Berea named No. 1 college for value

Published 6:34 am Friday, September 9, 2022


“Washington Monthly” ranks Berea College as the No. 5 liberal arts college in the nation in its 2022 College Guide and Rankings, up eight sports from the 2021 rankings. Additionally, the College retained its ranking as the No. 1 Best Bang for the Buck College in the South in this year’s guide – making it five out of the last six years that Berea landed the top spot for affordability.

According to their website, “Washington Monthly” rankings are based on what they [colleges] do for the country…their contribution to the public good in three broad categories: social mobility, research and promoting public service.

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“Berea College strives to offer a high-quality liberal arts education that engages students as they pursue their personal, academic and professional goals,” said Berea College President Lyle Roelofs. “We are honored to be moved up to the No. 5 spot among liberal arts colleges, and proud that our affordable model still makes us the top ‘Best Bang for the Buck’ school in the country.”

Berea’s mission is to provide low-income students with a high-quality liberal arts education. At Berea, 96 percent of students receive federal Pell Grants, and the annual household income of students’ families is about $32,000. Nationally, graduation rates for students in that demographic are only in the mid-teens. By contrast, about two-thirds of Berea students graduate on time, with many going on to earn advanced degrees.

The “Washington Monthly” College Guide and Rankings can be found online at:

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College only admits academically promising students with limited financial resources, primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia, although students come from 45 states and 70 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally recognized Work Colleges, where students work at least 10 hours a week to earn money for books, housing, and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.