There are 40 four-year colleges to choose from in the Bluegrass State, and Payscale presents data on the best colleges by alumni salary for about a dozen of them. This table ranks schools by the salaries of alumni who earned a bachelor's degree but did not go on to earn a graduate degree.
If we rank colleges by earning potential, the public University of Kentucky has a solid early career graduate salary. Graduates with more experience who make the highest median salaries often come from private Kentucky colleges: Centre College of Kentucky, Bellarmine University, and Thomas More College.
For students considering financial aid to attend college, Sullivan University, a business school, has the highest percentage of low-income students who qualify for Pell grants. For individualized attention, Transylvania University can brag about the lowest faculty to student ratio (1:11) and smallest size (less than 2,000 undergraduates), closely followed by Bellarmine University (1:12). Western Kentucky University, home of the Hilltoppers, has the highest faculty to student ratio 1:19, along with being one of the largest colleges. Its size is second only to the University of Kentucky, with over 21,000 undergraduates.
The University of Kentucky and University of Louisville have been basketball and football rivals for decades, but only PayScale can report on whether Cardinals or Wildcats earn more. The bigger paychecks belong to the UK Wildcats, who earn more than the Louisville Cardinals in early career and mid-career rankings.
Kentucky's top employment industries include car manufacturing, biotechnology, sports and recreation and transportation/logistics.