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Top Colleges in Kentucky

Written by Gabriel Jimenez-Ekman

Gabriel Jimenez-Ekman is a content editor and writer at Scholarships360. He has managed communications and written content for a diverse array of organizations, including a farmer’s market, a concert venue, a student farm, an environmental NGO, and a PR agency. Gabriel graduated from Kenyon College with a degree in sociology.

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Updated: May 7th, 2024

Kentucky boasts an array of college choices, each with its unique appeal. Whether you’re inclined toward the energetic atmosphere of Louisville or the historical charm of Lexington, you’ll find a Kentucky college that resonates with you. Kentucky’s educational support programs, such as the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES), make college accessible to many students. Take a look at our list of Kentucky colleges to pinpoint the ideal institution for you.

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18 colleges
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Centre College

Danville, KY • Private, Non-Profit, Town

Danville, KY

Private, Non-Profit, Town

68% acceptance rate
1,315 undergraduate students
86% graduation rate
$20,610 average per year after aid
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Top College Top College
Top College Top College: Affordability

Berea College

Berea, KY • Private, Non-Profit, Town

Berea, KY

Private, Non-Profit, Town

33% acceptance rate
1,454 undergraduate students
66% graduation rate
$3,442 average per year after aid
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University of Kentucky

Lexington, KY • Public, City

Lexington, KY

Public, City

94% acceptance rate
21,358 undergraduate students
68% graduation rate
$18,268 average per year after aid
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Transylvania University

Lexington, KY • Private, Non-Profit, City

Lexington, KY

Private, Non-Profit, City

92% acceptance rate
970 undergraduate students
73% graduation rate
$24,489 average per year after aid
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Top College Top College: Affordability

University of Louisville

Louisville, KY • Public, City

Louisville, KY

Public, City

75% acceptance rate
13,815 undergraduate students
62% graduation rate
$17,744 average per year after aid
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Bellarmine University

Louisville, KY • Private, Non-Profit, City

Louisville, KY

Private, Non-Profit, City

86% acceptance rate
2,356 undergraduate students
65% graduation rate
$23,443 average per year after aid
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Murray State University

Murray, KY • Public, Town

Murray, KY

Public, Town

85% acceptance rate
6,744 undergraduate students
56% graduation rate
$11,226 average per year after aid
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Northern Kentucky University

Highland Heights, KY • Public, Suburb

Highland Heights, KY

Public, Suburb

80% acceptance rate
8,982 undergraduate students
48% graduation rate
$6,575 average per year after aid
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Asbury University

Wilmore, KY • Private, Non-Profit, Town

Wilmore, KY

Private, Non-Profit, Town

77% acceptance rate
1,335 undergraduate students
65% graduation rate
$23,048 average per year after aid
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Western Kentucky University

Bowling Green, KY • Public, City

Bowling Green, KY

Public, City

98% acceptance rate
12,526 undergraduate students
54% graduation rate
$11,691 average per year after aid
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Eastern Kentucky University

Richmond, KY • Public, Town

Richmond, KY

Public, Town

98% acceptance rate
10,987 undergraduate students
48% graduation rate
$13,821 average per year after aid
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Morehead State University

Morehead, KY • Public, Town

Morehead, KY

Public, Town

90% acceptance rate
5,210 undergraduate students
45% graduation rate
$10,738 average per year after aid
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University of the Cumberlands

Williamsburg, KY • Private, Non-Profit, Town

Williamsburg, KY

Private, Non-Profit, Town

85% acceptance rate
4,379 undergraduate students
48% graduation rate
$14,654 average per year after aid
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Kentucky State University

Frankfort, KY • Public, Town

Frankfort, KY

Public, Town

65% acceptance rate
1,660 undergraduate students
37% graduation rate
$7,265 average per year after aid
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Lindsey Wilson College

Columbia, KY • Private, Non-Profit, Town

Columbia, KY

Private, Non-Profit, Town

--% acceptance rate
1,713 undergraduate students
40% graduation rate
$16,538 average per year after aid
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Kentucky Wesleyan College

Owensboro, KY • Private, Non-Profit, City

Owensboro, KY

Private, Non-Profit, City

67% acceptance rate
774 undergraduate students
46% graduation rate
$28,242 average per year after aid
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University of Pikeville

Pikeville, KY • Private, Non-Profit, Town

Pikeville, KY

Private, Non-Profit, Town

--% acceptance rate
1,001 undergraduate students
31% graduation rate
$13,814 average per year after aid
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Campbellsville University

Campbellsville, KY • Private, Non-Profit, Town

Campbellsville, KY

Private, Non-Profit, Town

--% acceptance rate
2,652 undergraduate students
36% graduation rate
$23,445 average per year after aid
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About the Data

We sort colleges on our lists according to their Scholarships360 Top Colleges Index Score. This score is calculated using up-to-date information taken directly from the College Scorecard. Additional information is sourced from the colleges themselves, as well as other publicly available information. If you see an error, feel free to contact us.

State grants in Kentucky

College Access Program (CAP) Grant

The College Access Program (CAP) Grant is a need-based grant for Kentucky students attending eligible institutions, which include certain colleges, universities, trade schools and technical colleges. Students must be enrolled at a status of at least half-time for a 2 to 4 year program. 

The Kentucky Tuition Grant (KYG)

The Kentucky Tuition Grant (KYG) is a need-based grant for Kentucky students who are enrolled full-time at an eligible private college or university getting either a bachelor’s or associate degree. 

Kentucky tuition reciprocity agreements

Tuition Reciprocity is an exchange program that allows students to attend schools in partner states at a discounted tuition rate. Kentucky’s education system has specific agreements with certain schools in Ohio, Indiana, and West Virginia. It is also a part of the Southern Regional Education Board Academic Common Market, which allows students going to public institutions to out-of-state schools and pay in-state tuition, if their degree is not offered in their home state.

Here’s a list of states in the SREB:

Other college lists to explore

Frequently asked questions about colleges in Kentucky

What is the hardest college in Kentucky to get into?

 The college with the lowest acceptance rate in Kentucky is Berea College with only 33% of students being admitted. There are many aspects that go into college admissions beyond test scores, so make sure to not be discouraged by lower acceptance rates.

Does Kentucky have tuition reciprocity?

Yes! Kentucky is one of the 15 states in the Southern Regional Education Board Academic Common Market. This means students have the opportunity to go to out of state schools, and still receive discounted in-state tuition.

Why should I study in Kentucky?

Kentucky is an interesting place to be in the U.S., because most consider it to be a southern state, but some also consider it to be the mideast. You’ll get to experience some classic aspects of southern culture, like its food and hospitality. It’s also a great place to be if you’re a college basketball fan or if you’re an equestrian, what’s a better place to be than the home of the Kentucky Derby?

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