Financial Aid and Student Accounts

Berea’s Extraordinary Financial Plan

The cost to Berea College of providing educational opportunities (tuition) for 2021-2022 is $42,900 per student. Students admitted by the College are guaranteed substantial financial aid through resources other than their parent(s)—e.g., through outside scholarships, federal and state aid, and grants from participation in the College’s work program—sufficient to cover tuition. All students are encouraged to apply for outside scholarships to help the college cover the cost of tuition, if students are not able to obtain scholarships to cover tuition, the College alumni and donors will help make up the difference. Most students receive additional grant assistance to help with the costs of housing, meals, and fees according to the families’ ability to pay as determined from family information submitted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Financial Aid Program of Berea College is based on the principle of providing the best possible education for the least cost to the student. Many generations of donors to Berea College have provided a remarkable endowment and tuition replacement fund whereby no admitted student is asked to pay any out-of-pocket expenses for tuition, or what we refer to tuition.  Tuition is the cost to the College for a student's education; costs such as faculty and staff salaries, upkeep of non-residential buildings, etc..

Tuition is guaranteed to each student and is met through a combination of federal and state programs, donor-designated gifts, College funds, and outside scholarship awards. (See Student Expenses below for additional costs related to a Berea College education.)

In addition, Berea provides all first-year students with a laptop computer that is theirs to keep upon graduation. (See the Information Systems & Services section of the Catalog for more information.) Financial aid may be available for some special learning opportunities such as education abroad, internship, and domestic independent and team-initiated studies. (See Opportunities Common to Many Fields of Study section of this publication.)

The College assures that each student’s demonstrated financial need, as determined through a needs analysis system on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), will be met. This is accomplished through  partnership with the student’s and family’s resources, the College’s work program, the Federal Work-Study program, public and private grants and scholarships, and, finally, a College grant or loan covering any remaining need.

Meeting the Cost of Education (2021-2022)

Tuition $42,900
Assistance Sources: Labor Grant $9,000
Federal or State Grant As eligible if available balance
Private Scholarship
Guaranteed by Berea
Total Assistance Sources $42,900

Student Health Insurance

 All students attending Berea College are urged to have health insurance coverage in Kentucky.  If a student is in a plan that does not transport to Kentucky, they can pick up a non-ACA compliant student plan from the College.  The policy provides primary coverage for students with no other insurance.

The insurance premium is part of the Student Expense budget and is reflected as a fee.  Financial Aid is applied to this cost, based on need, as established by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Therefore, most students are not asked to pay the insurance premium for this insurance.

White House Clinic, contracted by the College, asks for information from new students about insurance coverage.  Students must complete all forms identifying their primary health insurance company prior to Fall registration.

Student Expenses

Student Expenses

A student and the family are responsible for the costs listed in the chart below. However, for those who qualify on the basis of need—and most students do—financial aid is available to defray all or part of these costs. The average amount freshmen paid last year was approximately $1,500 for these costs, not including contributions from the Labor Program. Fewer than five percent of Berea students are asked to cover the full cost of housing, meals, and fees.

Costs of attendance for the required Fall and Spring terms are as follows:

Expenses for Which the Student is Responsible

Fall Spring Total
Housing ($114.27/wk) $1,943 $1,943 $3,886
Board (Meals, $105.79/wk) $1,799 $1,799 $3,598
Health & Dental Fee $88 $88 $176
Technology Fee $210 $210 $420
Other Campus Fees which include:
Campus Activities Fee $40 $40 $80
Student Engagement  $17 $17 $34
Accident Fund Fee $1 $1 $2
Total fees and charges $4,098 $4,098 $8,196

Additional Expenses (Vary by Student*)

Fall Spring Total
Books and Supplies $350 $350 $700
Transportation $450 $450 $900
Personal Expenses $750 $750 $1,500
Estimated Totals $1,700 $1,700 $3,400
Academic Year Total $11,496

* Estimated additional costs for academic year 2021-2022 may include fees for courses that include laboratory sessions or special supplies and are listed in course descriptions in this Catalog under Academic Departments and Courses.

Scholarships, Grants, Labor Earnings, and Loans

Scholarships and Grants

Scholarships and grants are monetary gifts for which repayment is not required. Some scholarship and grant monies defray the cost of tuition and essential student expenses, and others are used for special purposes or programs. Many scholarships and grants are reserved for students who meet specific criteria without the need for special application procedures. (See Scholarships, Awards, and Prizes section for details about some of these institutional scholarships and grants.)

In addition to institutional scholarship and grant funds, Berea College participates in the following federal and state programs providing student aid that does not require repayment: Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Kentucky College Access Grants, Kentucky Tuition Grants, and Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarships (KEES).

Earnings from Work

An integral form of financial assistance at Berea College is available through the Student Labor Program. All students enrolled in an academic term (Fall, Spring, Summer) earn a work scholarship, in which a portion of that, the Labor Grant, is applied directly to the tuition each term. The amount applied is: $4,500 (Fall); $4,500 (Spring); and a pro-ration for summer term(s). The final portion of the work scholarship is the primary source of direct aid, providing $1,650 to $2,500 per year to assist in covering educational costs and personal expenses. Based on the total work scholarship and total hours worked per term, a student receives between $28.00 and $37.00 per hour in scholarship. The direct aid portion received (based on hours worked), in combination with the student’s earnings on and off campus during the summer months, are used to pay a portion of the student’s housing, meals, personal expenses, fees, and other educational expenses incurred during the academic year. Therefore, no student nor their parent can claim the federal tuition tax credit for tax purposes.

Berea College expects every student to save approximately $1,000 from summer earnings to assist with costs associated with attendance. While the College does not bill students for an additional $1,000 as a result of the summer savings expectation, some students choose to use their savings to assist with their term bill. Ideally, when the term bill obligation is met through the family’s contribution, the summer savings can be used to assist with indirect college expenses like transportation, books, supplies, personal, and miscellaneous expenses. Jobs available on campus for those who wish to remain in Berea during the summer are paid at a rate sufficient, with careful budgeting, to save approximately $1,000. However, some students find it easier to save summer earnings when living at home in a rent-free environment.


Low-interest, long-term loans may be obtained from Berea College when needed to pay essential school expenses. Initial award letters do not reflect loans. Students need to contact Student Financial Aid Services to inquire about other options before considering a loan. Most loans do not accrue interest as long as the borrower is a full-time student. Long-term loans become due six months after graduation or withdrawal from college and must be repaid within an agreed upon schedule. Special non-interest-bearing loans are available to students who have significant financial need.

Berea College also participates in the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program which has fixed interest rates. For more detailed information concerning the financial assistance program, please contact the Student Financial Aid Services Office at (859) 985-3310. The Federal government will determine the rate of interest each year depending on amounts agreed upon by Congress.

Financial Aid Eligibility and Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal regulations require all students who receive any federal financial assistance make measurable academic progress toward a degree. Progress is determined quantitatively (hours attempted versus hours earned and time frame) and qualitatively (GPA). Students must maintain satisfactory progress in all three areas in order to received Federal Financial Aid. Progress is monitored at the conclusion of each payment period (Fall Term, Spring Term, and Summer Term).

Berea College expects all enrolled students to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward completion of degree requirements.  Further, students are responsible for understanding the SAP and graduation requirements and to monitor their academic standing to ensure compliance with these policies. Students who fail to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) will lose their eligibility for Title IV federal financial aid. These are financial aid standards and do not replace or override Berea College academic policies.


A minimum standard for full-time enrollment is three credits per semester. A minimum standard for part-time enrollment (at least half-time) is 1.5 credits per semester.


The maximum time frame in which a student must complete their degree cannot exceed more than 150% of the published length of the student’s major. All majors at Berea require a minimum of 32 credits to complete the degree but must be completed in six (6) academic years for financial aid purposes. Berea College students can, therefore, attempt up to 48 credits and still be eligible for aid. Once 48 credits are exceeded, eligibility for federal aid would be suspended.  All repeated courses, failed courses, withdrawals, and transferred hours will count as credits attempted toward the maximum time frame.

In addition, students must earn at least two-thirds or 67% of the credits attempted.

Number of Total Terms Expected Credits Minimum Credits
1 4 earned 3 passed
2 8 earned 6 passed
3 12 earned 9 earned
4 16 earned 13 passed
5 20 earned 18 earned
6 24 earned 22 earned
7 28 earned 26 earned
8+ 32 earned 32 earned


In order to meet qualitative SAP standards, a student must earn the cumulative GPA of 2.0. As indicated below, the only exception to the 2.0 minimum GPA is for the 2nd and 3rd terms of attendance (b if a student is on continued probation).

Number of Total Terms Minimum Cumulative GPA
1 2.00
2 2.00 (1.67b)
3 2.00 (1.85b)


All enrolled students are evaluated for SAP at the end of each payment period after official grades have been posted.  Students who do not meet SAP standards will receive communication from Student Financial Aid Services. Students who fail SAP for an isolated term will be placed in a Financial Aid Warning Status. Warning status allows students to receive aid for one more period of enrollment. Students who fail SAP for two consecutive terms will be placed in a Financial Aid Suspension Status. With a suspension status, students are not eligible to receive financial aid. However, students placed on suspension status may appeal the suspension. Students granted an approved appeal will be placed on Financial Aid Probation Status. Probation status allows students to receive aid for one period of enrollment.


Appeals must be submitted to Student Financial Aid Services in written form. The appeal must speak to the circumstances surrounding the failure to meet the SAP standards of the Berea College this term. The appeal must tell of the plans in place to achieve academic success for the upcoming term and what changes have been made or will be made in order to graduate on time. The appeal must also list the resources students will utilize to support the plan.

Students will be considered in good standing in regard to financial aid eligibility when they again meet the minimum SAP standards or receive approval of a submitted appeal. Sitting out for any length of time does not affect a student’s SAP standing. Students who re-enroll after a period of absence are required to submit an appeal when they return in order to determine financial aid eligibility.


Refund Policy

College Refund Policy

The following regulations govern refunds when proper procedures for withdrawal as outlined in this publication have been adhered to:

Meal Charges A student who withdraws before the end of a term is entitled to a refund of half of the unexpired portion of the meal charge.

Housing Charge - A student who withdraws during the first two weeks of a term is entitled to a refund of half the housing charge.

  • Refunds are made approximately two weeks after notice of withdrawal is received and disbursed in the following order:
  • Repayment of federal and state loans and grants made for the current term;
  • Repayment of aid granted from Berea College funds;
  • Repayment of all amounts due Berea College;
  • Balance paid to student account.

Any remaining balance due Berea College must be paid before a transcript is issued. Diplomas will not be issued to students with financial obligations remaining on their Student Account.

Federal Refund Policy

A portion of Title IV grant or loan funds (except Federal Work Study) must be returned to the Title IV programs upon the recipient’s withdrawal from school.

Withdrawal Date

As determined by the school, the date the student withdraws, is the date: 1) the student began the withdrawal process prescribed by the school; 2) the student otherwise provided the school with official notification of intent to withdraw; or 3) the midpoint of the payment period or period of enrollment for which Title IV assistance was disbursed (for the student who does not begin the school’s withdrawal process or notify the school of the intent to withdraw).

If the school determines the student did not begin the withdrawal process or notify the school of the intent to withdraw—due to illness, accident, or other such circumstances beyond the student’s control—the school may determine the appropriate withdrawal date.

Percentage of the Payment Period or Period of Enrollment Completed

The percentage of the payment period or period of enrollment for which assistance was awarded that was completed is determined by dividing the total number of calendar days comprising the payment period or the period of enrollment for which assistance is awarded into the number of calendar days completed in that period as of the day the student withdrew.

Calculation of Title IV Assistance Earned

To calculate the amount of Title IV assistance earned by a student, the school first must determine the percentage of Title IV assistance the student earned. Up through the 60-percent point in time, the percentage of assistance earned is equal to the percentage of the payment period or period of enrollment for which it was awarded that was completed as of the day the student withdrew. If the student withdraws after the 60-percent point, then the percentage earned is 100 percent. That earned percentage is applied to the total amount of Title IV grant and loan assistance disbursed (and that could have been disbursed) to the student, or on the student’s behalf, for the payment period or period of enrollment for which it was awarded as of the day the student withdrew.

Calculation of Title IV Assistance Not Earned

The amount of Title IV grant and loan assistance not earned by the student is calculated by determining the complement of the percentage of assistance the student earned and applying it to the total amount of grant and loan assistance that was disbursed (and that could have been disbursed) to the student, or on the student’s behalf, for the payment period or period of enrollment as of the day the student withdrew.

Differences between Amounts Earned and Amounts Received

The school will follow the regulations for late disbursement if the student received less grant or loan assistance than the amount earned. If the student has received more grant or loan assistance than the amount earned, then the unearned funds shall be returned by the school or the student, or both.

Responsibility of the School

The school shall return the lesser of the unearned amount of Title IV assistance or an amount equal to the total institutional charges the student incurs for the payment period or period of enrollment for which the assistance was awarded, multiplied by the unearned percentage of awarded Title IV grant and loan assistance.

Responsibility of the Student

The student shall return unearned Title IV assistance minus the amount the school returns.

Special Rule

A student (or parent for PLUS loans) repays the calculated amount attributable to a Title IV loan program according to the loan’s terms. A student repays a Title IV grant program subject to repayment arrangements satisfactory to the school or the U.S. Secretary of Education’s overpayment collection procedures. A student shall not be required to return 50 percent of the unearned grant. The College will bill the student for the amount owed and collect repayment. A student who fails to repay may be referred to the U.S. Department of Education or other appropriate agency for collection. The student may be ineligible for further federal student aid funds.

Order of Return of Title IV Funds

Excess funds returned by the school or student are credited to outstanding Title IV loan balances for the student or made on the student’s behalf for which a return of funds is required. Excess funds must be credited to outstanding balances in the following order:

  1. Direct William D. Ford loans
  2. Direct William D. Ford PLUS loans

Remaining Excesses

If excess funds remain after repaying all outstanding loan amounts, the remaining amount is credited to grant programs in the following order:

  1. Federal Pell Grants
  2. Federal SEOG
  3. Other Title IV assistance for which a return of funds is required.

Refund Policy and Leaves of Absence

An approved Leave of Absence is not to be treated as a withdrawal and no return of Title IV funds is calculated. A student may take a Leave of Absence from a school for not more than a total of 180 days in any 12-month period. The student must have followed the institution’s policy in requesting a Leave of Absence (see “Leaves of Absence” in the Enrollment and Registration section for more information), and the school must have approved the student’s request in accordance with its policy. If the student does not return at the expiration of an approved Leave of Absence, the school calculates the amount of Title IV grant and loan assistance that is to be returned based on the date the student began the leave.

Student Accounts, Term Bills, and Payment Plan

Upon enrollment, each student at Berea College is assigned a Student Account. This account contains charges for housing, meals, required fees, and selected educational items such as books, supplies, and institutional fees and fines. Financial aid for educational costs also is credited to this account.

To confirm enrollment and validate the student ID, student account balances from the previous term must be paid in full.  In addition, all charges for the current term must be paid or resolved prior to the first day of classes for each term.  If the current term charges cannot be paid in full by the first day of classes, a payment plan must be arranged through the Office of Student Financial Aid Services.  Payment plans for the current term may include a combination of payments by cash, check, or credit card; use of labor earning via payroll deduction (50% or more); or additional aid such as institutional or federal loans.

Once the student account is paid for a prior term, students will be able to charge books through the College's on-line Bookstore.  Other educational costs and College fines also may be applied to the account. These charges and any charges remaining as part of a payment plan must be resolved in order to register for upcoming terms. (Continuing students must have paid their Term Bill below $100 before being able to register for upcoming terms.)  Student financial aid cannot be used to cover any fines.

Charges remaining on the account or incurred after registration must be resolved by the end of the term. Special financial aid for upcoming terms (e.g., grants for travel abroad) will not be released until the account balance is paid in full.

The College establishes fees and charges under the following circumstances:

  • as a charge for some service or materials to be used by the student;
  • as a privilege to do something out of the usual pattern;
  • as a means of defraying administrative costs that are involved in making materials and services available; and/or
  • as a deterrent (fine or disciplinary charge)

Students who have a credit balance will receive the balance by check or direct deposit no more than 14 days after the credit appears on the account.