Northern Kentucky University Admissions: Everything You Want to and Need to Know

Overview of Northern Kentucky University

Northern Kentucky University is a private institution situated in the suburb of Highland Heights, KY. NKU values a personalized, hands-on education in which professors know their students’ names, an effort that is backed by a student/faculty ratio of 19 to 1. No graduate assistants teach any classes. On the student life front, NKU has over 200 organizations and clubs. Outside of the classroom, students will find plenty of opportunities to engage with the campus community via many clubs and organizations. Formerly part of the NCCA Division II, after winning 22 regional titles, NKU has advanced into Division I, and now the Norse play in the Horizon League.


  • Total Enrollment: 14,783 (11,933 undergraduates)
  • Gender Breakdown: 42% Male/58% Female
  • 72% Full-time

Cost of Attendance Information

  • Tuition and Fees: $10,296 (in-state); $20,256 (out-of-state)
  • Books: $800
  • Room and Board: $10,212
  • Other Expenses: $2,500
  • Total Cost: $23,808 (in-state); $33,768 (out-of-state)

Financial Aid Information

  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Aid: 99%
  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Types of Aid
    • Grants: 97%
    • Loans: 58%
  • Mean Amount of Aid
    • Grants: $7,472
    • Loans: $6,403

Academic Programs Offered

  • Most Popular Majors: Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse; Organizational Behavior Studies; Social Work; Psychology, General; and Information Technology

Retention and Graduation

  • First-Year Student Retention (full-time students): 69%
  • 4-Year Graduation Rate: 22%
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate: 44%

NCAA Athletic Programs

  • Men’s Sports: Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Soccer, Tennis, Track and Field
  • Women’s Sports: Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball

Overview of Northern Kentucky University Admissions

Northern Kentucky is an accessible school–in 2019, the acceptance rate was 89%. Students whose SAT/ACT scores and GPA are within the institution’s requirements have a good chance of being admitted. Applicants must complete an online application and send test scores from either the SAT or ACT and high school transcripts. Glowing recommendation letters can bolster your application, along with being involved with student organizations and attempting a challenging course load. Students with unique talents and accomplishments can still receive strong consideration even if their GPAs are outside of the mean range. After applying, students will receive a message from an admissions counselor about the application process’s next steps. Interested students should check out the university’s website, which has helpful tips and contact information for the admissions offices.

Admissions Data                        

  • Northern Kentucky Acceptance Rate: 89%
  • Test Scores — 25th/75th Percentile
    • SAT Critical Reading: 510/610
    • SAT Math: 480/620
    • SAT Writing: -/-
    • ACT Cumulative: 20/26
    • ACT English: 20/27
    • ACT Math: 19/26

Safety Net Schools: Easy to Gain Admission

If past admission data predicts that you would be a competitive candidate for Northern Kentucky University, it should be easy to gain admissions to the schools below. If Northern Kentucky University is currently out of your reach, then you are sure to be a competitive candidate for the schools below.

Liberty University, University of Texas at El Paso, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, California State University Sacramento, California State University Northridge, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, California State University East Bay

Same Tier: Just As Hard to Gain Admission

If you’re a competitive candidate for Northern Kentucky University, you should have an equal chance of gaining admissions at these schools.

Hampton University, Washington State University, University of Texas at San Antonio, East Carolina University, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Texas State University

Reach Institutions: Gaining Admissions Will Be More of a Challenge

These schools are more challenging to gain admission into than Northern Kentucky University. If you improve your GPA and SAT/ACT scores, you’ll be a competitive candidate.

University of Arizona, University of Alabama, Colorado State University, Quinnipiac University, Ohio University, University of North Texas, University of Texas at Arlington

Applying to Northern Kentucky University

Application Deadline: August 15

Undergraduate Admissions Website:

Undergraduate Application Link(s):

Graduate Admissions Website:

Graduate Application Link(s):

Choose your Reaction!