Western Kentucky University

Western Kentucky University Enrollment and Financial Aid Info

Located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, Western Kentucky University is a 4-year, public school that offers 2-year, undergraduate, and graduate programs. Read about the pros and cons of the school, plus ranking, tuition, and admission information.

Should You Attend Western Kentucky University?

Western Kentucky University (WKU) makes its home in the small city of Bowling Green, Kentucky. Not only does the school provide you with choices of bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs, it has some 2-year degree programs as well. Flexible learning options are available, including 60 online degree programs and 1,000 online courses. Read through the pros and cons listed below to help decide if WKU is the school for you.


  • Ranked #11 among Top Public Schools by U.S. News & World Report
  • Total cost is $2,068 less than the national average of 4-year, public schools
  • Acceptance rate is 28.2 percentage points higher than the national average
  • High number of academic programs
  • Accepts dual and AP (Advanced Placement) credit
  • Endowment has grown by 11.4% from 2010-2011


  • Graduation rate is 17 percentage points lower than the national average
  • Student-to-faculty ratio is 19:1, which is 3 higher than the national average of 16:1
  • Located approximately 61 miles from downtown Nashville

Rankings & School Analysis

Western Kentucky University has a lot to offer its students, including a large variety of degree types and subject areas. If you earned AP or dual credit during high school, you may be able to apply those to your degree to save some time and money. The school was also listed at #11 on U.S. News & World Report's 2012 list of top public schools.

Although the school has a higher-than-average student-to-faculty ratio of 19:1, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the school has a lower-than-average cost. The NCES estimated the average cost of attendance (including tuition, fees, room and board) to be $15,792 in 2012, which is lower than the College Boards' reported national average of $17,860 for all 4-year, public schools.

Some additional cons that may affect your decision about WKU are the low graduation rate and the distance to a major downtown area. The NCES reports a 4-year graduation rate of 23% for full-time students pursuing a bachelor's degree, which is 17 percentage points below the national average. The nearest major city is Nashville, Tennessee, located approximately 61 miles away.

Admissions & Financial Aid at Western Kentucky University

The NCES reports an acceptance rate of 92%, which is 28.2 percentage points higher than the national average. You'll want to get your application, along with the $40 fee, sent to the school by August 1st. WKU makes admission decisions based upon your secondary school GPA and record, your SAT or ACT scores, plus the records from any college preparatory programs you might have completed.

To apply for financial aid, you need to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). There is no hard deadline but more funds are available if you apply early. U.S. News & World Report reported that the average financial aid package for full-time undergraduate students at WKU was $12,823 in 2011.

Application and Tuition Info
Regular Application Deadline (2013) August 1****
Priority Financial Aid Application Deadline (2013) February 15**
Application Fee (2012-2013) $40*
Acceptance Rate (2011) 92%*
Tuition and Fees (2012-2013) $8,472 (in-state)*
$21,000 (out-of-state)*
Average Financial Aid Package (2011) $12,823 (full-time undergraduates)**
Percent of Students with Need Met (2012) 32%**
Average Student Debt at Graduation (2012) $26,110****
Student Loan Default Rate (2009) 12.1%*

Student Life at Western Kentucky University

At WKU, you are required to live on campus as a freshman and sophomore. Your housing options include co-ed dorms, dorms for just women or men, sorority and fraternity housing, and themed housing. According to the NCES, WKU has a small international population and more females than males on campus.

WKU has one main library and six branch libraries, giving you options for where to find information for your big research paper or just finding a quiet place to study. During times when you are not in class or studying, you may involve yourself in one of the 267 registered clubs and organizations. Some of the clubs offered include ones for badminton, paintball, astronomy, fencing, and skydiving.

WKU supports students with an interest in sports. Some of the available intercollegiate sports include basketball, football, golf, tennis, and track and field. There are also many intramural sports offered for both men and women, including football, golf, and volleyball.

Student Life Info
Campus Setting Small city*
Student Population (Fall 2011) 17,970 undergraduate students*
3,066 graduate students*
Male-to-Female Student Ratio (Fall 2011) 42% to 58%*
% of Full Time Students (Fall 2011) 78%*
% of In-state Students (Fall 2010) 82%*
% of International Students (Fall 2010) 1%*
Retention Rate (Fall 2011) 73% (full time students)*
Campus Housing Available Yes*
% of Students Living on Campus 29%**
Number of Libraries 1 main library and 6 branch libraries***
Extracurricular Activities 267 registered clubs and organizations**
Noteworthy Home to Kentucky's sole honors college***

Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **U.S. News & World Report, ***Western Kentucky University, ****The College Board.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Office of Admissions, 1906 College Heights Blvd. #11020, Bowling Green, KY 42101-1020
  • Phone: (270) 745-2551