Updated on April 29, 2024
Edited by Evelyn Keener
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Berea College (BC) is a small, private liberal arts college located in Berea, Kentucky. It has a total of 1,400+ students, all of which are enrolled in undergraduate programs. The school is unique because it does not charge tuition to its students. Instead, the cost of tuition is paid for through grants and funding from corporate donors, federal loans to the school, and donations from students and alumni. Students only have to cover the costs of room and board if they choose to live on campus.

Overview of Berea College (BC)

This means that the majority of Berea’s graduates leave school with little to no student loan debt. The school offers bachelor’s degrees in a variety of majors. The most popular majors are Computer and Information Sciences, Biology and Biological Sciences, Sports Medicine, Education, and Agriculture. The school has been listed as one of the best liberal arts colleges in the country for the last four years and students are very active in the community as their way of giving back to the community that allows them to attend a prestigious school for little to no cost to them.

General Information

School Type Private not-for-profit
Campus Setting Town: Distant
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 10:1
Graduation Rate 68%
Year Founded 1855

Student Enrollment

Total Students1,688


Undergraduate Student

Male 709
Female 979

Graduate Student

Male 0
Female 0

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Berea College Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 802
Female 1,163


Male 249
Female 349

Acceptance Rate30%

Male 31%
Female 30%

Enrollment 407

Male 181
Female 226
Application Fee NA
High School GPA Required
High School Rank Required
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Recommended
Recommendations Recommended
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline Rolling
Common Application Accepted No

Berea College Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

These numbers are based on if students were responsible for tuition. As was discussed previously, students at Berea College do not pay for tuition, so their costs are for room and board and general living expenses.

  • Tuition: $45,092
  • Room and Board: $7,264
  • Total Expenses:
    $55,656 for students who live on campus or in off-campus housing; $48,392 for those who live independently.
  • Financial Aid:
    Because tuition is paid through donation and grants, 100% of Berea’s students receive financial aid. To offset the costs of room and board, 42% of students receive grants from the government or private agencies and 10% of the student body take out student loans to cover the cost. This equates to a net price – the amount students must pay after financial aid has been applied—of $4,398.
Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $5,156
Average Total Aid $44,698
Students Receiving Financial Aid 100%
Room & Board $6,966

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $44,700
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $44,700
  • Books and Supplies - $700
  • Room & Board - $6,966
  • Other - $2,500


When choosing a school, there are many things that need to be considered beyond a major and the cost of the degree. Below are some important metrics about the academic experience at Berea College.

  • Retention Rate:
    The retention rate at Berea College is 87%. For every 100 incoming freshmen students, 87 return for their sophomore year. This is a decent retention rate and allows for students to forge long-lasting relationship with their fellow students.
  • Graduation Rate:
    Sixty-seven percent of students at Berea College graduate within six years. Other students complete their degrees is less time and other need more time. For example, 50% of students graduated in four years, while 64% graduated within eight years. This indicates that the majority of students do complete their education.
  • Student to Faculty Ratio:
    9 to 1. For students who don’t want to be swallowed up as one of dozens of students in a class, this ratio is a bonus. This means instructors have the time to interact with the students and provide more individual assistance if needed. Although the classes are small, there are still enough students to have productive discussions during class, create study groups, etc. For students who want small classes and increased opportunities to work one-on-one with instructors, Berea College is worth considering.

Student Population Total

Student Population 1,688

Evening Classes : No
Online Learning : No

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

Visual and Performing Arts 30 Total Graduates / 8%
Art/Art Studies, General 17 Graduates
Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General 8 Graduates
Music, General 5 Graduates
All Social Sciences Majors 27 Total Graduates / 7%
Sociology, General 11 Graduates
Political Science and Government, General 10 Graduates
Economics, General 6 Graduates
All Biological and Biomedical Sciences Majors 26 Total Graduates / 7%
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 26 Graduates
All Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services Majors 26 Total Graduates / 7%
Computer and Information Sciences, General 26 Graduates
Parks, Recreation, Leisure, Fitness, and Kinesiology 24 Total Graduates / 7%
Sports, Kinesiology, and Physical Education/Fitness, General 24 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 63%

Outcome & Salary

Graduates of Berea College have an average annual salary of $55,587, much higher than the national average of $37,960. Early career salary for graduates is $40,900, and the projected 10-year salary potential is $558,570. With a net price of the education of $20,624, it is safe to say that graduates from Berea have an excellent return on investment for their education.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $40,900
College Grads Average Salary $55,857
College Grads Mid Career Salary $70,900
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $558,570
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,267,570
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $20,624
10 Year Projected ROI $537,946
20 Year Projected ROI $1,246,946
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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