Overview of Kentucky Colleges & Schools

The State of Kentucky has quite a few public and private institutions of higher learning. The state its self is located in the center-east of the United States, sharing borders with Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and a very long border with the state of Tennessee. The border with Tennessee is such that some community colleges actually offer Tennessee residents educational opportunities for the same cost as Kentucky residents. The state, being centralized, is not far from urban centers, rural farmlands, and scenic landscapes, providing an ideal atmosphere one way or another to suit any student’s tastes.

Public schools in Kentucky are budgeted for nearly 2 billion dollars in operating costs annually. Public schools serve nearly 120,000 students a year, and provide low cost, high quality education for the residents of the state. A total of eight universities comprise the public school system in Kentucky, which in turn are guided by the Kentucky Council on Post-Secondary Education to meet goals set forth by the council, such as creating a nationally recognized research programs, or expanding campus services.

Some of the larger public schools include:

Kentucky is also home to a number of private institutions of higher learning. These colleges tend to be on the older side, founded by various branches of the Christian faith, and offer varying educational experiences based on the school. Many of the school’s provide a solid liberal arts education that prepares its students for graduate school, while others schools may be known for a specialty in their educational curriculum. Private schools tend to be more expensive than public school, but may meet the needs of specific individuals in regards to their educational goals.

Private institutions in Kentucky include:

The state of Kentucky also operates community colleges through the state, offering technical education, vocational training, and transfer opportunities. Students attending community college with the intent to transfer will enter a 4 year institution as a sophomore once they have completed their 2 year transfer degree. Additionally the state is host to private trade schools that provide individuals with certificate programs that are generally short and provide individuals with skills and education necessary to obtain entry level work in a given field.

The most populous city in Kentucky is Louisville, followed by Lexington and Bowling Green.  While the most populous county in Kentucky is Jefferson County with Fayette County in second.   If you are interested in visiting the state of Kentucky, consider visiting their state page or the state chapter of the Chamber of Commerce.

College Degree Breakdown for the State of Kentucky

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, NCES, O*NET Online

Doctoral or professional degree39,7902.1
Master's degree32,8501.8
Bachelor's degree322,38017.2
Associate's degree39,4202.1
Postsecondary nondegree award121,9406.5
Some college, no degree46,2002.5
High school diploma or equivalent742,31039.7
No formal educational credential524,75028.1

Public Universities & Colleges

Image of Public College Campus

There are eight public 4-year state universities and colleges in Kentucky. These four-year institutions predominantly offer bachelor's or higher level programs and some may even include research facilities. See a state-wide list of the state universities and colleges in Kentucky.

Private Universities & Colleges

Image of Private College Campus

In Kentucky there are twenty-seven accredited private four-year colleges. Similar to public schools, private colleges and universities offer bachelor's or higher level programs and research opportunities, although they usually have smaller classes and higher tuition. Compare admission requirements and tuition details for private colleges in Kentucky.

Community Colleges

Community College in Kentucky

Community colleges are public institutions that offer low cost, high quality education for residents throughout the state. These schools offer 2-year programs that grant associate degrees or offer training courses in specialized trades. Kentucky" Community colleges also are the number one transfer-out programs available for four-year colleges and universities. Learn more and compare community colleges in Kentucky.

Liberal Arts Colleges

Liberal Arts Colleges

Kentucky has four accredited liberal arts colleges. These schools primarily focus on undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences through comprehensive and flexible curriculums. Compare all the liberal arts colleges in Kentucky.

Bible & Christian Colleges

Christian Colleges

Bible and Christian colleges generally provide specialized undergraduate education with a focus on religious or biblical study. There are approximately twenty-three such colleges in Kentucky located throughout the state. See a full list of Christian colleges in Kentucky along with program and tuition information.

Browse Schools by Career in Kentucky

Follow the links below to get information on accredited schools in our database that offer programs or degrees.

Medicine & Healthcare

Law & Criminal Justice