9 Largest Colleges in Kentucky

The Bluegrass State offers colleges with some of the best sports teams and best technical schools at a low price.

Kentucky’s largest colleges offer an affordable, quality option for students in that state and neighboring states. Many of the colleges emphasize the sciences and Kentucky’s network of community and technical schools focuses on producing students ready to enter the workforce.

9. Morehead State University

Type of College: Public University

Enrollment: 8,897

Cost: In-state: $7,284, Out-of-state: $18,216

Best Programs: Nursing, Social Work, Elementary Education, and Radiation Therapy

Fun Fact: MSU’s recently built Space Science Center was put together through a partnership with NASA. The school has also compiled a space tracking system, also in partnership with NASA.

8. Murray State University

Type of College: Public University

Enrollment: 10,778

Cost: In-state: $6,840, Out-of-state: $8,902

Best Programs: Business Management and Marketing, Engineering, Education, and Health-related Programs

Fun Fact: Murray State’s resources in the sciences are wide and varied. They have a nationally recognized veterinary diagnostic research center, an equine program, an aquatic wildlife program, and a center for reservoir research.

7. Bluegrass Community and Technical College

Type of College: Community College

Enrollment: 11,596

Cost: In-state: $140, Out-of-state: $490 per credit hour

Best Programs: Cosmetology, Surgical Technology, Dental Laboratory Technology, Automotive Technology and Early Childhood Education

Fun Fact: Bluegrass offers Accelerating Opportunity Kentucky, which is like a fast track for technical programs. Students can earn career certificates or a GED in just four months.

6. Northern Kentucky University

Type of College: Public University

Enrollment: 14,785

Cost: In-state: $7,992, Out-of-state: $15,864

Best Programs: Education, Performing Arts, Communications, and Business

Fun Fact: NKU has focused on getting talented guest lecturers to come speak to students. In the past few years, Bob Dole, President George W. Bush, and journalist Bob Woodward are just a few guest lecturers that have come to NKU.

5. Jefferson Community and Technical College

Type of College: Community College

Enrollment: 15,475

Cost: In-state: $140 per credit hour, Out-of-state: $490 per credit hour

Best Programs: Digital Game and Simulation Design, Elementary Education, Occupational Therapy, and Fire Science

Fun Fact: Jefferson works closely with Workforce Solutions to ensure that students find jobs and meet the workforce needs of the Greater Louisville area.

4. Eastern Kentucky University

Type of College: Public University

Enrollment: 15,839

Cost: In-state: $6,960, Out-of-state: $19,056

Best Programs: Environmental Health Science, Forensic Science, Elementary Education, Criminal Justice, and Nursing

Fun Fact: EKU’s Mock Trial team is considered one of the nation’s best teams.

3. Western Kentucky University

Type of College: Public University

Enrollment: 19,258

Cost: In-state: $8,472, Out-of-state: $21,000

Best Programs: Journalism, Broadcasting, Engineering, and Forensics

Fun Fact: WKU has an international focus and sends students each semester to Harlaxton College in England and has other students take a semester at sea.

2. University of Louisville

Type of College: Public University

Enrollment: 20,592

Cost: In-state: $8,930, Out-of-state: $21,650

Best Programs: Engineering, Education, Business, and Parks and Recreation

Fun Fact: The University of Louisville’s campus has an art museum, a planetarium, and Rodin’s original sculpture of The Thinker.

1. University of Kentucky, Lexington

Type of College: Public University

Enrollment: 25,856

Cost: In-state: $9,676, Out-of-state: $19,864

Best Programs: Nursing, Business, Accounting, Biology, and Psychology

Fun Fact: University of Kentucky is located in Lexington, which is often called the “Horse Capital of the World.”

Quick Facts

  • Some community colleges in Kentucky offer discounted rates for students from “contiguous counties,” counties which are out of state but border Kentucky.
  • KnowHow2Go is a site that gives loads in Kentucky-specific information to high school students and adults who are looking to attend school in that state.

Stats source: CollegeStats and U.S. News and World Report.

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