2022 Top Public Universities in Kentucky

Public universities are often the most affordable option for students pursuing higher education, but it’s not just affordability that makes these institutions attractive. Public universities also rank highly among the best universities in many states, Kentucky included.

Public universities receive state and federal funding. Although they generally have larger class sizes than private institutions, they also tend to offer a wide variety of academic programs, diverse student bodies, and prestigious research opportunities.

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.

Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

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Showing 24 schools

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    Avg Tuition per YearTuition is the price you pay to attend classes. Tuition varies by school, and does not include costs associated with room and board, books, school supplies, meal plans, or transportation.

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    #1

    University of Louisville

    Louisville, KY

    Graduation Rate

    60%

    Enrollment

    22,211

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $11966

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $28312

    University of Louisville, which offers on-campus and programs from its Louisville, Kentucky campus, often ranks among the top colleges. Students choose from a variety of degree-granting programs. The school's academic and technical tracks help learners meet diverse career goals. At the school, students typically complete an associate degree in two years, a bachelor's degree in four years, a master's degree in 1-2 years, or a doctoral degree in 3-7 years. Some programs may let applicants apply without submitting test scores. The waiver makes it simpler to apply. The admissions department provides additional resources on submitting an application. Learners at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. University of Louisville holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #2

    West Kentucky Community and Technical College

    Paducah, KY

    Graduation Rate

    51%

    Enrollment

    4,893

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4296

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $15048

    From its campus in Paducah, Kentucky, West Kentucky Community and Technical College educates students as a public institution. Students complete programs that prepare them for the workforce. The institution offers an academically rigorous course of study at an affordable price. Many of the school's programs appear in national rankings. The school's cost per credit is unknown. Degree-seekers at the accredited school may qualify for federal financial aid, including the Pell Grant. Students receive an average aid award of $5296, making the average tuition cost after aid $7780. Learners at the institution choose from academic and technical programs. Depending on their major, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. West Kentucky Community and Technical College holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #3

    Madisonville Community College

    Madisonville, KY

    Graduation Rate

    42%

    Enrollment

    3,104

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4296

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $15048

    Located in Madisonville, Kentucky, Madisonville Community College offers multiple programs as a public institution. Students leave the school with credentials that prepare them for the workplace. The institution provides academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. The school's programs appear in national rankings. Data on the school's average cost per credit is unavailable. Students attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Enrollees receive an average aid award of $6421, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $5884. Learners choose from academic and technical majors at the school. Based on their major, students take foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Madisonville Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #4

    Gateway Community and Technical College

    Florence, KY

    Graduation Rate

    47%

    Enrollment

    4,299

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4296

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $15048

    Gateway Community and Technical College, located in Florence, Kentucky, offers 90 programs for degree-seekers. Degree-seekers enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. According to the institution, the student-to-faculty ratio stands at 17-to-1. According to the institution, 94% of enrollees receive some form of financial aid. The school reports a 47% graduation rate for its programs. Job seekers often benefit from hands-on experience, which makes them more competitive job candidates. The institution's admission rate is unknown at this time. Some programs no longer require test scores for admission. Prospective applicants can contact an admission advisor to learn more about applying.

    #5

    University of Kentucky

    Lexington, KY

    Graduation Rate

    66%

    Enrollment

    29,986

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $11135

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $29945

    University of Kentucky, located in Lexington, Kentucky, enrolls students as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the institution helps students reach their educational goals. Learners pursuing a bachelor's degree complete lower- and upper-division coursework. Undergraduates also complete general education requirements. In upper-division classes, students learn advanced concepts in their major. The school supports students with tutoring and career services. The school charges an average of 693 per credit. Learners at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. University of Kentucky holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #6

    Murray State University

    Murray, KY

    Graduation Rate

    53%

    Enrollment

    9,449

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $7968

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $17148

    From its Murray, Kentucky campus, Murray State University enrolls students in 152 programs. The institution offers top-ranked programs that provide a rigorous course of study. According to the school, the student-to-faculty ratio stands at 17-to-1. According to the school, 99% of students receive some form of financial aid. The school reports a 53% graduation rate. Students should explore how workplace experience makes them more competitive employee candidates. The school incorporates internships, research opportunities, and service learning. The admission rate for incoming students is 77%. Applicants may qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores.

    #7

    Northern Kentucky University

    Highland Heights, KY

    Graduation Rate

    47%

    Enrollment

    16,211

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $9912

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $19872

    Northern Kentucky University, a public institution in Highland Heights, Kentucky, enrolls learners in multiple programs. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps students reach their educational goals. Learners pursuing a bachelor's degree complete lower- and upper-division coursework. Undergraduates also complete general education credits. Degree-seekers study advanced concepts in their major during upper-division courses. The school supports students with tutoring and career services. The school charges an average of 494 per credit. At the accredited institution, learners qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Northern Kentucky University has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #8

    Owensboro Community and Technical College

    Owensboro, KY

    Graduation Rate

    41%

    Enrollment

    3,901

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4296

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $15048

    A public institution, Owensboro Community and Technical College grants degrees from its campus in Owensboro, Kentucky. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their professional goals. The institution's degree and certificate programs offer coursework that allows students to strengthen their skills. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores. This makes it easier to enroll. The school supports enrollees with tutoring and career services. The institution's average cost per credit is unknown. Learners at this accredited school also qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Owensboro Community and Technical College has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #9

    Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College

    Bowling Green, KY

    Graduation Rate

    38%

    Enrollment

    4,137

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4296

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $15048

    A public institution located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College enrolls students in several programs. The school's accredited programs prepare learners for the workforce. The institution provides academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Many of the school's degrees make national rankings. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. Students attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Enrollees receive an average aid award of $5714, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $7240. Learners choose from academic and technical majors at the school. Depending on their program, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #10

    Ashland Community and Technical College

    Ashland, KY

    Graduation Rate

    43%

    Enrollment

    2,400

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4296

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $15048

    From its campus in Ashland, Kentucky, Ashland Community and Technical College enrolls students as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, this school can help learners reach their educational goals. The institution offers coursework that gives students the chance to gain relevant knowledge and skills. Some programs may let applicants apply without submitting test scores. Students may find it easier to apply without a test score requirement. The school provides support such as tutoring and career services. Data on the school's average cost per credit is unavailable. The accredited school qualifies for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Ashland Community and Technical College has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #11

    Elizabethtown Community and Technical College

    Elizabethtown, KY

    Graduation Rate

    39%

    Enrollment

    5,850

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4296

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $15048

    Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, located in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, often ranks as one of the best schools. Instructors draw on their expertise in diverse fields. The school offers academic and technical tracks to help students meet a variety of professional goals. Completing a program can take anywhere from a few months to seven years depending on degree or certificate type and whether the student chooses part-time or full-time enrollment. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores. The waiver makes it simpler to apply. The admissions department can provide additional resources on applying. Students at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. Elizabethtown Community and Technical College holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #12

    Hopkinsville Community College

    Hopkinsville, KY

    Graduation Rate

    26%

    Enrollment

    2,076

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4296

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $15048

    From its campus in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, Hopkinsville Community College grants college degrees as a public institution. The school's academic and technical programs help learners reach a variety of professional goals. The institution's degree and certificate programs offer coursework that allows students to strengthen their skills. Applicants may qualify for a standardized test score waiver. Applicants may find it easier to enroll without a test score requirement. Enrollees receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. Learners attending the accredited school also qualify for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Hopkinsville Community College holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #13

    Henderson Community College

    Henderson, KY

    Graduation Rate

    26%

    Enrollment

    1,331

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4296

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $15048

    Henderson Community College, which operates a campus in Henderson, Kentucky, often ranks as a top school. Enrollees study with experts in many different fields. The programs offer academic and technical tracks to help students meet their career goals. Consult the institution's website to find information on the typical timeline for program completion. Some programs may offer test-optional admission policies. The waiver makes it simpler to apply. The admissions department can help applicants determine the next steps. Financial aid helps enrollees cover their educational expenses. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #14

    Southeast Kentucky Community

    Cumberland, KY

    Graduation Rate

    34%

    Enrollment

    2,505

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4296

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $15048

    Located in Cumberland, Kentucky, Southeast Kentucky Community enrolls students as a public institution. Degree-seekers take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. Students who complete a technical or academic program may enter the workforce. The amount students pay per credit is unknown at this time. Enrollees at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid, including grants and loans. A total of 99% of students receive financial aid and 11% take out loans at the institution. The school reports a graduation rate of 34%. The institution's admission rate is unknown at this time. Prospective students can contact the admissions department for more details about application requirements. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #15

    Maysville Community and Technical College

    Maysville, KY

    Graduation Rate

    45%

    Enrollment

    3,446

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4296

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $15048

    Maysville Community and Technical College, a public organization located in Maysville, Kentucky, offers multiple programs. The school's programs help graduates launch or advance professional careers. The institution provides academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. The school boasts several programs that appear in national rankings. The cost per credit is unknown. Degree-seekers at the accredited school may qualify for federal financial aid, including the Pell Grant. Students receive $6360 in aid on average, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $5811. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the school. The school offers foundational courses, technical classes, and general education courses in multiple majors. Maysville Community and Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #16

    Morehead State University

    Morehead, KY

    Graduation Rate

    43%

    Enrollment

    9,304

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $8970

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $13556

    A public institution located in Morehead, Kentucky, Morehead State University grants degrees through multiple programs. Graduates leave the school with an accredited degree that prepares them for the workforce. Learners enroll in academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Several of the school's programs appear in national rankings. Information on the school's cost per credit is unavailable. Degree-seekers at the accredited school may qualify for federal financial aid, including the Pell Grant. Students receive an average aid award of $ 9460, making the average tuition cost after aid $ 12498. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the institution. Depending on their major, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Morehead State University has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #17

    Western Kentucky University

    Bowling Green, KY

    Graduation Rate

    52%

    Enrollment

    17,517

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $10802

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $26496

    Western Kentucky University, which offers on-campus and programs from its Bowling Green, Kentucky campus, often ranks among the top colleges. Learners choose from a variety of degree-granting programs. Academic and technical programs help learners reach their unique professional goals. Degree-seekers can earn an associate degree in two years, a bachelor's degree in four years, a master's degree in 1-2 years, or a doctoral degree in 3-7 years. Some programs may let applicants apply without submitting test scores. Test-optional policies make it easier to apply. The admissions department provides more information about the application process. Degree-seekers also use financial aid to cover their educational costs. Western Kentucky University has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #18

    Bluegrass Community and Technical College

    Lexington, KY

    Graduation Rate

    30%

    Enrollment

    10,180

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4296

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $15048

    From its campus in Lexington, Kentucky, Bluegrass Community and Technical College offers programs as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their professional goals. Students gain knowledge and skill specific to their field by completing their program's coursework requirements. Applicants may qualify for test-optional admissions. The waiver makes it simpler to enroll. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. Data on the school's average cost per credit is unavailable. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #19

    Hazard Community and Technical College

    Hazard, KY

    Graduation Rate

    40%

    Enrollment

    2,630

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4296

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $15048

    From its campus in Hazard, Kentucky, Hazard Community and Technical College educates college students as a public institution. The school's academic and technical programs help learners reach a variety of professional goals. Students strengthen their knowledge of the field by completing coursework. Some programs may let applicants apply without submitting test scores. The waiver makes it simpler to apply. The school provides support such as tutoring and career services. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. Learners attending the accredited school also qualify for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Hazard Community and Technical College has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #20

    Jefferson Community and Technical College

    Louisville, KY

    Graduation Rate

    25%

    Enrollment

    12,196

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4296

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $15048

    A public institution located in Louisville, Kentucky, Jefferson Community and Technical College offers a variety of programs. The school offers accredited programs that prepare students for a successful career. The institution offers affordable programs that do not sacrifice academic rigor. Several of the school's programs appear in national rankings. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. Students attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Students receive $5052 in aid on average, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $7797. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the school. Based on their major, students take foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Jefferson Community and Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #21

    Somerset Community College

    Somerset, KY

    Graduation Rate

    33%

    Enrollment

    4,837

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4296

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $15048

    Somerset Community College enrolls students at its Somerset, Kentucky campus as a public institution. Enrollees study with experts in many different fields. Students who complete a technical or academic program may enter the workforce. The institution's average cost per credit is unknown. The accredited institution meets the requirements for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. At the institution, 99% of students receive financial aid and 24% take out loans. Students earn their bachelor's degree from the school at a rate of 33%. The school's admission rate is unavailable. Contact the admissions department for more details about application requirements. Somerset Community College has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #22

    Eastern Kentucky University

    Richmond, KY

    Graduation Rate

    45%

    Enrollment

    14,465

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $9266

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $19338

    From its location in Richmond, Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky University offers multiple programs as a public institution. Students earn an accredited degree that prepares them for the workforce. The institution offers an academically rigorous course of study at an affordable price. The school offers nationally ranked programs in diverse fields. The school charges 474 per credit for its programs. Degree-seekers at this accredited institution may qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Students receive $ 9129 in aid on average, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $ 14151. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the school. Depending on their program, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Eastern Kentucky University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #23

    Big Sandy Community and Technical College

    Prestonsburg, KY

    Graduation Rate

    30%

    Enrollment

    2,426

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4296

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $15048

    Located in Prestonsburg, Kentucky, Big Sandy Community and Technical College educates students as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps learners reach their educational goals. The institution's degree and certificate programs offer coursework that prepares students for advancement in their field. Depending on the program, applicants may need to submit standardized test scores. These policies make it easier to enroll. The school provides support such as tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit on average is currently unknown. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal financial aid programs such as the Pell Grant. Big Sandy Community and Technical College holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #24

    Kentucky State University

    Frankfort, KY

    Graduation Rate

    30%

    Enrollment

    2,290

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $7700

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $11550

    Kentucky State University, which operates a campus in Frankfort, Kentucky, often ranks as one of the best colleges. Learners choose from a variety of degree-granting programs. With academic and technical tracks, the school offers programs for learners with a variety of professional goals. Enrollees typically earn an associate degree in two years, a bachelor's degree in four years, a master's degree in two, and a doctoral degree in 3-7 years. Many schools no longer require admissions tests such as ACT or SAT scores. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to enroll. The admissions staff can provide more information on the process. Financial aid helps degree-seekers pay for their education. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.