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Berea College

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Degrees Offered at Berea College

Berea College appears in our ranking of the 100 Most Affordable Small Colleges East of the Mississippi.

Berea College offers both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in 32 majors. Students also have the option to design a major or earn a dual degree in engineering and a second major Bachelor’s degrees include a variety of traditional liberal arts options, such as art, business, chemistry, communications, economics, history, mathematics, philosophy, peace and social justice studies, and theater. In addition, there are several options that are particularly relevant in the Appalachian region: sustainability and environmental studies, Appalachian studies, African and African American studies, and forest resource management.

Many of the most commonly chosen majors at Berea come from one of the 15 teacher education programs in the school’s education department. Some of the program’s options include elementary, middle or secondary education, music education, physical education and health, and engineering and technology education. Each student in the program must complete a student teaching semester in the last year of study.

Berea College also emphasizes providing opportunities to its students to study abroad, with approximately 160 students studying, interning or teaching overseas each year. Many students in these programs receive generous education abroad scholarships or grants to fund the learning opportunity. Students interested in internships and work-study abroad receive funded internships.

All Berea College programs involve both academic and work components. Berea believes that jobs provide students with dignity, skills and valuable experience, in addition to money for personal expenses. Each student works 10–15 hours a week while also attending school full time. The school has over 100 different work options for students and each student gets both an academic and a work transcript upon graduation.

About Berea College

Berea College is a liberal arts college in Berea, Kentucky. It was founded in 1855 and has several unique attributes that set the school apart from other liberal arts colleges. First, it was the first college in the southern United States to be co-educational. It was also the first in the south to become racially integrated. It is one of nine federally recognized Work Colleges in the United States, meaning that the institution has a comprehensive work-learning-service program to promote the purposeful integration of all three areas.

Berea College has 130 full-time faculty. Of these, over 90% hold a terminal degree in their fields. The school boasts small and intimate class sizes and a 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio.

Berea’s primary focus is to provide educational opportunities and access to those who might not otherwise be able to attend college. About ¾ of Berea students are from the Appalachian region and Kentucky, with a mean family income for first-year students of under $30,000. Almost all domestic first-year students at Berea College are eligible for federal Pell Grants.

Berea has received numerous accolades. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance lists the school as a “2016 Best Value College.” Money Magazine ranked it as the “Best National Liberal Arts College” and the “Best Bang for the Buck” in 2016 and 2017. In 2016, U.S. News and World Report placed Berea at the top of the list for “Colleges with Least Student Debt.” In 2016, Essence Magazine listed Berea in the “Top 50 Best Schools for African Americans.” USA Today states that Berea College is one of the “Best 10 Colleges for the Money.” Finally, the Princeton Review featured Berea in the publication’s 2016 edition of “Colleges that Pay You Back.”

Berea College Accreditation Details

Berea College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Additionally, there are two program-specific accreditations at the school:

  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) — Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) — Education and teacher training programs

Berea is also a member of the following organizations:

  •  Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU)
  •  Work Colleges Consortium
  •  Southern University Conference
  •  Appalachian College Association (ACA)
  •  Council of Independent Colleges (CIC)
  •  American Council on Education (ACE)

Berea College Application Requirements

Berea College is committed to providing accessible and affordable education to students who otherwise would not be able to attend college. Therefore, the university places a particular emphasis on interracial and intercultural education. Additionally, Berea only admits students with a demonstrated financial need who would not be able to afford to attend college elsewhere. All prospective students must demonstrate considerable financial need. Berea also restricts admission to only those students who have not already earned a bachelor’s degree at another institution.

With an acceptance rate of 37%, admission to Berea College is highly competitive. There is a considerable emphasis placed on the prospective student’s high school academic success. It is recommended that prospective students complete a college prep high school curriculum, including four units of English, three units of mathematics, two units of laboratory science, two units of social science and history and two units of a foreign language. Most accepted students rank in the top 20% of their high school graduating class and have a GPA of 3.45 or higher. In addition, all applicants must have an ACT composite score of at least 19 or an SAT score of 980, although most accepted students score between 20 and 30 on the ACT.

Prospective students are not charged an application fee to apply to Berea. Admissions is on a rolling basis, with October 31st being the priority deadline and March 31st being the final deadline. Students must submit a completed application and scholarship form, a guidance counselor evaluation form (homeschooled and those with a GED are exempt from this requirement), official transcripts and test scores, a FAFSA and an evaluation and endorsement form from an instructor in English, math or science.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Berea College is one of the only schools in the nation to promise that no student pays for tuition. Every enrolled student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship that is worth $100,000 to cover full tuition over four years. Additionally, all first-year students are provided a laptop through the EDGE (Empowering a Dynamic Generation through Education) program.

Berea uses a sliding scale to determine other costs and some students do pay for housing, meals and books. The average housing cost for students is $1000 per year and first-year students often earn approximately $2000 at their work-study program. While over half of Berea graduates have no student debt, those that do have an average of approximately $5,000. There is financial aid available for students who need assistance paying for housing expenses.

For more information about the degrees offered at Berea College, please visit the school’s website.