Top Kentucky Colleges

Learn about the Top 10 Kentucky Colleges and Universities

Top Ranked U.S. Colleges: Universities | Public Universities | Liberal Arts Colleges | Engineering | Business | Women's | Most Selective | More Top Picks

Kentucky's best colleges range in size from small Berea College with just over 1,000 students to the University of Kentucky with nearly 30,000 students. They also vary significantly in personality and mission. My top picks for the state include a range of public, private, religious, and secular institutions. Admission standards also differ greatly, so be sure to click on the profile links to learn more about each school. My selection criteria include retention rates, four- and six-year graduation rates, value, student engagement, and notable curricular strengths. I have listed the schools alphabetically rather than forcing them into any kind of artificial ranking; the idea of trying to put a small liberal arts work college and a large Division I public university into a single ranking is dubious at best.

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Asbury University
Asbury University. Nyttend / Wikimedia Commons
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Bellarmine University Brown Library
Bellarmine University Brown Library. Brandrain0000 / Wikimedia Commons / < ahref="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/1.0/deed.en">CC BY-SA 1.0
  • Location: Louisville, Kentucky
  • Enrollment: 3,846 (2,651 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: private Catholic university
  • Distinctions: 12 to 1 student / faculty ratio; average class size of 19; easy access to Louisville attractions; most students receive grant aid; strong internship and study abroad programs; NCAA Division II athletic programs
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Bellarmine University profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT Graph for Bellarmine Admissions
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Berea College
Berea College. IMCBerea College / Flickr / CC BY 2.0
  • Location: Berea, Kentucky
  • Enrollment: 1,643 (all undergraduate)
  • Type of Institution: private liberal arts work college
  • Distinctions: students from 50 states and 60 countries; focus on students of limited economic means; no tuition costs; work program for all students; amazing value; little debt burden; rich history of inclusion; 10 to 1 student / faculty ratio
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Berea College profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT Graph for Berea Admissions
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The Campus Center at Centre College
The Campus Center at Centre College. Dfritter4 / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0
  • Location: Danville, Kentucky
  • Enrollment: 1,367 (all undergraduate)
  • Type of Institution: private liberal arts college
  • Distinctions: 11 to 1 student / faculty ratio; chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strong liberal arts and sciences; excellent value and good financial aid; "Centre Commitment" guarantees graduation in four years; excellent retention and graduation rates
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Centre College profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT Graph for Centre Admissions
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Giddings Hall at Georgetown College in Kentucky
Giddings Hall at Georgetown College in Kentucky. Russell and Sydney Poore / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0
  • Location: Georgetown, Kentucky
  • Enrollment: 1,364 (984 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: private Baptist college
  • Distinctions: rich history dating to 1829; 10 to 1 student / faculty ratio; 42 majors and 37 minors; large number of graduates go straight on to graduate school; active student life including fraternities and sororities; NAIA athletic programs
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Georgetown College profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT Graph for Georgetown Admissions
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The College of Business at Murray State University
The College of Business at Murray State University. 025msu / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0
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Transylvania University
Transylvania University. TUPictures / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
  • Location: Lexington, Kentucky
  • Enrollment: 1,053 (all undergraduate)
  • Type of Institution: private liberal arts college
  • Distinctions: 11 to 1 student / faculty ratio; average class size of 17; one of the oldest colleges in the country (founded in 1780); located just one mile from the University of Kentucky; good grant aid; popular fraternity and sorority system; NCAA Division III athletic programs
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Transylvania University profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT Graph for Transylvania Admissions
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University of Kentucky Library
University of Kentucky Library. Top Ipri / Flickr
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University of Louisville School of Law
University of Louisville School of Law. Ken Lund / Flickr
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Western Kentucky University
Western Kentucky University. OPMaster / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
  • Location: Bowling Green, Kentucky
  • Enrollment: 20,063 (17,310 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: public university
  • Distinctions: 90 majors and 60 minors; 18 to 1 student / faculty ratio; high level of alumni giving for a public institution; popular programs in business, education and nursing; member of the NCAA Division I Conference USA
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Western Kentucky University profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT Graph for WKU Admissions
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Calculate Your Chances

Calculate Your Chances of Being Admitted
Calculate Your Chances of Being Admitted.

Se​e if you have the grades and test scores you need to get into one of these top Kentucky schools with this free tool from Cappex: Calculate Your Chances of Getting In