KENTUCKY (FOX 56) — College basketball is a big deal in Kentucky, especially at two of its largest universities: the University of Kentucky and its rival, the University of Louisville. But how do these universities measure up to the rest?

According to U.S. News and World Report, nearly 1,500 four-year bachelor’s degree-granting institutions were evaluated on measures reflecting academic quality and graduate outcomes. Campus culture, strength in specific majors, and financial aid were also considered.

U.S. News and World Report listed these as the top 5 colleges in Kentucky.

1. University of Kentucky

Holmes Hall (University of Kentucky)

The University of Kentucky is a public institution founded in 1865. According to U.S. News and World Report, it had a total undergraduate enrollment of 22,735 in the fall of 2022 on a 918-acre campus that offers nearly 350 clubs for students. The University of Kentucky’s ranking in the 2024 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, #159. Its in-state tuition and fees are $13,212; out-of-state tuition and fees are $33,406.

2. University of Louisville

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Photo: University of Louisville

The University of Louisville is a public institution that was founded in 1798. According to U.S. News and World Report, it had a total undergraduate enrollment of 15,921 in the fall of 2022 on a 287-acre campus. The University of Louisville’s ranking in the 2024 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, #195. Its in-state tuition and fees are $12,828; its out-of-state tuition and fees are $29,174.

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3. Bellarmine University

Bellarmine University campus (Bellarmine University)

Bellarmine University is a private institution that was founded in 1950. According to U.S. News and World Report, it had a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,343 in the fall of 2022 on a 145-acre campus. Bellarmine University’s ranking in the 2024 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, #280. Its tuition and fees are $46,780.

4. Eastern Kentucky University

Photo courtesy of Eastern Kentucky University

Eastern Kentucky University is a public institution that was founded in 1906. According to U.S. News and World Report, it had a total undergraduate enrollment of 12,072 in the fall of 2022 on an 892-acre campus. Eastern Kentucky University’s ranking in the 2024 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, #352. Its in-state tuition and fees are $9,844; out-of-state tuition and fees are $20,222.

5. Western Kentucky University

Western Kentucky University (WKU)

Western Kentucky University is a public institution that was founded in 1906. According to U.S. News and World Report, it has a total undergraduate enrollment of 14,440 in the fall of 2022 on a 200-acre campus. Western Kentucky University’s ranking in the 2024 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, #361. Its in-state tuition and fees are $11,436; its out-of-state tuition and fees are $27,000.

The lowest-ranked Kentucky college was the University of the Cumberlands, sitting at #394—435 in the national rankings. The University of the Cumberlands is a private institution that was founded in 1888. According to U.S. News and World Report, it has a total undergraduate enrollment of 5,174 (fall 2022), and the campus size is 150 acres. Its tuition and fees are $9,875.

Eastern Kentucky University was crowned the best Kentucky school for social mobility, a metric that assessed how well schools graduated economically disadvantaged students.

“Ranking first among Kentucky’s public institutions for social mobility reinforces our commitment as a School of Opportunity. Helping students who, otherwise, might not be able to attend college, and then supporting them through graduation and beyond is what we do best at EKU,” said EKU President David McFaddin. “I am a first-generation college graduate, and more than 50% of this year’s freshman class are the first in their families to attend college. We’re proud of our mission and the national recognition that showcases the excellent opportunities we offer to students.”