The abundance of higher education institutions within the Bluegrass Region brings an infusion of students each fall, and with it comes big dreams and big ideas. The impact of which has produced a very well-educated workforce leading to the area’s diverse economy.

In fact, according U.S. Census Bureau data, Lexington is among the smartest cities in the nation. For cities with a population of 300,000 or more, Lexington ranked 11th overall in percent of population (45%) age 25 and older having earned a bachelor’s degree or higher. When considering those with advanced degrees (master’s, professional or doctorate degrees), Lexington also ranked 10th (20%) among cities of comparable size. That educational attainment trend extends across the entire Bluegrass Region, because the area is blessed with so many quality colleges and universities.

Anchored by the state’s flagship university, the University of Kentucky, the Bluegrass boasts ten colleges and universities within 40 miles of Lexington. In addition, Lexington has five other professional and technical colleges. Over 61% of Lexingtonians between ages 18 and 24 are enrolled in college or graduate school, ranking the city third in college enrollment rates among cities with a population over 300,000.

Altogether, institutions of higher learning in the Bluegrass continue to fuel our economy with total enrollment of nearly 70,000 and awarding over 18,000 degrees and credentials annually. The economic impact of many of these schools is huge, from student enrollment to faculty to workers to the infusion of research funds.

No matter what your schedule, budget, or career choice, the Bluegrass has a college or university to meet your needs. Contact one the institutions listed in this publication or visit them on-line to learn more.


The University of Kentucky is the Commonwealth’s flagship university and its principal research institution. The Carnegie Foundation classified UK as a Doctoral University (highest research activity), one of only 107 public universities in the nation ranked in the top category.

As part of UK’s service mission to Kentucky, several programs have been established to aid in economic development. Among these are:

The Economic Development Collaborative, a network of campus and community stakeholders who oversee UK’s economic development and business engagement activities. The mission of the EDC is to proactively grow economic prosperity in the Commonwealth of Kentucky in the areas of talent, innovation, place, partnership, and equitable economic development.

The Institute for Sustainable Manufacturing (ISM) at the University of Kentucky is a multidisciplinary collaborative research unit whose primary objectives are to develop and advance sustainable manufacturing principles and practices in Kentucky, the nation and the world.

A joint MBA/BS degree program between the College of Business and Economics and the College of Engineering was established in 1994. This innovative five-year program is aimed at creating future leaders in high technology industry.

The Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship – an initiative of the Gatton School of Business and Economics – is a resource at UK to help launch and grow new businesses.


Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) is a public teaching and research university with undergraduate and graduate programs located in Richmond, Madison County, with 40 additional online programs. EKU’s campus has five academic colleges and three libraries, and EKU operates six regional campuses throughout Kentucky serving a total of over 16,000 students. Established in 1906, EKU has been educating Kentuckians for over 100 years.


The Bluegrass Community & Technical College is a post-secondary vocational institution located on the northwest side of Lexington. It offers career training in over 40 areas of study, including Biotechnology, Business Management and Marketing, Computer Information Technology, and many other technical programs. Services include evening programs, assessment services, and customized business and industry classes.

The Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) program, operated by KY FAME, a partnership between regional manufacturers,  offers BCTC students an apprentice-based curriculum that combines learning with hands-on experience in an immersive environment.  Students learn the knowledge and skills required for advanced manufacturing and apply those concepts while working part-time for regional manufacturers, such as Toyota and Link-Belt.

In 2017, BCTC opened their Advanced Manufacturing Center in Georgetown, KY.  The new 78,000 square foot facility is has been created to resemble a manufacturing facility and has a maximum capacity of 1,200 students.

With strong business and industry support, BCTC provides relevant curricula, cooperative training sites and job placement opportunities. Students earning diplomas successfully complete exit competency exams. Employers are guaranteed that the students are competent in the skills for which they have been trained.

Articulation agreements in several programs allow graduates of Bluegrass Community Technical College to receive college credit toward an associate degree in their program continuum at select colleges and universities. The Southern Association of Schools accredits all schools.


Kentucky State University (KSU) is a public undergraduate and graduate university in the state capital of Frankfort, Franklin County. KSU enrolls around 2,000 students and offers associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. The university has four colleges, an agriculture research farm, and an environmental education center. Reflecting its origins as a historically black university and land grant institution, more than half of today’s enrolled students are African American and from in-state. Diversity, excellence and innovation, ethical conduct, and social responsibility are among KSU’s core values.


Georgetown College is small private Christian liberal arts college in Georgetown, Scott County, offering multiple undergraduate areas of study and a Master of Arts in Education. Georgetown College emphasizes excellent teaching and mentoring to provide a quality education and has a very low student-faculty ratio.


Asbury University is a nondenominational Christian liberal arts institution dedicated to academic excellence and spiritual vitality. Primarily a four-year institution, Asbury also offers three master’s degree programs and enrolls approximately 2,000 students. Asbury is located less than 20 miles from Lexington in Jessamine County.


Located in Berea, Madison County, Berea College is a four-year liberal arts college offering bachelor’s degrees in 34 majors and enrolling around 1,600 students. Berea College is a unique educational institution that accepts only students with high academic performance and financial need, largely from Appalachia, and charges no tuition. Instead, students work in university departments or service jobs for at least 10 hours per week.


Formerly Midway College, Midway University is a private liberal arts undergraduate college offering business, equine studies, health science, and arts and science programs. Midway enrolls around 1,200 students and is the only women’s college in Kentucky, although the college offers evening and online classes to adult men and women.


Centre College is a four-year undergraduate private liberal arts college enrolling around 1,400 students. Centre offers 26 majors and 34 minors and the student-faculty ratio is 10 to 1. Centre College is located about 35 miles south of Lexington in Danville, Kentucky, and was founded nearly 200 years ago in 1819. Centre College focuses on providing students with internships, research opportunities, study abroad programs, and graduation within four years.


Transylvania University (“Transy”) is a private liberal arts college in downtown Lexington. Founded in 1780, Transylvania was one of the first colleges in Kentucky and is one of the oldest in the country. Transylvania enrolls nearly 1,000 students with a student-faculty ratio of 11 to 1 and offers 41 majors, 39 minors, and dual degree engineering programs. Students at Transylvania are encouraged to think critically and independently, communicate across specialties, be socially responsible, and embrace the college’s culture of interactive and life-long learning. The name “Transylvania” means “across the woods” and preserves the area’s history as a heavily forested area colonized by a group of settlers that included Daniel Boone as chief scout.

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