Admissions and Financial Aid


Berea College's commitment to serving students from Southern Appalachia and the Commonwealth of Kentucky is demonstrated by the fact that over 74 percent of the student population comes from that region. The student body represents over 40 states nationally and more than 70 other countries. In keeping with its abolitionist roots and commitment to social justice, Berea College seeks to serve "all peoples of the earth" and places particular emphasis on interracial and intercultural education, as well as service-based learning initiatives. Because Berea also is committed to serving those students with demonstrated economic need, the College restricts admission to promising students whose families cannot finance a comparable college education without significant assistance. Thus, financial need is a requirement for admission. Furthermore, the College restricts admission to students who have not previously earned a Bachelor's degree. At Berea College, we combine our resources and those our students have available to them to pay for the costs of going to college. Thanks to our Tuition Promise Scholarship and our unique financial aid program, Berea students do not pay tuition and only pay a portion of the costs for housing and meals. Students graduate from Berea with a high quality education, practical experience from the College's Work program, and one of the lowest average student debt levels in the United States.


Berea College has a national reputation for academic excellence. Therefore, a Berea education is highly prized, and admission is competitive. The College seeks to enroll students who possess limited financial resources and who are motivated to grow intellectually and personally in an environment shaped by Berea’s Great Commitments.

In the admissions process, emphasis is placed on the candidate’s academic record, particularly the kind and strength of courses taken and the grades earned. The College recommends, but does not require, that applicants complete the following high-school academic distribution:

  • Four units of English (including composition, rhetoric, and literature)
  • Three units of Mathematics (at least Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry)
  • Two units of Laboratory Science
  • Two units of Social Science/History (including World History)
  • Two units of Foreign Language

Those wishing to explore whether they meet the financial criterion for admission to Berea College may use the following table as an approximate guide or go to to complete an online quick estimator.  All students are required to submit the FAFSA to complete an application file and students who qualify for the Federal Pell Grant typically meet the College’s financial eligibility requirement. Many factors are considered when determining a student’s financial eligibility, primarily using the FAFSA, but in some cases a student may be required to submit a Financial Resource Questionnaire, Non-Custodial Financial Questionnaire, Self-Employed/Business Owner Questionnaire or additional documentation to ultimately determine an applicant’s financial eligibility.  NOTE: Families with members who are eligible for certain types of state or federal financial assistance (SSI, Food Stamps, Free or Reduced Lunch, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or WIC) are very likely to meet Berea Financial Requirements.

# of Family Members Adjusted Gross Income with One in College Adjusted Gross Income with Two in College
2 or 3 $47,000 $59,000
4 $53,000 $64,000
5 $58,000 $69,000
6 $63,000 $74,000
7 $67,000 $79,000
8 $72,000 $83,000

The amount that Berea College charges a student for housing and meals varies in accordance with his or her family’s ability to contribute toward these expenses. The average first-year student pays $1,200 annually toward these costs, but will earn approximately $2,000 in the Labor Program their first year. The average student-loan debt of Berea graduates is $6,000 after four years, compared to the national average of $30,000. Nearly 50% of Berea students graduate debt-free. Those who do receive student loans frequently use these funds to help finance educational experiences abroad in such locations as Africa, Asia, Australia, Central and South America, and Europe. Approximately forty percent (40%) of the College’s graduates spend some time abroad during their student experience at Berea.

Generally, admitted students may not defer enrollment. However, a student with a compelling reason may request deferment of enrollment to a subsequent term by writing a letter to the Associate Vice President of Admissions stating the reason for the request. All requests are considered by the Enrollment Policies Committee and decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.  

In keeping with Berea's commitment to serving those with limited financial resources, the College does not charge an application fee.

Applying as a Freshman

Berea College accepts academically capable students who are driven toward success, are not afraid to work hard to achieve their goals, and wish to make a difference in the world. In recent years, admitted applicants have ranked in the top 20 percent of their high-school graduating class, have a high-school cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher, and have scored between 20 and 30 on the ACT or 1030 and 1360 on the SAT I.  Please note the College’s Fall 2023 application process is test score optional. All applications will be given the same consideration, regardless of test scores being submitted or not. With the exception of test-optional applicants, all applicants must meet the faculty-established minimum criteria for admissions to the College which is an ACT composite score of 19 (or SAT of 980) and rank in the top three-fifths of their high school class.  The admissions process conducts a holistic review of each applicant. Many factors are considered in the selection of an applicant, including a properly completed application, official academic records, test scores (if not test-optional) and financial eligibility. In addition to these components, we value recommendations/endorsements, Admissions Counselor conversations, extracurricular and co-curricular activities (e.g. music ensembles, athletics, theatre), community service, character and personal qualities, social maturity and demonstrated interest in the College.

Berea College operates as rolling admissions; however interested students are strongly encouraged to apply early and meet deadlines: November 15 (Early Action I Deadline), January 31 (Early Action II Deadline) and March 31 (Regular Decision Deadline). Well qualified applicants may be accepted for fall admission as early as December. Though an early application alone will not ensure admission to the College, some advantage may be realized by those who complete an application by the Early Action I Deadline (November 15). International students can submit an application by October 15 for Early Action or January 15 for Regular Decision.

The College maintains an admissions policy where all applicants are considered regardless of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, national origin, political affiliation, disabling condition, or service in the uniformed services.

To be considered for admission to Berea College as a first-year student, an applicant must submit the following materials:

  • A completed Application for Admission and Scholarship form.
  • School Counselor Evaluation Form (to be completed by the high-school guidance counselor; GED holders and home-school applicants need not submit this form).
  • Official high-school transcript (GED holders should submit official GED scores in lieu of high-school transcripts; home-schooled students should submit the Home-School Supplement Form if no transcript is available).
  • Official ACT or SAT I scores (if applicant is not test score optional).
  • A completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 
  • One Teacher Recommendation Form -- must be from a core subject (e.g. English, Math, Science, Foreign Language, Social Studies) teacher.  If the applicant has not recently been enrolled, a recommendation form from professionals in non-education fields and/or other community leaders will be accepted.

Credit by Examination

There are several options for receiving credit by examination—College Board Advanced Placement (AP) examinations, the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and A-Levels (Cambridge Exam). 

NOTE: No examination can be used to satisfy any of the five core classes within the General Education curriculum, including GSTR 110, GSTR 210, GSTR 310, GSTR 332, and GSTR 410.

College Board AP Examinations

To receive AP credit, the student must have taken AP courses in high school and must sit for AP examinations at a high school or college, or at a college testing center location. Academic credit is awarded for scores of 4 or higher. For information on equivalencies see below.  To receive credit, official AP scores must be received directly from the College Board--Berea College's Board Code is 1060.

Exam Min. Score Required # of Credits Equivalent Course Perspective
Art History 4 1 ARH 124 Survey of Western Art Art
Biology 4 1 BIO 100 Intro to Biology Natural Science Lab
Biology 5 0 BIO 110 Modern Biology will be waived None
Calculus AB 4 1 MAT 135 Calculus I Practical Reasoning Quantative
Calculus BC 4 1 MAT 225 Calculus II Practical Reasoning Quantative
Chemistry 4 1 CHM 101 Foundations of Chemistry Natural Science Lab
Chinese Language & Culture 4 1 CHI 101 Intro to Chinese I International Perspective (Foreign Language option)
Comparative Government & Politics 4 1 PSC 100X Comparative Government & Politics None
Computer Science A 4 1 CSC 100X Computer Science A None
Computer Science Principles 4 1 CSC 101X Computer Science Principles None
English Language & Composition 4 1 ENG 100X English Language & Composition None
English Literature & Composition 4 1 ENG 101X English Literature & Composition None
Environmental Science 4 1 SENS 100 Intro to Sustainability & Environmental Sci Practical Reasoning
European History 4 1 HIS 102X European History Western History
French Language & Culture 4 1 FRN 101 Intro to French Language & Culture I International Perspective (Foreign Language option)
German Language & Culture 4 1 GER 101 Intro to German I International Perspective (Foreign Language option)
Human Geography 4 1 GST 100X Human Geography None
Italian Language & Culture 4 1 GST 1XX Italian Language & Culture International Perspective (Foreign Language option)
Japanese Language & Culture 4 1 JPN 101 Intro to Japanese I International Perspective (Foreign Language option)
Latin 4 1 LAT 101 Intro to Latin I International Perspective (Foreign Language option)
Macroeconomics 4 1 ECO 101 Principles of Macroeconomics Social Science
Microeconomics 4 1 ECO 102 Principles of Microeconomics Social Science
Music Theory 4 1 MUS 100X Music Theory Art
Physics I: Algebra-Based 4 1 PHY 127 General Physics I with Algebra Natural Science Lab
Physics 2: Algebra-Based 4 1 PHY 128 General Physics II with Algebra None
Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism 4 1 PHY 100X Electricity & Magnetism None
Physics C: Mechanics 4 1 PHY 101X Mechanics None
Psychology 4 1 PSY 100 General Psychology Social Science
Spanish Language & Culture 4 1 SPN 101 Introduction to Spanish I International Perspective (Foreign Language option)
Spanish Literature & Culture 4 1 SPN 315 Introduction to Spanish Literature Art
Statistics 4 1 MAT 104 Introduction to Statistics Practical Reasoning Quantative
Studio Art: 2-D Design Portfolio 4 1 ART 103X Art 2-D Design Art
Studio Art: 3-D Design Portfolio 4 1 ART 102X Art 3-D Design Art
Studio Art: Drawing Portfolio 4 1 ART 115 Drawing Fundamentals Art
U.S. Government & Politics 4 1 PSC 110 American Government Social Science
U.S. History 4 1 HIS 100X U.S. History Western History
World History 4 1 HIS 101X World History International Perspective (Culture option Western course)

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

By Faculty action, students will receive credit for CLEP scores at the level determined by department. The action further provided that, if the department has not established a passing score, the student will receive credit if their score is at or above the mean for national private liberal-arts colleges.

  1. Credit is limited to introductory courses; exceptions must be approved by the appropriate Department Chair and the Registrar.
  2. Credit is granted at or above a score that correlates to a final course grade of “B,” unless additional departmental requirements have been established.
  3. No credit is granted for a subject in which the student is required to take a basic (non-credit) course.
  4. No credit is granted after college work has been attempted in the same subject area.

International Baccalaureate

IB Credit is awarded for Higher Level (HL) exams with a score of 4 or higher.  Official scores must be submitted directly to Berea College by the IB program.

A-Level Exams

Berea College accepts Cambridge A-Level exams with a grade of C or higher. Credit is determined by the Registrar's Office in consultation with the appropriate academic department. 

Course Credit and Equivalent

Berea College is on the course credit system.  In general, 32 credits are required to earn a degree.  One Berea course credit equals 4 semester hours or 6 quarter hours. A transfer course must be equal to a minimum of 3 semester hours or 4.5 quarter hours to receive equivalent credit for a Berea course or to meet a General Education requirement (except for Lifetime Health and Fitness courses).

Below is a credit conversion chart to help determine transfer credit equivalencies:

Quarter Hours: Semester Hours:
6 quarter hours = 1 credit 4 semester hours = 1 credit
5 quarter hours = .83 credit 3 semester hours = .75 credit
4 quarter hours = .6 credit 2 semester hours = .5 credit
3 quarter hours = .5. credit 1 semester hour = .25 credit
2 quarter hours = .3 credit
1 quarter hour = .16 credit

Also see “Transfer Credit” in the Admissions section of this publication.

The amount of credit awarded for each class at Berea is determined by the amount of time students are required to spend both inside the classroom and outside of the classroom in preparation.  For each 1.0 course credit in the 15 week fall and spring terms, the minimum standard is that an average student be expected to devote, in class time, preparation, laboratory, studio, fieldwork, and conferences, at least 12 hours per week.  A one-credit course meets in class between four and six hours each week. Courses awarding less than one credit often meet correspondingly less (for example, half-credit courses meet a minimum of two hours per week and quarter-credit courses meet a minimum of one hour per week).


Applying as a Transfer Student

Deadlines for completed applications from transfer students are February 1 (Priority Deadline) and March 31 (Regular Deadline).

Berea College accepts a limited number of transfer students. In recent years, most admitted transfer applicants have accumulated no more than 70 credit hours elsewhere, have presented a collegiate grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale), have successfully passed a College Algebra and College Composition course, and have been in good academic and disciplinary standing at the college or university they most recently attended.

Transfer applicants with courses currently in progress must submit final transcripts reflecting no less than a 2.5 cumulative GPA in the most recent 24 hours of courses taken.

The admissions process conducts a holistic review of each applicant.  Many factors are considered in the selection of an applicant, including a properly completed application, official academic records, test scores (if not test optional) and financial eligibility. In addition to these components, we value recommendations/endorsements, extracurricular and co-curricular activities (e.g. music ensembles, athletics, theatre), community service, character and personal qualities, social maturity and demonstrated interest in the College.

The College maintains an admissions policy where all applicants are considered regardless of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, national origin, political affiliation, disabling condition, or service in the uniformed services.  

To be considered for admission to Berea College as a transfer student, an applicant must submit the following materials:

  • A completed Application for Admission and Scholarship form.
  • Official college/university transcripts from all institutions attended.
  • Official final high-school transcript (GED holders should submit official GED scores in lieu of high-school transcripts; home school students must provide a letter confirming graduation requirements were met if a diploma or transcript is not available.
  • Official ACT or SAT I scores (if applicant is not test score optional).
  • A completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • One Professor recommendation form, from a former professor or school administrator (unless the applicant has not recently been enrolled, in which case, the recommendation form from professionals in non-educational fields and/or other community leaders will be accepted). 

Transfer Student Enrollment Policies

Policies related to transfer student enrollment include:

  • One academic year on campus residence is required of all degree-seeking candidates, except for non-traditional students who live off campus.
  • Students completing a college-level composition course with a grade of B or higher may waive GSTR 110.  If GSTR 110 is waived, GSTR 210 must be taken in the first term of enrollment.  
  • Students requiring Developmental Math must maintain continuous enrollment until the Developmental Math sequence is completed.
  • Transfer students are subject to the eight-term limit with incoming transfer credit counting against the limit. Terms are charged using the following rule: the equivalent of 4 Berea credits is equal to one term.  For example, a student with 16 semester hours (4 Berea credits) will be charged one term and a student with 32 semester hours (8 Berea credits) will be charged 2 terms, etc.  For more information see Course Credit and Equivalent and to appeal for additional terms see Eight-Term Rule and Extension of Terms.

Transfer Credit

Only courses and earned credits completed with a grade of C or higher at a regionally accredited institution within 10 years of initial enrollment at Berea are transferable to Berea College. The amount of credit granted by the original institution will be honored by Berea and transposed into comparable course credits or fractions of course credits. If not accepted to meet a specific requirement, such credit can be accepted as an elective credit. One course credit at Berea represents four semester hours or six quarter hours elsewhere. No credit is granted for developmental courses or other courses not at the college level, as defined by that institution (typically courses numbered below 100, such as 090 or 36B).

Credit for a course in which a P, S, or credit grade has been earned will be granted only upon verification from the institution that work in the course was completed at a C level or above.

Only credit is transferred to Berea, not grades or quality points. Transfer credit is not used in computing the GPA at Berea College and higher grades will not replace lower grades on the Berea transcript.

International Students: College- or university-level academic credit will NOT be evaluated for the possibility of transfer credit unless the applicant indicates the name and dates of attendance for any other college or university on the application for admission.

For information on how Berea course credits equal semester or quarter hours, please see Course Credit and Equivalent.

Math Placement

Development Math is required for graduation.  Part or all of the Developmental Math sequence can be waived for students earning particular scores on the ACT, SAT, AP Calculus or by waiver examination.  See additional details about the Developmental Math Requirement under degree requirements

Placement in credit-bearing math courses is determined by examination. 

Time Limit for Earned Credit

All course credits used to satisfy Berea’s degree requirements must have been earned within 10 years of the date of the student’s initial enrollment at Berea College or at another regionally accredited institution. An exception to this rule may be granted with approval of both the Academic Program Council and the Department Chair for the department in which the student is majoring or plans to major.

Berea’s Admissions Territory

In keeping with its historic commitment to serving the Appalachian region, Berea College strives to admit 70-80 percent of its students from counties in nine states that fall within Berea’s primary “admissions territory.” These counties, many of which are located in Appalachia, are listed below. Students from over 40 states nationally and more than 70 other countries make up the remaining 20 percent of Berea’s student population.


Blount, Calhoun, Cherokee, Cullman, DeKalb, Etowah, Jackson, Jefferson, Limestone, Madison, Marshall, Morgan, St. Clair, Shelby, Talladega


Bartow, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Dade, Dawson, Fannin, Floyd, Forsyth, Gilmer, Gordon, Habersham, Lumpkin, Murray, Pickens, Rabun, Towns, Union, Walker, White, Whitfield


All counties

North Carolina

Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Stokes, Surry, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes, Yancey


Adams, Athens, Brown, Clermont, Gallia, Hamilton, Highland, Hocking, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Noble, Perry, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Vinton, Washington

South Carolina

Greenville, Oconee, Spartanburg


Anderson, Bedford, Bledsoe, Blount, Bradley, Campbell, Cannon, Carter, Cheatham, Claiborne, Clay, Cocke, Coffee, Cumberland, Davidson, DeKalb, Dickson, Fentress, Franklin, Giles, Grainger, Greene, Grundy, Hamblen, Hamilton, Hancock, Hawkins, Hickman, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Loudon, Macon, Marion, Marshall, Maury, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe, Moore, Morgan, Overton, Pickett, Polk, Putnam, Rhea, Roane, Robertson, Rutherford, Scott, Sequatchie, Sevier, Smith, Sullivan, Sumner, Trousdale, Unicoi, Union, Van Buren, Warren, Washington, Wayne, White, Williamson, Wilson


Alleghany, Amherst, Augusta, Bath, Bedford, Bland, Botetourt, Buchanan, Carroll, Clarke, Craig, Dickenson, Floyd, Franklin, Frederick, Giles, Grayson, Highland, Lee, Loudoun, Montgomery, Nelson, Page, Patrick, Pulaski, Roanoke, Rockbridge, Rockingham, Russell, Shenandoah, Smyth, Tazewell, Wise, Wythe

West Virginia

Barbour, Boone, Braxton, Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Doddridge, Fayette, Gilmer, Grant, Greenbrier, Hampshire, Hardy, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Kanawha, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, Marion, Mason, McDowell, Mercer, Mineral, Mingo, Monongalia, Monroe, Nicholas, Pendleton, Pleasants, Pocahontas, Preston, Putnam, Raleigh, Randolph, Ritchie, Roane, Summers, Taylor, Tucker, Tyler, Upshur, Wayne, Webster, Wirt, Wood, Wyoming

Immunization Requirements for New and Continuing Students

New or transfer students must submit the medical history form, TB risk Assessment form and a copy of their immunization record prior to the beginning of their first term on campus.

All students matriculating and continuing enrollment at Berea College are required to have the following immunizations: DPT series with current Td or Tdap booster (within 10 years); polio series; meningococal after the age of 16; and two measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) injections after the first birthday. Immunization for hepatitis A & B, chicken pox and HPV, while not required, are highly recommended. College policy, as informed by CDC guidelines indicate that COVID vaccinations and boosters are required of all students (

Exemptions to this policy may be made for a documented allergy to substances in one or more of these vaccines or on the basis of a sincere and genuine religious belief prohibiting an immunization. Such a medical or religious exemption must be applied for in advance on the appropriate College form and in compliance with College policy.

Financial Aid and Student Accounts

Berea’s Extraordinary Financial Plan

The Financial Aid Program of Berea College is based on the principle of providing the best possible education for the least cost to the student. Many generations of donors to Berea College have provided a remarkable endowment and tuition replacement fund whereby no admitted student is asked to pay out-of-pocket for tuition. Tuition is the cost to the College for a student's education (faculty and staff salaries, upkeep of non-residential buildings, equipment, etc.)The cost to Berea College of providing educational opportunities (tuition) for the 2023-2024 award year is $48,600 per student. 

Students admitted to the College are guaranteed substantial financial aid through various resources. For the 2023-2024 award year, all students receive a $9,000 Berea Work Scholarship based on their participation in the Labor Program. Additional resources, such as federal and state grant aid, outside scholarships, and donor-designated gifts, ensure tuition is covered. All students are encouraged to apply for outside scholarships to help the College cover the cost of tuition. If students are unable to obtain scholarships to cover tuition, College alumni and donors will help make up the difference.

In addition, most students receive aid to assist with the costs of housing, food, and fees according to the families’ ability to pay as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). (See Cost of Attendance below for a complete list of expenses.) Each student’s calculated financial need will be met through resources such as the College’s work program, the Federal Work Study program, public and private grants and scholarships, and institutional funds as needed.  While student loans are not included in initial financial aid offers, loans are available to assist families who cannot pay their contribution as determined by the FAFSA.

Because no student has out-of-pocket expenses for tuition, students and families typically cannot claim either of the IRS education credits for tax purposes.

Berea provides all first-year students with a laptop computer that is theirs to keep upon graduation. (See the Information Systems & Services section of the Catalogfor more information.) Financial aid may also be available for special learning opportunities such as education abroad, internships, and domestic independent and team-initiated studies. (See Opportunities Common to Many Fields of Study section of this publication.)

Student Health Insurance

 All students attending Berea College are urged to have health insurance coverage in Kentucky.  If a student is in a plan that does not transport to Kentucky, they can pick up a non-ACA compliant student plan from the College.  The policy provides primary coverage for students with no other insurance.

The insurance premium is part of the Student Expense budget and is reflected as a fee.  Financial Aid is applied to this cost, based on need, as established by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Therefore, most students are not asked to pay the insurance premium for this insurance.

White House Clinic, contracted by the College, asks for information from new students about insurance coverage.  Students must complete all forms identifying their primary health insurance company prior to Fall confirmation.

Cost of Attendance

The cost of attendance, also known as the student budget, is a reasonable estimate of the costs a student will incur during their period of enrollment at Berea College. While tuition is a component of the cost of attendance, tuition is covered through the various sources of aid (as discussed in the previous section). Therefore, the student (and family) is responsible for the non-tuition expenses included in the table below.

A student’s cost of attendance varies depending on where they will live during the academic year. Housing, food, and fee charges will be set by the College and charged to a student’s account (if the student is living on campus and has a meal plan). Other charges are indirect charges that will vary based on personal spending habits.

2023-2024 Cost of Attendance (Fall and Spring Terms)


Residence Hall































Health & Dental Fee







Campus Activities Fee







Student Engagement Fee







Accident Fund Fee







Technology Fee







Books, Course Materials, Supplies & Equipment







Transportation Allowance







Miscellaneous Personal Expenses







Total Cost of Attendance*







* Additional fees may be charged for courses that include laboratory sessions or special supplies. These are listed in the course descriptions in this Catalog under Academic Departments and Courses.


Types of Financial Aid

Scholarships and Grants

Scholarships and grants are monetary gifts that do not have to be repaid. Some scholarships and grants defray the cost of tuition and direct student expenses, and others are used for special purposes and programs. Many scholarships and grants are reserved for students who meet specific criteria without the need for additional application procedures. (See Scholarships, Awards, and Prizes for details about some of these institutional scholarships and grants.)

In addition to institutional scholarship and grant funds, Berea College participates in the following federal and state programs: Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Kentucky College Access Grants, Kentucky Tuition Grants, and Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarships (KEES).

Earnings from Work

An integral form of financial assistance at Berea College is available through the Student Labor Program. All students enrolled in an academic term (Fall, Spring, or Summer) receive a Labor Grant that is applied directly to tuition each term ($4,500 Fall, $4,500 Spring, and a prorated amount for Summer). In addition, students receive direct scholarship payments based on hours worked each pay period (totaling between $2,000 and $3,000 per year) to assist with educational and personal expenses. Depending on total hours worked, a student receives between $28.00 and $37.00 per hour in scholarship funds.



While initial award offers do not include loans, low-interest, long-term loans may be obtained from Berea College when needed to pay for essential school expenses. Student Financial Aid Services will counsel students inquiring about a loan to ensure other options have been considered. Most loans do not accrue interest while the student is still enrolled at least halftime.  Loans typically enter repayment six months after a student graduates or leaves the College. Loans must be repaid within an agreed-upon schedule. Non-interest-bearing (or 0%) loans may be available for students with significant financial need.

Berea College participates in the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program. These federal loans have fixed interest rates set by the Department of Education each year. For more information about these types of loans, see or contact Student Financial Aid Services at 859-985-3310.

Financial Aid Eligibility and Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal regulations require all students who receive any federal financial assistance make measurable academic progress toward a degree. Progress is determined quantitatively (hours attempted versus hours earned and time frame) and qualitatively (GPA). Students must maintain satisfactory progress in all three areas in order to received Federal Financial Aid. Progress is monitored at the conclusion of each payment period (Fall Term, Spring Term, and Summer Term).

Berea College expects all enrolled students to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward completion of degree requirements.  Further, students are responsible for understanding the SAP and graduation requirements and to monitor their academic standing to ensure compliance with these policies. Students who fail to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) will lose their eligibility for Title IV federal financial aid. These are financial aid standards and do not replace or override Berea College academic policies.


A minimum standard for full-time enrollment is three credits per term. A minimum standard for part-time enrollment (at least half-time) is 1.5 credits per term.


The maximum time frame in which a student must complete their degree cannot exceed more than 150% of the published length of the student’s major. All majors at Berea require a minimum of 32 credits to complete the degree but must be completed in six (6) academic years for financial aid purposes. Berea College students can, therefore, attempt up to 48 credits and still be eligible for aid. Once 48 credits are exceeded, eligibility for federal aid would be suspended.  All repeated courses, failed courses, withdrawals, and transferred hours will count as credits attempted toward the maximum time frame.

In addition, students must earn at least two-thirds or 67% of the credits attempted.

Number of Total Terms Expected Credits Minimum Credits
1 4 earned 3 passed
2 8 earned 6 passed
3 12 earned 9 earned
4 16 earned 13 earned
5 20 earned 18 earned
6 24 earned 22 earned
7 28 earned 26 earned
8+ 32 earned 32 earned


In order to meet qualitative SAP standards, a student must earn the cumulative GPA of 2.0. As indicated below, the only exception to the 2.0 minimum GPA is for the 2nd and 3rd terms of attendance (b if a student is on continued probation).

Number of Total Terms Minimum Cumulative GPA
1 2.00
2 2.00 (1.67b)
3 2.00 (1.85b)


All enrolled students are evaluated for SAP at the end of each payment period after official grades have been posted.  Students who do not meet SAP standards will receive communication from Student Financial Aid Services. Students who fail SAP for an isolated term will be placed in a Financial Aid Warning Status. Warning status allows students to receive aid for one more period of enrollment. Students who fail SAP for two consecutive terms will be placed in a Financial Aid Suspension Status. With a suspension status, students are not eligible to receive financial aid. However, students placed on suspension status may appeal the suspension. Students granted an approved appeal will be placed on Financial Aid Probation Status. Probation status allows students to receive aid for one period of enrollment.


Appeals must be submitted to Student Financial Aid Services in written form. The appeal must speak to the circumstances surrounding the failure to meet the SAP standards of the Berea College this term. The appeal must tell of the plans in place to achieve academic success for the upcoming term and what changes have been made or will be made in order to graduate on time. The appeal must also list the resources students will utilize to support the plan.

Students will be considered in good standing in regard to financial aid eligibility when they again meet the minimum SAP standards or receive approval of a submitted appeal. Sitting out for any length of time does not affect a student’s SAP standing. Students who re-enroll after a period of absence are required to submit an appeal when they return in order to determine financial aid eligibility.


Refund Policy

College Refund Policy

The following regulations govern refunds when proper procedures for withdrawal as outlined in this publication have been adhered to:

Course Fee Charges A student who drops a course with a fee before the end of the first week of classes during a regular term is entitled to a refund of the course fee. 

Meal Charges A student who withdraws before the end of a term is entitled to a refund of half of the unexpired portion of the meal charge.

Housing Charge - A student who withdraws during the first two weeks of a term is entitled to a refund of half the housing charge.

  • Refunds are made approximately two weeks after notice of withdrawal is received and disbursed in the following order:
  • Repayment of federal and state loans and grants made for the current term;
  • Repayment of aid granted from Berea College funds;
  • Repayment of all amounts due Berea College;
  • Balance paid to student account.

Any remaining balance due Berea College must be paid before a transcript is issued. Diplomas will not be issued to students with financial obligations remaining on their Student Account.

Federal Refund Policy

A portion of Title IV grant or loan funds (except Federal Work Study) must be returned to the Title IV programs upon the recipient’s withdrawal from school.

Withdrawal Date

As determined by the school, the date the student withdraws, is the date: 1) the student began the withdrawal process prescribed by the school; 2) the student otherwise provided the school with official notification of intent to withdraw; or 3) the midpoint of the payment period or period of enrollment for which Title IV assistance was disbursed (for the student who does not begin the school’s withdrawal process or notify the school of the intent to withdraw).

If the school determines the student did not begin the withdrawal process or notify the school of the intent to withdraw—due to illness, accident, or other such circumstances beyond the student’s control—the school may determine the appropriate withdrawal date.

Percentage of the Payment Period or Period of Enrollment Completed

The percentage of the payment period or period of enrollment for which assistance was awarded that was completed is determined by dividing the total number of calendar days comprising the payment period or the period of enrollment for which assistance is awarded into the number of calendar days completed in that period as of the day the student withdrew.

Calculation of Title IV Assistance Earned

To calculate the amount of Title IV assistance earned by a student, the school first must determine the percentage of Title IV assistance the student earned. Up through the 60-percent point in time, the percentage of assistance earned is equal to the percentage of the payment period or period of enrollment for which it was awarded that was completed as of the day the student withdrew. If the student withdraws after the 60-percent point, then the percentage earned is 100 percent. That earned percentage is applied to the total amount of Title IV grant and loan assistance disbursed (and that could have been disbursed) to the student, or on the student’s behalf, for the payment period or period of enrollment for which it was awarded as of the day the student withdrew.

Calculation of Title IV Assistance Not Earned

The amount of Title IV grant and loan assistance not earned by the student is calculated by determining the complement of the percentage of assistance the student earned and applying it to the total amount of grant and loan assistance that was disbursed (and that could have been disbursed) to the student, or on the student’s behalf, for the payment period or period of enrollment as of the day the student withdrew.

Differences between Amounts Earned and Amounts Received

The school will follow the regulations for late disbursement if the student received less grant or loan assistance than the amount earned. If the student has received more grant or loan assistance than the amount earned, then the unearned funds shall be returned by the school or the student, or both.

Responsibility of the School

The school shall return the lesser of the unearned amount of Title IV assistance or an amount equal to the total institutional charges the student incurs for the payment period or period of enrollment for which the assistance was awarded, multiplied by the unearned percentage of awarded Title IV grant and loan assistance.

Responsibility of the Student

The student shall return unearned Title IV assistance minus the amount the school returns.

Special Rule

A student (or parent for PLUS loans) repays the calculated amount attributable to a Title IV loan program according to the loan’s terms. A student repays a Title IV grant program subject to repayment arrangements satisfactory to the school or the U.S. Secretary of Education’s overpayment collection procedures. A student shall not be required to return 50 percent of the unearned grant. The College will bill the student for the amount owed and collect repayment. A student who fails to repay may be referred to the U.S. Department of Education or other appropriate agency for collection. The student may be ineligible for further federal student aid funds.

Order of Return of Title IV Funds

Excess funds returned by the school or student are credited to outstanding Title IV loan balances for the student or made on the student’s behalf for which a return of funds is required. Excess funds must be credited to outstanding balances in the following order:

  1. Direct William D. Ford loans
  2. Direct William D. Ford PLUS loans

Remaining Excesses

If excess funds remain after repaying all outstanding loan amounts, the remaining amount is credited to grant programs in the following order:

  1. Federal Pell Grants
  2. Federal SEOG
  3. Other Title IV assistance for which a return of funds is required.

Refund Policy and Leaves of Absence

An approved Leave of Absence is not to be treated as a withdrawal and no return of Title IV funds is calculated. A student may take a Leave of Absence from a school for not more than a total of 180 days in any 12-month period. The student must have followed the institution’s policy in requesting a Leave of Absence (see “Leaves of Absence” in the Enrollment and Registration section for more information), and the school must have approved the student’s request in accordance with its policy. If the student does not return at the expiration of an approved Leave of Absence, the school calculates the amount of Title IV grant and loan assistance that is to be returned based on the date the student began the leave.

Student Accounts, Term Bills, and Payment Plan

Upon enrollment, each student at Berea College is assigned a Student Account. This account contains charges for housing, meals, required fees, and selected educational items such as books, supplies, and institutional fees and fines. Financial aid for educational costs also is credited to this account.

To confirm enrollment and validate the student ID, student account balances from the previous term must be paid in full.  In addition, all charges for the current term must be paid or resolved prior to the first day of classes for each term.  If the current term charges cannot be paid in full by the first day of classes, a payment plan must be arranged through the Office of Student Financial Aid Services.  Payment plans for the current term may include a combination of payments by cash, check, or credit card; use of labor earning via payroll deduction (50% or more); or additional aid such as institutional or federal loans.

Once the student account is paid for a prior term, students will be able to charge books through the College's on-line Bookstore.  Other educational costs and College fines also may be applied to the account. These charges and any charges remaining as part of a payment plan must be resolved in order to register for upcoming terms. (Continuing students must have paid their Term Bill below $100 before being able to register for upcoming terms.)  Student financial aid cannot be used to cover any fines.

Charges remaining on the account or incurred after registration must be resolved by the end of the term. Special financial aid for upcoming terms (e.g., grants for travel abroad) will not be released until the account balance is paid in full.

The College establishes fees and charges under the following circumstances:

  • as a charge for some service or materials to be used by the student;
  • as a privilege to do something out of the usual pattern;
  • as a means of defraying administrative costs that are involved in making materials and services available; and/or
  • as a deterrent (fine or disciplinary charge)

Students who have a credit balance will receive the balance by check or direct deposit no more than 14 days after the credit appears on the account.

The Labor Program

Introduction to the Labor Program

The Student Labor Program originated in its earliest form at Berea College in 1859 and expanded to become one of the College’s Great Commitments. The Labor Program provides economic, educational, social, personal, and spiritual benefits to students and those served by their work.

The Labor Program is designed to serve the following purposes:

  • Support the total educational program at Berea College through experiences providing the learning of skills, responsibility, habits, attitudes, and processes associated with work;
  • Provide and encourage opportunities for students to pay costs of board (meals), room, and related educational expenses;
  • Provide staff for College operations;
  • Provide opportunities for service to the community and others through labor;
  • Establish a lifestyle of doing and thinking, action and reflection, and serving and learning that carries on beyond the college years.

Designed to serve these multiple purposes, the program reflects a unified vision of labor as student and learning centered service to the College and broader community, and as necessary work well done. The administration of the program is the responsibility of the Dean of Labor.

Labor assignments function very much like classes. Beginning at entry levels of work, students are expected to progress to more skilled and responsible levels. Through these experiences it is expected that student workers will:

  • develop good work habits and attitudes;
  • gain an understanding of personal interests, skills, and limitations; and
  • exercise creativity, problem-solving, and responsibility. Students also may learn the qualities of leadership, standard setting, and effective supervision.

The Labor Program makes it possible for students to know each other as co-workers as well as classmates. More importantly, linking the Academic and Labor programs establishes a pattern of learning through work that continues long after college.

TRACY UltraTime

Labor Enrollment Agreement

Signed by each student upon entering Berea College, the Labor Enrollment Agreement outlines the expectations of the student and the College with regard to the Labor Program and serves as the student’s acknowledgement of work as a core requirement of enrollment and an integral/required part of their educational program. Below is the present version of the agreement:Labor Enrollment Agreement

Hour Contracts

During each academic term, students have the following hour expectation based on their contractual hours:

 Contract Total Hour Expectation 
 10 hour contract 160 total term hours
 12 hour contract 180 total term hours 
 15 hour contract 225 total term hours 

Labor Overloads

A labor overload is defined as more than 15 hours of labor per week during the regular academic year. Overloads may not be approved retroactively and are subject to periodic review. Approval may be revoked if primary labor hours, labor performance, or academic performance become less than satisfactory. Forms may be secured in the Student Service Center, or Labor Program Office, and should be submitted to Financial Aid for preliminary review. Labor overloads may be continued from term to term within an academic year, provided that the approval guidelines can still be met. The form will specify approval for the Academic Year, Fall or Spring Term.   Student records will be reviewed mid-year and students will be notified if the overload is discontinued. Students may work up to 20 hours during January’s short term without special approval.

Guidelines for Approval:

  • Sophomore, junior, or senior classification
  • Meeting Labor Program requirements in the primary position
  • Not on any form of probation
  • Enrolled in less than 5 course credits with less than 8 preparations (fall and spring terms only)
  • Have a 2.50 GPA, both cumulative and for the previous full term; the required 2.50 cumulative GPA may be waived if a 3.00 GPA is earned during the previous full term.

Requests for over 20 hours are subject to the following additional guidelines:

  • Junior or senior classification
  • 3.00 GPA in the major, overall, and for the previous term
  • Submission of a letter outlining the reason for requesting more than 20 hours
  • Approval of the Dean of Labor and the Student Admissions and Academic Standing Committee.

These approval guidelines may be waived in cases where student parents must work 20 hours per week in order to receive state childcare benefits (e.g., KTAP), but the application must still be submitted and reviewed.

During periods of non-enrollment (vacation periods, summer practicum), hours must not exceed 40 per week.

First-Year Labor Assignments

First year students are defined as freshmen, International, Exchange, and transfer students.  In other words, any student who is attending Berea College for the first time.  

All first-year students are assigned WLS level 1, ten-hour positions, which they will hold until the end of the first academic year. At the conclusion of the first year, and each year thereafter, students are charged with securing their own position placements. Academic studies and work through the Labor Program are the primary concern of students attending Berea College and constitute a full-time load. Accordingly, work outside the Labor Program on a regular basis while enrolled as a student is not permitted without the approval of Dean of Labor or his designate in consultation with appropriate academic and financial-aid officials.

Exchange, Part-Time, and Non-Degree Students

Exchange students are required to participate fully in the Labor Program. Part-time students are required to participate, but a reduction in hours may be approved by the Dean of Labor depending on the circumstances. Non-degree students are permitted to participate in the College’s Labor Program provided funding is available and all degree-seeking students have been assigned.

Last Day to Release from a Labor Position

Signing a primary position status form obligates a student to remain in a labor position for the entire academic year, for the summer term, or, in the case of a December graduate, for the fall term. Should a student holding a Sophomore- Senior classification petition for an early release due to special circumstances, the labor supervisor of the primary position may consider and approve the request for a release on or before the last day to drop a class without a “W” appearing on the transcript. (This dates occurs one week after the first day of class in Fall and Spring terms and earlier in Summer One and Summer Two terms. Please refer to the academic calendar for the official dates.)

Primary supervisors are not obligated to approve a student’s request for release. Rare exceptions may be considered after this deadline and will require approval from the Labor Program Office. The current primary supervisor must complete a “Change of Labor Position Request Form” and submit it to the Labor Program Office, Hafer-Gibson, for review. Note: First Year Students are assigned to a labor position for an entire academic year and may not be released from any position without approval from the Labor Program Office.

Excused Hours

Students who are unable to report to a regularly scheduled work assignment due to an emergency are expected to notify their labor supervisor immediately. Special circumstances such as an excused absences due to a death in the family or prolonged illness, should be communicated to the Labor Program Office to consider if the student may be excused from a portion of the labor requirement. This should be done as quickly as possible to determine if  ircumstances would require documentation as would be the case with a prolonged illness or condition, etc.  Documentation should specify any restrictions as well when the student is cleared to return to work. A doctor/dental appointment is typically not excused unless it develops into a more serious condition requiring considerable absenteeism. In instances other than emergencies, the labor supervisor should be notified well in advance of the absence and time should be made up before the end of the term. (Also see Attendance Policy.)

Student Labor Evaluation (SLE): An Online, Web-Based Tool

The Student Labor Evaluation (SLE) process promotes student personal and professional development in the workplace by establishing performance standards consistent with the Berea College Workplace Expectations, assessing fulfillment of those standards, and determining ways in which the student and supervisor(s) / mentor(s) can collaborate to enhance student learning opportunities. The completion of this regular evaluation process creates a documented work performance history for each student as well as fulfills Berea College and federal compliance guidelines.

As part of the development plan, students should expect supervisors to conduct a mid-year evaluation at the middle of the labor position participation agreement period and a final evaluation at the conclusion of the labor position participation agreement (defined by the status form). In addition, supervisors are encouraged to have periodic conversations with students about position performance and to offer suggestions as well as provide opportunities for continued reflection and growth. Evaluations focus on seven (7) core areas of position performance including: attendance, accountability, teamwork, initiative, respect, learning, and position specific (based on individual departmental position descriptions).

Labor evaluation results are a central component of the labor transcript with performance ratings appearing for each position in a term or summer period. Because these performance ratings provide an advantage in future career seeking opportunities, students should strive to perform at the highest levels in every position held at Berea College.

Students who are not performing satisfactorily in a labor position and receive a score of 59 or below, are subject to being placed on Labor Probation for unsatisfactory performance within the department. (See Labor Probation and Suspension.)

Staff or Faculty Labor Supervisors assume the role of practical instructors within the program and evaluate, using the Student Labor Evaluation (SLE) described below, the student’s performance based on seven performance expectations (learning outcomes). Descriptors under the performance expectations describe the general learning outcomes that apply to the performance expectation. The descriptors are also linked to the seven Labor Learning Goals of the program and to the Workplace Expectations* of the college that apply. The seventh performance expectation “Position Specific” ties directly to the position description which defines the specific skill sets and requirements of the position which are evaluated under the position specific expectation. All student labor positions are defined by a position description and include specific learning opportunities and required skill sets that are embedded in the position. See the summary spreadsheet below to view how the various learning outcomes are integrated/linked to the seven performance expectations.

Labor Learning Goals (LLG)

Work Place Expectations Evaluation Performance Expecations/Descriptors
Supported in...

#2 Acts with integrity and caring;

#4 Works as a team

• is punctual and arrives on time for work as scheduled and/or required

• give advance notices of absences
Supported in...

Learning Goal #5 - to develop and sustain both workplace habits (e.g., timeliness, healthy attitudes about working and co-workers, motivation to work well, flexibility and discipline, accountability and initiative, willingness to learn and to share learning, etc.) and job-specific practical skills, abilities, or knowledge (e.g., software)
Supported in...

#2 Acts with integrity and caring;

#4 Works as a team

• manages time well and is able to provide timely completion of job assignments

• supports workplace policies and procedures including dress and safety requirements
Supported in...

Learning Goal #5 (see above)
#6 Encourage plain and sustianable living • ensures proper care of college equipment, facilities, materials, and work environment. Learning Goal #2 - to develop and sustain understandings of working well in communitiy - of what is to work well, of how to work well, of why work well. This may includes systems and interrelationships within workplaces and community, general principles ground specific tasks, and practices pertaining to use of resources and sustainability.
Supported in...

#4 Works as a team;

#3 Value all people;

#7 Celebrate work well done

• demonstrates willingness to work, support, and collaborate with supervisors and co-workers while promoting a positive atmosphere in the workplace for all
Supported in...

Learning Goals #2 and #5

Learning Goal #4 - to develop and sustain abilities to solve novel, complex, multifaceted problems as they arise, whether working collaboratively or individually.
#4 Works as a team;

#1 Exhibit enthusiasm for learning
• demonstrates an understanding of the relationship of his/her work to the work of others within the department
Is supported in...

#5 Serve others;

#2 Act with integrity and caring

• Consistently completes job assignments without need for constant supervision
Is supported in...

Learning Goal #5 (see above)
#5 Serve others;

#7 Celebrate work well done
• Is a self-starter with the ability to adjust and adapt to change as needed Learning Goal #5 (see above)
Is supported in...

#2 Act with integrity and caring;

#3 Value all people;

#4 Works as a team

• Exhibits professional conduct in the workplaces and interacts respectfully with all people including supervisors, co-workers and those being served
Is supported in...

Learning Goal #3 - to develop and sustain abilities to communicate, collaborate, and interact with others as compassionate and care human beings; as diverse people both similar and different from each other; and as co-workers with shared goals.
#3 Value all people;

#4 Works as a team
• Respectfully deals with conflict and differing points of view Learning Goal #4 (see above)
Is supported in...

#1 Exhibit enthusiasm for learning

• Enhances the effectiveness of co-workers and the department by sharing knowledge
Is supported in...
#1 Exhibit enthusiasm for learning • Demonstrates an interest in acquiring new skills Learning Goal #5 (see above)
#1 Exhibit enthusiasm for learning • Seeks to reflect and understand the value of the job and how it relates to personal development Learning Goal #5 (see above)

#1 - To develop and sustain habits of understanding all working as both independent and interdependent contribution to a community integrating learning, labor, and service.

#6 - To develop and sustain abilities to learn how to learn, including habits of offering and accepting constructive criticism and habits of effective reflection, including reflection about broad, deep issues related to labor, work, and the world of work beyond Berea

The degree to which a job description supports Workplace Expectations will vary from job to job.

• The degree to which this student fulfills the basic labor requirements, objectives, and learning goals as set forth in his/her job description. Meeting expectations for the position is the degree to which student fulfills the job related requirements for the position while Exceptional Performance would relate to the maximum degree in which student takes advantage and participates in the additional development aspect of the job such as the learning opportunities, etc...

The degree to which a job description supports Workplace Expectations will vary from job to job.

Labor Experience Evaluation (LEE): An Online, Web-Based Tool

The Labor Experience Evaluation (LEE) is an assessment tool designed to provide student feedback to those responsible for Labor Program effectiveness at the supervisor, department, and program levels. Student responses to the LEE are one of many sources of information used by Labor Program personnel in their efforts to improve the educational quality of the student work experience at Berea College.

The Labor Experience Evaluation allows students to reflect upon their overall labor experience while at Berea College. This survey allows students to evaluate back to us their labor experiences in five key areas:

  1. Learning through work experiences
  2. The relationships between work and academics
  3. Four core general educational goals
  4. Evaluation of the local work area
  5. Evaluation of the Labor Program (Labor Program Office, and Student Payment Office)

Students are required towards the end of the academic year to evaluate and reflect on their labor experience through the Labor Experience Evaluation (LEE). Students are asked to complete the evaluation based on the current primary position but certainly other positions should be considered when thinking about the overall experience.   Labor departments should set aside time to allow the student to complete this evaluation during work time. The majority of the departments will utilize the weekly Tuesday 4-5 PM Labor Meeting time to allow their students to complete this web based on-line evaluation. The Labor Department Administrator and Labor Supervisor is given access to reports of the evaluations completed by the students working in the department after the conclusion of the labor assignment. Personal information (including name. class, gender…) that could identify a student is removed. The purpose of the reports is to provide a mechanism for  Department Administrators to be able to assess, with the department labor supervisors, the effectiveness of the learning occurring across the department.

Labor Program Evaluation (LPE): An Online, Web-Based Tool

Presently under development, this on-line tool will allow Labor Supervisors and Department Administrators to evaluate the Labor Program Administrative offices and services provided which includes student payroll.

Student Labor Transcript

The Student Labor Transcript serves as a record of the student’s participation in the Student Labor Program during his/her period of enrollment and will provide a detailed accounting of all positions held, each department and supervisor name, the WLS levels attained, the  assigned work hours per week, and the results of the departmental labor evaluation.  In addition, the transcript will contain a record of all labor distinctions received such as awards, special trainings, and certifications.   This information can be utilized by students in writing resumes and in future job searches by providing official documentation from Berea College that shows position performance and skill levels attained.

The transcript is official only when the embossed College seal and an authorized signature is affixed.  The signature is in blue ink.  Transcripts are printed on security paper and if photocopied, the legend COPY will appear in the background.  Berea College cannot guarantee the authenticity of any transcripts not issued directly to the receiving party.  In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, this transcript must not be released any third party without the written consent of the student.

A labor transcript can be requested through the student service center.  Transcripts are issued free of charge to current and former students.

Former students may have holds prohibiting access to their labor records if they left Berea College with a student account balance or if their loans are not in good standing or if they failed to meet their labor hour requirement at the end of their final term. Please contact the appropriate department(s) to resolve any such holds.

Labor Probation

The decision to place a student on Labor Probation is made by the Student Labor Relations Specialist in consultation with other professional staff of the Labor Program Office and is based on a review of all related circumstances. Normally probation occurs when a student within a primary position has:

  1. Failed over a term to work a minimum of 10 hours a week.
  2. Fallen significantly behind in hours during a term and warnings and attempts at counseling have not been successful.
  3. Falsified time/labor records.  Additionally, in some cases the offense could be grounds for a judicial hearing.
  4. Failed to meet the requirements of an accountability agreement.
  5. Scored 59 or below on a Labor Evaluation for a primary position.
  6. Not meeting the expectations or needs of the department during a term.  (Note: documentation from the supervisor would be required describing how the student is not meeting department expectations or needs.

Labor probation is centrally monitored and recorded, and has the potential to significantly impact a student’s participation in College activities.  Students on probation:

  • Will be denied participation in international travel experiences, internships, independent studies, College-sponsored summer off-campus internships, and off-campus short term exchange; a student who is found to be significantly deficient in meeting the required labor obligation at mid-term may be denied during the application process;
  • Will not be eligible for a labor or course overload or leave of absence;
  • Will not be permitted to hold level five or six labor positions, or certain unclassified labor positions (e.g., CAB Chair, Pinnacle Editor); incumbents who are placed on probation while serving may be released;
  • May be ineligible for consideration for some Labor Day awards, scholarship and service awards and membership in honorary societies (e.g., Mortar Board);
  • May be ineligible to apply for a residence hall staff position
  • May be denied permission for off-campus labor, local access to motor vehicles, and off-campus living.

Labor probation is typically for one regular term but may be extended at the discretion of the Dean of Labor or Student Labor Relations Specialist depending on the circumstances. 

Labor Probation—Immediate Suspension

The Student Labor Relations Specialist or the Labor Program Council in consultation with the Dean of Labor may elect to place a student on Labor Probation—Immediate Suspension. This “last chance” designation involves the development of an accountability agreement between the student and the Labor Program, violation of which results in a recommendation of immediate suspension by the Student Labor Relations Specialist.

Suspension within a Term

Non-performance as a student worker can lead to suspension within a term. In cases where a student has been placed on labor probation and continues a pattern of non-performance the Student Labor Relations Specialist or the Labor Program Council in consultation with the Dean of Labor may elect to develop an accountability agreement and place the student on Labor Probation- Immediate Suspension. Accountability agreements outline clear expectations that- if not met- are grounds for immediate suspension within the term by the Student Labor Relations Specialist.

Labor suspension is a serious matter. It appears on the student’s academic transcript for the duration of the suspension, and results in a designation of “not in good standing” which often prevents admission to another institution. At the end of the suspension period, the language is removed from the transcript and the student is once again in good standing. While the student may apply for readmission to Berea College, it is not guaranteed

Student Labor Grievance Procedure

A student with a labor-related problem should first discuss this situation with the supervisor. Most difficulties can be handled at this level. However, if it cannot be solved here, the next step is to discuss the concern with the head of the department. If the concern is not resolved, the next step is to contact the Labor Program Office’s Student Labor Relations Specialist for intervention and possible mediation.

If a solution cannot be reached in this manner, a formal grievance can be made by presenting the complaint in writing to the Dean of Labor. The Dean may request written responses from the other parties involved. Normally within one week from the time the written complaint is received the Dean will write a report of findings and conclusions and submit it to all concerned. If any of the parties to the grievance appeals the Dean’s decision, the Labor Program Council will convene a meeting, normally within one week of the appeal, or as soon as possible.

The Labor Program Council Chairperson shall appoint a Labor Grievance Board composed of four members of the Council, including the Chairperson, one student, one teaching faculty member, and one non-Labor Program Office member. The Labor Program Council Chairperson will serve as chairperson of the Grievance Board. The Dean of Labor will forward to the Board all written documents concerning the grievance and the written report. The Board will review the grievance and within one week give a written decision to all concerned. The decision of the Board will be final subject to legal and other institutional requirements as determined by the President.

Adopted by the General Faculty, January 5, 1981. Titles updated July 2021.

Grievances related to discrimination and sexual harassment will be addressed through other means. Please refer to the compliance section of this publication for further details.