Berea College was established in 1855 in the US state of Kentucky. Berea started out as a one room schoolhouse built in the wilderness by the Rev. John G. Fee, an anti-slavery scholar and advocate of racial equality. From the very beginning Berea aimed, in the words of its founder, to give “education to all colours, classes, cheap and thorough.” This code survives today with Berea providing free post-secondary education to its students – no student they admit is charged tuition. Berea is also notable as having been the first college in the Southern USA to be co-educational.
Berea College is situated on 140 acres with administrative, academic, accommodation and recreational buildings all on campus. Other facilities include a 1,500 seat auditorium, the chapel, drama centre and the world’s greenest residence hall. The university also has nearly 9,000 acres of forest and the college farm is the oldest of its type in the USA.
In exchange for free tuition each student is expected to work for at least 10 hours a week at the university. This unusual system has borne results with Berea being ranked highly among US liberal arts colleges.
The College currently offers courses at the undergraduate level in around 30 different majors. Students can complete a Bachelors of Arts or Bachelors of Science degree in a wide range of disciplines from African & African American Studies to Physics or Technology and Applied Design.
Berea has a small number of students and a small minority of international students and the student body represents over 60 different countries.