Ashbury University was initially established by John Wesley Hughes in 1890 as the Kentucky Holiness College. In 1905, the college was renamed to honor Bishop Francis Asbury, the Father of Methodism in America. Today, Ashbury remains rooted in its Wesleyan-Holiness faith as a premier private four-year Christian liberal arts institution. AU enrolls around 1,300 undergrad and 250 post-grad students annually. Asbury University is located on a 65-acre suburban campus in the small town of Wilmore, Kentucky, just 15 miles from Lexington. As a member of the Christian College Consortium, the university operates the Asbury Theological Seminary.
According to the U.S. News, Asbury University is the third top regional college in the South with the 172nd best online Bachelor’s programs nationwide. Forbes ranked AU the 213rd best private college in America with a financial grade of B. Asbury was even included in the magazine’s “Grateful Grads Index” for good ROI. Washington Monthly crowned Ashbury the 11th best baccalaureate college for social mobility, research, and service in 2015. AU also landed as the 17th “Best Bang for the Buck” for the Southern United States. Ashbury University has over 20,000 living alumni, including Paul Rader, Joe Hilley, and Sue Bell Cobb.
Asbury University Accreditation Details
At the institutional level, Ashbury University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), a regional accrediting agency of the U.S. Department of Education. In addition, teaching degrees are approved by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Music-related programs meet the standards of the National Association of Schools of Music. The BSW and MSW have approval by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Asbury Theological Seminary is also accredited through the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).
Asbury University Application Requirements
Getting into Asbury University isn’t easy with the selective acceptance rate of 68 percent. First-year freshmen must be graduating with a high school diploma or completing the General Educational Development (GED) test. AU’s prerequisites are four years of English, four years of mathematics, two years of social studies, three years of laboratory science, and two years of the same foreign language. Applicants should hold a minimum high school GPA of 2.5. Scoring at least 22 on the ACT or 1020 on the SAT, excluding, is also preferred. Students falling below these standards could be admitted conditionally.
International students wishing to attend Ashbury must submit TOEFL scores of at least 79 (Internet-based) or 550 (paper-based). Transfer applicants should have 30 or more college credits obtained at a regionally accredited institution. Incoming transfers must carry a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. The School of Graduate & Professional Studies requires candidates to hold a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. Most master’s programs mandate a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher. Certain prerequisites will be required, such as psychology and sociology courses for the MSW degree. The MBA also expects a minimum GMAT score of 545.
During Asbury University’s rolling admissions, students can apply by sending the following:
- Completed online or paper application
- High school and/or college transcripts
- Official college entrance exam scores
- Christian Character Reference form
- Two to three letters of recommendation
- One or two-page autobiographical statement
- $25 graduate application fee (if applicable)
Tuition and Financial Aid
Undergrad students taking 13 to 18 credit hours at Asbury will pay $13,769 per semester or $27,538 each year. Undergraduates taking 12 credits are charged $12,708 each semester or $25,416 annually. Part-time undergraduates are billed $1,059 per credit. Room and board is estimated to cost $3,558 and $2,778 respectively each year. Undergraduates pay $198 in annual student fees too. Online bachelor’s degree completion programs cost $472 per credit hour. Graduate students at AU will pay based on their degree. For instance, the MSW costs $576 per credit and the M.A. in Education costs $460 per credit.
99 percent of beginning full-time students at Asbury earn financial assistance. More than $19.5 million is granted for annual institutional aid. Students can fund their degree with Federal Stafford, Federal Perkins, or Grad PLUS loans. Federal Work-Study (FWS) can provide extra money from campus employment. Certain learners may qualify for the Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, TEACH Grant, or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. In-state students should apply for the Kentucky Tuition Grant (KTG) or College Access Program (CAP) Grant. There’s the Asbury Church Match Grant for up to $1,000. Awards are also abundant, including the Presidential Scholarship, Governor’s Scholarship, Rogers Scholars Award, John Wesley Hughes Scholarship, and Henry Clay Morris Scholarship.
Ashbury University offers an idyllic, small-town atmosphere for students wishing to learn and worship together. Across its four schools, AU delivers rigorous Christ-centered education in nearly 55 academic areas. Unique undergraduate majors include Ancient Languages, Creative Writing, Equine Management, Exercise Science, Youth Ministry, Worship Arts, Latin Education, and Media Communications. There’s also an online Bachelor of Professional Studies for adult learners. With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, over 63 percent of classes have under 20 students for personalized education. Ashbury recently launched its Cornerstone Project to improve learning with “Scripture, Holiness, Stewardship, and Mission.”
Drawing on the Wesleyan faith, Asbury places a high priority on attending chapel every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning in Hughes Auditorium. Each April, the university hosts Stewardship Week filled with community service opportunities. There’s the three-level Kinlaw Library featuring over 150,000 resources, 13 study rooms, and high-tech computer labs. Around 85 percent of AU students live in the five on-campus residence halls. Dining options are available at the Student Center Cafeteria or Z.T. Bistro. Regular campus events helped Asbury land in the Templeton Guide’s “Colleges that Encourage Character Development.”
When students aren’t studying, they can get involved in over 40 student-fun clubs. Students could join the Business Club, Psi Chi, ROTC, Sigma Zeta, World Gospel Mission, Pact 3, or even a Tumbling Team. The Asbury Outdoors Club is popular for adventurists seeking to backpack the Red River Gorge, raft in the Kentucky River, or hike through Daniel Boone National Forest. Bands like Relient K, Decyfer Down, Paramore, and Switchfoot have played at Ashbury’s annual Ichthus Music Fetival. Athletes can play for the Eagles in the NAIA Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference on 17 varsity teams. Asbury University also offers fun intramurals, such as flag football, wallyball, kickball, and ultimate Frisbee.