Updated on May 23, 2024
Edited by Evelyn Keener
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Eastern Kentucky University is a public, mid-sized university founded in 1906 with an inaugural graduating class of 11. After more than 100 years, the university has blossomed into a student body of roughly 15,000 students of whom 85% are undergraduates. The school is located in Richmond, Kentucky, which is about halfway between Lexington and the Daniel Boone National Forest.

Overview of Eastern Kentucky University

All types of students are welcome at EKU including first-year students, transfer students, international students, graduate students, adult students, online students, and veteran students. The school is often regarded as the best for vets in Kentucky by the Military Times magazine, and it ranks in the top 10% of all universities nationally for vets, the reserves, national guard, and active military. All students have access to a variety of student resources and career planning.

Students can select from 108 degree programs with various concentrations and specializations that are available through five primary colleges. In addition to finding nearly any educational opportunities, the university offers a wide array of student life options and professional development services, activities, events, and more. It’s possible to take advantage of tutoring, mentoring, meditation, a writing center, counseling, community service, student government, and career services.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting Town: Distant
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 15 to 1
Graduation Rate 45%
Year Founded 1906

Student Enrollment

Total Students14,980


Undergraduate Student

Male 5,445
Female 7,217

Graduate Student

Male 997
Female 1,321

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Male 3,454
Female 5,521


Male 3,212
Female 5,190

Acceptance Rate94%

Male 93%
Female 94%

Enrollment 2,362

Male 732
Female 614
Application Fee $35
High School GPA Required
High School Rank Recommended
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Required
Recommendations NA
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline August 1
Common Application Accepted Yes

Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

Undergraduate students from any state in the US who enroll as a student in the fall of 2020 have access to the SMART Program. This program allows out-of-state students to receive similar tuition rates of in-state students at $5,150 per semester. This is lower than in-state tuition rates in some states. Outside of this program, students can expect an in-state rate of $9,876 each year and an out-of-state rate of $14,674.

Keep in mind that no matter the tuition rate, all students should expect to budget for another $15,000 or so to pay for living expenses. Many students secure financial assistance to pay for their higher learning experience at EKU. In fact, roughly 98% of students participate in some type of financial aid, including student loans and grants. Many students secure scholarships through the university and other scholarship providers. The school provides unique scholarships for freshmen, transfer students, and current students each year.

Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $14,674
Average Total Aid $8,608
Students Receiving Financial Aid 98%
Room & Board $10,476

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $9,876
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $19,948
  • Books and Supplies - $1,200
  • Room & Board - $10,476
  • Other - $2,800


The academic opportunities at Eastern Kentucky University are nearly endless. Students can pursue over 100 degree programs in six colleges including letters, arts and social sciences, education, health sciences, science, business and technology, and justice and safety. Throughout each program, students will not only be exposed to a challenging curriculum but also essential skill development including creative and critical thinking, communication, and problem solving.

Academic support systems are also in place to help students succeed in an academic setting. Students have access to the Noel Studio for Academic Creativity, which is a center providing groups and individuals with spaces featuring tools and resources to assist with written and oral presentations. Another advantageous experiential learning center is the Center for Renewable and Alternative Fuel Technologies for students majoring in agriculture, biology, chemistry, economics, and environmental sciences. Yet another is the Center for the Arts. Study abroad programs and internships are also available to help provide hands-on opportunities that provide career advantages in the long term.

East Kentucky University has a decent retention rate of 75%. The four-year and six-year graduation rates are lower than average at 30% and 50%. And the student-to-faculty ratio is slightly higher than most students prefer at 15 to 1. A few of the reasons for the lower graduation rates may be attributed to the fact that students have access to more hands-on learning experiences outside of the classroom. This first-hand experience provides students with invaluable insights into careers and industries; however, it could possibly delay on-time graduation.

Student Population Total

Student Population 14,980

Evening Classes : No
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

Health Professions and Related Programs 483 Total Graduates / 18%
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 221 Graduates
Occupational Therapy/Therapist 76 Graduates
Public Health Education and Promotion 53 Graduates
Emergency Medical Technology/Technician (EMT Paramedic) 31 Graduates
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services 354 Total Graduates / 13%
Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration 175 Graduates
Homeland Security 76 Graduates
Fire/Arson Investigation and Prevention 31 Graduates
Fire Services Administration 22 Graduates
All Business Majors 333 Total Graduates / 12%
Accounting 57 Graduates
Business Administration and Management, General 54 Graduates
Business/Commerce, General 54 Graduates
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 49 Graduates
Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities 233 Total Graduates / 9%
General Studies 232 Graduates
Humanities/Humanistic Studies 1 Graduates
All Psychology Majors 184 Total Graduates / 7%
Psychology, General 184 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 415

Outcome & Salary

Between the academic services and the career services that are available at EKU, students start their careers off in the right way. Academic services are available in the form of advising, schedule reviewing, changing your major. These services help push students in their academics so that they stand out from all other applicants in their job search. It’s even possible to live chat with advisors so that a student does not have to take the extra time away from studying to meet in person.

Career services work with students to prepare for life in the real world. These services help to select the right major to match the right career, critique resumes, host mock interviews, and provide career consultations. They will also help to arrange for co-ops and internships, as well as part-time job searches. Students will also have access to the Dress for Success Closet, which provides students with access to appropriate attire to attend job fairs, networking events, and interviews.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $43,100
College Grads Average Salary $60,418
College Grads Mid Career Salary $59,200
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $604,180
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,196,180
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $58,696
10 Year Projected ROI $545,484
20 Year Projected ROI $1,137,484
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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