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.

  1. #1

    Kentucky Community and Technical College System

    Versailles, KY

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    Not Provided

    Format

    Not Provided

    Located in Versailles, Kentucky, Kentucky Community and Technical College System operates as a public institution. The institution's faculty brings expertise in multiple fields. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for a successful career. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid, including grants and loans. The graduation rate is unavailable at this time. The rate of admission for the school is unknown. Prospective students can contact the admission department for more information about applying. The school's accreditation status is not available at this time.

  2. #2

    West Kentucky Community and Technical College

    Paducah, KY

    Graduation Rate

    53%

    Enrollment

    6,327

    Format

    Online, In person

    From its campus in Paducah, Kentucky, West Kentucky Community and Technical College educates students as a public institution. Students can earn a degree or certificate 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. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. Degree-seekers attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Students receive $5270 in aid on average, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $7174. Learners at the institution choose from academic and technical programs. Depending on their major, learners complete fundamentals courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  3. #3

    Western Kentucky University

    Bowling Green, KY

    Graduation Rate

    48%

    Enrollment

    18,171

    Format

    Online, In person

    Located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, Western Kentucky University often ranks among the best schools. The institution offers a variety of degrees and courses. The school's academic and technical tracks help learners meet diverse career goals. Typically, it takes students two years to complete an associate degree, four years to complete a bachelor's degree, 1-2 years for a master's degree, or 3-7 years for a doctoral degree. Some programs may let applicants apply without submitting test scores. Test-optional policies make it easier to enroll. The admissions department provides additional resources on applying to the school. At the accredited institution, degree-seekers also qualify for financial aid to pay for school. Western Kentucky University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  4. #4

    Northern Kentucky University

    Highland Heights, KY

    Graduation Rate

    46%

    Enrollment

    15,664

    Format

    Online, In person

    Northern Kentucky University, a public institution in Highland Heights, Kentucky, enrolls learners in multiple programs. The school's academic and technical programs help students reach a variety of professional goals. During a bachelor's degree, learners take lower-division and upper-division coursework. Bachelor's programs also incorporate general education requirements. Upper-division credits focus on various concepts in the major. Enrollees receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The institution charges a per-credit fee of 473 for its programs. Learners attending the accredited school also qualify for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Northern Kentucky University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

  5. #5

    University of Kentucky

    Lexington, KY

    Graduation Rate

    66%

    Enrollment

    29,402

    Format

    Online, In person

    Located in Lexington, Kentucky, University of Kentucky enrolls students as a public institution. Degree-seekers study with experts in many different fields. The school offers academic and technical programs for students planning to enter the workforce or pursue further studies degree. Learners can expect to pay 693 per credit at the school. At the accredited school, students qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. A total of 94% of students receive financial aid and 40% take out loans at the school. The public institution reports a graduation rate of 66%. The admission rate for prospective students is 96%. Prospective students can contact the admission department for more information about applying. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  6. #6

    University of Louisville

    Louisville, KY

    Graduation Rate

    59%

    Enrollment

    21,670

    Format

    Online, In person

    From its campus in Louisville, Kentucky, University of Louisville awards degrees as a top school. Students choose from a variety of degree-granting programs. Academic and technical programs help students reach their professional goals. Typically, it takes students two years to complete an associate degree, four years to complete a bachelor's degree, 1-2 years for a master's degree, or 3-7 years for a doctoral degree. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. A waiver makes it easier to enroll. The admissions department provides additional resources on applying to the school. Financial aid helps enrollees cover their educational expenses. University of Louisville has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  7. #7

    Madisonville Community College

    Madisonville, KY

    Graduation Rate

    42%

    Enrollment

    3,737

    Format

    Online, In person

    From its campus in Madisonville, Kentucky, Madisonville Community College enrolls learners in 71 programs. Students enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. The school reports a 17-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Approximately 97% of students at this school offset educational expenses with financial aid. Learners graduate from the school at a rate of 42%. The institution's commitment to experiential learning helps students enter the workforce. The school's admission rate is unavailable. Some programs let applicants apply without submitting test scores. Prospective applicants can contact an admission advisor to learn more about applying.

  8. #8

    Murray State University

    Murray, KY

    Graduation Rate

    55%

    Enrollment

    9,556

    Format

    Online, In person

    Murray State University, located in Murray, Kentucky, often ranks as one of the best colleges. The college enrolls students in high-value programs and courses. The programs offer academic and technical tracks to help learners meet their career goals. Students 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. Depending on the program, applicants may need to submit standardized test scores. These policies make it easier to apply. The admissions department provides additional resources on applying to the school. Degree-seekers at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. Murray State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  9. #9

    Owensboro Community and Technical College

    Owensboro, KY

    Graduation Rate

    36%

    Enrollment

    4,004

    Format

    Online, In person

    From its Owensboro, Kentucky campus, Owensboro Community and Technical College enrolls students in 75 programs. The institution's many rigorous academic programs rank among the best in the nation. The school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 19-to-1. According to the institution, 99% of enrollees receive some form of financial aid. Enrollees graduate from the school at a rate of 36%. The institution's commitment to experiential learning helps graduates on the job market. We do not currently have data on the school's admission rate. Some programs operate with a test-optional policy for admissions. The admission department can provide more information about application requirements.

  10. #10

    Elizabethtown Community and Technical College

    Elizabethtown, KY

    Graduation Rate

    38%

    Enrollment

    6,648

    Format

    Online, In person

    Located in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, Elizabethtown Community and Technical College often ranks among the best schools. Students take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school's academic and technical tracks help learners meet diverse career goals. Typical time for program completion ranges from a few months to seven years depending on the type of degree or certificate offered. Many schools no longer require admissions tests such as ACT or SAT. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to enroll. The admissions department can help applicants determine the next steps. 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.