Best Colleges & Universities in Kentucky

best_colleges_universities_in_kentuckyThe Bluegrass State offers more than just excellent college basketball. Kentucky’s higher education institutions provide excellent research opportunities, active religious environments, and work-study programs where students can earn 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 vs. University of Louisville rivalry is not 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 Academic Common Market program. The goal of this program is to allow residents of 14 other states to pay in-state tuition while attending Kentucky’s colleges and universities. See http://home.sreb.org/acm/participating/institutionstates.aspx to find out if you qualify to take part in 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 on tuition rates at the state’s public colleges, which have resulted in the lowest increase rates in over ten years. See http://cpe.ky.gov/ourwork/tuitionsetting.html for more information.

These programs prove Kentucky’s commitment to making sure you can pursue your educational goals. So, go to Kentucky for school 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 college decisions.

Best Colleges in Kentucky for 2019-2020

Kentucky is home to a wide variety 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 for a variety of these institutions, the ultimate judge is you. The right school is dependent upon your career goals, location, and financial situation. 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 that was founded in 1855 as a one-room school. Today, it is historically known as the first college in the south to be both co-ed and interracial.

Berea College provides a rigorous academic program for their undergraduates, with 33 different fields in their bachelor’s of arts and bachelor’s of science degree programs. The school accepts the majority of applicants from the greater Appalachian region.

One of the most attractive attributes of Berea College is its No-Tuition Promise, a scholarship made available to every student through donations and endowments. In order to qualify for these scholarships, students are required to work at least ten hours each week at various campus and service jobs.

Berea earns an A- overall grade rating from Niche. It also ranks #3 among Most Innovative Schools and #4 among Best Undergraduate Teaching from US News’ Best Colleges. This school is easily one of the best colleges for minimizing student debt, which provides students a better chance of gaining 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

Founded in 1922, Murray State University offers its students a highly personalized education, a vibrant campus atmosphere, and rich history and traditions. These time-honored traditions include an annual homecoming parade with handcrafted parade floats and a victory lap by Racer One at every touchdown.

The school offers four different undergraduate certificate programs and six associate programs. With 66 different bachelor’s programs, students can choose from several specialized track options to pursue a more individualized education path. Murray State also awards graduate certifications, master’s, and doctoral programs, as well as specializations.

MSU offers students a career-oriented education. Each year, 200 employers recruit directly from the campus to help students launch their careers. Their medical and law hopefuls have an outstanding success rate when seeking acceptance in their respective graduate schools.

According to Niche, Murray State earns an overall grade rating of B+, and from US News’ Best Colleges, it sits at #11 among Top Public Schools and #24 among 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

Located in the city of Paducah, West Kentucky Community and Technical College is a public institution that operates as a member of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. It has a 100% acceptance rate and provides a variety of opportunities for students that enable them to reach their career goals.

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

West Kentucky Community and Technical College offers associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates. They award degrees in fields like criminal justice, computer information technology, surgical technology, and visual communications. Some programs even provide study abroad or online format options.

From Niche, West Kentucky Community and Technical College receives an overall grade rating of B-, as well as an A in safety and an A- in student life. It is one of the top schools in Kentucky, offering a convenient and affordable path to a successful career and a successful life.

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’s campus sits within the greater Cincinnati area in the scenic town of Highland Heights. As one of the fastest-growing schools in Kentucky, it offers a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs. It also awards certifications and micro-credentials that help students build their careers.

NKU runs an online campus to allow students the opportunity to pursue their education through a more convenient medium. This program offers certificates, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in fields like business, education, healthcare, and nursing.

The school’s online programs are accredited by the 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 has made the Forbes’ America’s Top Colleges list. This school has also been recognized by Niche and received an overall grade rating of B. According to US News’s Best Colleges, it sits at #33 among Top Public Schools and #23 among 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

Western Kentucky University’s main campus was established in 1906 in Bowling Green, Kentucky, but today there are additional learning sites in Glasgow, Owensboro, and Elizabethtown-Fort Knox.

Western Kentucky University offers 101 baccalaureate degree majors with 111 minors available to set students on a path for success. There are also a wide variety of post-graduate programs that award degrees, certificates, and doctorates. This school also offers several programs online, creating a more convenient and flexible environment in which students can reach their higher education goals.

Western Kentucky University maintains a 95% acceptance rate, meaning a wide array of students can take advantage of their many popular programs. These include liberal arts and humanities, business, engineering, and nursing.

Western Kentucky University ranks at #11 among Top Public Schools and #22 among Best Undergraduate Teaching from US News’ list of Best Colleges. Western Kentucky University earned an overall grade of a B- from Niche. This school 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

Established in Pippa Passes, Kentucky in 1923 by Alice Lloyd and June Buchanan, Alice Lloyd College is a small, private college with a rich and compelling history. This school was created to provide a brighter future for aspiring students in the greater Appalachian region.

To better help those in the region, the college hosts a program that provides free tuition for those entering Alice Lloyd College from 108 different central Appalachian counties. Students in Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Ohio, and Virginia can participate in this program.

Alice Lloyd College provides a highly individualized path for education, boasting a student-to-teacher ratio of 17 to 1. They offer a variety of teaching degrees, as well as specializations in nursing, business administration, criminal justice, and many others. A wide variety of minors are also available, designed to supplement and accommodate the various degrees students pursue.

Alice Lloyd College earned an overall B- grade from Niche.com. The school ranks #16 among Regional Colleges South and sits at #2 among Best Value Schools from US News’s list of Best Colleges. Alice Lloyd College is one of the best higher education institutions in the greater 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

Formerly known as the Western Trade School, Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College was established in 1939 as a National Youth Administration training facility. Today, its main campus is located in Bowling Green, Kentucky. As part of the 16 college Kentucky Community and Technical College System, this school dedicates itself to providing higher education opportunities exclusively for Kentucky residents.

Though it offers eleven different degree and certificate programs, Southcentral Kentucky’s more popular programs include arts and science, culinary arts, business administration, and medical information technology. The school also runs off-site learning centers in Glasgow and Franklin to provide greater accessibility and convenience to the greater Appalachian area.

Southcentral Kentucky is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. It has also received accreditation for many of its technical programs from organizations like 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 institution the was established in the city of Richmond in 1906. Originally named the Eastern Kentucky State Normal School, it was built on the site of the old Central University, and officially became a four-year institution in 1922 with its first degrees awarded in 1925.

Today, the school maintains an 87% acceptance rate, offering a wide array of programs and degrees at both the bachelor’s and graduate levels. These programs range anywhere from accounting to women’s and gender studies. Eastern Kentucky University also awards 2-year degrees, certificates, and even offers online alternatives to fulfill students’ individual needs.

Eastern Kentucky University earns an overall grade rating of B, according to Niche.com. US News’ Best Colleges ranks it at #76 among Regional Universities South and #28 among Top Public Schools. The school also sits at #13 on the list of Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs for Veterans. These outstanding scores help promote this institution as one of the best schools in Kentucky.

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 has operated as a member of the Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges System and since its founding in 1968. The school is located in Madisonville, Kentucky, and boasts a student community of approximately 1,000 undergraduates. Because of the minimal student population, the institution offers a highly personalized college experience for its students.

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

According to Niche.com, this school earns an overall grade rating of B-. MCC receives 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 institution that was founded in 1887, situated in the foothills of Daniel Boone National Forest. The scenic campus hosts course programs for both undergraduates and graduates. There is also a doctoral program currently in development that is designed to provide more opportunities for students.

MSU also strives to provide tools students need to reach their education and career goals. Popular majors include liberal arts and humanities, nursing, and social work. Degrees in accounting, technology management, and several other fields can be earned online. With an 80% acceptance rate, Morehead State University maintains a competitive edge without being distinctively exclusive.

Morehead State University ranks#23 among Top Public Schools, #65 in Regional Universities South, and #39 in Best Value Schools on US News’ list of Best Colleges. They also receive an overall grade rating of B- from Niche.com.

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. With an acceptance rate of 100%, the school’s mission is to foster a diverse and inclusive community for all students.

A wide range of associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates are available 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 additional steps to help remove many of the roadblocks to education. These community-minded initiatives open the door for many students and Kentucky residents. These programs include free tuition for specialized four-month programs. The school-run pantry and other charitable services ensure students’ educations are not limited due to poverty.

According to Niche.com, Gateway Community and Technical College earns an overall grade rating of C+ and an A- in Safety. They are accredited to award associate degrees to their students by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, as well as the Commission on Colleges. 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 institution located in the town of Pineville, Kentucky. Established in 1946 by the General Association of Baptists, the school maintains a clear focus on educating God-called men and women for Christian ministry.

Clear Creek Baptist College has an acceptance rate of 100% and maintains a small enrollment of 63 undergraduate students. They offer a bachelor of arts in ministry, an associate of arts in ministry, a certificate in Bible studies, a bi-vocational ministry certificate, and a dual enrollment and non-degree specialized study options. This school also offers a newly formed 3 plus 1 initiative that teaches skills to become a church planter.

The Association for Biblical Higher Educations has accredited clear Creek Baptist Bible College and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. It accredits colleges that offer degrees in 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 institution located in Maysville, Kentucky. This school is the byproduct of Maysville Community College and Rowan Technical College, which were consolidated in 2004. It is an integral part of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System dedicated to providing the residents with 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 associate’s degrees in various fields, such as arts and science. The wide variety of programs also provide hands-on career training in fields like automotive technology and air conditioning technology.

Niche.com gives Maysville Community and Technical College an overall grade rating of C+ and an A+ in safety. This school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, which authorizes the institution to award associate degrees. 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 institution located in Owensboro, Kentucky. In 1925, it was known as Mount Saint Joseph Junior College for Women, but became Brescia University in 1950 when the second campus was consolidated into the co-ed system that operates today.

Brescia University hosts a modest 715 undergraduate students with a competitive acceptance rate of just 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 award degrees 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 fields like business administration, science in management, and social work. There are even a variety of associate options available online.

Niche.com gives the school an overall grade rating B with an A- in diversity. This school is also ranked on US News’ list of Best Colleges in several fields. They received a ranking of #30 among Regional Colleges South and sit at #13 among Best Value Schools. Their online program has also garnered a ranking of #166 among the 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. This college was formed in 2004 when Elizabethtown Community College and Elizabethtown Technical College merged. This consolidation gave residents a more comprehensive higher education option.
Elizabethtown Community and Technical College offers training programs to help students find a career path that is right for them. An acceptance rate of 100% helps keep education opportunities open to the entire community.

Students can take up to 60 credit hours completely tuition-free., and graduates are able to get positions in several high-demand fields across the state. The school also offers programs in criminal justice, electrical technology, education, fire/rescue science, and many other fields.

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College maintains an overall grade of a C, and upholds an A in Safety, according to Niche.com. This school sits at #13 among Best Value Schools and #30 in Regional Colleges South on US News’s list of Best Colleges.

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 was established in 1960 as the Northwest Extension of the University of Kentucky. It 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.

Today, HCC is home to the Preston Arts Center, a facility that hosts local and national art presentations, 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.

Niche.com awards this institution an overall grade rating of C+, with an A in the safety category. HCC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which authorizes it to grant associate’s degrees. The school also receives accreditation from field-specific accrediting institutions for each specific program it hosts. This ensures students receive a quality education within their particular discipline.

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 institution located in Cumberland, Kentucky. With an acceptance rate of 100%, approximately 1,500 undergraduate students attend this school. It is a member of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System and was known at its 1960 founding as the Southeast Center of the University of Kentucky.

Today, this school provides a comprehensive education program with additional student support services. Associate’s degrees, diplomas, and certificates are available in a variety of fields, and students are free to determine their career path through participation in popular field-specific programs like liberal arts and humanities, licensed practical nurse training, or welding technology.

Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College earned an overall grade rating of C+ from Niche.com, as well as an A+ in the safety category. US News’ list of Best Colleges sets this school at #13 among Best Value Schools and #30 in Regional Colleges South. The college also ranks at #166 among 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 has been serving its community since 1986. In 1999, the school’s two constituents conjoined to form the larger and more cohesive institution that we see today.

As a member of the Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges System, OCTC engages in the open acceptance policy. The school offers programs with free tuition available for many students. Many of these programs take as little as four months to complete, aiming to help students focus on establishing a stable career.

This school provides a variety of programs in fields like healthcare facilities leadership, advanced manufacturing technologies, transportation technologies, welding technologies, and criminal justice. It also offers transfer openings for students who hope to attend four-year universities.

According to Niche.com, Owensboro Community and Technical College holds an overall grade rating of C+, as well as a B- for their professors, and an A in safety. The institution is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, organizations that authorize the school to award associate’s degrees.

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 institution situated in Frankfort, Kentucky. In 1886, this university was chartered as a training school with a curriculum designed to coach the teachers of the black schools of Kentucky. It went on to become a land-grant college in 1890. Today, the school enrolls approximately 2,200 students and employs 135 full-time faculty members.

The school maintains an acceptance rate of 45%, and the small classes provide perfect conditions for students to learn in personalized learning environments. KSU’s five different field-related schools of study host a variety of academic programs and undergraduate or graduate degrees. Students often choose to pursue popular majors in fields like nursing, business, or criminal justice.

Kentucky State University ranks #22 among Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and #30 in Regional Colleges South. It also sits at #4 among Top Public Schools on US News’ list of Best Colleges.  According to Niche.com, KSU also received a grade rating of B in academics and an A in diversity, earning a B- overall.

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 operates in affiliation with the Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges System. In 2005, two separate organizations, the Jefferson Community college and the Jefferson Technical College in Louisville, Kentucky, merged to form the current institution. Today, the consolidated college provides the community with the educational tools they need to pursue successful careers.

Although it is only a small public college, JCTC maintains a 100% acceptance rate and hosts about 3,500 undergraduate students in total. It offers a variety of specialized programs to help students prepare for real-world careers. For example, the Mercedes-Benz program trains students to be certified technicians in as little as three semesters. There are also additional apprenticeship studies and other programs designed to accommodate the requirements of employers in the world today.

According to Niche.com, this school merits a B+ in the categories of diversity, student life, and safety, with an overall grade rating of C. The Southern Association of Colleges and the Schools Commission on Colleges accredits JCTC. Additionally, it works directly with employers to provide specific training to ensure graduate employment.

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 school that offers a 100% acceptance rate as a member of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. First established in 1938, it initially only awarded students associate’s degrees or the first portion of their bachelor’s degrees. In 2003, the school merged with the Ashland Technical School and is now known as Ashland Community and Technical College.

It offers a variety of education and training programs to help students succeed in their chosen career path. Students can pursue associate’s degrees in science or the arts, otherwise opting for field-specific training programs in automotive technology, cosmetology and esthetics, criminal justice, and many others. These programs offer hands-on training to ensure graduates are career-ready.

Ashland Community and Technical College receives accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, which authorizes the school to award associate’s degrees. ACTC also holds 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. Niche.com awards it an overall grade rating of C+.

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 was established in 1965 with a branch campus on the Fort Campbell Army base. The school became part of the Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges System, enabling it to provide two-year programs with 100% acceptance rates for the Kentucky residents.

HCC grants degrees and certifications in a wide variety of fields, including nursing, agriculture technology, construction technology, and industrial maintenance. They also offer transfer programs to allow students an easier and more affordable way to pursue four-year degrees.

Hopkinsville Community College boasts a B- grade for their professors, a B+ for diversity, and an A for safety, making an overall grade of C+, according to Niche.com. In addition to their accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, it also holds authorization 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

Located in Prestonburg, Kentucky, Big Sandy Community and Technical College is a public institution that was established in 2003, when Prestonsburg Community College and Mayo Technical College were consolidated. Today, this school participates in the statewide effort to provide education for the community with low cost tuition, a 100% acceptance rate, and career-focused programs. They are just one of 16 different higher education institutions within the Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges System.

BSCTC is a small academic community with only 1,900 undergraduate students. Its comprehensive courses enable students to earn associate’s degrees in both the arts and sciences. The school offers training in a variety of fields, such as welding, nursing, criminal justice, electrical technology, and community dental health coordination. It even provides transfer opportunities for students who want to pursue four-year degrees.

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

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

Hazard Community and Technical College is another great addition to the Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges System that was established in 1968. It took on its current name in 2003. This small, public school serves local Hazard resident students by enabling them to reach their higher education and career goals. The school accepts 100% of applicants.

HCTC awards a variety of degrees to help residents build careers in high-demand fields. Many of their certificate and diploma programs offer hands-on training to provide learning and experience in these industries. These include construction technology, cosmetology, emergency medical services, and heavy equipment operations.

In addition to these technical programs, Hazard Community and Technical College also awards associate’s degrees in arts and sciences and provides transfer opportunities for those seeking four-year degrees.

Niche.com awards this school an A+ in the safety category and a B+ for their professors. Overall, it earned a grade rating of C.

25. Somerset Community College

Score: 86.2

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

Somerset Community College is a small, public institution that operates as a proud member of the Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges System. In 2003, it consolidated with Somerset Technical College and Laurel Technical College to become the institution it is today.

SCC provides the Somerset community with a brighter future in industry and a well-rounded local economy. With an enrollment of 2,500 students, this school offers an open-enrollment policy to help remove barriers to continued education.

The school awards associate’s degrees in both the arts and sciences. Transfer options are also made available to students pursuing four-year degrees. In addition, Somerset offers certificates and diploma options in fields such as aviation, nursing, industrial maintenance, and culinary arts.

Niche.com rates Somerset Community College with an A in safety, a B- for professors and student life, and an overall grade of C. This school is an accredited institution that maintains the precedent of excellence instituted by several program-specific accrediting agencies.

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 institution home to around 4,250 students in total. This school is a part of the Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges Systems and provides open enrollment for in-state students. This school was established in 2004 when Lexington Community College and Central Kentucky Technical College merged.

BCTC provides a variety of opportunities for students to start or continue their education. It focuses primarily on workforce education and readiness. Students participate in hands-on learning and apprenticeships in their chosen fields.

This school awards associate’s degrees in both the arts and sciences. It also provides a transfer program to help students who are pursuing four-year degrees. Bluegrass grants certifications and diplomas in specific domains like biotechnology, computerized manufacturing and machining, dental hygiene, and many other fields that require high-demand skills.

Bluegrass Community and Technical College provides a safe and diverse environment for its students, earning a grade rating of A in safety and a B+ in diversity, according to Niche.com. Overall, this school earned a C+.

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