As the first college west of the Allegheny Mountains, Transylvania University was founded in 1780 as Transylvania Seminary in a quaint log cabin. Under the leadership of Henry Clay, the school expanded in the early 19th century to dominate academe in the Bluegrass region. Today, Transylvania University stands as a premier private, non-profit learning institution affiliated with the Disciplines of Christ Church. Transylvania is located on a historic 46-acre urban campus in Lexington, Kentucky’s second-largest city. Each year, Transylvania University enrolls around 1,110 students in its liberal art-based baccalaureate programs. Two vice presidents, two Supreme Court justices, and 50 U.S. senators have attended Transylvania.
According to the U.S. News, Transylvania University is the 82nd best national liberal arts college and 60th top school for military veterans. Forbes ranked Transylvania as America’s 229th best private college with the 80th most grateful grads and an A- financial grade. Featured in the Princeton Review’s “Best 380 Colleges,” Transylvania is named fourth nationally for “Lots of Greek Life.” Washington Monthly magazine crowned Transylvania University the 113th best liberal arts college in the United States for social mobility. It’s also the 30th best bang for the buck in the South. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance recognized Transylvania University as the country’s 64th best value liberal arts college.
Transylvania University Accreditation Details
Last reaffirmed in 2012, Transylvania University has been accredited at Level II by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) for over a century. This regional accrediting body is recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Transylvania is properly licensed by the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA). Furthermore, the Education Department is accredited via the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The chemistry program also aligns with the American Chemical Society (ACS).
Transylvania University Application Requirements
Despite the high acceptance rate of 82 percent, Transylvania University has selective admissions requirements to meet. First-time freshmen must be graduating from a state-approved high school or achieving GED equivalent. Completing a 22-credit, college-prep curriculum with at least four credits of English, three credits of math, three credits of social science, and three credits of natural science is required. First-year students have an average secondary GPA of 3.7. Admitted freshmen also have mean SAT scores of 1162 (Critical Reading and Math only) and ACT scores of 27.
Transfers who have already enrolled at regionally accredited colleges and universities can apply with at least 12 credits. If less, the freshman criteria must be followed. Incoming transfers must be in good standing and eligible for returning to their previous school. To compete, it’s encouraged that transfer students carry a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75. A maximum of 60 credits can be transferred for associate (A.A. or A.S.) degree holders. International students studying on F-1 or J-1 student visas are also welcome. Non-native English speakers must score at least 550 on the paper-based TOEFL or 6.5 on the IELTS.
Before the Early Decision deadline on December 1st or Regular Decision deadline on February 1st, students can apply to Transylvania University by submitting:
• Common Application or Transylvania Application
• Official high school and/or collegiate transcripts
• Standardized test score reports (ACT or SAT)
• Typed, one to two-page admissions essay
• One counselor and one teacher evaluation form
• Proof of English language proficiency (if applicable)
Tuition and Financial Aid
Regardless of state residence, Transylvania University charges $35,830 each year for full-time undergraduate tuition and fees. Room and board is estimated to add $9,860 annually. Students should budget $1,000 for textbooks, $750 for transportation, and $1,350 for personal supplies. Total cost of full-time attendance will be around $48,790 per year. Living off-campus with family cuts expenses to $38,220 yearly. The Pioneer Pledge locks in tuition prices for four years. The average net price for Transylvania students after financial aid is $23,093.
100 percent of beginning, full-time students receive tuition assistance. Transylvania University awards more than $21 million in institutional aid yearly. Students could qualify for the William T. Young Scholarship, Presidents Scholarship, Pioneer Award, Founders Scholarship, Transfer Scholarship, Third Century Scholarship, and more. Federal aid is available with the Pell Grant, SEOG Grant, TEACH Grant, or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. Federal Work-Study (FWS) offers over 350 need-based, on-campus positions. Funding can be borrowed with Federal Direct, Federal Perkins, or Parent PLUS loans, but interest will accrue. In-state residents should apply for the Kentucky Tuition Grant (KTG) or Go Higher Grant. Veterans benefits are also gifted through the Yellow Ribbon program.
Getting lost in the shuffle isn’t possible at Transylvania University. Thanks to the impressive student-faculty ratio of 11:1, over 75 percent of classes have fewer than 20 students. Caring faculty members are easily accessible for mentoring in Transylvania’s four academic divisions. Students can specialize their liberal arts education in 38 majors and 37 minors. Unique bachelor’s degrees in Art History, Classics, Creative Writing, Exercise Science, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Neuroscience, and Rhetoric are offered. There’s also a Pre-Health track with a 90 percent medical school admissions rate. All students begin with a First-Year Seminar to successfully transition to college.
Transylvania’s campus is just four blocks of downtown Lexington to provide a plethora of learning, dining, and entertainment options. Around 75 percent of students live in the seven residence halls, including the Rosenthal Apartments. The J. Douglas Gay Jr./Frances Carrick Thomas Library is open until midnight for group study meetings. In their free time, students can tour exhibits in the Morlan Gallery, watch performances in the Mitchell Fine Arts Center, and stay fit in the Beck Athletic and Recreation Center. For community service opportunities, students can visit the CARE House. During the four-week May term, students may study abroad to countries like Denmark and China.
Students are actively involved in over 70 clubs and organizations. Whether they’re playing Quidditch, writing for “The Rambler,” playing with the Jazz Ensemble, or worshipping with the CRU, Transylvania students benefit from a close-knit campus community. Over 65 percent of students are also Greek members of the four fraternities and four sororities. Each fall, students look forward to Rafinesque Week, a Halloween extravaganza. Couples also visit the famous Kissing Tree to show their affection. Student-athletes at Transylvania University compete for the Pioneers in 26 NCAA Division III sports ranging from baseball to eventing and swimming.