Berea College again gets top ranking in Washington Monthly

BEREA, Ky. (WTVQ/Press Release) – Washington Monthly has again ranked Berea College the No. 1 Best Bang for the Buck College in the South in their 2021 College Guide and Rankings.

Washington Monthly rankings are based on “the degree to which they recruit and graduate students of modest means, produce the scholarship and scholars that drive economic growth and human flourishing and encourage students to be active citizens and serve their country.”

“One of Berea’s Great Commitments is to provide educational opportunities for students with great promise and limited economic resources, and being ranked the No. 1 Best Bang for the Buck College in the South reflects that commitment,” said Berea College President Lyle Roelofs. “We are humbled to maintain the top spot by a publication which aligns its ranking with the mission of Berea College.”

In the 2021 college rankings guide, Washington Monthly author Robert Kelchen recognizes Berea College for maintaining “consistently high rankings thanks to their economic diversity, relatively strong graduation rates and commitment to meeting students’ financial need.”

Berea’s mission is to provide low-income students with a high-quality liberal arts education. About 90 percent of Berea students receive federal Pell grants, and the annual household income of students’ families is about $29,000. Nationally, graduation rates for students in that demographic are only in the mid-teens. By contrast, about two-thirds of Berea students graduate on time, with many going on to earn Ph.Ds. and other advanced degrees.

The Washington Monthly College Guide and Rankings can be found online at: https://washingtonmonthly.com/2021college-guide.

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College admits only academically promising students with limited financial resources, primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia, although students come from 40 states and 70 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition.

Berea is one of eight federally-recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly, earning money for books, housing, and meals.

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