BEREA, Ky. — The Berea College commitment to providing an educational opportunity for students of all races, primarily from Appalachia, who have great promise and limited economic resources was the focus of a “PBS NewsHour” segment on Nov. 7.
The segment highlights the college’s no-tuition promise, which allows most Berea College students to graduate with no or little debt. The segment also looks at the college’s Labor Program, through which students gain work experience at a campus job, for which they are also paid.
“To have PBS NewsHour tell the story of Berea College and our mission is remarkable,” said Berea College President Cheryl Nixon. “Amid all the challenges facing higher education today, it is gratifying that ‘PBS NewsHour’ came to feature Berea’s unique model. Berea has long provided solutions to higher education’s most vexing challenges, with our commitment to affordability (Berea hasn’t charged tuition since 1892) and access (95 percent Pell recipients, with an average family income of $32,000 a year) being at the top of that list. Equity and inclusion are also baked into our DNA.
“Berea became the South’s first interracial and coeducational college in 1855, and today, nearly half our population are students of color. As a federally recognized Work College,, Berea’s model also includes a guarantee four-year on-campus job for every student. We match that career experience with unparalleled support, including funded study abroad and internships. All graduates, for example, get at least $500 at graduation for whatever they need to begin their post-Berea life,” Nixon said.
“Berea has facets in our model that we hope other institutions can learn from and make their own. We want to prove the value of higher education more broadly, ensuring that all students see college as part of their life’s dream – without the barrier of funding. We hope this piece will keep that conversation moving forward.”
The nearly 7-minute piece can be watched here: pbs.org/newshour/show/how-this-kentucky-college-offers-education-without-financial-burden