request information


Northern Kentucky University: Academics, Admissions & Tuition Info

Research Northern Kentucky University. Learn about its admission info, degree programs, and financial aid to make an informed education decision.

About Northern Kentucky University

Founded in 1968, Northern Kentucky University is a rapidly expanding institution serving over 15,000 students on its campus in Highland Heights, Kentucky, just south of Cincinnati, Ohio. Students can enjoy a new 144,000-square-foot student union building and a 9,400-seat arena, where Atlantic Sun Conference sporting events are hosted. The recent advancement of Northern Kentucky University (NKU) to Division I status follows success in NCAA Division II sports, more specifically 3 national championships in men's soccer and women's basketball and numerous regional championships.

Notable lecturers frequent the NKU campus. Past speakers include politicians such as Bob Dole and former president George W. Bush. Political strategist James Carville and journalist Bob Woodward also are on the list of famous personalities who have spoken on campus.


The Salmon P. Chase College of Law offers students multiple opportunities to learn, practice law, and serve the community via the Center for Excellence in Advocacy, the Transactional Law Practice Center, and the Chase Pro Bono Service Program. Both full- and part-time programs are offered.

The Haile Digital Planetarium is a significant attraction at the College of Arts & Sciences. The first laser projection system installed on an educational institution's campus, it is a feature that can be experienced at only 6 other locations. Additionally, the NKU theater program can claim that its graduates have performed in a variety of venues, from Broadway stages to cruise ships, Disney productions, and Cirque du Soleil.

In 2005, the College of Informatics was formed through a combination of departments covering 3 areas. From its new home in Griffin Hall, the college offers a variety of degree and certificate programs in multiple delivery platforms for the convenience of working professionals.

The Haile/U.S. Bank College of Business has received recognition on several fronts. Its Fifth Third Bank Entrepreneurship Institute was identified by Entrepreneurship magazine and The Princeton Review as one of the top 25 undergraduate entrepreneurship programs in 2006. In 2007, the institute received the National Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship Training and Pedagogical Innovation. Then, in 2008, the College of Business was recognized as an outstanding school in The Princeton Review's book Best 290 Business Schools.

A key part of NKU's outreach to working adults is the Program for Adult Centered Education (PACE), which offers specialized curriculum and advanced academic planning. A variety of programs are available online or through hybrid course work.


Students applying for admission are strongly urged to submit a completed application, a $40 fee, high school transcripts, ACT and/or SAT scores, and the Pre-College Curriculum Form (which is to be completed by the applicant's guidance counselor) by February 15th to ensure their chances of acceptance. Once admitted, students must pay an enrollment confirmation fee of $75, which is due by May 1st.

NKU accepts up to 45 semester hours of credit by examination. The Office of Testing Services is also a recognized CLEP (College-Level Examination Program) testing center where students can receive information and complete CLEP testing.

Tuition & Financial Aid

With its proximity to Ohio and Indiana, NKU offers graduated tuition for students from qualifying counties within those two states or the metropolitan area of Cincinnati. Kentucky residents can expect to pay $3,936 per semester for full-time programs, while the typical non-resident tuition is $7,872 each semester.

Online programs and graduate programs all differ in cost. Fees exist for items including parking, graduation, and student recreation. Tuition due dates for the fall and spring are in August and December, respectively, but NKU does offer a 50/25/25 payment plan for a cost of $50. Realistically, an out-of-state student living on campus and using a meal plan could expect to pay around $101,136 for a 4-year degree program.

Scholarships are available to students based on athletics and academics, but they are very competitive. Fine arts and ROTC students can find scholarship opportunities as well. NKU offers 3 needs-based programs, most notably the Northern Difference, which is focused on Kentucky residents with financial need. Work study is also available.

School Type 4-year, public*
Degrees Offered Certificates and associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees*
Academic Calendar Semesters**
School Setting Large suburban*
Student Body 12,993 undergraduates, 2,731 graduate students (fall 2011)*
Student Housing 1,850 residence hall spaces**
Schools and Programs 6 colleges, approximately 70 undergraduate programs and 23 graduate programs**
Student-Faculty Ratio 18:1*
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) Bachelor's: Business, management, marketing, and related support services - 545
Master's: Education - 179
Doctorate: Legal professions and studies - 177*
Undergraduate Graduation Rates 34% (2010)*
Admission Rate 66% (fall 2010)*
Entering Class Size 2,231 (fall 2010)*
First-Year Retention Rates 66% (2010-2011)*
ACT Scores of Admitted Students Middle 50% of scores fell between 19 and 24 (fall 2010)*
Application Due Date for Fall Semester Scholarship deadline: Jan. 15th
Financial aid priority deadline: Feb. 1st
Assured consideration deadline: Feb. 15th
Final admission deadline: July 1st**
Decision Notification Date Rolling**
Tuition In-state: $7,584 per year
Out-of-state: $15,072 per year (2011-2012)*
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of First-Year Students Receiving it) Federal grants - 43%
State/local grants - 62%
Institutional grants - 36%
Loans - 65% (2010)*
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 95% (2010-2011)*

Sources: *IPEDS Data Center, National Center for Education Statistics, **Northern Kentucky University.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Northern Kentucky University, Office of Admissions, Lucas Administrative Center, 400 Nunn Drive, Highland Heights, KY 41099
  • Phone: 800-637-9948
  • Website:

Find Your Program:

Get Admission Info

Take the first step by getting admissions information directly from Northern Kentucky University. Simply answer a few questions to get started.