Best Online Colleges in Kentucky 2024

Doug WintemuteASO Rankings Team
Updated February 23, 2024
Edited by
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In 1792, Kentucky became the 15th state to join the union. Over the last two centuries, the state developed a reputation for horse racing, whiskey, and Southern hospitality. Kentucky has also become known for its manufacturing and logistics industries, boasting some of the country’s highest concentrations of jobs in these sectors.

The state is home to a big online learning industry as well. Online colleges in Kentucky allow students to pursue degrees and classes without commuting through the rolling hills each day. In this guide, we rank the best online schools in Kentucky and give advice on accreditation and cost.

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Best Online Colleges in Kentucky

#1 Best Online Colleges in Kentucky 2024

University of the Cumberlands

  • Location-markerWilliamsburg, KY
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$9,875
  • Out-of-state$9,875
  • Retention Rate67%
  • Acceptance Rate85%
  • Students Enrolled19,272
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment95%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 Best Online Colleges in Kentucky 2024

University of Louisville

  • Location-markerLouisville, KY
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$12,174
  • Out-of-state$28,520
  • Retention Rate77%
  • Acceptance Rate75%
  • Students Enrolled22,140
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment58%
  • AccreditationYes
#3 Best Online Colleges in Kentucky 2024

Northern Kentucky University

  • Location-markerHighland Heights, KY
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$10,008
  • Out-of-state$20,064
  • Retention Rate70%
  • Acceptance Rate80%
  • Students Enrolled15,979
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment76%
  • AccreditationYes
#4 Best Online Colleges in Kentucky 2024

University of Kentucky

  • Location-markerLexington, KY
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$11,247
  • Out-of-state$30,245
  • Retention Rate86%
  • Acceptance Rate94%
  • Students Enrolled30,390
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment39%
  • AccreditationYes
#5 Best Online Colleges in Kentucky 2024

Western Kentucky University

  • Location-markerBowling Green, KY
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$10,992
  • Out-of-state$27,000
  • Retention Rate73%
  • Acceptance Rate98%
  • Students Enrolled16,750
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment57%
  • AccreditationYes
#6 Best Online Colleges in Kentucky 2024

Campbellsville University

  • Location-markerCampbellsville, KY
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$24,900
  • Out-of-state$24,900
  • Retention Rate61%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled10,238
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment70%
  • AccreditationYes
#7 Best Online Colleges in Kentucky 2024

Asbury University

  • Location-markerWilmore, KY
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$32,084
  • Out-of-state$32,084
  • Retention Rate84%
  • Acceptance Rate77%
  • Students Enrolled1,720
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment61%
  • AccreditationYes
#8 Best Online Colleges in Kentucky 2024

Murray State University

  • Location-markerMurray, KY
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$8,040
  • Out-of-state$17,316
  • Retention Rate75%
  • Acceptance Rate85%
  • Students Enrolled9,414
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment47%
  • AccreditationYes
#9 Best Online Colleges in Kentucky 2024

Brescia University

  • Location-markerOwensboro, KY
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$26,000
  • Out-of-state$26,000
  • Retention Rate66%
  • Acceptance Rate53%
  • Students Enrolled841
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment71%
  • AccreditationYes
#10 Best Online Colleges in Kentucky 2024

Midway University

  • Location-markerMidway, KY
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$24,500
  • Out-of-state$24,500
  • Retention Rate67%
  • Acceptance Rate78%
  • Students Enrolled1,390
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment78%
  • AccreditationYes

Reasons to Consider Online Colleges in KY

  • Online learning makes it easier to balance your studies with work, childcare, and other responsibilities.
  • You can attend online colleges in Kentucky without moving or traveling.
  • Some of Kentucky’s most prestigious universities offer online programs and courses.
  • You can save money on tuition, class materials, travel, and room and board.
  • Online schools in Kentucky often follow an asynchronous format, allowing you to study when and how you want.

Did You Know…

Transylvania University was founded in 1780, making it the oldest university in Kentucky — and one of the oldest colleges in the country!

Why Accreditation Matters for Online Schools in Kentucky

College accreditation matters in every state, including Kentucky.

Institutional accreditation should come from an accrediting organization recognized by the Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Accredited schools have completed a thorough self-assessment and quality assurance process.

Institutional and programmatic accreditation can impact your access to financial aid, professional licensure, and employment opportunities.

You can check a school’s accreditation status using ED’s database or CHEA’s school directory.

Most online colleges in Kentucky will be accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

How Much Do Online Colleges in Kentucky Cost?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), in-state students paid an average of $10,976 in tuition and fees at Kentucky public universities in 2020-2021. Out-of-state students paid $25,049, and private school students paid $26,996.

Online learners can save on housing costs and campus fees. Also, many online colleges in Kentucky offer in-state tuition rates to all students, regardless of where they live.

Kentucky students can also apply for financial aid. Make sure to submit the FAFSA and apply for scholarships and grants.

The state runs various financial aid programs to assist students financially, including:

2 Popular Cities for Online Colleges in Kentucky

Kentucky has many appealing cities for students, but Louisville and Bowling Green stand out for a few reasons. Here’s why.


Spread over 66 square miles, Louisville is home to the famous Kentucky Derby. It’s also the No. 1 city for manufacturing, according to a 2017 Forbes ranking. Today, the city employs over 78,000 people in manufacturing.

Other booming industries include food and beverage, health and aging innovation, and foreign investment and exporting.

Louisville boasts a diverse array of four-year colleges, many of which offer online courses and degrees.

Bowling Green

The third-most populous city in Kentucky, Bowling Green was named and settled in the late 18th century. The city is home to popular schools like Western Kentucky University and Southcentral Kentucky Community & Technical College.

Global Trade Magazine listed Bowling Green as a top 20 manufacturing city due to its automotive industry and large manufacturing workforce.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Bowling Green boasts one of the highest concentrations of production jobs in the country.

Popular Online Colleges in Louisville and Bowling Green
Bellarmine UniversityLouisvilleSACSCOCPrivate, 4-Year
Southcentral Kentucky Community & Technical CollegeBowling GreenSACSCOCPublic, 2-Year
The Southern Baptist Theological SeminaryLouisvilleSACSCOCPrivate, 4-Year
Spalding UniversityLouisvilleSACSCOCPrivate, 4-Year
University of LouisvilleLouisvilleSACSCOCPublic, 4-Year
Western Kentucky UniversityBowling GreenSACSCOCPublic, 4-Year

Fastest-Growing Jobs in Kentucky

Kentucky’s manufacturing and automotive industries get most of the attention, but the state has a number of fast-growing sectors students should keep an eye on.

The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development lists healthcare and distribution and logistics as two of the state’s major industries.

The table below highlights several occupations within these fields, including nurse practitioners, medical and health services managers, and logisticians.

10 Fast-Growing Jobs in Kentucky
JobMedian Annual Salary in KY (May 2021)Job Growth Rate in KY (2020-2030)Minimum Education Required
Nurse Practitioners$100,26055%Master’s
Restaurant Cooks$27,91054%None
Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors$39,02041%High school diploma
Home Health and Personal Care Aides$27,69036%High school diploma
Physical Therapist Assistants$55,58034%Associate
Medical and Health Services Managers$95,20033%Bachelor’s
Physician Assistants$99,51032%Master’s
Information Security Analysts$79,99031%Bachelor’s

Sources: BLS, Projections Central

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Colleges in Kentucky

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