technical College

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College

Owensboro Community and Technical College

Hazard Community and Technical College

Big Sandy Community and Technical College

Ashland Community and Technical College

Jefferson Community and Technical College

Hopkinsville Community College

Bluegrass Community and Technical College

Somerset Community College

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What You Should Know About Graduating From Community College in Kentucky

It’s important to consider your earning potential when choosing a degree program. In 2021, the highest-paying careers that require an associate degree in Kentucky were air traffic controllers, radiation therapists, nuclear medicine technologists, diagnostic medical sonographers, and MRI technologists.

Finding a job as a new graduate is no easy feat. To facilitate this search, you may want to consider which careers have the most job openings. The careers projected to have the most openings for associate degree holders in Kentucky are paralegal and legal assistants, physical therapy assistants, preschool teachers (excluding special education), radiologic technicians, and respiratory therapists.

Also, occupations projected to have a decline in employment for associate degree holders in Kentucky include desktop publishers, drafters, and embalmers.

What’s Next?

When pursuing community college, you should consider the costs involved and whether or not you may need financial aid. To facilitate access to scholarships, grants, and other forms of financial aid, we’ve created a list of federal and state resources for associate degree students in Kentucky.

  • Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA). KHEAA helps students manage their degree financing by providing information about grants and scholarships, as well as federal, state, and private loans.
  • Federal Student Aid. Every year, over $120 billion is awarded by the U.S. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid in the form of grants, scholarships, and loans. Students can check their eligibility at the FAFSA4caster and apply through the online FAFSA form.
  • CareerOneStop. CareerOneStop, sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, helps students find scholarships for their desired state and degree level. It also provides helpful details about award amounts, minimum qualifications, application deadlines, and contact information.

Community Colleges by State

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