#6 Best Public Universities in Kentucky

Western Kentucky University

Bowling Green, Kentucky

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Western Kentucky University overview
Location Bowling Green, Kentucky
Online wku.edu
School Type Public 4 Year
Setting Small City
Western Kentucky University overview
Size Mid-size
Status Non-profit
On Campus Housing Yes
Level of Study Undergrad/Graduate
Calculate your admission chances
Calculate your admission chances

Western Kentucky University (WKU), located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, is a public university established in 1906. The campus boasts a hilltop setting, which offers a panoramic view of the surrounding area and features a blend of traditional and modern architecture, including the iconic Cherry Hall. Within driving distance to Nashville, Tennessee, WKU provides students with a blend of urban and rural environments. The university houses a variety of on-campus living options for students, including residence halls and apartment-style accommodations. Academically, WKU is known for its strong emphasis on broadcast journalism and photojournalism programs, as well as its dedicated Honors College. With a moderately selective admissions process, WKU attracts a diverse student body. The university competes in Division I athletics as the Hilltoppers, with its basketball program gaining notable recognition.

In the most recent statistical year 7,505 prospective students applied, and 7,276 were granted admission.  Of those admitted 2,755 enrolled in the school.  11,904 students are enrolled on a full time basis, and 4,589 attend part time. In-state tuition for 2022/2023, excluding room and board, is $11,112 plus fees of $0. WKU is ranked 875 nationally in the CollegeSimply.com 2024 U.S. Colleges Ranking.












WKU is rated within the lower 35% of four-year colleges nationally and earns a CollegeSimply grade of 4 out of 10. Learn how ratings are calculated


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

View the CollegeSimply ranking methodology.

Getting In

Admission Standards

Western Kentucky University overview
SAT 980/1170
ACT 18/25
GPA 3.42

Applications Accepted

Western Kentucky University overview
Applications Due Aug 1, 2024
Applicant Competition Very Low
Application Fee $50

Explore admissions requirements

Annual Cost to Attend

Kentucky Resident Tuition

In State Costs for Western Kentucky University
Fee Cost
Books and Supplies$1,000
Other Fees$0
Room and Board $11,072
Budget for Other Expenses$2,264
Total One Year Cost$25,448

Out of State Resident Tuition

Out of State Costs for Western Kentucky University
Fee Cost
Books and Supplies$1,000
Other Fees$0
Room and Board $11,072
Budget for Other Expenses$2,264
Total One Year Cost$41,336

Tuition and financial aid details


Average Salary After 10 Years

$37,100 per year

Bachelor's Degree Graduation Rate

50% within 6 years

Explore Post Graduation Outcomes

Popular Areas of Study

Popular subjects studied by Western Kentucky University students
Subject Percent of Class
Business 16%
Education 12%
Health Professions 11%
Liberal Arts and Humanities 10%
Social Sciences 8%

View All 98 Majors

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Primary data source, U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=157951 IPEDS survey data for Western Kentucky University.

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