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KSU is a 4-year public university located at 400 East Main Street in Frankfort, Kentucky. It's a Distant campus in a Town-based setting with 1,586 enrolled students and a student faculty ratio of 11 to 1. Campus housing is present on campus, and online programs are available.

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Kentucky State University Seal About Kentucky State University

Kentucky State University (KSU) is a public, historically black, and liberal arts university chartered in 1886 as the State Normal School for Colored Persons in Frankfort, Kentucky. KSU was the second state-assisted institution of higher education in Kentucky. The school was officially opened on October 11, 1887, and headed by John H. Jackson as its first president. Jackson Hall (first name as Recitation Hall) was the school’s first permanent building. The school was expanded in 1890 by adding home economics, agriculture and mechanics departments. The school’s name was changed in 1902 to Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute for Colored Persons. Twenty-four years later, the institute’s name was changed once more to Kentucky State Industrial College for Colored Persons. In 1930s, the school was stopped, and then reopened again in 1938 with the name of “the Kentucky State College for Negroes”. The term “for Negroes” was removed from its name in 1952. In 1972, the college was granted the university state and became Kentucky State University.
KSU’s motto is “Inspiring Innovation, Growing Leaders, and Advancing Kentucky”. The Kentucky State’ athletic teams are called Thorobreds and Thorobrettes. They play in the Division II of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) finals. Thorobreds and Thorobrettes are part of Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The school’s mascot is the Thorobredsare. KSU has been affiliated to the SIAC since 1997. The university’s athletic and recreational building is named the Exum Center after William Exum, who served as the first African-American varsity football player at the University of Wisconsin. Exum served as head of KSU’s Physical Education department in 1949, and then head of the Athletics department. The official campus colors are green and gold.
KSU has four colleges and offers 55 undergraduate degrees, four associate degrees, and six post-graduate programs. The university also grants five liberal study degrees delivered by the Whitney Young School (WYS) of Honors and Liberal Studies.

School Facts

  • Years Estd.1886 (1886)
  • NicknameThorobreds & Thorobrettes
  • Motto"Inspiring Innovation. Growing Leaders. Advancing Kentucky."
  • ColorsGreen and Gold
  • LocationKentucky
  • Religious AffiliationNot applicable

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KSU Tuition and Fees KSU Tuition and Fees

We've provided you the following to learn more about this college. The tuition and demographic data on this page comes from recently published National Center for Education Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

Simple Tuition Estimate


Your Actual Cost/Tuition


The yearly tuition for KSU is $7,754. However, this number and one's actual expenses can vary. Some schools have tuition that is higher based on students with residency in-state vs out of state, books, fees, and on or off campus housing will all have an effect. We provide a free calculator tool so you can see what your actual yearly costs might be.

Tuition and Fees Rankings

  • #1753 Nationally for Universities with highest tuition

    Also check out, Check out Colleges with the best tuition

  • #1530 Nationally for Colleges with the most expensive cost of living.

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KSU Simple Tuition vs. Actual Fees: What's the Difference?

Here a few things that can increase your actual costs of college, and will vary from school to school. It's good to figure out what these are ahead of time when deciding on a school.

  • Out-of-State vs. In-State

    Colleges can charge higher rates of tuition for students who are out-of-state residents and less for students who are in-state residents.
  • Books and Supplies

    Books, supplies and misc student expenses can often be overlooked. Know what those will be!
  • On Campus Housing vs. Living Off Campus

    Whether students live on-campus in designated student housing, or off-campus in a house or apartment, will change the cost of attending college. Kentucky State University is located in Frankfort which will also determine rents and cost of living. Use our free calculator to estimate your cost of living.
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Calculate your Actual Expenses for KSU

Fees Avg. Cost
Books & Supplies $G,BIG
On-Campus Room/Board $IG,S0I
Off-Campus Room/Board $G0,0IS
In-State Tuition $S0,BIG
Other Fees $1G,S00

College Rankings College Rankings

KSU is a prestigious 4-year institution in Kentucky. The following are the rankings for the school relative to other universities across the country.

  • #1753 Nationally for Universities with highest tuition

    Also, check out Colleges with the best value tuition

  • #1530 Nationally for Colleges with the most Expensive cost of living

    Also, check out Colleges with lowest cost of living

  • #1314 Nationally for Largest Number of students enrolled

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Can I Get Accepted to KSU? Can I Get Accepted to KSU?

The Acceptance rate for KSU is 38 Percent. Last year, there were 4768 applicants and 12 percent of those who were accepted actually attended (Enrollment Rate). To apply, it's required to have the following: High school GPA, High School transcripts, SAT/ACT test scores.

Total Applicants


Acceptance Rate


Enrollment Rate

  • This university requires SAT/ACT Scores.

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Can Help, But Not Required

  • US Military
  • Associates Degree
  • SAT/ACT Scores
  • Good GPA
  • Work Experience

Kentucky State University

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Student Data & Demographics Student Data & Demographics

Total Students


Total Graduate Students


Student to Faculty Ratio

11 to 1

Famous Alumni Famous KSU Alumni

There are many notable and famous graduates from KSU, and the following is a list of some of the most esteemed.

Michael Bernard

Professional Sports

Basketball player and the first from KSU to be drafted by the NBA in 1970

Anna Mac Clarke

Politics & Law

Member of Women's Army Corps during WWII

Tom Colbert

Politics & Law

First African-American Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice

Cletidus Hunt

Professional Sports

former professional football player

John Kenerson

Professional Sports

NFL, AFL and CFL player

Yingluck Shinawatra

Politics & Law

The first female Prime Minister of Thailand

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