Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Berea College is a small liberal arts work college in Berea, Kentucky, south of Lexington, Kentucky with a full-time enrollment of about 1500 students. Founded on the abolitionist principles of John G. Fee, Berea College admitted, from its beginning in 1855, both black and white students in a fully-integrated curriculum, making it the first non-segregated college in the South. The College was also co-educational from its inception, one of a small handful of institutions of higher leaning to admit both male and female students in the mid-1800s.
Berea College provides all students with full tuition scholarships, and many receive support for room and board as well. Historically, the cost of admission to Berea College has varied from "a desire to learn" to "the price of one head of livestock." Admission to the College is granted only to students who need financial assistance; in general, applications are not accepted from those whose family income does not fall within the bottom 40% of US households. By policy, at least 80% of the College's incoming class is drawn from the Appalachian region of the South and some adjoining areas, while about 7% are international students from the developing world--Africa, South and Southeast Asia, the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and Central and South America--with generally no more than one student admitted from a given country in a single year. This policy ensures that 70 or more nationalities are usually represented in the student body of Berea College. All international students are admitted on full scholarships with the same regard for financial need as American students.
For the past decade, Berea College has been consistently ranked by US News and World Report as the number one liberal arts college in the South. A high percentage of Berea graduates go on to graduate and professional schools, and the College is also active in international programs, with over 40% of Berea students studying abroad before graduation.
As a work college, Berea has a labor program in which every entering student is assigned a job on campus, from busing tables at the Boone Tavern Hotel, a historic business, which is owned by the College, to managing the hanging and focusing of lights for the productions at the Theatre Lab. Every student agrees to work 10 hours per week for the College in return for their full-tuition scholarship. Students all are paid an hourly wage, but part of the work is considered scholarship repayment.
Berea's sports teams are called the "Mountaineers." They compete in the NAIA's Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference .
In order to support its extensive scholarship program, Berea College has one of the largest financial reserves of any American college when measured on a per-student basis. The most recent estimate exceeds US$700 million. Berea College finances are dependent on substantial contributions from individuals who support the mission of the College and donations from alumni, who have been the beneficiaries of Berea's largesse.
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