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Rank: 175

Berea College

Kentucky's Berea College was founded as a Christian school with a mission of providing an education accessible to all. In the past, that meant Berea was one of the first colleges in the South to open its classes to people of color and women. Today, it means offering a path to a college degree for students with limited economic resources, especially those from the Appalachia region, where the college is located. As such, it's not surprising that the small liberal arts college is a standout for affordability. Nearly all first-year undergraduates are eligible for Pell Grants. Berea doesn't charge tuition -- all students work a minimum of 10 hours a week to help pay their way. At the end of their college careers students leave with a labor transcript along with a degree. The college also offers ample scholarships for students who can't afford to pay for room and board and other fees. The school offers about 30 majors and 40 minors, with specialized programs ranging from Peace and Social Justice Studies to Forest Resource Management. There are 14 residence halls for first-year students and upperclassmen, and an ecovillage -- made up of about 50 apartments -- for students with children or who are married and want to live with their families. Students living there are expected to meet certain standards of environmentally friendly living, and help out with composting, babysitting, apartment maintenance, or participate in gardening or landscaping activities.
costs
Est. Full Price 2019-2020
$37,000
% of students who get any grants
98%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$1,800
Average price for low-income students
$450
admissions
Acceptance rate
35%
Median SAT/ACT Score
1090/25
SAT/ACT required?
Yes
Enrollment
1,610
Financial Aid
% of students with need who get grants
100%
% of need met
95%
% of students who get merit* grants
N/A
Average merit grant
N/A
student success
Graduation rate
66%
Average time to a degree
4.3 years
Average student debt
$5,300
Average salary within 3 years
$39,600
% of low-income students who become upper middle class
N/A
key deadlines
Early decision application
N/A
Regular application
Apr 30

* Share of full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson's, PayScale.com, MONEY/College Measures calculations, Opportunity Insights.

* Share of full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson's, PayScale.com, MONEY/College Measures calculations, Opportunity Insights.

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