See what students say:


Kentucky’s Berea College is one of the nation’s few entirely tuition-free private colleges, providing a liberal arts education “to those who otherwise couldn’t afford college but who are deserving of the opportunity.” Berea is “truly a different world when it comes to the atmosphere of the college,” and the “wonderful opportunity” offered to students is truly appreciated. The school takes a “holistic approach” to education and “expects a lot from students both in and outside of class,” including labor (everyone is required to work at least 10 hours per week) and convocations.

Professors take an active role in helping students learn: “If you miss a class, professors will email you to find out why.” They “care about not just your learning but also about who you are as an individual” and “lively and passionate about their subjects, and it is very evident within their classrooms.” “I’ve never felt more challenged than when I stepped foot in a Berea classroom,” says a junior. The small student-to-faculty ratio gives professors the opportunity to get to know their students, and “[allows] them to adapt to their students’ needs.”

Dating back to 1855, the college is “very deeply rooted in Appalachian culture and history, but unafraid to address issues outside of that.” The school gives low-income students the opportunity to obtain a higher education while participating in a labor program, and so “produces well-rounded, hardworking students fully prepared for grad school or the workforce.” “If the labor program is used to its fullest extent, each student has the opportunity to graduate with a fantastic résumé and many network connections,” says a sophomore. It also offers “a huge scholarship to study abroad,” of which many students take advantage.

Student Body

Berea students are “creative” and “incredibly resilient” and almost everyone “comes from the Appalachian region [and] limited resources.” Many tend to be first-generation college students, and “most students’ priorities are not in having the best material items or joining the best sorority.” The most typical thing you’ll see is “an overworked, but generally content student shuffling between classes and work.” Also, “the one thing that ties us all together is the fact that we had to work so hard to get into Berea,” says a first-year student. (“You have to be either an outright nerd or a secret nerd to get [here].”) As some have noticed, there

“seems to be a great divide between traditional students and non-traditional.”

Campus Life

“Berea is a calm place” and “there isn’t much going on unless you make something happen.” Students are quite busy with studying and work, so “naps are rare” and “we usually don’t sleep in because there is just so much to do.” Most students are taking a full course load and then doing at least one or two extracurricular activities as well. While some note that “the town life is simply atrocious,” on campus, “student organizations are constantly holding events to keep Berea students occupied and having fun,” including “movie nights, game nights, dances, [and] bowling.” Heritage activities, such as Contra dancing, are big.

The town of Richmond is just a 15-minute drive away (there is also a campus shuttle, and Lexington is a bit further), so getting out of small town life for some shopping or restaurant dining “is a must” from time to time. It is illegal to sell alcohol in the town of Berea, and it is against school rules to have alcohol on campus, so “there isn’t a big party scene.” There also happen to be “a lot of couples on campus,” and “people take relationships seriously” here.

Contact & Visit

Campus Visits Contact

Denessa McPherson
Coordinator of Campus Visits and Events

Office of Admissions
CPO 2220
Berea, KY 40404



Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Woods-Penn Complex (post office, cafe, etc)
Alumni Building (cafeteria, lounge, gameroom)
Seabury Center (gym)
MAC-P Natural Sciences and Health Building
Hutchins Library

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Boone Tavern
Kentucky Artisan Center
Old Town Shops
Papaleno's (restaurant)

Campus Tours

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: Yes
Dates: Year-round
Times: Varies
Average Length: 2 hours

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews

Information Sessions

8:00 - 5:00 Monday - Friday

Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Contact Admissions Office

Advance Notice
2 weeks

Contact Email Address for Visit

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Contact Admissions Office

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays

Contact Admissions Office

contact admissions for more information


Types of Transportation Available to Campus
Greyhound Bus. City taxi. College provides shuttle service to Wal-Mart, Richmond, Lexington, etc. Closest airport is Lexington (40 miles)

Driving Instructions to Campus
Berea College is easily accessible via Interstate 75.

Local Accommodations
Boone Tavern Hotel (college owned) Red Roof Inn & Suites Holiday Inn & Suites Holiday Inn Express Motel 6


Applicants: 2,217
Acceptance Rate: 25%
Average HS GPA: 3.62



Tuition & Aid

Student Body

Campus Life

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