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2021 Best Colleges for the Money (With Aid) in Kentucky

26 Colleges
$21,181 Avg Cost (With Aid)*
4.4 Years Avg Time to Graduate*

With all of the options you have for higher education today, it can be tough to choose which direction to take. College Factual was founded, in part, to help students make the decision as to what would be the best school for them. Our Best Kentucky Schools For The Money For Those Getting Aid ranking is part of that endeavor.

After analyzing 26 schools, we came up with our list of those that were the best for overall value for the money with aid in Kentucky. This ranking doesn't just identify the colleges with the lowest costs. Rather, it highlights those institutions that offer excellent educational experiences for a lower cost than other schools of roughly the same caliber. Because of this, it is possible for one college to rank better than another, even if the latter college has a lower average cost.

Learn more about our ranking methodology.

When determining average cost, we look at total expenses, such as tuition, fees, books and supplies, room and board, and other living expenses, and then deduct the average amount of financial aid awarded to a student. This estimate is meant to give you a better picture of how much money you'll have to pay each year, either through self-pay, loans, or external scholarships.

One Size Does Not Fit All

We know that one set of rankings doesn't always help you determine the best school for you, so we've created the ability to narrow your list by location and field of study as well as alternative rankings that prioritize different factors, such as those of importance to veterans and returning adults or those seeking diversity and overall quality.

One of our other unique offerings is College Combat. This tool lets you build your own customized comparisons utilizing the factors that are most important to you. If you're torn between two schools, you can use it to help you see how they stack up against one another!

Top Colleges for the Money (With Aid) in Kentucky

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

#1

Centre College

Danville, Kentucky

Centre College tops this year’s ranking as the best school for overall value for the money with aid in Kentucky. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Danville, Kentucky, and it awarded 378 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.0 years for the average student at Centre College of Kentucky to complete their degree, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $25,121 for students who receive aid. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Centre College of Kentucky is $100,986. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

With a freshman retention rate of 91%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. Centre College of Kentucky not only placed well in our value rankings, but it is also #1 on our Best Colleges in Kentucky list.

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#2

University of Kentucky

Lexington, Kentucky

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around if you attend University of Kentucky. The school came in at #2 in Kentucky on this year’s best value ranking. This large public school is located in Lexington, Kentucky, and it awarded 5,535 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at UK about 4.4 years to graduate, and it costs students who receive aid about $20,986 per year to attend the school. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from UK be around $91,919. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

UK not only placed well in our value rankings, but it is also #3 on our Best Colleges in Kentucky list.

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#3

Murray State University

Murray, Kentucky

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Murray State University. It ranked #3 on our 2021 Best Value Colleges in Kentucky list. Murray State is a public institution located in Murray, Kentucky. The school has a medium-sized population, and it awarded 1,611 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At Murray State, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.5 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $15,459 for students who receive aid. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Murray State is $70,029. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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#4

University of Louisville

Louisville, Kentucky

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around if you attend University of Louisville. The school came in at #4 in Kentucky on this year’s best value ranking. U of L is a large public school situated in Louisville, Kentucky. It awarded 3,155 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at U of L about 4.5 years to graduate, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $19,914 for students who receive aid. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from U of L be around $90,011. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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#5

Berea College

Berea, Kentucky

Out of the 26 schools in Kentucky that were part of this year’s ranking, Berea College landed the #5 spot on the list. Berea is located in Berea, Kentucky and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 349 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Berea is 4.3 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $21,680 for students who receive aid. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Berea is about $92,574. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

Berea did well in our quality rankings, too. It placed #4 on our Best Colleges in Kentucky list.

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#6

Transylvania University

Lexington, Kentucky

Transylvania University did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Kentucky ranking, coming in at #6. Transylvania is located in Lexington, Kentucky and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 272 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

It takes about 4.0 years for the average student at Transylvania to complete their degree, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $30,061 for students who receive aid. This means that the average student pays around $121,747 to get a bachelor’s degree from Transylvania. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

The low student loan default rate of 2.0% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1%. Transylvania not only placed well in our value rankings, but it is also #2 on our Best Colleges in Kentucky list.

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#7

Northern Kentucky University

Highland Heights, Kentucky

With a ranking of #7, Northern Kentucky University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Kentucky list. NKU is located in Highland Heights, Kentucky and has a fairly large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 2,197 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

It takes about 4.6 years for the average student at NKU to complete their degree, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $16,170 for students who receive aid. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from NKU is $75,029. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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#8

Western Kentucky University

Bowling Green, Kentucky

Western Kentucky University came in at #8 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Kentucky ranking. WKU is a public institution located in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The school has a fairly large population, and it awarded 3,158 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at WKU about 4.5 years to graduate, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $15,586 for students who receive aid. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from WKU is about $70,137. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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#9

Morehead State University

Morehead, Kentucky

Morehead State University came in at #9 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Kentucky ranking. Morehead State University is a medium-sized public school situated in Morehead, Kentucky. It awarded 1,289 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.5 years for the average student at Morehead State University to complete their degree, and it costs students who receive aid about $16,509 per year to attend the school. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Morehead State University be around $73,795. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#10

Eastern Kentucky University

Richmond, Kentucky

Eastern Kentucky University did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Kentucky ranking, coming in at #10. Eastern is a fairly large public school situated in Richmond, Kentucky. It awarded 2,737 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at Eastern about 4.5 years to graduate, and the average full-time cost to attend the school for students who receive aid is around $17,192. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Eastern be around $77,192. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#11

University of the Cumberlands

Williamsburg, Kentucky

University of the Cumberlands came in at #11 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Kentucky ranking. University of the Cumberlands is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in Williamsburg, Kentucky that handed out 600 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At Cumberland College, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.3 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school for students who receive aid is around $9,135. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Cumberland College is $39,189. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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#12

Alice Lloyd College

Pippa Passes, Kentucky

Alice Lloyd College came in at #12 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Kentucky ranking. Alice Lloyd is located in Pippa Passes, Kentucky and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 89 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

It takes about 4.9 years for the average student at Alice Lloyd to complete their degree, and it costs students who receive aid about $15,435 per year to attend the school. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Alice Lloyd is about $76,249. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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#13

Kentucky State University

Frankfort, Kentucky

Kentucky State University came in at #13 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Kentucky ranking. Located in Frankfort, Kentucky, the small public school awarded 212 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at KY State about 5.0 years to graduate, and it costs students who receive aid about $8,228 per year to attend the school. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from KY State is about $40,729. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#14

Bellarmine University

Louisville, Kentucky

Bellarmine University ranked #14 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Kentucky list. Located in Louisville, Kentucky, the small private not-for-profit school awarded 690 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at Bellarmine U about 4.2 years to graduate, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $30,931 for students who receive aid. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Bellarmine U is $129,292. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

The student loan default rate at the school is 4.2%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%. In addition to its best value ranking, and one of the reasons why the school is on the list, Bellarmine U is ranked #5 for overall quality in Kentucky.

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#15

Spalding University

Louisville, Kentucky

With a ranking of #15, Spalding University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Kentucky list. Louisville, Kentucky is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 270 students in 2018-2019.

The average student at Spalding graduates in less than 4.5 years, and it costs students who receive aid about $19,506 per year to attend the school. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Spalding is about $86,802. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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#16

Asbury University

Wilmore, Kentucky

Asbury University ranked #16 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Kentucky list. Asbury is a private not-for-profit institution located in Wilmore, Kentucky. The school has a small population, and it awarded 314 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at Asbury about 4.2 years to graduate, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $28,564 for students who receive aid. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Asbury is $120,540. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#17

Georgetown College

Georgetown, Kentucky

Georgetown College ranked #17 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Kentucky list. Georgetown College is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Georgetown, Kentucky. It awarded 218 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Georgetown College is 4.1 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school for students who receive aid is around $24,200. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the Georgetown College is $99,704. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

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The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary came in at #18 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Kentucky ranking. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is a small private not-for-profit school located in Louisville, Kentucky that handed out 83 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at SBTS graduates in less than 4.1 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $29,973 for students who receive aid. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from SBTS is $123,189. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#19

Kentucky Christian University

Grayson, Kentucky

Kentucky Christian University came in at #19 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Kentucky ranking. Located in Grayson, Kentucky, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 105 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.1 years for the average student at Kentucky Christian University to complete their degree, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $21,570 for students who receive aid. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Kentucky Christian University is $88,653. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#20

University of Pikeville

Pikeville, Kentucky

University of Pikeville landed the #20 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Kentucky ranking. UPIKE is located in Pikeville, Kentucky and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 203 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at UPIKE is 4.5 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $21,085 for students who receive aid. This means that the average student pays around $95,726 to get a bachelor’s degree from UPIKE. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

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#21

Brescia University

Owensboro, Kentucky

Brescia University landed the #21 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Kentucky ranking. Brescia University is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Owensboro, Kentucky. It awarded 171 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at Brescia University about 4.3 years to graduate, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $25,530 for students who receive aid. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Brescia University is $109,524. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#22

Lindsey Wilson College

Columbia, Kentucky

Lindsey Wilson College ranked #22 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Kentucky list. Columbia, Kentucky is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 445 students in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.4 years for the average student at Lindsey Wilson College to complete their degree, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $22,656 for students who receive aid. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Lindsey Wilson College is $99,233. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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#23

Union College Kentucky

Barbourville, Kentucky

Union College Kentucky came in at #23 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Kentucky ranking. Union College Kentucky is located in Barbourville, Kentucky and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 241 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

At Union College Kentucky, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.4 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $21,806 for students who receive aid. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Union College Kentucky is about $95,074. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#24

Campbellsville University

Campbellsville, Kentucky

Campbellsville University landed the #24 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Kentucky ranking. Campbellsville University is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in Campbellsville, Kentucky that handed out 409 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.3 years for the average student at Campbellsville University to complete their degree, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $23,860 for students who receive aid. This means that the average student pays around $103,075 to get a bachelor’s degree from Campbellsville University. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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#25

Midway University

Midway, Kentucky

Midway University came in at #25 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Kentucky ranking. Located in Midway, Kentucky, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 169 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at Midway graduates in less than 4.2 years, and it costs students who receive aid about $28,367 per year to attend the school. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Midway is $118,290. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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Notes and References

Footnotes

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

  • For our state-specific rankings, we use in-state tuition to calculate average cost. For our national and regional rankings, we use a weighted average of in-state and non-resident tuition.

References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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