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  • Austin Warren

Berea College declared a five-star school

Updated: Sep 9, 2023

If someone were asked about the names of universities and colleges they associate with 5-star ratings, they may say “Harvard,” “Yale,” or “Princeton,” but there is another institution that ranks among them: Berea.


Money, an organization that specializes in financial advisement and cataloging educational resources, has recently declared Berea College as the only five-star institution for higher education in the state of Kentucky.

Logo courtesy of Money

For two years in a row, Berea College has taken Money’s number one spot for affordability, likely due to the College’s no-tuition-promise and the fact that 100% of students with need receive grants. Most students graduate with no debt to modest debt, with the median student debt being just shy of $3,600, according to Money’s publication ranking the College.


Berea College’s five-star ranking was calculated via three categories: quality of education, affordability, and outcomes. The rankings included 736 schools, all of which made the first cut out of the original 2,400 schools.


The news was well-received on Berea College’s campus. While College administration doesn’t rely on rankings such as Money’s to inform themselves about the efficiency of their campus, nor are rankings often used in marketing to attract new students and donors, they are more than happy to rank so high on the lists among such prestigious schools.


“Berea College works very hard,” Scott Steele, Provost, said. “Our students work very hard, and we are achieving many of the outcomes we hope for.”


Steele attributes many of Berea College’s successes to the example set by the Eight-Great-Commitments. They have guided the actions and tidings of the College since long before the current administration took office, and the Commitments will guide all of the administrations that come after.


Photo courtesy of Angela Cisneros

“The most important thing to have is a centralized mission,” Steele said. “[It is] such an advantage to an institution.”


Steele, among other College administrators, believes that Berea College has earned its five-star ranking. Between the Eight-Great-Commitments and the hard work put in by everyone that contributes to the institution, he maintains that the College is a special school that deserves to stand among other prestigious schools.


Berea College’s five-star ranking is a celebrated occasion, but that isn’t essential to the institution—the dedication of the students, faculty, and staff are.


For more information, Money’s methodology (in brief and in detail) for their Best Colleges ranking can be found here. Their publication for Berea College can be found here.

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