Best Colleges in Kentucky 2022

Best Colleges in Kentucky 2022

Here are the best colleges and universities in Kentucky. Our list will help you find the right kind of school for you.

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

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

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We’ve identified 27 colleges and universities in Kentucky that meet our criteria. This list of the top colleges in Kentucky below focuses on schools that offer bachelor’s degrees. The ranking features fully accredited public and private colleges and universities in Kentucky.

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Best Colleges in Kentucky 2022

  1. #1

    University of Kentucky

    Lexington , KY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    96%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1195/25

    University of Kentucky’s Online Degrees

    BA in Liberal Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS or BA in Communication
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS or BA in General Business
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS or BA in Information Communication Technology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Health Science
    Degree Concentrations
    • Medical Laboratory Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Social Work
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Nursing
    • 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
    BS Medical Laboratory Science
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS/BA Communication
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS General Business
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS/BA Information Communication Technology
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Liberal Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  2. #2

    University of Louisville

    Louisville , KY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    65%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    16K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1180/25

    University of Louisville’s Online Degrees

    BBA in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Nursing (RN-to-BSN)
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSBA in Accountancy
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA/BS in Communication
    • Required Credits: 121
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 121
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Business Administration in Organizational Leadership & Learning
    Degree Concentrations
    • Career & Technical Education
    • Counseling & Human Relations
    • Early Childhood Education
    • Healthcare Leadership (term or flex option)
    • Leadership
    • Training & Organization Development
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Political Science
    • Required Credits: 121
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Pyschology
    • Required Credits: 121
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSW in Social Work
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Sociology
    • Required Credits: 121
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Sport Administration
    • Required Credits: 123
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies
    • Required Credits: 121
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Healthcare Leadership
    • 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
    BS Nursing (RN-to-BSN) - (JCTC CEP)
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA Political Science
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Accountancy
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BBA Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS/BA Communication
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Early Childhood Education
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS General Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Organizational Leadership and Learning
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA Psychology
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Social Work
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA Sociology
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Sport Administration
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  3. #3

    Western Kentucky University

    Bowling Green , KY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    98%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1105/23

    Western Kentucky University’s Online Degrees

    BS Health Care Administration
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Management
    Degree Concentrations
    • Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Family and Consumer Sciences
    Degree Concentrations
    • Child Studies
    • FamilyStudies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Organizational Leadership
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Engineering Technology Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Workforce Administration
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Dental Hygiene
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Health Care Administration
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Health Information Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Health Sciences
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Computer Information Technology
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Dental Hygiene
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Health Sciences
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  4. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    98%

    Graduation

    45%

    Student body

    12K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/23

    Eastern Kentucky University’s Online Degrees

    BS Police Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Corrections & Juvenile Justice Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA Paralegal Science
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Homeland Security
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Child & Family Studies – Child Development
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA Political Science
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Nursing (RN-to-BS)
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BBA Business Administration
    Degree Concentrations
    • Risk Management & Insurance
    • Marketing
    • Management
    • Finance
    • General Business
    • Public Accounting
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA General Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA Communication Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Health Services Administration
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Psychology
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  5. #6

    Northern Kentucky University

    Highland Heights , KY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    87%

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    12K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1130/23

    Northern Kentucky University’s Online Degrees

    BA Health Communication
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA Communication Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA Criminal Justice
    • 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
    BS Business Administration
    Degree Concentrations
    • General Business
    • Global Supply Chain Management
    • Management
    • Marketing
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Health Science
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Respiratory Care
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA Integrative Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA Organizational Leadership
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA Psychology
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  6. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1142/24

    Murray State University’s Online Degrees

    Bachelor of Manufacturing Engineering Technology
    • 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
    BS Agriculture
    Degree Concentrations
    • Agribusiness
    • Agriscience Technology
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Computer Information Systems
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Cybersecurity and Network Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Human Service
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Integrated Studies
    Degree Concentrations
    • Social Sciences
    • Arts and Humanities
    • Agricultural Studies
    • Communications
    • Human Services
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Logistics and Supply Chain Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  7. #10

    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
  8. Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    43%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1085/23

    Morehead State University’s Online Degrees

    BS Accounting
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Information Systems
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS General Business
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Leadership in Medical Imaging Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Technology Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  9. #14

    University of the Cumberlands

    Williamsburg , KY
    Other Rankings

    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
  10. #16

    Kentucky State University

    Frankfort , KY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    975/20

    Kentucky State University’s Online Degrees

    BA Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Psychology
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  11. #20

    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

  12. #22

    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:

  13. #23

    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:

  14. #24

    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

  15. #25

    Kentucky Wesleyan College

    Owensboro , KY

    Tuition + fees

    $30K

    Acceptance

    60%

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1099/23

  16. #26

    Thomas More University

    Crestview Hills , KY

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    39%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1075/22

  17. 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 Colleges in Your Area of 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. University of Kentucky
  3. Berea College
  4. Centre College
  5. University of Louisville
  6. Asbury University
  7. Bellarmine University
  8. Western Kentucky University
  9. Georgetown College
  10. Thomas More University