#4 Best Public Universities in Kentucky

Northern Kentucky University

Highland Heights, Kentucky

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Northern Kentucky University overview
Location Highland Heights, Kentucky
Online nku.edu
School Type Public 4 Year
Setting Large Suburban
Northern Kentucky University overview
Size Mid-size
Status Non-profit
On Campus Housing Yes
Level of Study Undergrad/Graduate
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Founded in 1968, Northern Kentucky University (NKU) is a public institution situated in Highland Heights, Kentucky, just seven miles southeast of Cincinnati, Ohio. The university's campus showcases modern architecture and boasts a number of facilities that cater to student life, including options for on-campus housing. NKU provides an array of academic offerings, with notable programs in areas such as business, education, and health professions. While the university operates with a less selective admissions process, it upholds a commitment to academic quality. NKU's sports teams, known as the Norse, participate at the NCAA Division I level, primarily competing in the Horizon League, highlighting a particularly strong presence in men's and women's basketball.

In the most recent statistical year 6,905 prospective students applied, and 5,939 were granted admission.  Of those admitted 1,638 enrolled in the school.  8,633 students are enrolled on a full time basis, and 7,168 attend part time. In-state tuition for 2022/2023, excluding room and board, is $10,208 plus fees of $384. NKU is ranked 805 nationally in the CollegeSimply.com 2024 U.S. Colleges Ranking.












NKU is rated within the lower 40% of four-year colleges nationally and earns a CollegeSimply grade of 5 out of 10. Learn how ratings are calculated


Rankings for Northern Kentucky University within the 2024 CollegeSimply Best Colleges Lists.

View the CollegeSimply ranking methodology.

Getting In

Admission Standards

Northern Kentucky University overview
SAT 1030/1290
ACT 19/25
GPA 3.42

Applications Accepted

Northern Kentucky University overview
Applications Due Aug 15, 2024
Applicant Competition Very Low
Application Fee $40

Explore admissions requirements

Annual Cost to Attend

Kentucky Resident Tuition

In State Costs for Northern Kentucky University
Fee Cost
Books and Supplies$800
Other Fees$384
Room and Board $11,248
Budget for Other Expenses$2,500
Total One Year Cost$25,140

Out of State Resident Tuition

Out of State Costs for Northern Kentucky University
Fee Cost
Books and Supplies$800
Other Fees$384
Room and Board $11,248
Budget for Other Expenses$2,500
Total One Year Cost$35,396

Tuition and financial aid details


Average Salary After 10 Years

$39,700 per year

Bachelor's Degree Graduation Rate

37% within 6 years

Explore Post Graduation Outcomes

Popular Areas of Study

Popular subjects studied by Northern Kentucky University students
Subject Percent of Class
Business 26%
Health Professions 11%
Education 9%
Visual and Performing Arts 7%
Social Sciences 6%

View All 62 Majors

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Primary data source, U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=157447 IPEDS survey data for Northern Kentucky University.

Current students may use the Northern Kentucky University GPA calculator to determine their current college GPA.