NKU vs. Wright State

Should I go to Northern Kentucky University or Wright State University Main Campus? Compare the two schools' costs, SAT, ACT, GPA, admissions criteria and outcomes to help you determine if NKU or Wright State is the better college for you.

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Northern Kentucky University vs. Wright State University Main Campus comparison
Northern Kentucky University Wright State University Main Campus College 3 College 4
Northern Kentucky University
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Location Highland Heights, KY Dayton, OH
Setting Large Suburban Large Suburban
Students 14,764 14,403
Type Public 4 Year Public 4 Year
Religious Affiliation - - - -
Status Non-profit Non-profit


Tuition (In State) $9,912 $9,578
Tuition (Out of State) $19,872 $18,996
Room & Board $10,046 $11,592
Avg Net Price $9,412 $15,251
Avg Grant Aid $8,981 $6,786
% Receiving Grant Aid 98% 75%

Admission and Academics

Acceptance Rate 90.2% 95.5%Open
Avg High School GPA 3.24 3.19
Admissions Standards Average Average
Applicant Competition
ACT Range 20/26 18/25
SAT Range 1020/1240 973/1236
Application Deadline Jul 1, 2020


Graduation Rate 37% 40%
Median Earnings (After 10 years) $39,700 $43,400
Making Student Loan Payments 53% 51%
Median Student Loan Debt $24,950 $25,000
Median Loan Payment $257 $258
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Comparable Facts

  • Northern Kentucky University is larger than than Wright State based on total student enrollment (14,764 students vs. 14,403 students)

NKU vs. Wright State Cost Comparison

Which college is more expensive, NKU or Wright State?

  • Northern Kentucky University is 3.5% more expensive to attend than Wright State for in-state tuition ($9,912.00 vs. $9,578.00)
  • Out of state tuition is 4.6% higher at NKU than Wright State University Main Campus ($19,872.00 vs. $18,996.00)
  • The typical actual cost that students pay to attend (average net price) is less at Northern Kentucky University than Wright State ($9,412 vs. $15,251)
  • Living costs (room and board or off-campus housing budget) at Northern Kentucky University are 15.4% lower than costs at Wright State University Main Campus ($10,046 vs. $11,592)
  • More students receive financial grant aid at Northern Kentucky University than Wright State University Main Campus (98% vs. 75%)
  • The average total grant financial aid received by Northern Kentucky University students is 32.3% larger than aid received Wright State University Main Campus ($8,981 vs. $6,786)

NKU vs. Wright State Admissions Difficulty Comparison

Which college is harder to get into, NKU or Wright State? Average SAT and ACT scores plus acceptance rates offer good insight into the difficulty of admission between Wright State or NKU .

  • The average SAT score at Northern Kentucky University (1068) is 34 points higher than at Wright State (1034)
  • Incoming NKU students have a 1 point higher average ACT score (23) than students at Wright State (22)
  • Wright State has a higher acceptance rate (95.5%) than NKU (90.2%)

NKU vs. Wright State Graduation Outcomes Comparison

Which is better, NKU or Wright State? Graduation rate, salary and amount of student loan debt are indicators of a college which offers better outcomes for its graduates. Compare the following outcomes facts between Wright State and NKU.

  • The graduation rate at Wright State is higher that Northern Kentucky University (40% vs. 37%)
  • Graduates from Wright State University Main Campus earn on average $3,700 more per year than NKU graduates after ten years. ($43,400 vs. $39,700)
  • Northern Kentucky University students graduate with a $50 lower median federal student loan debt than Wright State graduates. ($24,950 vs. $25,000)
  • NKU graduates are paying $1 less per month on federal student loans than Wright State graduates. ($257 vs. $258)
  • More NKU graduates are actively paying back their federal student loan debt than former Wright State students, three years after graduation. (53% vs. 51%)

Sources: U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov IPEDS and College Scorecard https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/