Best Colleges & Universities in Kentucky

best_colleges_universities_in_kentuckyThe Bluegrass State, as Kentucky is known, offers more than just great college basketball at their colleges and universities. Higher education is available for those looking for great research opportunities, faithful religious studies, and work-study programs that can earn you nearly free tuition.

This may be the state for you, especially if you are interested in the Kentucky Derby, college basketball, or bluegrass music. And even if the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville rivalry may not be your cup of tea, the state also hosts a range of smaller institutions with private, secular, public, and religious options to choose from.

Kentucky encourages college attendance through its participation in the Academic Common Market. The goal of this program is to allow residents of 14 other states to pay in-state tuition in Kentucky’s institutions of higher learning. See http://home.sreb.org/acm/participating/institutionstates.aspx to learn if you qualify to take part in the benefits of this program.

Kentucky’s Council on Postsecondary Education has also lent a hand to students wanting to attend college in Kentucky. The council has imposed limits or ceilings on tuition rates at the state’s public colleges, which have resulted in the lowest increase rate in over ten years. See http://cpe.ky.gov/ourwork/tuitionsetting.html for more information and statistics.

These programs prove Kentucky’s commitment to making sure you can pursue your educational goals. So, go to Kentucky for the education and maybe catch a basketball game, horse race, or bluegrass festival while you’re at it. It’s sure not to disappoint.

Colleges and Universities in Kentucky Fast Facts

  • Fall enrollment (2017) = 258,498
  • Degrees awarded in Colorado (2016) = 73,811
  • Median in-state public tuition (2016) = $8,784
  • Median out-of-state tuition (2016) = $19,945
  • Largest schools by the number of degrees awarded = 1. University of Kentucky, 2. University of Louisville, 3. Western Kentucky University

Sources: NCES and DataUSA

Rankings

EDsmart assesses colleges in Kentucky based on data that covers four main areas:

  • Cost (average net price)
  • Academic quality (graduation rate)
  • Student satisfaction (retention rate)
  • Salary After Attending (the median earnings of former students who received federal financial aid, at 10 years after entering the school)

All data was gathered from the U.S. Dept of Education websites College Scorecard and College Navigator.

This ranking aims to help students assess the affordability and value of top colleges in Kentucky so they can make informed decisions about which college to attend.

Best Colleges in Kentucky for 2019-2020

Kentucky has a plethora of colleges and universities available to help students reach their career goals. However, it can be difficult finding the best colleges in Kentucky. Although many websites provide lists that offer rankings and grades for a variety of these institutions, it still may not be the best college for each student. The right school is often dependent upon the student, their career goals, their location, and their financial means. Fortunately, many of the colleges in Kentucky offer programs that are right for almost anyone.

1. Berea College

Score: 100

Average Net Price: $1,298
Retention Rate: 85.9%
Graduation Rate: 64%
Salary After Attending: $33,700

Berea College is a private college located in the community of Berea, Kentucky. This college was founded in 1855 as a one-room school. It would eventually become historically known as the first college in the South to be coed and interracial.

Berea College provides a rigorous academic program for their undergraduates. They offer 33 fields in their Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degree programs. The school boasts admitting only the most promising students in their programs with a focus on admissions from the Appalachian region.

One of the most attractive attributes of Berea College is its “No-Tuition Promise.” This program is a scholarship established for every student that is admitted to the college. Donations and endowments allow this college to provide a scholarship for each student to pay no tuition for their enrollment. However, students are required to work at least ten hours each week at various campus and service jobs.

Berea College earns an A- overall rating from Niche. It also received a #3 ranking for Most Innovative Schools and #4 for Best Undergraduate Teaching from US News’ Best Colleges. This school is easily one of the Best Colleges in the area to help eliminate student debt after graduation–this provides students a better opportunity to gain financial security post-graduation.

2. Murray State University

Score: 96.0

Average Net Price: $11,497
Retention Rate: 76%
Graduation Rate: 49%
Salary After Attending: $37,100

Situated in the city of Murray, Kentucky, Murray State University offers its students a personalized education in a college town setting. This school was established in 1922 and boasts of its rich history and traditions. These time-honored traditions include an annual homecoming parade with handcrafted parade floats and a victory lap by Racer One whenever the football team scores a touchdown during home games.

Murray State University offers 4 undergraduate certificate programs and 6 associate programs. They also offer 66 bachelor’s programs with many specialized track options to allow students to pursue a more personalized education path. Their education programs also include graduate certifications, master’s and doctoral programs, as well as specialized programs and options in both of these areas.

Murray State University provides students a career-focused education. Each year, 200 employers recruit directly from the campus to help students launch their career. Their medical and law hopefuls have an outstanding success rate when seeking acceptance in their respective schools.

The overall grade for this mid-size institution from Niche is a B+. Murray State University also receives several rankings from US News’ Best Colleges. These include 11th place in Top Public Schools and 24th for Best Colleges for Veterans.

3. West Kentucky Community and Technical College

Score: 94.6

Average Net Price: $5,046
Retention Rate: 66%
Graduation Rate: 43%
Salary After Attending: $27,300

A member of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, West Kentucky Community and Technical College is a public college that has a 100% acceptance rate. Located in Paducah, Kentucky, this college provides a variety of opportunities for students of all ages to reach their career goals.

Since 2003, West Kentucky Community and Technical College is the perfect product of two parent schools, the Paducah Community College and West Kentucky Technical College. Its history stretches back to 1909, when West Kentucky Technical College was first established as a teacher training college for African Americans.

West Kentucky Community and Technical College offers associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates. Their programs include collision repair, criminal justice, computer information technology, surgical technology, and visual communications. There are also programs that provide study abroad options. They even offer programs online to provide easier access for students.

West Kentucky Community and Technical College receives an overall Niche grade of B-. This school also received an A in safety and A- in student life. West Kentucky Community and Technical College is one of the Best Schools in Kentucky to offer a convenient and affordable method to achieve a successful career in a variety of industries.

4. Northern Kentucky University

Score: 94.6

Average Net Price: $9,131
Retention Rate: 72%
Graduation Rate: 39%
Salary After Attending: $37,500

Northern Kentucky University is located in Highland Heights, Kentucky. The scenic campus is situated within the Cincinnati Area. One of the fastest-growing schools in Kentucky, this school provides a plethora of programs where students can receive undergraduate and graduate degrees. They also offer certifications and micro-credentials to help students build on their career.

Northern Kentucky University also offers an online campus to allow students the opportunity to gain an education to further their career in a completely online environment. This program offers certificates, bachelors, and master’s degrees in business, education, healthcare, and nursing.

Northern Kentucky University’s online programs have received accreditation from Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

For ten years in a row, Northern Kentucky University has made the Forbes’ America’s Top Colleges list. This school has also been recognized by Niche and received an overall grade of a B. Northern Kentucky University has accepted rankings from US News’ Best Colleges. These include the Top Public Schools ranking of #33 and #23 in Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs.

5. Western Kentucky University

Score: 94.6

Average Net Price: $11,850
Retention Rate: 71%
Graduation Rate: 44%
Salary After Attending: $34,700

One of the Best Colleges in Kentucky is Western Kentucky University. This school was established in 1906. The main campus sits in the community of Bowling Green, Kentucky, with campuses in Glasgow, Owensboro, and Elizabethtown-Fort Knox.

Western Kentucky University offers 101 baccalaureate degree majors with 111 minors available to help students complete a full and enriching education. There are also a wide variety of post-graduate programs that include degrees, certificates, and doctorate programs. This school also offers a variety of programs online to allow a more convenient and flexible method for students to reach their education goals.

Western Kentucky University maintains a 95% acceptance rate. This allows a large array of students the opportunity to take advantage of their many popular programs. These include Liberal Arts and Humanities, Business, Engineering, and Nursing.

Western Kentucky University has earned more than 35 recognitions for their programs. These include an 11th place ranking for Top Public Schools and 22nd for Best Undergraduate Teaching from US News’ Best Colleges. Western Kentucky University has also received an overall grade of a B- from Niche. This school has also won the Hearst Intercollegiate Overall Award in 2018.

6. Alice Lloyd College

Score: 94.4

Average Net Price: $13,000
Retention Rate: 83%
Graduation Rate: 44%
Salary After Attending: $31,700

A private college situated in Pippa Passes, Kentucky, Alice Lloyd College is a small, private college with a long history. Established in 1923 by Alice Lloyd and June Buchanan, Alice Lloyd College was designed to provide a brighter future for those in the Appalachian region.

This need to help those in the region help the college to establish a program that provides free tuition for those entering Alice Lloyd College from the service area. This area includes 108 Central Appalachian counties. This includes counties in Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Ohio, and Virginia.

Alice Lloyd College provides a dedicated path for education with a student-teacher ratio of 17:1. They offer a variety of teaching degrees and non-teaching degrees that include nursing programs, business administration, criminal justice, and others. They also offer a variety of minors to enhance the various programs students pursue.

Alice Lloyd College received an overall B- grade from Niche. This school has also garnered a 16th place ranking in Regional Colleges South and the high achieving score of 2nd place for Best Value Schools from US News’s Best Colleges. Alice Lloyd College is one of the Best Colleges in KY for boosting the Appalachian region.

7. Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College

Score: 94.0

Average Net Price: $5,113
Retention Rate: 63%
Graduation Rate: 31%
Salary After Attending: $30,300

Originally known as the Western Trade School, Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College was established in 1939 as a National Youth Administration training facility. Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College is located in Bowling Green, Kentucky. This public college is part of the 16 college Kentucky Community and Technical College System dedicated to providing opportunities for Kentucky residents.

Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College offers eleven degrees and certificate programs in a variety of fields. Their more popular programs include Associate in Arts and Science, Culinary Arts, Business Administration, and Medical Information Technology. This school also has campuses in Glasgow and Franklin to provide availability and convenience for the community.

Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. They have also received accreditation for many of their technical programs from their specific accreditation services. These accreditations include the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation and the Kentucky Board of Nursing.

8. Eastern Kentucky University

Score: 94.0

Average Net Price: $11,892
Retention Rate: 74%
Graduation Rate: 42%
Salary After Attending: $36,100

Eastern Kentucky University is a large, public university located in Richmond, Kentucky. Eastern Kentucky University was established in 1906 as the Eastern Kentucky State Normal School. It was created on the site of the old Central University, founded in 1874. It became a four-year institution in 1922 with the first degrees awarded in 1925.

Eastern Kentucky University maintains an 87% acceptance rate in their school and offers a large array of programs and degree opportunities at the bachelors and graduate levels. These programs range from accounting to women’s and gender studies programs. Easter Kentucky University also offers 2-year programs, certificates, and even online options to fulfill students’ needs for career success.

Eastern Kentucky University received an overall B grade with B’s in every field determined by Niche‘s grading system. US News’ Best Colleges ranks Eastern Kentucky University at 76th in Regional Universities South and 28th in Top Public Schools. They also received a 13th ranking for the Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs for Veterans. Their scores help boost this as one of the Best Schools in Kentucky for residents wishing to improve themselves and their career options through education.

9. Madisonville Community College

Score: 93.8

Average Net Price: $5,119
Retention Rate: 60%
Graduation Rate: 44%
Salary After Attending: $28,100

Madisonville Community College is a branch of the Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges System and is located in Madisonville, Kentucky. It boasts a small community of approximately 1,048 undergraduate students to offer a more personalized college experience for students. Originally established in 1968, as a part of the University of Kentucky’s Community College System.

Madisonville Community College strives to maintain an acceptance rate of 100% to ensure residents receive the education they need to succeed in Kentucky. This school provides a variety of Associate degree options and certifications to meet the local needs of the community. They also offer a 2+2 partnership with Murray State University for students who want to pursue a career in education.

Madisonville Community College maintains an overall Niche grade of a B-. This college has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award Associate Degrees. In addition, their Medical Laboratory Technician program has received accreditation from the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences.

10. Morehead State University

Score: 93.2

Average Net Price: $12,179
Retention Rate: 71%
Graduation Rate: 43%
Salary After Attending: $33,100

Morehead State University is a public college founded in 1887. It is located in Morehead, Kentucky, at the foothills of Daniel Boone National Forest. The scenic campus provides comprehensive and robust programs for undergraduates and graduates. There is also a doctoral program that is being developed to provide more opportunities for students.

Morehead State University strives to provide students with all the tools they need to reach their education and career goals. They offer a variety of programs that include popular majors, such as Liberal Arts and Humanities, Nursing, and Social Work. They also offer online programs in Accounting, Technology Management, and others. With an 80% acceptance rate, Morehead State University maintains a competitive edge without being exclusive.

Morehead State University ranks#23 in Top Public Schools, #65 in Regional Universities South, and #39 in Best Value Schools from US News’ Best Colleges. They also receive an overall Niche grade of a B-. This university provides a comprehensive field of study and excellence for their students to succeed.

11. Gateway Community and Technical College

Score: 93.0

Average Net Price: $5,945
Retention Rate: 66%
Graduation Rate: 36%
Salary After Attending: $28,800

Gateway Community and Technical College was established in 2002 and is part of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. This school is located in Florence, Kentucky. It provides the community with an acceptance rate of 100%. Their mission is dedicated to offer diversity and inclusion for everyone in the community.

Gateway Community and Technical College offers an array of associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates to meet the educational needs of the community. Their programs include Computer and Information Technology, Commercial Driver’s License Training, Associates in Arts and in Science, as well as many other options to help students reach their career goals.

Gateway Community and Technical College takes extra steps to help remove many of the roadblocks to education. These community-minded initiatives open the door for many residents of Kentucky. These programs include free tuition for many four-month programs. They also offer a pantry and other services to ensure students are not limiting their education due to poverty.

Gateway Community and Technical College garners a C+ overall grade from Niche with an A- in Safety. They are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges to award associate degrees to their students. They are also part of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education to provide education coordination across the state.

12. Clear Creek Baptist Bible College

Score: 92.2

Average Net Price: $9,012
Retention Rate: 67%
Graduation Rate: 53%
Salary After Attending: $26,300

Clear Creek Baptist Bible College is a private, Christian college located in the town of Pineville, Kentucky. Established in 1946 by the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky, Clear Creek Baptist Bible College maintains a clear focus to “educate God-called men and women for Christian ministry.”

Clear Creek Baptist College has an acceptance rate of 100% but still maintains a small enrollment of approximately 63 undergraduate students. They offer a Bachelor of Arts in Ministry, an Associate of Arts in Ministry, a Certificate in Bible, Bivocational Ministry Certificate, and a dual enrollment and non-degree seeking study options. This school also offers a newly formed 3 plus 1 initiative that provides the skills needed to become a church planter.

Clear Creek Baptist Bible College has been accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Educations. This accreditation facility is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and offers accreditation for colleges that offer degrees that prepare students for Christian ministries. This school has also received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

13. Maysville Community and Technical College

Score: 92.0

Average Net Price: $5,225
Retention Rate: 67%
Graduation Rate: 31%
Salary After Attending: $25,800

Maysville Community and Technical College is a small, public college located in Maysville, Kentucky. This school was formed by the consolidation of Maysville Community College and Rowan Technical College in 2004. It is a vibrant part of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System dedicated to providing the residents of Kentucky the opportunity to pursue higher education.

Similar to other colleges in the KCTCS, Maysville Community and Technical College maintains a 100% acceptance rate with free tuition for many job programs that can be completed in four months or less. Students can pursue an associate degree in various fields, such as Arts and Science. There are also various programs that provide hands-on career training, such as Automotive Technology and Air Conditioning Technology.

Maysville Community and Technical College’s overall Niche grade is a C+ with an A+ in safety. This school has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, allowing them to award associate degrees to their students. This ensures graduates receive the degree they need to stay competitive in the career market.

14. Brescia University

Score: 91.8

Average Net Price: $13,312
Retention Rate: 63%
Graduation Rate: 34%
Salary After Attending: $40,100

Brescia University is a private, Catholic university. It is located in Owensboro, Kentucky and was established in 1925, as the Mount Saint Joseph Junior College for Women. It became Brescia University in 1950 when the second campus of this school was consolidated to provide co-education.

Brescia University maintains a modest 715 undergraduate students with a competitive acceptance rate of 42%. This school offers a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and online programs to meet the needs of the students. They also maintain a 13:1 student-teacher ratio to ensure each student gets the attention they need to succeed.

Brescia University’s undergraduate programs provide options in Fine Arts, Humanities, Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Social Work, Business, Education, and Social and Behavioral Sciences. There are also a variety of graduate programs in Business Administration, Science in Management, and Social Work. There are even a variety of associate options available online.

Brescia University maintains an overall Niche grade of a B with an A- in diversity. This school is also ranked by US News’ Best Colleges in several fields. They received a 30th ranking in Regional Colleges South and 13th in Best Value Schools. Their online program has also garnered a ranking of #166 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.

15. Elizabethtown Community and Technical College

Score: 90.4

Average Net Price: $5,564
Retention Rate: 57%
Graduation Rate: 30%
Salary After Attending: $29,000

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College is a proud member of the Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges System. Located in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, this college was formed in 2004, when Elizabethtown Community College and Elizabethtown Technical College were consolidated. This consolidation gave students a more comprehensive education option.

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College offers education and training programs to help students find their success in a career path that is right for them. An acceptance rate of 100% helps keep education opportunities open for the entire community.

Students are able to take up to 60 credit hours tuition fee. This provides the opportunity for many people to get the education they need for positions in many high demand fields across the state. They offer programs in Criminal Justice, Electrical Technology, Education, Fire/Rescue Science, and many others to help students meet the real needs of the job market.

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College maintains an overall Niche grade of a C with an A in Safety. US News’s Best Colleges ranks this school 13th in Best Value Schools and 30th in Regional Colleges South. Elizabethtown Community and Technical College is part of the collective that are the Best Colleges in the state.

16. Henderson Community College

Score: 90.2

Average Net Price: $4,968
Retention Rate: 59%
Graduation Rate: 22%
Salary After Attending: $27,700

Henderson Community College began its time as a school in 1960. It was the Northwest Extension of the University of Kentucky and became a charter member of the University of Kentucky’s Community College System when it changed its name to Henderson Community College in 1964. Located in Henderson, Kentucky, this school became a proud member of the Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges System in 1998.

Henderson Community College is home to the Preston Arts Center. This facility hosts local and national art presentations and houses several gallery spaces and an auditorium. In addition to its associate programs and career specific certifications, Henderson Community College also offers 2+2 programs in Education with its partner school, Murray State University.

Henderson Community College gains a C+ overall Niche grade and an A in Safety. They carry accreditation from Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to provide associate degrees to its students. This school also receives accreditations for each program they offer from their respective accrediting institutions. This ensures students receive a quality education that prepares them for their specific field.

17. Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College

Score: 89.6

Average Net Price: $5,303
Retention Rate: 61%
Graduation Rate: 33%
Salary After Attending: $22,800

Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College is a small, 2-year, public college located in Cumberland, Kentucky. Approximately 1500 undergraduate students attend this school with an acceptance rate of 100%. A member of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, this school was established as the Southeast Center of the University of Kentucky in 1960.

Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College provides a challenging education program with services to provide support for success. They offer associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates in a variety of fields to help students find the right path for their chosen career. Popular programs include Liberal Arts and Humanities, Licensed Practical Nurse Training, and Welding Technology.

Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College ranks a C+ overall grade from Niche and an A+ in Safety. The US News’ Best Colleges ranks this school as #13 in Best Value Schools and #30 in Regional Colleges South. They also received 166th place in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.

18. Owensboro Community and Technical College

Score: 89.0

Average Net Price: $6,298
Retention Rate: 59%
Graduation Rate: 31%
Salary After Attending: $27,300

Owensboro Community and Technical College located in Owensboro, Kentucky, has been servicing the area since 1986. Once two colleges, the community and the technical college of Owensboro, come together to provide one, unified college to meet the needs of the community since 1999.

Owensboro Community and Technical College shares in the open acceptance policy as part of the Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges System. They offer programs with free tuition available for many of their career-minded students. Many of these programs can be completed in as little as four months to help students embark on a stable career.

This school provides a variety of programs for their students. They offer programs in Healthcare Facilities Leadership, Advanced Manufacturing Technologies, Transportation Technologies, Welding Technologies, and Criminal Justice. They also offer transfer opportunities for students who wish to go on to a four-year college.

Owensboro Community and Technical College holds a C+ overall grade from Niche, as well as a B- for their professors, and A for Safety. They are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges that allows them to award associate degrees to successful students. They also hold professional accreditations for their many programs from their respective institutions.

19. Kentucky State University

Score: 88.6

Average Net Price: $8,772
Retention Rate: 63%
Graduation Rate: 20%
Salary After Attending: $28,700

Kentucky State University is a four-year public university situated in Frankfort, Kentucky. This school began as a small normal school dedicated to training black teachers to teach in the black schools of Kentucky and first chartered in 1886. KSU went on to become a land-grant college in 1890. Today, public enrollment is approximately 2,200 students and 135 full-time faculty members.

Small classes provide the perfect environment for students to learn and grow at Kentucky State University. This school offers five colleges to provide a variety of academic programs for students to pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree in their chosen field. This school maintains a 45% acceptance rate with popular majors that include Nursing, Business, and Criminal Justice.

Kentucky State University ranks 22nd in Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and 30th in Regional Colleges South. They also hold the high rank of 4th in Top Public Schools according to US News’ Best Colleges. Kentucky State University also earned a B grade in Academics, an A in Diversity, with an overall grade of a B- from Niche. These rankings and the success of their students make this one of the Best Colleges in KY.

20. Jefferson Community and Technical College

Score: 88.4

Average Net Price: $5,401
Retention Rate: 55%
Graduation Rate: 13%
Salary After Attending: $28,800

Jefferson Community and Technical College as with many colleges within the Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges System, this school was formed by a merger between the Jefferson Community college and the Jefferson Technical College in Louisville, Kentucky in 2005. This consolidation provides the community with a comprehensive college system to provide the tools they need to follow their chosen career path.

Although a small public college, Jefferson Community and Technical College maintains a 100% acceptance rate and about 3,500 undergraduate students on campus. This school offers a variety of specialized programs to help students prepare for real-world careers. The Mercedes-Benz program trains students to be certified technicians in as little as three semesters. There are also various apprenticeship studies and other programs to meet the needs of today’s employers.

Jefferson Community and Technical College earns a grade of B+ in diversity, student life, and safety, with an overall grade of C from Niche. They are also accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. This school also works directly with employers to provide specific training to ensure employment after graduation.

21. Ashland Community and Technical College

Score: 87.6

Average Net Price: $6,322
Retention Rate: 61%
Graduation Rate: 28%
Salary After Attending: $25,600

Ashland Community and Technical College is an open-admission college that offers a 100% acceptance rate as part of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. First established in 1938, the Ashland Junior College provided students the opportunity to receive an associate degree or the first part of their bachelor’s degree. In 2003, they merged with the Ashland Technical School to become Ashland Community and Technical College.

Ashland Community and Technical College offers a variety of education and training programs to help students succeed in their chose career path. Students can pursue an associate degree in Science or Arts, or opt for a training program in Automotive Technology, Cosmetology and Esthetics, Criminal Justice, or many others. These programs offer hands-on training to ensure graduates are ready for their career.

Ashland Community and Technical College receives its accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on College to provide associate degrees. They also hold accreditations from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. and the Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting, as well as other program-specific accreditations. This school has also received a C+ overall Niche grade.

22. Hopkinsville Community College

Score: 87.6

Average Net Price: $6,874
Retention Rate: 55%
Graduation Rate: 32%
Salary After Attending: $27,000

Hopkinsville Community College is located in Hopkinsville, Kentucky and established originally in 1965. It also has a branch campus on the Fort Campbell Army base. Hopkinsville Community College became part of the Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges System to provide two-year programs with 100% acceptance rates for the state of Kentucky.

Hopkinsville Community College provides degrees and certifications in a wide variety of programs. These include Nursing, Agriculture Technology, Construction Technology, and Industrial Maintenance. They also offer transfer programs to allow students an easier and affordable method for completing a four-year degree.

Hopkinsville Community College boasts a B- grade for their professors, a B+ for diversity, and an A for safety, with an overall C+ grade from Niche. In addition to their accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate degrees, this school also holds accreditations from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing and the Kentucky Board of Nursing.

23. Big Sandy Community and Technical College

Score: 87.4

Average Net Price: $5,566
Retention Rate: 62%
Graduation Rate: 21%
Salary After Attending: $23,000

Big Sandy Community and Technical College is a public college with its main headquarters located in Prestonsburg, Kentucky. It was created in 2003, when Prestonsburg Community College and Mayo Technical College merged. This school is part of the statewide effort to provide education for the community with low costs tuitions, 100% acceptance rates, and career-focused programs. They are one of 16 schools in the Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges System.

Big Sandy Community and Technical College provides a small community focused on education with 1,900 undergraduate students. They offer programs to receive associate degrees in Arts and Science. They also provide a variety of programs and certifications to train students to work in a variety of fields, such as Welding, Nursing, Criminal Justice, Electrical Technology, and Community Dental Health Coordinator. They even provide transfer opportunities for students who want to pursue a four-year education.

Big Sandy Community and Technical College maintains an A+ grade for safety, a B for their professors, and an overall grade of a C+ from Niche. Their associate degree programs are fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on College.

24. Hazard Community and Technical College

Score: 87.0

Average Net Price: $5,802
Retention Rate: 57%
Graduation Rate: 28%
Salary After Attending: $23,800

Another great addition to the Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges System is Hazard Community and Technical College. Originally Hazard Community College, was established in 1968 until it took on its current name in 2003. This small, public school is located in Hazard, Kentucky. It provides a local option for residents to reach their education and career goals. The 100% acceptance rate allows a more diverse and robust student community.

This school provides a variety of options to help residents prepare for a career in one of many high-demand jobs in the area. Many of their certificate and diploma programs offer hands-on training to provide learning and experience in the industry students are pursuing. These options include Construction Technology, Cosmetology, Emergency Medical Services, and Heavy Equipment Operations.

In addition to these technical programs, Hazard Community and Technical College also provides options for students to reach their degree goals. They offer associate degrees in Arts and Science, as well as provide transfer options for those seeking a bachelor’s degree.

Hazard Community and Technical College has received high grades from Niche that include an A+ in safety and a B+ for their professors. They have also earned an overall C grade for their school.

25. Somerset Community College

Score: 86.2

Average Net Price: $5,882
Retention Rate: 55%
Graduation Rate: 25%
Salary After Attending: $24,600

A proud member of the Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges System, Somerset Community College is a small, public institution located in the community of Somerset, Kentucky. This college began as Somerset Community College in 1965, when 290 students first entered its halls. In 2003, this school was joined with Somerset Technical College and Laurel Technical College to become the institution it is today.

Somerset Community College was created to help provide the community with a path to a brighter future and better career. With an average enrollment of 2500 students, this school offers an open-enrollment policy to help remove barriers to continued education.

This school provides a variety of programs to help students earn an associate degree in either Arts or Science. There are also options for transfer to a four-year college. In addition to the degree paths available, this school offers certificate and diploma options in fields such as Aviation, Nursing, Industrial Maintenance, and Culinary Arts.

Somerset Community College has received various grades from Niche that include an A for safety, a B- for both their professors and student life, and a “C” overall grade. Somerset Community College is an accredited institution that maintains quality and excellence established by institutional and program-specific accrediting agencies. This helps ensure that a student’s education is recognized and accepted throughout the country.

26. Bluegrass Community and Technical College

Score: 85.4

Average Net Price: $6,923
Retention Rate: 54%
Graduation Rate: 19%
Salary After Attending: $28,000

Bluegrass Community and Technical College is a public college that averages 4,250 students enrolled. This school is a part of the Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges Systems to provide open enrollment for students in the Kentucky area. Located in the Lexington, Kentucky area, this school was established in 2004 when Lexington Community College and Central Kentucky Technical College were combined.

Bluegrass Community and Technical College provides a variety of opportunities for students to start or continue their education. This school is focused on workforce education and readiness. This is proven in the programs they offer students that provide hands-on experience and apprenticeships in their chosen career fields.

This school provides associate degrees in Arts and Science, as well as provides a transfer program to help build on a four-year degree. There are also programs available that offer certifications and diplomas in work specific fields. These include Biotechnology, Computerized Manufacturing and Machining, Dental Hygiene, and many other areas that offer skills for high demand careers.

Bluegrass Community and Technical College provides a safe and diverse environment for their students. This is shown in their A grade in safety and B+ grade in diversity from Niche. This school has also earned a C+ as an overall grade for the school.

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