Best Private Colleges in Kentucky 2022

Best Private Colleges in Kentucky 2022

Private colleges, unlike large public institutions, can be a great option for students wanting a more intimate campus experience, more personal attention from excellent professors, and more immediate access to support services. Here is our list of the best private colleges in Kentucky.

Colleges and Universities in Kentucky

Students who wish to attend traditional and online colleges in Kentucky have plenty of excellent options. Traditional students and distance learners alike have an array of affordable, accessible, and reputable undergraduate and graduate degrees to choose from.

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. Online students pay the same in state tuition rates when enrolling in these public options.

Prospective students planning 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. There are, however, some affordable private 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. The University of Kentucky has over 30,000 students and costs about $12,000. UK offers a wide range of traditional and fully online programs in areas like political science, chemistry, and literature.

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 highly regarded graduate and undergraduate degrees in fields like mathematics, communications, business, and history.

Eastern Kentucky University is also among the top public colleges in Kentucky, with more than 14,000 students enrolled in a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs.

In addition, Kentucky encourages graduating education students to apply for the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program. This financial aid program awards $5,000 to $17,500 toward Federal Stafford loans to those remaining in 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. Both traditional and online Students wanting to study in a state that Abraham Lincoln and Muhammad Ali 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 brick-and-mortar and online schools the state of Kentucky has to offer.


What are Kentucky’s Colleges & Universities?

Kentucky’s Best Overall

What is the difference between public and private colleges?

Public and private colleges and universities operate under different business models. Public colleges and universities are owned by the state and receive both state and federal funding to operate. Private colleges and universities are private companies with private funding. If you’re looking at the pros and cons of private vs. public colleges, consider that many public colleges provide diverse course offerings, influential professors, and an excellent return on your investment.

Public colleges are schools that receive most of their funding from tax revenues. As a result, the cost of a bachelor’s degree at a public university is often lower than the equivalent cost at a private college — especially for students attending a public school in their home state. Attending a college in-state is usually the cheapest option. Private universities and colleges can be very competitive with their funding opportunities, so do not simply believe that private colleges are always going to be more expensive. According to National Center for Educational Statistics, the average annual cost (tuition, fees, room and board for full-time students) at a public university was slightly over $20,000. In contrast, private universities cost, on average, nearly $43,000 annually. But in the end, the cost of college comes down to each student’s academic and financial situation.

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This list is composed entirely of private colleges and universities that offer bachelor’s degrees. We’ve identified 19 private universities in Kentucky. To be included in the list below of the best private universities in Kentucky, schools must be fully accredited, private, non-profit institution, and must offer a broad range of bachelor’s degrees.

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Best Private Colleges in Kentucky

  1. #4

    Bellarmine University

    Louisville , KY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $45K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    64%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1160/25

    Bellarmine University’s Online Degrees

    BS Software & Data Engineering
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Nursing (RN-to-BSN)
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA Integrated Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  2. Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    40%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1035/21

    University of the Cumberlands’s Online Degrees

    BS Elementary Education
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS/BAS Missions & Ministry
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS/BAS Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS/BAS Psychology
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS/BAS Accounting
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS/BAS Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS/BAS Public Health
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS/BAS Human Services
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Information Technology Sciences
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  3. #9

    Sullivan University

    Louisville , KY

    Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Graduation

    25%

    Student body

    3K

    What is Sullivan University known for?

    Sullivan University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

  4. #12

    Union College, Kentucky

    Barbourville , KY

    Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    57%

    Graduation

    28%

    Student body

    1K

    What is Union College, Kentucky known for?

    Union College, Kentucky’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #14

    Midway University

    Midway , KY

    Tuition + fees

    $25K

    Acceptance

    73%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1045/21

    What is Midway University known for?

    Midway University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

  6. #15

    Brescia University

    Owensboro , KY

    Tuition + fees

    $27K

    Acceptance

    48%

    Graduation

    36%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1130/23

    What is Brescia University known for?

    Brescia University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

  7. #16

    Alice Lloyd College

    Pippa Passes , KY

    Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    21%

    Graduation

    35%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    960/20

    What is Alice Lloyd College known for?

    Alice Lloyd College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #17

    Kentucky Wesleyan College

    Owensboro , KY

    Tuition + fees

    $30K

    Acceptance

    60%

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1099/23

  9. #18

    Thomas More University

    Crestview Hills , KY

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    39%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1075/22

  10. Tuition + fees

    $22K

    Acceptance

    28%

    Graduation

    31%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    916/19

    What is Kentucky Christian University known for?

    Kentucky Christian University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

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Kentucky’s Best Private Colleges in Your Area Interest

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utiulized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. Transylvania University
  2. Berea College
  3. Centre College
  4. Spalding University
  5. Asbury University
  6. Bellarmine University
  7. University of the Cumberlands
  8. Georgetown College
  9. Thomas More University