Best Value Colleges in Kentucky

The Bluegrass State is rich with a unique history and lots of natural wonders.  Read More

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1Thomas More College(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$370,000
Total 4 Year Cost$155,000
Grad Rate46%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$30,000
2University of Kentucky (UK)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$300,000
Total 4 Year Cost$98,700
Grad Rate61%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$29,500
3Northern Kentucky University (NKU)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$273,000
Total 4 Year Cost$79,200
Grad Rate36%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$23,200
4University of Kentucky (UK)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$253,000
Total 4 Year Cost$146,000
Grad Rate61%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$29,500
5University of Louisville(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$251,000
Total 4 Year Cost$94,800
Grad Rate54%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$25,200
6Northern Kentucky University (NKU)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$240,000
Total 4 Year Cost$112,000
Grad Rate36%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$23,200
7Western Kentucky University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$208,000
Total 4 Year Cost$76,100
Grad Rate44%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$25,300
8University of Louisville(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$195,000
Total 4 Year Cost$150,000
Grad Rate54%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$25,200
9Eastern Kentucky University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$188,000
Total 4 Year Cost$77,300
Grad Rate42%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$24,100
10 (tie)Centre College of Kentucky(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$159,000
Total 4 Year Cost$195,000
Grad Rate82%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$27,100
10 (tie)Spalding University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$159,000
Total 4 Year Cost$146,000
Grad Rate38%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$20,000
12Bellarmine University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$158,000
Total 4 Year Cost$212,000
Grad Rate68%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$30,500
13Murray State University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$155,000
Total 4 Year Cost$76,600
Grad Rate52%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$30,200
14Western Kentucky University(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$153,000
Total 4 Year Cost$131,000
Grad Rate44%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$25,300
15Eastern Kentucky University(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$151,000
Total 4 Year Cost$115,000
Grad Rate42%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$24,100

*NOTE: Unranked schools on this list don’t have on-campus living options, so on-campus costs are not available.

From natural caves to producing the majority of the world's bourbon, Kentucky has a lot to offer anyone who wants to spend the next four years here getting their education. The state is home to a huge park system that includes one National Park, two National Recreation Areas, two Natural History parks and 45 state parks. The cost of living in Kentucky is cheaper than the national average, and you can save yourself some additional money by picking a college that's going to stretch your dollar the furthest. Use PayScale's College ROI report as a guide to finding out which schools in Kentucky have the highest 20-year net ROI, which is the amount of money you earn 20 years after you graduate.

Thomas More College, a private school, has a small enrollment of around 1,900 students, which means smaller class sizes and more one-on-one time with your instructor.

If attending a small liberal arts school isn't what you had in mind, consider attending the University of Kentucky. There are around 22,000 undergraduates who call KU home. When not in class, students enjoy living in the horse capital of the world -- aka Lexington. But Lexington is more than just horses. It's one of the cleanest cities in America, and it's home to plenty of entertainment. Especially in the summer months.

Northern Kentucky University is also a worthwhile option to consider. Compared to UK, NKU has a smaller enrollment, at 16,000 students. Even so, NKU still offers the tradition aspects of a large college, including athletics and a Greek life system. Popular majors at NKU include journalism, business, and government.