Berea College has a national reputation for academic excellence. Therefore, a Berea education is highly prized, and admission is competitive. The College seeks to enroll students who possess limited financial resources and who are motivated to grow intellectually and personally in an environment shaped by Berea’s Great Commitments.

In the admissions process, emphasis is placed on the candidate’s academic record, particularly the kind and strength of courses taken and the grades earned. The College recommends, but does not require, that applicants complete the following high-school academic distribution:

  • Four units of English (including composition, rhetoric, and literature)
  • Three units of Mathematics (at least Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry)
  • Two units of Laboratory Science
  • Two units of Social Science/History (including World History)
  • Two units of Foreign Language

Those wishing to explore whether they meet the financial criterion for admission to Berea College may use the following table as an approximate guide or go to to complete an online quick estimator.  NOTE: Families with members who are eligible for certain types of state or federal financial assistance (SSI, Food Stamps, Free or Reduced Lunch, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or WIC) are very likely to meet Berea Financial Requirements.

# of Family Members Adjusted Gross Income with One in College Adjusted Gross Income with Two in College
2 or 3 $47,000 $59,000
4 $53,000 $64,000
5 $58,000 $69,000
6 $63,000 $74,000
7 $67,000 $79,000
8 $72,000 $83,000

The amount that Berea College charges a student for housing and meals varies in accordance with his or her family’s ability to contribute toward these expenses. The average first-year student pays $1,000 annually toward these costs, but will earn $2,000 in the Labor Program their first year. The average student-loan debt of Berea graduates is $6,000 after four years, compared to the national average of $30,000. One out of every three Berea students graduate debt-free. Those who do receive student loans frequently use these funds to help finance educational experiences abroad in such locations as Africa, Asia, Australia, Central and South America, and Europe. Approximately forty percent (40%) of the College’s graduates spend some time abroad during their student experience at Berea.

Generally, admitted students may not defer enrollment. However, a student with a compelling reason may request deferment of enrollment to a subsequent term by writing a letter to the Director of Admissions stating the reason for the request. All requests are considered by the Enrollment Policies Committee and decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.  

In keeping with Berea's commitment to serving those with limited financial resources, the College does not charge an application fee.