10 Best Colleges in Kentucky

What’s Covered:

 

Kentucky, also known as the Bluegrass State, is renowned for breeding horses, fine bourbon, and the Kentucky Derby. It also has a spectacular collection of natural attractions and parks with forests, fresh lakes, magnificent waterfalls, and caves. Here you can find alot of historical significance through bluegrass music and Louisville Slugger baseball bats. While many consider this state to not be the most interesting place, this state is perfect if you are looking for a good education, nature, and a calm environment to learn.

 

Our Ranking Methodology

 

Below is a our of the 10 best colleges in Kentucky. The list was constructed with a focus on school quality, outcomes, and return on investment (ROI), along with considering a host of other factors such as retention rate, selectivity, endowment per student, student-faculty ratio, median earnings, and cost of attendance. You can find CollegeVine’s rankings in their entirety here. 

 

Best Colleges in Kentucky

 

1. Berea College

 

Location: Berea, Kentucky

Acceptance Rate: 38% 

Middle 50% SAT: 1030-1213

Middle 50% ACT: 22-27

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,432

 

Berea College is a private institution that was founded in 1855, and is known for being the first interracial and coeducational college in the South. Berea is different from most colleges because it does not charge students tuition for attending the school, instead relying on endowment income, gifts, and financial aid to support its students. All students are required to work a minimum of 10 hours per week in approved jobs on campus and in the community. Along with degree programs in over 28 fields, there are also more than 70 organizations for student participation. All students are required to live on campus unless they are aged 23 or older, married or a parent. Berea College is ranked as the #30 National Liberal Arts College in the country. 

 

Learn more about the University of Wisconsin-Madison and what it takes to get accepted.

 

2. Centre College

 

Location: Danville, Kentucky 

Acceptance Rate: 73% 

Middle 50% SAT: 1190-1420

Middle 50% ACT: 27-32

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,333

 

Centre College is a private institution that was founded in 1819 located in Danville, Kentucky. Known as the #69 National Liberal Arts College in the country, Centre College focuses on providing study abroad options and internship resources so all students can graduate in four years. About 40% of students participate in Greek life, with a handful of fraternities and sororities on campus. Student-athletes play for the Centre Colonels, mainly competing in the NCAA Division III Southern Athletic Association. All students live on campus and can enjoy entertainment such as frisbee golf at Henry Jackson Park, canoeing at Cummins Falls Marina, or exploring the Central Kentucky Wildlife Refuge.

 

Learn more about Berea College and what it takes to get accepted.

 

3. University of Louisville

 

Location: Louisville, Kentucky

Acceptance Rate: 72% 

Middle 50% SAT: 1070-1290

Middle 50% ACT: 22-29

Undergrad Enrollment: 16,118

 

The University of Louisville is a public institution that was founded in 1798, located in Kentucky on the banks of the Ohio River‚ÄĒabout 100 miles from both Indianapolis and Cincinnati. Students have more than 170 areas of study to choose from at a school ranked #187 of all National Universities in the country. Outside the classroom, students can participate in more than 400 campus organizations and more than 30 fraternities or sororities. For entertainment, students can check out the local art museum, planetarium, zoo, and Auguste Rodin‚Äôs original sculpture of The Thinker.¬†

 

Learn more about the University of Louisville and what it takes to get accepted.

 

4. University of Kentucky

 

Location: Lexington, Kentucky

Acceptance Rate: 94% 

Middle 50% SAT: 1080-1300

Middle 50% ACT: 23-29

Undergrad Enrollment: 22,227

 

The University of Kentucky is a public institution that was founded in 1865, located in the city of Lexington, about 80 miles south of Cincinnati and 200 miles northeast of Nashville. The university offers various degrees, including over 120 master’s programs, ranking the school #127 in all National Universities. Outside the classroom, students can join nearly 350 clubs, Greek life, or the Kentucky Kernel student newspaper. Lexington can provide a plethora of entertainment options for students, who can shop, golf, tour a museum, browse the farmers’ market or spend a day at the horse track. Student-athletes can also get involved at the recreational level or try out for one of the many Kentucky Wildcats varsity teams, which compete in the NCAA Division I Southeastern Conference. 

 

Learn more about the University of Kentucky and what it takes to get accepted.

 

5. Transylvania University

 

Location: Lexington, Kentucky

Acceptance Rate: 89% 

Middle 50% SAT: 1100-1310

Middle 50% ACT: 24-30

Undergrad Enrollment: 958

 

Transylvania University is a highly ranked liberal arts college in the heart of Lexington, Kentucky. The school is a challenging, relationship-rich university with an engaging faculty that encourages community-driven students to achieve personal fulfillment and professional success. It provides students a liberal arts education, that includes required Gen Ed classes, across 46 different majors. Established in 1780, Transylvania is the oldest university west of the Allegheny Mountains. 

 

Learn more about Translyvania University and what it takes to get accepted.

 

6. Asbury University

 

Location: Wilmore, Kentucky  

Acceptance Rate: 67% 

Middle 50% SAT: 980-1280

Middle 50% ACT: 21-28

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,492

 

Asbury University is a top-tier Christian university that encourages its students to study, worship and serve together on a campus located 20 minutes southwest of Lexington. Primarily a four-year, multi-denominational institution, Asbury University provides over 150 areas of study across 15 academic departments, along with Online Programs. The University also provides many opportunities for student involvement both on and off-campus. Internships, exchange programs, missions, and community service opportunities are also available and are part of the curriculum in nearly every major.

 

Learn more about Saint Norbet College and what it takes to get accepted.

 

7. Alice Lloyd College

 

Location: Pippa Passes, Kentucky

Acceptance Rate: 28% 

Middle 50% SAT: 870-1030

Middle 50% ACT: 18-23

Undergrad Enrollment: 584

 

Alice Lloyd College’s mission is to educate the leaders of tomorrow regardless of the student’s financial situation. The college offers a high-quality academic program, emphasizing the liberal arts. They promote students’ work ethic through a self-help Student Work Program in which all full-time students participate and provide an atmosphere in which Christian values are maintained, encouraging high personal standards and the development of character.

 

Learn more about Alice Lloyd College and what it takes to get accepted.

 

8. Bellarmine University

 

Location: Louisville, Kentucky

Acceptance Rate: 86% 

Middle 50% SAT: 1060-1270

Middle 50% ACT: 22-28

Undergrad Enrollment: 2,484

 

Bellarmine University is a vibrant community of Christian students that ranks among the nation’s best colleges and universities. Students pursue an education based on the liberal arts and the inclusiveness of the Catholic Church. Bellarmine is within walking distance of the Bardstown Road corridor, where coffee houses, restaurants, and one-of-a-kind shops are available for students to enjoy. Downtown Louisville is just minutes away and offers world-class theatre, arts, sports, museums, and gorgeous riverfront parks.

 

Learn more about Bellarmine University and what it takes to get accepted.

 

9. Georgetown College

 

Location: Georgetown, Kentucky

Acceptance Rate: 48% 

Middle 50% SAT: 1015-1145

Middle 50% ACT: 23-27

Undergrad Enrollment: 7,357

 

Georgetown College is an open, caring, and committed Christian university. Mentorship and personal relationships with dedicated faculty are the cornerstones of a Georgetown College education. Built on a Baptist foundation, Georgetown College pursues and cultivates the knowledge of, and commitment to, the Christian faith. 

 

Learn more about Georgetown College and what it takes to get accepted.

 

10. Murray State University

 

Location: Murray, Kentucky 

Acceptance Rate: 81% 

Middle 50% SAT: 1028-1213

Middle 50% ACT: 22-27

Undergrad Enrollment: 7,939

 

Murray State University places the highest priority on student learning and excellent teaching, blending a diverse range of educational opportunities with small class sizes and dedicated faculty among the best in their field. Students come from all types of backgrounds, with 48 states and 45 countries represented in the student body. There are various forms of entertainment steps away from campus, from small-town boutiques and shops to diverse restaurants and public parks. Murray State is also recognized for having the highest percentage of graduates with no student debt out of all Kentucky public colleges.

 

Learn more about Murray State University and what it takes to get accepted.

 

What Are Your Chances of Acceptance?

 

Wondering what your odds are of admission at one of these great Kentucky schools? CollegeVine can help. Our free chancing engine uses quantitative data like grades and standardized test scores along with qualitative factors like extracurricular activities, awards, and achievements to predict your odds of acceptance at hundreds of schools all across the country.

 

Our chancing engine can also help you build a balanced school list of colleges in and outside of Kentucky. By providing your odds of acceptance, you can strategically assign safety, target, and reach schools and put yourself in the best position to get into a college that fits your needs and meets your expectations. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to get started!


Short Bio
Angelica is 2020 grad of the University of Minnesota with a degree in quantitative economics. She is a Founder and CEO of a strategic business consulting firm that helps startups, small enterprise and entrepreneurs with their goals. In her free time, she likes to read and travel.

Don't miss out on the best high school & college admissions resources!

Join thousands of students and parents getting exclusive high school, test prep, and college admissions information.