Berea’s Extraordinary Financial Plan

The Financial Aid Program of Berea College is based on the principle of providing the best possible education for the least cost to the student. Many generations of donors to Berea College have provided a remarkable endowment and tuition replacement fund whereby no admitted student is asked to pay out-of-pocket for tuition. Tuition is the cost to the College for a student's education (faculty and staff salaries, upkeep of non-residential buildings, equipment, etc.)The cost to Berea College of providing educational opportunities (tuition) for the 2023-2024 award year is $48,600 per student. 

Students admitted to the College are guaranteed substantial financial aid through various resources. For the 2023-2024 award year, all students receive a $9,000 Berea Work Scholarship based on their participation in the Labor Program. Additional resources, such as federal and state grant aid, outside scholarships, and donor-designated gifts, ensure tuition is covered. All students are encouraged to apply for outside scholarships to help the College cover the cost of tuition. If students are unable to obtain scholarships to cover tuition, College alumni and donors will help make up the difference.

In addition, most students receive aid to assist with the costs of housing, food, and fees according to the families’ ability to pay as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). (See Cost of Attendance below for a complete list of expenses.) Each student’s calculated financial need will be met through resources such as the College’s work program, the Federal Work Study program, public and private grants and scholarships, and institutional funds as needed.  While student loans are not included in initial financial aid offers, loans are available to assist families who cannot pay their contribution as determined by the FAFSA.

Because no student has out-of-pocket expenses for tuition, students and families typically cannot claim either of the IRS education credits for tax purposes.

Berea provides all first-year students with a laptop computer that is theirs to keep upon graduation. (See the Information Systems & Services section of the Catalogfor more information.) Financial aid may also be available for special learning opportunities such as education abroad, internships, and domestic independent and team-initiated studies. (See Opportunities Common to Many Fields of Study section of this publication.)