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Kentucky State University (KSU) is a historically black college located in Frankfort, Kentucky. The student population is just under 2,200 and the school offers degree programs from associate degrees up to and including master’s and doctorate degrees.

Overview of Kentucky State University (KSU)

Founded in 1886 as a college for former slaves, the school offers programs in a variety of areas including business, criminal justice, education, and the sciences. Students have the option of living on or off campus and financial aid is available. For those interested in applying, the application deadline is April 1 and must include transcripts for all schools attended, and ACT or SAT scores. The minimum requirement for prospective students is a 2.8 GPA. KSU is known as the Thoroughbreds and compete at the NCAA Division II level.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting Town: Distant
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 11:1
Graduation Rate 25%
Year Founded 1886

Student Enrollment

Total Students2,171


Undergraduate Student

Male 872
Female 1,157

Graduate Student

Male 61
Female 81

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KSU Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 782
Female 1,378


Male 602
Female 1,061

Acceptance Rate81%

Male 77%
Female 77%

Enrollment 531

Male 240
Female 291
Application Fee $30
High School GPA Required
High School Rank Considered But Not Required
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Recommended
Recommendations Considered But Not Required
Formal demonstration of competencies Considered But Not Required
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline April 1
Common Application Accepted No

KSU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

Tuition for in-state Kentucky State University students is $7,363, while out of state students will pay $11,940 each year in tuition (as of a recent year’s tuition costs). For those who choose to live on campus, room and board is $6,690. Add in fees for classes and books, and an in-state, full-time student living on campus owes about $17,100 per year, while an out-of-state student pays around $20,900. Financial aid in the form of Pell grants, scholarships, and student loans are available to students who qualify, which is roughly 70% of Kentucky State freshman students.

The net cost of tuition after grants have been applied is $10,000. This amount is usually covered out of pocket by the student or through student loans. Most high schools have a list of available grants or scholarships for students, so make sure you see this list and apply for everything might help you offset the costs of your college tuition.

Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $7,363
Average Total Aid $11,712
Students Receiving Financial Aid 92%
Room & Board $6,690

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $8,090
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $11,940
  • Books and Supplies - $1,300
  • Room & Board - $6,690
  • Other - $998


Kentucky State University has a retention rate of 66%, meaning two-thirds of the students who start at KSU return for the following year. The school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 11 to 1, so there are enough students to support active classroom discussions but students who need one-on-one assistance from an instructor have that option as well. The graduation rates for Kentucky State students are a little low as 12% graduate within four years and 26% graduate within six years. Some students take less than four years or more than six years to graduate, while others either don’t graduate for personal reasons or they transfer to other schools before graduating. These rates and ratios are important to consider because they will have a direct impact on your experience at the school. For instance, with a retention rate of 66% and a four-year graduation rate of 12%, it’s safe to assume that only the most focused graduate on time without transferring to a different school.

Student Population Total

Student Population 2,171

Evening Classes : Yes
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Business Majors 32 Total Graduates / 15%
Business Administration and Management, General 32 Graduates
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services 29 Total Graduates / 14%
Criminal Justice/Safety Studies 29 Graduates
All Education Majors 25 Total Graduates / 12%
Physical Education Teaching and Coaching 21 Graduates
Elementary Education and Teaching 2 Graduates
Music Teacher Education 2 Graduates
All Psychology Majors 17 Total Graduates / 8%
Psychology, General 17 Graduates
All Biological & Biomedical Majors 16 Total Graduates / 8%
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 16 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 44%

Outcome & Salary

Graduates of Kentucky State University go on to have successful careers. The average salary of a KSU graduate in their early years of employment is $55,000. By mid-career, graduates are making closer to $67,000 on average. This means that the return on investment for their degrees is relatively high and, therefore, the expense would be worth it because, within 10 years, graduates can make as much as five times what their tuition cost.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $46,100
College Grads Average Salary $55,901
College Grads Mid Career Salary $66,600
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $559,010
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,225,010
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $29,452
10 Year Projected ROI $529,558
20 Year Projected ROI $1,195,558
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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