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. 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 $67,000
4 $52,000 $72,000
5 $56,000 $76,000
6 $61,000 $81,000
7 $65,000 $85,000
8 $69,000 $89,000

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 $1,150 annually toward these costs, but will earn approximately $1,500 in the Labor Program. The student-loan debt of Berea graduates is one-third of the national average and many 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.

All applicants who meet the faculty-established minimum criteria for admission to the College (ACT Composite score of 17 or SAT I Verbal, Math and Writing score of 1210 and rank in the top three-fifths of the high-school class) must participate in a personal interview with an admissions counselor. Unless an applicant has recently visited campus, most interviews will take place on campus as a component of a formal campus visit. Reservations for visits to campus must be made at least one week in advance of the visit. In keeping with Berea’s commitment to serving those with limited economic resources, the College does not charge an application fee.

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 for a maximum deferment of one semester.