Kentucky’s Best Community Colleges of 2021

The best community colleges provide an effective springboard into higher education, offering students high-quality two-year degree programs in a wide range of disciplines. The top-rated community colleges in Kentucky offer a broad selection of associate’s degrees, affordable tuition rates, and strong partnerships with public four-year schools so that students can easily transfer their credits into accredited bachelor’s degree programs.

Kentucky’s Best Community Colleges of 2021

Colleges and Universities in Kentucky

Between community colleges, technical schools, and universities, Kentucky has 24 public schools. The community colleges and technical schools average $4,000 for tuition, and tuition for public universities ranges from $8,000 to $12,000. Those looking to attend private colleges can choose from 26 schools, of which 21 are religiously affiliated. The cost to attend private schools tends to be higher, reaching $42,000 in Kentucky, but there are some affordable options with tuition rates as low as $9,000.

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The largest and top-rated public university is the University of Kentucky, which has over 30,000 students and costs about $12,000. Political science, chemistry, and literature are all possible majors. Students who attend either the University of Louisville or Western Kentucky University will become part of a friendly basketball rivalry. Both of these universities also offer varying fields of study, including mathematics, communications, business, and history. In addition, Kentucky encourages graduating education students to apply for the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, which awards $5,000 to $17,500 toward Federal Stafford loans to those remaining the profession.

There is something for everyone in The Bluegrass State. Kentucky is home to the famous Kentucky Derby, the Daniel Boone National Forest, and the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory. Students wanting to study where Abraham Lincoln and Muhammad Ali both called home have 50 higher learning institutions from which to choose.

Kentucky has it all — associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Check out the top programs and find which institution is the right one for you.


What are Kentucky’s Colleges & Universities?

Kentucky’s Best Overall


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How do we determine Kentucky's best community colleges?

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we call “Concentrated Influence”. Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Find out more about our ranking methodology here.


There are 16 community colleges in Kentucky. The following list shows the best community colleges in the state.

Best Community Colleges in Kentucky

  1. #1

    West Kentucky Community and Technical College

    #6246 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    3K

    Paducah, KY

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    What is West Kentucky Community and Technical College known for?

    West Kentucky Community and Technical College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #2

    Big Sandy Community and Technical College

    #9746 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    2K

    Prestonsburg, KY

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    What is Big Sandy Community and Technical College known for?

    Big Sandy Community and Technical College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice
  3. #3

    Gateway Community and Technical College

    #9454 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    3K

    Florence, KY

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    What is Gateway Community and Technical College known for?

    Gateway Community and Technical College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
    • Social Work
    • Criminal Justice
  4. #4

    Bluegrass Community and Technical College

    #6536 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    7K

    Lexington, KY

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    What is Bluegrass Community and Technical College known for?

    Bluegrass Community and Technical College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Social Work
  5. #5

    Elizabethtown Community and Technical College

    #1072 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    39%

    Student body

    4K

    Elizabethtown, KY

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    What is Elizabethtown Community and Technical College known for?

    Elizabethtown Community and Technical College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing
    • Social Work
  6. #6

    Henderson Community College

    #8601 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    26%

    Student body

    <1K

    Henderson, KY

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    What is Henderson Community College known for?

    Henderson Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Nursing
    • Social Work
  7. #7

    Hazard Community and Technical College

    #9834 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    40%

    Student body

    2K

    Hazard, KY

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    What is Hazard Community and Technical College known for?

    Hazard Community and Technical College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #8

    Jefferson Community and Technical College

    #9846 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    25%

    Student body

    6K

    Louisville, KY

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    What is Jefferson Community and Technical College known for?

    Jefferson Community and Technical College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Engineering
    • Social Work
    • Computer Science
    • Sociology
    • Criminal Justice
  9. #9

    Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College

    #8581 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    34%

    Student body

    2K

    Cumberland, KY

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    What is Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College known for?

    Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Medical
    • Social Work
    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
  10. #10

    Maysville Community and Technical College

    #13277 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    45%

    Student body

    2K

    Maysville, KY

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    What is Maysville Community and Technical College known for?

    Maysville Community and Technical College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
  11. #11

    Ashland Community and Technical College

    #7351 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    43%

    Student body

    2K

    Ashland, KY

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    What is Ashland Community and Technical College known for?

    Ashland Community and Technical College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
    • Criminal Justice
  12. #12

    Somerset Community College

    #9472 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    33%

    Student body

    3K

    Somerset, KY

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    What is Somerset Community College known for?

    Somerset Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Computer Science
  13. #13

    Owensboro Community and Technical College

    #12227 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    41%

    Student body

    2K

    Owensboro, KY

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    What is Owensboro Community and Technical College known for?

    Owensboro Community and Technical College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
    • Criminal Justice
  14. #14

    Madisonville Community College

    #9314 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    42%

    Student body

    2K

    Madisonville, KY

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    What is Madisonville Community College known for?

    Madisonville Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Engineering
    • Criminal Justice
  15. #15

    Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College

    #12174 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    3K

    Bowling Green, KY

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    What is Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College known for?

    Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Engineering
    • Criminal Justice
  16. #16

    Hopkinsville Community College

    #13409 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    26%

    Student body

    2K

    Hopkinsville, KY

    View profile

    What is Hopkinsville Community College known for?

    Hopkinsville Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice

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Photo By: West Kentucky Community and Technical College