Kentucky Colleges Summary

Kentucky offers prospective students a full range of educational options, from small two-year technical colleges to large four-year universities.

Many Kentucky students start by pursuing technical certificate or associate degree programs at schools in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. The system comprises 16 colleges with more than 70 campus locations throughout the state.

There are eight public state universities in Kentucky. University of Kentucky at Lexington and University of Louisville are two of the premier public colleges in the state. Enrollment between the two institutions was 41 percent of total enrollment across all eight public universities in the state.

The Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities, meanwhile, consists of 18 nonprofit private member institutions, including faith-based schools like Thomas Moore College. Other private schools in the state include The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Online Education in Kentucky

Students across the state can pursue online degree programs or take online classes through Kentucky Virtual Campus. KYVC offers distance education from dozens of Kentucky colleges and universities. As with nearly every other state, Kentucky allows students to pursue distance education from colleges and universities in other states through the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement.

Kentucky's Higher Education Initiatives

The state aims to improve the educational attainment of it citizens through several programs. One such measure is Kentucky's Dual Credit Policy, which allows eligible students to earn college credit before high school graduation -- something that can provide a pathway toward earning a postsecondary credential.

Students can learn more about the many options for higher education in Kentucky by checking with the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education or with KnowHow2GoKY, an online resource to help students prepare to attend colleges in Kentucky.


  • Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities,
  • Enrollment, Kentucky Council on Higher Education,
  • Kentucky Community and Technical College System,
Education Institutes in Kentucky
Total Number of Educational Institutes
Total Enrollment in all institutes
Number of Public Educational Institutes
Number of Private For-Profit Institutes
Number of Private Non-Profit Institutes
Graduation Rate
Total Graduates With Bachelors Degree
On Campus and Online Programs in Kentucky
Number of Institutes Offering on-campus programs
Number of Institutes Offering on-line programs
Number of Institutes Offering both

Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2018-19, National Center for Education Statistics,