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WKU is a 4-year public university located at 1906 College Heights Blvd in Bowling Green, Kentucky. It's a Small campus in a City-based setting with 20,063 enrolled students and a student faculty ratio of 18 to 1. Campus housing is present on campus, and online programs are available.

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Western Kentucky University Seal About Western Kentucky University

A present-day university and public institute, WKU began in 1906 when the legislation to establish teacher training institutes in the region was approved in the General Assembly. The classes, however, began in 1907. Further on the institute relocated, became a four-year education institute, went through a merger and added master’s degree programs to its curriculum.

It was in 1966 when it transitioned into a university and got its present name. It is based in Bowling Green, Kentucky and keeping in line with its mission of educating its students, playing its part in the progress of societies, it also offers distance/online education.

At Western Kentucky University, the campus life is composed of various activities; from working on academics to engaging with people around and off campus to learning leadership tasks. There is a Student Government Association where students get a platform to display their leadership skills while further learning the skills through participation in the Dynamic Leadership Institute or working in volunteer programs and events. These consist of St. Jude’s Up ‘Til Dawn, Make a Difference Day and more. Furthermore, students get involved in the student-run organizations of which more than 350 are present or take part in Greek Life. The Campus Activities Board is another platform whereby students can learn event organization while also supporting campus life. For the students, the Downing Student Union serves as a common hangout place available with study spaces, recreational activities, or for having a bite. Students also take part in athletics, representing the university at the NCAA Division I; the teams are called ‘Hilltoppers and Lady Toppers’, the mascot is ‘Big Red’ and the colors are Red and White.

The academic programs consist of undergraduate programs with 101 majors and 111 minors, nine Associate degree and 37 undergraduate certificate programs, and 104 graduate programs (degree and certificates). Its notable facilities/departments are Potter College of Arts & Letters, Gordon Ford College of Business, Ogden College of Science & Engineering, Augenstein Alumni Center and Welcome Center, Adams-Whitaker Student Publications Center, Wetherby Administration Building, Ivan Wilson Fine Arts Center and more.

School Facts

  • Years Estd.1906
  • NicknameHilltoppers and Lady Toppers
  • MascotBig Red
  • MottoThe Spirit makes the Master Life more life
  • ColorsRed and White
  • LocationKentucky
  • Religious AffiliationNot applicable

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WKU Tuition and Fees WKU 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 WKU is $9,482. 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

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  • Books
  • In vs. Out-of-State
  • Housing Expenses
  • Misc. Fees

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WKU 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. Western Kentucky University is located in Bowling Green which will also determine rents and cost of living. Use our free calculator to estimate your cost of living.
WKU Logo

Calculate your Actual Expenses for WKU

Use our Free Calculator to determine what your actual fees might be.

FeesAvg. 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

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

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Can I Get Accepted to WKU ? Can I Get Accepted to WKU ?

The Acceptance rate for WKU is 93 Percent. Last year, there were 8957 applicants and 38 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


Can Help, But Not Required

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

Western Kentucky University

Get WKU Admissions Information.
Everything You Need to Apply.

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Student Data & Demographics Student Data & Demographics

Total Students


Total Graduate Students


Student to Faculty Ratio

18 to 1

Famous Alumni Famous WKU Alumni

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

Michael G. Scales

Education & Advocacy

President of Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary

Larry C. Renfro

Business & Industry

CEO of Optum and Executive Vice President at UnitedHealth Group

K.C. Armstrong

Entertainment & Arts

Former assistant producer of The Howard Stern Show

John Carpenter

Entertainment & Arts

Film director

Steve Gorman

Entertainment & Arts

Rock drummer, The Black Crowes

Edwin L. Norris

Politics & Law

Fifth governor of Montana

Terrence W. Wilcutt

Science & Medicine


Lowell H. Harrison

Education & Advocacy

Author, WKU university historian

Damon W. Cooper

Social Advocacy & Service

U.S. Navy Vice Admiral and the first Chief of U.S. Naval Reserve

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