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.

Showing 24 schools

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    Avg Tuition per YearTuition is the price you pay to attend classes. Tuition varies by school, and does not include costs associated with room and board, books, school supplies, meal plans, or transportation.

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    #1

    University of Louisville

    Louisville, KY

    Graduation Rate

    59%

    Enrollment

    21,670

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $11928

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $27954

    Located in Louisville, Kentucky, University of Louisville offers multiple programs as a public institution. Students leave the school with credentials that prepare them for the workplace. Learners benefit from academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Students can enroll in nationally ranked programs. The college charges an average of 550 per credit. Degree-seekers at the accredited school may qualify for federal financial aid, including the Pell Grant. Learners choose from academic and technical programs. Depending on their major, learners complete fundamentals courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. University of Louisville is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #2

    West Kentucky Community and Technical College

    Paducah, KY

    Graduation Rate

    53%

    Enrollment

    6,327

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4368

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $14808

    West Kentucky Community and Technical College, located in Paducah, Kentucky, grants degrees and certificates as a public institution. Instructors draw on their expertise in diverse fields. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for a successful career. The institution's cost per credit is unknown. Enrollees at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The public institution reports a graduation rate of 53%. The admission rate is unknown at this time. 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.

    #3

    Madisonville Community College

    Madisonville, KY

    Graduation Rate

    42%

    Enrollment

    3,737

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4368

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $14808

    Located in Madisonville, Kentucky, Madisonville Community College educates students as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps learners reach their career goals. Students complete coursework to prepare them for advanced roles. Depending on the program, applicants may need to submit standardized test scores. The waiver makes it simpler to enroll. The school supports enrollees with tutoring and career services. The institution's cost per credit is unknown. Learners at the accredited school can pay for their educational costs with federal student aid programs. Madisonville Community College has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #4

    Gateway Community and Technical College

    Florence, KY

    Graduation Rate

    46%

    Enrollment

    4,763

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4448

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $14888

    From its campus in Florence, Kentucky, Gateway Community and Technical College enrolls learners in 70 programs. Students enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. The average student-to-teacher ratio is unknown. The average amount of aid awarded to students is unknown. Students earn their degree from the school at a rate of 46%. Students should explore how workplace experience makes them more competitive employee candidates. The school's admission rate is currently unknown. Some students qualify for test-optional admissions. Prospective students can contact the admission department for more information about applying.

    #5

    University of Kentucky

    Lexington, KY

    Graduation Rate

    66%

    Enrollment

    29,402

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $12360

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $30680

    From its Lexington, Kentucky campus, University of Kentucky offers 360 program options for students. The institution's top-ranked programs offer a rigorous course of study. The student-to-faculty ratio is unknown. Information on the average amount of aid students receive is unavailable. The public institution reports a 66% graduation rate. Experiential learning opportunities help graduates on the job market. The institution's admission rate is currently unknown. Some programs waive the test score requirement for qualified applicants. The admission department can provide more information about application requirements and start dates.

    #6

    Murray State University

    Murray, KY

    Graduation Rate

    55%

    Enrollment

    9,556

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $9168

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $24792

    From its Murray, Kentucky campus, Murray State University enrolls learners in 126 programs. The institution offers top-ranked programs that provide a rigorous course of study. Information on the average student-to-teacher ratio is unavailable. How much aid students receive on average is currently unknown. The school reports a graduation rate of 55%. The institution understands that hands-on experience makes graduates more competitive in the job market. The institution's admission rate is currently unknown. Some programs no longer require standardized tests for admission. Contact the admissions department for more details about application requirements.

    #7

    Northern Kentucky University

    Highland Heights, KY

    Graduation Rate

    46%

    Enrollment

    15,664

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $10296

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $20256

    Northern Kentucky University, located in Highland Heights, Kentucky, offers 137 programs for degree-seekers. The institution's top-ranked programs offer a rigorous course of study. The average student-to-instructor ratio is unknown. The average amount of aid awarded per student is not available. The public school reports a 46% graduation rate. Students should explore how workplace experience makes them more competitive employee candidates. The school's admission rate is unknown at this time. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores. Applicants can reach out to the admissions office to learn more about enrolling.

    #8

    Owensboro Community and Technical College

    Owensboro, KY

    Graduation Rate

    36%

    Enrollment

    4,004

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4368

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $14808

    From its campus in Owensboro, Kentucky, Owensboro Community and Technical College grants college degrees as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their professional goals. The institution's degree and certificate programs offer coursework that prepares learners for a career in their field. Some programs may offer test-optional admission policies. A test score waiver makes it easier to enroll. Learners receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit is unknown at this time. Learners attending the accredited school also qualify for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #9

    Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College

    Bowling Green, KY

    Graduation Rate

    36%

    Enrollment

    4,304

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4368

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $14808

    Located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College awards degrees and certificates 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. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. The accredited institution meets the requirements for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The institution reports a 36% graduation rate. The institution's admission rate is currently unknown. Admissions advisors can provide more information about application requirements and start dates. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #10

    Ashland Community and Technical College

    Ashland, KY

    Graduation Rate

    43%

    Enrollment

    2,598

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4368

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $14808

    Ashland Community and Technical College, located in Ashland, Kentucky, enrolls students as a public institution. Students learn from experts in multiple disciplines. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The institution's average cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited school, students qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. Students graduate from the school at a rate of 43%. The school's admission rate is unavailable. Applicants can reach out to the admissions office to learn more about enrolling. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #11

    Elizabethtown Community and Technical College

    Elizabethtown, KY

    Graduation Rate

    38%

    Enrollment

    6,648

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4368

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $14808

    Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, located in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, welcomes students with 75 program options. The institution's top-ranked programs offer a rigorous course of study. The student-to-faculty ratio is currently unavailable. Information on the average amount of aid students receive is unavailable. Students earn their degree from the school at a rate of 38%. The institution's commitment to experiential learning makes graduates more competitive. The school's admission rate is unavailable. Some students qualify for test-optional admissions. Admissions advisors can provide more information about application requirements and start dates.

    #12

    Hopkinsville Community College

    Hopkinsville, KY

    Graduation Rate

    26%

    Enrollment

    2,655

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4368

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $14808

    Hopkinsville Community College, which is often listed among the best schools, operates from its main campus in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Enrollees study with experts in many different fields. With academic and technical tracks, the school's programs help learners meet their professional goals. Academic programs can take as little as a few months or as many as seven years to complete, depending on the degree or certificate type and the student's enrollment status. Applicants may qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. This makes it easier to enroll. The admissions department can help prospective students determine the next steps. Students also use financial aid to pay for their college degree or certificate. Hopkinsville Community College holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #13

    Henderson Community College

    Henderson, KY

    Graduation Rate

    40%

    Enrollment

    1,608

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4368

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $14808

    Henderson Community College, located in Henderson, Kentucky, operates as a public institution. Instructors draw on their expertise in diverse fields. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. At the accredited school, students qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. Learners graduate from the school at a rate of 40%. The institution's admission rate is unknown at this time. Prospective applicants can contact the admission department for more information about applying. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #14

    Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College

    Cumberland, KY

    Graduation Rate

    34%

    Enrollment

    3,503

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4368

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $14808

    Located in Cumberland, Kentucky, Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College offers multiple programs as a public institution. The school offers programs that prepare graduates for careers and professional advancement. Degree-seekers benefit from academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. The school boasts several programs that appear in national rankings. The institution's average cost per credit is unknown. Degree-seekers at this accredited institution may qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the institution. Based on their major, students take foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #15

    Maysville Community and Technical College

    Maysville, KY

    Graduation Rate

    42%

    Enrollment

    3,889

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4368

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $14808

    A public institution in Maysville, Kentucky, Maysville Community and Technical College offers a variety of degree and certificate programs. Degree-seekers take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. Students who complete a technical or academic program may enter the workforce. The cost per credit is unknown. Enrollees at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid, including grants and loans. Students earn their bachelor's degree from the school at a rate of 42%. The institution's admission rate is unknown at this time. Prospective students can contact the admission department for more information about applying. Maysville Community and Technical College has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #16

    Morehead State University

    Morehead, KY

    Graduation Rate

    46%

    Enrollment

    9,654

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $9290

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $13876

    Located in Kentucky, Morehead State University offers 93 programs for students. Degree-seekers benefit from rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. The student-to-instructor ratio is unavailable. Information on the average amount of aid students receive is unavailable. Students in the school's programs graduate at a rate of 46%. The institution's commitment to experiential learning helps graduates become more competitive in the job market. The school's admission rate is unavailable. Some programs operate with a test-optional policy for admissions. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements and start dates.

    #17

    Western Kentucky University

    Bowling Green, KY

    Graduation Rate

    48%

    Enrollment

    18,171

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $10802

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $26496

    Located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, Western Kentucky University is a public institution that offers multiple programs. The school offers programs that prepare graduates for careers and professional advancement. Learners enroll in academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Many of the school's programs appear in national rankings. The institution's cost per credit is unknown. Students attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Learners choose from academic and technical programs. Depending on their major, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Western Kentucky University has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #18

    Bluegrass Community and Technical College

    Lexington, KY

    Graduation Rate

    24%

    Enrollment

    10,143

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4448

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $14888

    Located in Lexington, Kentucky, Bluegrass Community and Technical College is a public institution that offers multiple programs. The school offers programs that prepare graduates for careers and professional advancement. Learners benefit from the school's academic rigor and affordable tuition rate. Multiple programs at the school appear in national rankings. The institution's average cost per credit is unknown. As an accredited institution, degree-seekers qualify for federal student aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the institution. Based on their major, students take foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #19

    Hazard Community and Technical College

    Hazard, KY

    Graduation Rate

    36%

    Enrollment

    3,245

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4368

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $14808

    From its campus in Hazard, Kentucky, Hazard Community and Technical College grants college degrees as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their educational goals. Students complete courses and experiential learning opportunities to bolster their knowledge. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Test-optional policies make it easier to enroll. The school provides support such as tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit is unknown at this time. Learners at the accredited school often fund their education with federal aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #20

    Jefferson Community and Technical College

    Louisville, KY

    Graduation Rate

    23%

    Enrollment

    12,560

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4448

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $14888

    A top-ranked school, Jefferson Community and Technical College enrolls learners in programs from its campus in Louisville, Kentucky. Enrollees take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school offers academic and technical tracks to help learners meet a variety of professional goals. Completing a program can take anywhere from a few months to seven years depending on degree or certificate type and whether the student chooses part-time or full-time enrollment. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores. These policies make it easier to enroll. The admissions department can provide additional resources on applying. Financial aid helps students cover the cost of their degree or certificate. Jefferson Community and Technical College holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #21

    Somerset Community College

    Somerset, KY

    Graduation Rate

    28%

    Enrollment

    5,644

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4368

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $14808

    From its Somerset, Kentucky campus, Somerset Community College enrolls students in 76 programs. The institution offers top-ranked programs that provide a rigorous course of study. The student-to-faculty ratio is currently unknown. The amount of aid students receive on average is not currently known. The public institution reports a 28% graduation rate. Real-world experience helps candidates stand out on the job market. The school's admission rate is currently unknown. Some programs offer test-optional admission policies. Admissions advisors can provide more information about application requirements and start dates.

    #22

    Eastern Kentucky University

    Richmond, KY

    Graduation Rate

    45%

    Enrollment

    14,980

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $9876

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $19948

    Eastern Kentucky University, located in Richmond, Kentucky, grants degrees and certificates as a public institution. Instructors draw on their expertise in diverse fields. The college offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. Students can expect to spend around 510 per credit at the school. At the accredited school, enrollees qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. The school reports a 45% graduation rate. The institution's admission rate is currently unknown. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements and start dates. Eastern Kentucky University holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #23

    Big Sandy Community and Technical College

    Prestonsburg, KY

    Graduation Rate

    28%

    Enrollment

    2,718

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4368

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $14808

    From its Prestonsburg, Kentucky campus, Big Sandy Community and Technical College offers 90 program options for students. Degree-seekers enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. The average student-to-teacher ratio is unavailable. Information on the average amount of aid students receive is unavailable. Students graduate from the school at a rate of 28%. Job seekers often benefit from hands-on experience, which makes them more competitive job candidates. The school's admission rate is unavailable. Applicants may qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Prospective applicants can contact an admission advisor to learn more about applying.

    #24

    Kentucky State University

    Frankfort, KY

    Graduation Rate

    25%

    Enrollment

    2,171

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $8090

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $11940

    From its campus in Frankfort, Kentucky, Kentucky State University grants college degrees as a public institution. The school offers academic and technical programs to help learners reach their educational goals. Students prepare for a successful career by completing degree- or certificate-specific coursework. Applicants may qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. The waiver makes it simpler to apply. The school supports enrollees with tutoring and career services. Information on the school's cost per credit is unavailable. The accredited school qualifies for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Kentucky State University has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.