Online Colleges in Kentucky
Despite funding cuts and a nationwide recession, Kentucky has managed to stay in the race when it comes to higher education.
From 2004 to 2014, enrollment at Kentucky colleges and universities grew by more than 7%, according to the Kentucky Completion Report.
In the same time period, postsecondary institutions increased the number of degrees and credentials they awarded by nearly 60%, the eighth largest gain in the US.
No doubt the success is due in large part to the dozens of state agencies that provide support, online resources and financial aid for postsecondary learners.
Overview of Higher Education in Kentucky
The National Center for Education Statistics (NES) reported that there are 72 degree-granting institutions in Kentucky as of 2015-2016. Of the 72, 24 are public, 26 are private non-profit and 22 are private for-profit.
The average cost of tuition and fees at one of the state’s 4-year public institutions is $9950 for residents and $22,680 for those out of state, according to Collegeboard.org’s 2016-2017 report.
If you happen to live in another southern state, however, tuition may be lower because of Kentucky’s participation in Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), a 15-state collaboration aimed at bettering higher education. Through this organization, residents of participating states may pursue degrees at schools in other participating states while paying in-state tuition.
Another valuable resource to Kentucky’s educational system is the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, which has headed up initiatives such as:
- GEAR UP Kentucky – Kentucky’s implementation of the national program aimed at increasing the number of low income students entering and graduating college
- Kentucky College and Career Connections Coalition (Ky3C) – To improve communication and collaboration between college and career outreach professionals
- Kentucky Virtual Library (KYVL) – The state’s hub for online research
- Kentucky Virtual Campus (KYVC) – Comprehensive catalog of online courses and degrees offered at the state’s public and private colleges
- Kentucky Adult Education (KYAE) – Free adult education services such as GED test preparation to college and career preparation
The agency works to improve quality, diversity, accessibility and affordability of higher education across the state.
About Online Colleges in Kentucky
Online learning provides a convenient and affordable way for students to pursue a degree while still maintaining their professional and personal commitments.
In 2012 the NES reported that 19.7% of students in Kentucky were enrolled in fully online degree programs, and another 11.3% were enrolled in one or more online courses.
Those numbers have continued to rise, and today nearly all postsecondary schools in Kentucky offer online learning opportunities. Students are able to choose between hybrid programs, which involve both online and on-campus learning, and fully online programs, and can pursue certifications, undergraduate or graduate degrees. They may enroll through large, well-known schools such as the University of Kentucky and Kentucky State University, or through small, private institutions like Brescia University and Lindsay Wilson College.
Many of these programs are facilitated by The Kentucky Virtual Campus (KYVC), the state’s resource for online college, professional development and supplemental studies. KVVC provides access to hundreds of online degree programs offered by almost 40 of the state’s colleges, universities and other educational agencies.
Likewise, Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) is a statewide system of 14 community colleges and 15 technical institutes. KCTCS offers more than 700 credential options and is the state’s largest provider of workforce training and online education.
Scholarships and Financial Aid in Kentucky
If you’re interested in earning your college degree in Kentucky, the first step is filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which provides access to federal, state and private financial aid.
You can fill out the FAFSA starting October 1st. Since some funds may be awarded on a first come first served bases, you should fill it out as soon as possible.
The FAFSA will require you to answer questions about your finances and the finances of your parents (unless you are considered independent by FAFSA’s standards). Your answers will be used to determine how much and what type of financial assistance you are offered.
The most desirable forms of financial aid are grants and scholarships, which do not need to be repaid.
In Kentucky, the government agency Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) helps to improve students’ access to higher education by providing financial and informational resources.
KHEAA administers the following grant and scholarship programs exclusively for Kentuckians:
|Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES)||
Merit based; Must have GPA of 2.5 or higher each year of high school
Award amounts increase based on GPA scores each year of High School; Additional incentives for high ACT/SAT scores and other academic accomplishments
|College Access Program Grant (CAP)
Up to $1900
|Kentucky Tuition Grant
Up to $2920
|Go Higher Grant
Need based; Must be 34 or older; Must be enrolled less than half-time pursuing an undergraduate degree
Up to $1000
|Kentucky Coal County College Completion Scholarship||
For residents in coal-producing counties; Must have earned at least 60 credit hours toward first bachelor’s degree
Amounts vary for public vs. private students, but may be up to $7770 per year at a non-profit institution
|Dual Credit Scholarship Program||For high school Juniors or Seniors who are taking dual credit classes at a participating college or university||
Reimbursement for up to 2 classes
|Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship||For those pursuing an industry-recognized certificate or diploma in an approved sector; Must maintain GPA of 2.0 or higher||
Total cost public institution’s tuition and fees, minus other grants/scholarships
There are countless other financial aid opportunities available as well.
First, check with your high school guidance counselor to see about local grants and scholarships, which are often less competitive than state or national scholarships.
Then try scholarship search sites like Fastweb.com, where you can enter information about yourself and be matched up with scholarship opportunities.
Finally, discuss financial aid opportunities with the college or university you’ve chosen. Schools often offer impressive grants and scholarships to admitted students.
List of Online Colleges in Kentucky
|Online Colleges in Kentucky||Location||Annual Tuition||Accreditation||Application Fee|
|Western Kentucky University||Bowling Green, Kentucky||$9,912||Regional||$45|
|Campbellsville University||Campbellsville, Kentucky||$24,596||Regional||$20|
|Thomas More College||Crestview Hills, Kentucky||$29,450||Regional||$0|
|Kentucky State University||Frankfort, Kentucky||$7,754||Regional||$30|
|Northern Kentucky University||Highland Heights, Kentucky||$9,384||Regional||$40|
|University of Kentucky||Lexington, Kentucky||$11,484||Regional||$50|
|Sullivan University||Louisville, Kentucky||$19,740||Regional||$100|
|Morehead State University||Morehead, Kentucky||$8,496||Regional||$30|
|Brescia University||Owensboro, Kentucky||$21,100||Regional||$25|
|Daymar College||Owensboro, Kentucky||$15,000||National||$0|
|Eastern Kentucky University||Richmond, Kentucky||$8,868||Regional||$35|
|University of the Cumberlands||Williamsburg, Kentucky||$23,000||Regional||$30|
|Asbury University||Wilmore, Kentucky||$28,630||Regional||$25|
In spite of financial restrictions, Kentucky colleges are more attractive than ever!
Thanks to the support of dozens of agencies, the state’s colleges and universities continue to increase their online learning offerings and financial aid resources, making Kentucky a solid choice for higher education.