Best Value Colleges in Kentucky

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

Find out exactly what you should be paid
RankSchool Name20 Year Net ROI
Total 4 Year Cost
Graduation Rate
Typical Years to Graduate
Average Loan Amount
Rank:1School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$385,000Total 4 Year Cost:$157,000Graduation Rate:51%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$28,900
Rank:2School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$328,000Total 4 Year Cost:$104,000Graduation Rate:64%Typical Years to Graduate:5Average Loan Amount:$31,900
Rank:3School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$294,000Total 4 Year Cost:$82,900Graduation Rate:38%Typical Years to Graduate:5Average Loan Amount:$21,800
Rank:4School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$277,000Total 4 Year Cost:$98,400Graduation Rate:53%Typical Years to Graduate:5Average Loan Amount:$25,400
Rank:5School Name:
University of Kentucky (Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI:$276,000Total 4 Year Cost:$155,000Graduation Rate:64%Typical Years to Graduate:5Average Loan Amount:$31,900
Rank:6School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$260,000Total 4 Year Cost:$117,000Graduation Rate:38%Typical Years to Graduate:5Average Loan Amount:$21,800
Rank:7School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$239,000Total 4 Year Cost:$78,200Graduation Rate:45%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$24,000
Rank:8School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$235,000Total 4 Year Cost:$148,000Graduation Rate:47%Typical Years to Graduate:5Average Loan Amount:$21,600
Rank:9School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$223,000Total 4 Year Cost:$80,200Graduation Rate:41%Typical Years to Graduate:6Average Loan Amount:$22,700
Rank:10School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$220,000Total 4 Year Cost:$156,000Graduation Rate:53%Typical Years to Graduate:5Average Loan Amount:$25,400

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.