Kentucky’s Berea College is one of the nation’s few entirely tuition-free private colleges, providing a liberal arts education “to those who otherwise couldn’t afford college but who are deserving of the opportunity.” Berea is “truly a different world when it comes to the atmosphere of the college,” and the “wonderful opportunity” offered to students is truly appreciated. The school takes a “holistic approach” to education and “expects a lot from students both in and outside of class,” including labor (everyone is required to work at least 10 hours per week) and convocations.
Professors take an active role in helping students learn: “If you miss a class, professors will email you to find out why.” They “care about not just your learning but also about who you are as an individual” and “lively and passionate about their subjects, and it is very evident within their classrooms.” “I’ve never felt more challenged than when I stepped foot in a Berea classroom,” says a junior. The small student-to-faculty ratio gives professors the opportunity to get to know their students, and “[allows] them to adapt to their students’ needs.”
Dating back to 1855, the college is “very deeply rooted in Appalachian culture and history, but unafraid to address issues outside of that.” The school gives low income students the opportunity to pursue higher education while participating in a labor program, and so “produces well-rounded, hardworking students fully prepared for grad school or the workforce.” “If the labor program is used to its fullest extent, each student has the opportunity to graduate with a fantastic résumé and many network connections,” says a sophomore. It also offers “a huge scholarship to study abroad,” of which many students take advantage.
The town of Richmond is just a 15 minute drive away (there is also a campus shuttle, and Lexington is a bit further), so getting out of small town life for some shopping or restaurant dining “is a must” from time to time. It is illegal to sell alcohol in the town of Berea, and it is against school rules to have alcohol on campus, so “there isn’t a big party scene.” There also happen to be “a lot of couples on campus,” and “people take relationships seriously” here.
The Jeanne Clery Act requires colleges and universities to disclose their security policies, keep a public crime log, publish an annual crime report and provide timely warnings to students and campus employees about a crime posing an immediate or ongoing threat to students and campus employees.
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The Princeton Review publishes links directly to each school's Campus Security Reports where available. Applicants can also access all school-specific campus safety information using the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool provided by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education: http://ope.ed.gov/security