2018 Directory of Online Colleges and Universities in Kentucky

There are both public and private online colleges and universities in Kentucky. These accredited institutions offer online degrees for undergraduates, graduates, and professionals throughout the commonwealth. Kentucky has over 106 post-secondary institutions, of which 33 offer online programs. Of these accredited online colleges, six are public four-year colleges or universities and nine are public community or technical colleges and 18 are private colleges, universities, or career and vocational schools.

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These schools offer 385 online certificate programs, 2,441 online associate programs, 3,492 online bachelor’s programs, 1,345 online master’s programs, 1,616 online professional programs, and 271 online doctoral programs.

Of the online colleges in Kentucky, Western Kentucky University offers the most number of programs online. It is a 4-year research university that offers 63 online programs.

Job Outlook

Like much of the country, Kentucky is in economic recovery, despite the unemployment rate in the commonwealth standing at 7.9 percent. That number is slightly higher than the national average of 7.5 percent. The largest industry, in terms of jobs filled, is trade, transportation, and utilities, followed closely by government. Other major industries include professional services and education/healthcare, between them employing over 450,000 of Kentucky’s residents. The manufacturing industry has seen some recent growth, adding 5,000 jobs since late 2012 as well.


Tuition for online college courses varies based on factors including the type and location of the institution as well as the program. Public four-year colleges and universities in Kentucky charged students an average of $7,293 per year. On average, tuition at public community and technical colleges was $3,120 per year. Tuition for students at private accredited online colleges ranged from $9,480 to $27,640 per year.

College students in Kentucky received an estimated $15,320,342,539 worth of financial aid each year to help offset tuition. Around 46 percent of this aid was in the form of scholarships and grants. The remainder was in the form of loans that had to be paid back. About 65 percent of the scholarships and grants were in institutional grants.

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In order for online colleges in Kentucky to earn accreditation, they must be approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. School accreditation guarantees any degree, online or otherwise, issued by the institution will be seen as valid by employers and other schools. Programs within an online school may also require specialized accreditation. Specialized accreditation applies to fields such as business administration, nursing, and engineering.

Distance Learning Resources

  • Kentucky Dept of Higher Education provides information on planning for college, picking a school, and finding financial aid.
  • Kentucky Career Center is a resource for adults looking to create a resume and browse jobs in Kentucky. It requires you to register and create an account to write your resume and search for work.
  • Scholarship Search allows you to search and apply for scholarships, grants, and other financial awards.
  • Loan Payment Calculator figures how much you will owe monthly in federal loans and financial aid after you graduate. Before taking out any financial aid, use this site to calculate how much you will need to pay back monthly.
  • Kentucky Digital Library allows you to search online through thousands of journals, magazines, books, and other reference materials during your studies.
  • Economy At a Glance  is an updated report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that tracks employment numbers, industry trends, and job growth in Kentucky.

More Information

Located in the Ohio Valley region of the United States, Kentucky was named from the Iroquoian word “Ken-tah-ten” meaning “land of tomorrow”. The state, which has an area of 40,408 square miles, is the 15th smallest in the US. The average annual temperature in the state is approximately 55°F.

The population of Kentucky is the 26th smallest in the US. The state has 119 counties and 4,339,367 residents living in these counties. About 40 percent of Kentucky’s population is under the age of 30. With approximately 14 percent of its population identifying itself as belonging to a racial or ethnic minority group, the state has one of the least diverse populations in the U.S.

Although Kentucky’s capital city is Frankfort, the largest city in the state is Louisville, with a population of 597,337 residents. Approximately 7.26 percent of the state’s residents live in the Louisville metropolitan area. Other large cities in the state include Lexington, Bowling Green, Owensboro, and Covington.

Kentucky residents normally have a higher than average level of education as compared to those around the US. According to the 2010 Census, an estimated 23 percent of the state’s residents over the age of 25 have completed high school, 4.2 percent have at least an associate degree, 3.1 percent have degrees at the bachelor’s level or higher, and 1 percent hold a graduate level degree.