A small private liberal arts college with a national reputation, Centre promises its students an experience that is intensely personal and deeply engaging. That experience is guaranteed by the Centre Commitment that students will (1) have an internship or research opportunity, (2) study abroad, and (3) graduate in four years—or Centre will provide up to a year of additional study tuition-free.
Founded in 1819—before American spelling was standardized—Centre’s name reflects its location in the center of Kentucky. Centre students come from 45 states and 11 other countries. They are bright (over 50% were in the top 10% of their high school class) and actively involved in their education.
In the most recent National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), Centre exceeded the national average in all of NSSE’s four key measures: academic challenge, experience with faculty, learning with peers, and campus environment.
Centre particularly excels in enriching educational experiences. For example, 93% of students have participated in some form of internship, field experience, or the like, and 94% reported participation in cocurricular activities.
Rigorous academics, supportive environment
Perhaps Loren Pope said it best when he wrote in his acclaimed college guidebook Colleges That Change Lives, “No university faculty compares with Centre’s in the impact it has on the growth of young minds and personalities. Its faculty is earnestly committed to and excels at the art of teaching.”
Professors interact with students during class, regularly meet with them during office hours, invite them to dinner, and attend their performances and games. They are an essential part of the campus community, helping mold it into an atmosphere of curiosity and intellect, challenge and support.
All classes are taught by Centre professors; there are no teaching assistants and no large lecture-style courses. During the first two years, students explore a wide variety of courses and subjects. As juniors and seniors, students focus on their major(s) and minor(s). And no matter the major or first career, Centre’s liberal arts focus means students develop the essential critical-thinking and communication skills to stay nimble in the working world.
National leader in international study
Centre has an exemplary reputation of transforming students into global citizens. Centre ranks #3 for study abroad among baccalaureate institutions, according to the most recent Open Doors survey. By the time they graduate, 85% of Centre students have studied abroad at least once and roughly 25% at least twice.
The College offers signature long-term residential programs directed by Centre professors in England (in London), France (in Strasbourg, across the Rhine River from Germany), and Mexico (in Merida, on the Yucatan Peninsula). Partnering universities provide opportunities to live and learn with locals in China, England, Japan, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Spain.
CentreTerm, a three-week intensive study term in January, is the time to explore new places from new perspectives. Centre Team 2020 courses include studying the Celtic origins of bluegrass music in Ireland, agriculture and cuisine in Japan, myth and memory in South Africa, and politics in Myanmar and Thailand.
Students needn’t withdraw from the College or secure international financial aid to study abroad at Centre. All scholarships and financial aid arrangements remain in place, so the cost of semester-long study is the same on campus or across the world. CentreTerm costs run between $2,800–$4,000, with additional aid available for some students.
Something every day
More than 75 campus organizations and 2,000 campus events keep Centre students (98% of whom live on campus) busy each year. Just over 40% of students compete on one or more of Centre’s 23 NCAA Division III intercollegiate teams, and over 85% regularly participate in community service. Feeling creative? Music ensembles and mainstage theatrical productions feature performances by Dramatic Arts majors and non-majors alike.
Unique to a college of this size is the Norton Center for the Arts, Centre’s premier performance space for acclaimed national and international acts. The 2019–2020 season included performances from Lyle Lovett, the Shanghai Ballet, Styx, The Chieftains, and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
A wise investment in your future
With over 90% of students receiving financial assistance, the average need-based financial aid award is 63% of the comprehensive fee.
Merit scholarships range from $2,500 to the premier full-cost-plus Brown Fellows program for model scholars and Lincoln Scholars program for world changers. Centre also offers scholarships that recognize accomplishments in diversity leadership, foreign language, music, and drama.
The Grissom Scholarship Program, a “full tuition plus” scholarship and leadership program, recognizes first-generation college students.
The latest Fiske Guide to Colleges names Centre a “best buy,” and Money includes Centre as one of the top 50 liberal arts colleges that offer the “Most Bang for Your Tuition Buck.” The Princeton Review calls Centre a “best value” and includes Centre on its list of “Colleges That Pay You Back.”
A college is often measured by the success of its alumni, and Centre’s record is impressive. With 97% of the Class of 2018 reporting successful outcomes (69% employed and 29% in advanced study), it’s no wonder that The Alumni Factor recently named Centre graduates the happiest in the country—not just among liberal arts colleges but among all 177 colleges measured.