Annual Costs

Undergraduate Tuition

Northern Kentucky University tuition is $9,360 per year for in-state residents. This is 33% more expensive than the national average public four year tuition of $7,056. The cost is 48% cheaper than the average Kentucky tuition of $17,847 for 4 year colleges. Tuition ranks 9th in Kentucky amongst 4 year colleges for affordability and is the 36th most expensive 4 year college in the state. If attending from out-of-state, the tuition is $18,720 which represents a 100% premium.

The school charges an additional fees of $384 in addition to tuition bringing the total effective in-state tuition to $9,744.

Housing Costs

On campus room and board is provided by the school at a cost of $9,732 per academic year. Students electing to live off campus elsewhere in Highland Heights should budget at least this amount.

Books and Supplies

The estimated annual cost for books and supplies is $800.

Other Living Expenses

If living on-campus, students should budget for $2,500 in additional living expenses. Off-campus students should budget for $5,364 in other miscellaneous living expenses.

Total Costs

The total tuition and living expense budget for in-state Kentucky residents to go to NKU is $22,776 for the 2017/2018 academic year. Out-of-state students who don't have Kentucky residence can expect a one year cost of $32,136.

Citation: Price data from the U.S. Department of Education's 2017-2018 and 2016-2017 IPEDS survey response for Northern Kentucky University and represent reported costs for the 2016-2017 and 2015-2016 academic years.

Costs and Tuition for Northern Kentucky University
Estimated Budgets
Kentucky Resident Total Budget $22,776
   In-State Tuition$9,360
   Other Fees$384
   Room and Board$9,732
   On-Campus Other Budget$2,500
   Books and Supplies$800
Non-Resident Total Budget $32,136
   Out-of-State Tuition$18,720
   Other Fees$384
   Room and Board$9,732
   On-Campus Other Budget$2,500
   Books and Supplies$800


What it Really Costs

Depending on many factors including student and parent income and assets, the total cost of attendance may be less than the $22,776 published price if scholarship or grant aid is made available to you.

Net Price

The net out-of-pocket total cost you end up paying or financing though student loans is known as the net price. The reported NKU net price for in-state students is $8,298* for the 2014/2015 academic year. This net price includes housing and meal expenses.

Pell Grants and other Grant Aid

84% of Northern Kentucky University students received grant aid in 2014/2015. The average total aid amount was $7,130. 38 percent of students received aid in the form of Pell Grants from the U.S. Federal Government. The average Pell Grant awarded for 2014/2015 was $4,554. To apply for a Pell Grant to attend Northern Kentucky University, the first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Net Price and Financial Aid for Northern Kentucky University
Financial Aid Summary
Average Annual Net Price$8,298*
Percent of Students Receiving Grant Aid84%
Average Total Grant Aid$7,130
Percent of Students Receiving Pell Grants38%
Average Amount of Pell Grant Aid$4,554

Average Net Price for In-State Students by Family Income

The average net total cost of attendance for different levels of family income after federal, state or local government, institutional grant and scholarship aid are awarded. Data last published for the 2014/2015 academic year.

Family Income Avg. Net Price
$0 to $30,000$4,085
$30,001 to $48,000$5,791
$48,001 to $75,000$9,405
$75,001 to $110,000$12,109

Average Financial Aid Mix - $22,776 In-State Total Cost

CollegeCalc has estimated typical coverage of the annual in-state tuition and living expenses of $22,776. Breakdown is based on average grant aid and federal loan aid which will vary based on your family income.


Grants and Scholarships

 35% - $7,130

Money granted to you by the U.S. Department of Education, Northern Kentucky University or other organizations. These are not loans and do not need to be repaid.

Federal Loans

 27% - $5,408

Low interest student loans funded by the U.S. Department of Education. This amount will need to be repaid.

Out of Pocket

 38% -  $7,738

Covered by family savings, work or private student loans which you will have to repay.

*Reported Average Annual Net Price for in state students receiving grant or scholarship aid reported to the U.S. Department of Education's Academic Year 2014-2015 IPEDS Survey. Financial aid is only available to those who qualify. Consult this school's net price calculator for further understanding of your potential net price.

Note that for colleges with no reported on-campus room and board, the average net price has been increased to account for living expenses. This number may not only reflect the net price paid to the school for tuition.

Tuition Comparison to Similar Public Colleges in the Region

School Cost vs. Northern Kentucky University
Central State University58.1% less expensive
Wright State University Main Campus6.7% less expensive
Kentucky State University16.7% less expensive
Indiana University East29.5% less expensive
Morehead State University4.4% less expensive

Cost of a Degree

When considering ability to pay for college, the annual cost is often discussed but it's the "all in" multi-year degree cost which matters in the end. Let's take a look at what it could really cost for four years at Northern Kentucky University.

Estimated 4 Year Cost at Published Tuition

At the current published rates, an estimated total tuition, fees and living expense price for a 4 year bachelor's degree at NKU is $91,104 for students graduating in normal time. This methodology for estimating the 4 year cost is a straight multiple of the most recent reported annual total cost and does not factor in tuition increases during the time you're in school. It also assumes you receive no grant or scholarship aid and pay the full list price.

A potentially more accurate but less conservative estimate of a degree cost can be made by using the school's annual $7,834 in-state net price as the basis. Applying this cost over 4 would estimate the cost of a degree at $31,336**

If you end up on the "five year plan" and need an additional year to graduate, your five year cost could be as high as $113,880 or $39,170 using an average net price.

**Based on a 4 year multiple of Average Annual Net Price for in state students receiving grant or scholarship aid reported to the U.S. Department of Education's 2014-2015 IPEDS Survey. Financial aid is only available to those who qualify. Consult this school's net price calculator for further understanding of your potential net price.

Other Costs

Estimated Cost Per Semester

Most colleges don't charge students on an annual basis but instead require payment semester by semester. If you ever need to take an additional semester of classes to complete you degree you shouldn't have to pay for a full academic year. These our estimated costs for a semester at Northern Kentucky University.

Kentucky Resident Tuition Per Semester$4,680
Kentucky Resident Total Cost Per Semester$11,388
Non-Kentucky Resident Tuition Per Semester$9,360
Non-Kentucky Resident Total Cost Per Semester$16,068

Cost Per Credit Hour and Cost for a Class

Some schools offer the ability to take single classes by paying on a per credit hour basis. The reported price per credit hour and estimated cost for one class at Northern Kentucky University are as follows. Per credit costs are for reference only as many schools will not allow students to pay by credit hour.

Cost per credit hour and per class at Northern Kentucky University
Price per credit hour for Kentucky residents$390
Cost for one class for Kentucky residents (3 credit hours)$1,170
Price per credit hour for out of state residents$780
Cost for one class for out of state residents (3 credit hours)$2,340
Cost for one class for out of state residents (4 credit hours)$3,120


Student Loans and Debt

The second consideration after understanding the cost of college is determining how to finance it. Some students are fortunate enough to have some form of family financial assistance, but student loans end up financing a significant portion of higher education in the U.S. 59% of Northern Kentucky University students receive U.S. Federal Student Loans with an average annual Federal Loan aid amount of $5,408. The reported average student debt upon graduation is $24,915.

Example Loan Payments and Costs

How much are student loan payments for Northern Kentucky University? Obviously this varies based on a number of factors - offsetting financial aid you receive, percentage of fee you pay upfront while enrolled and the interest rate on your loans. We've modeled a sample student loan based on current Stafford loan rates to give you an approximate idea.

The following are the costs for a loan if you borrowed $31,336, 100% of the estimated average net price for a four year program and paid nothing while enrolled. The total of all payments including interest would sum $38,880.79. This could be your effective total out of pocket cost of an education at Northern Kentucky University. Note that this calculation assumes you don't pay full list price tuition, are part of the reported 84% of students at this school who receive financial aid and you are paying an average annual net price of $7,834. If you do not financially qualify for a reduced net price, your student loan payments could be significantly higher than this example. Use our Northern Kentucky University student loan calculator below to change loan assumptions and recalculate.

Student loans are not free money and must be repaid. You cannot dismiss student loans by via bankruptcy.

Northern Kentucky University Student Loan Payments
Example Payments
Monthly Loan Payment$324.01
Amount Borrowed$31,336.00
Interest Rate4.5%
Term10 years
Number of Monthly Payments120
Total Interest Cost$7,544.79
Sum of All Payments over 10 years$38,880.79

Affording Student Loan Payments and Post Graduation Salary

Can I afford to attend NKU? In the end, the answer comes down a determination if you will earn enough to comfortably pay back a student loan with your post graduation salary. This is an extremely important point to consider. In order to afford student loan payments and still meet all your other costs of living, it is recommended not to borrow more than you can pay back using 10% of your monthly income earned after graduation. If you're considering attending Northern Kentucky University, you need to carefully consider if it will be realistic to make the post graduation loan payments based on your expected salary.

Using the 10% of salary threshold, an annual income of $38,880.79 would be needed to afford a $324.01 monthly payment in the example $31,336.00 loan modeled above. You will need to determine if it is at all realistic that you will be earning this type of salary after graduation. This assumes a loan payback over 10 years. You can change the terms of this example loan using the student loan calculator below.

Estimated Future Cost and Expected Tuition Increase

What will it cost to send your child to Northern Kentucky University in the future? In the past four years, this school's published in-state tuition and fee total rose from $7,872 to $9,360. This amounts to an average annual price increase of 3.8%. Nationally, university tuition prices are rising around 5% per year. Looking out five, ten, fifteen or eighteen years, these are CollegeCalc's estimates how much you could expect to pay for a 4 year degree assuming tuition increases at the national average rate. Estimated future prices are based on the current in-state 4 year cost of $91,104.00. Use the college savings plan calculator below to perform a more comprehensive analysis on future costs and how much you will need to save for Northern Kentucky University.

Annual4 Year Degree
Estimated Cost in 5 years for students enrolling in 2024$31,322$125,289
Estimated Cost in 10 years for students enrolling in 2029$39,976$159,904
Estimated Cost in 15 years for students enrolling in 2034 $51,021$204,083
Estimated Cost in 18 years for students enrolling in 2037 $59,063$236,252

Tuition History

What was tuition at NKU five, ten, fifteen or twenty years ago? Hop into our time machine and take a look. Pay attention to how aggressive the school has been with price increases in the past as it provides indication as to how the school may raise tuition in the next few years. Historical tuition and fees for all available data years back to 1987 follows.

YearIn-StateOut-of-stateAnnual Increase
2012$7,488$14,976 5.1%
2011$7,128$13,896 4.9%
2010$6,792$12,792 4%
2009$6,528$11,952 9.7%
2008$5,952$10,776 9.3%
2007$5,448$10,200 9.7%
2006$4,968$9,696 13.7%
2005$4,368$9,096 16.7%
2004$3,744$7,992 16.4%
2003$3,216$7,464 11.7%
2002$2,880$7,128 4.8%
2001$2,748$6,996 14.8%
2000$2,394$6,434 6.5%
1999$2,248$6,088 6%
1998$2,120$5,720 5%
1997$2,020$5,500 3.1%
1996$1,960$5,320 8.9%
1995$1,800$4,960 4.7%
1994$1,720$4,720 10.3%
1993$1,560$4,240 10.6%
1992$1,410$4,010 9.3%
1991$1,290$3,650 10.3%
1990$1,170$3,290 4.5%
1989$1,120$3,200 3.7%
1988$1,080$3,072 8%

Comparable Cost for Popular Majors

We've compared the out of state cost of the most popular undergraduate areas of study at Northern Kentucky University to the national average for all other colleges offering the same major. Use this comparison to determine particular programs where this school offers value relative to other colleges.

Area of Study Graduates vs National Avg
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse Bachelor's Degree 128 10% cheaper
Organizational Behavior Studies Bachelor's Degree 127 24% cheaper
Psychology, General Bachelor's Degree 90 21% cheaper
Marketing/Marketing Management, General Bachelor's Degree 69 12% cheaper
Junior High/Intermediate/Middle School Education and Teaching Bachelor's Degree 62 6% cheaper
Fine/Studio Arts, General Bachelor's Degree 59 26% cheaper
Business Administration and Management, General Bachelor's Degree 47 7% cheaper
Social Work Bachelor's Degree 47 11% cheaper
Finance, General Bachelor's Degree 46 14% cheaper
Biology/Biological Sciences, General Bachelor's Degree 42 21% cheaper
History, General Bachelor's Degree 34 21% cheaper
Computer and Information Sciences, General Bachelor's Degree 32 13% cheaper
Architectural Engineering Technology/Technician Associate's Degree 29 56% costlier
Sport and Fitness Administration/Management Bachelor's Degree 26 15% cheaper
Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist Associate's Degree 23 52% costlier
Physical Education Teaching and Coaching Bachelor's Degree 20 8% cheaper
Music, General Bachelor's Degree 20 22% cheaper
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies Associate's Degree 20 45% costlier
Chemistry, General Bachelor's Degree 17 23% cheaper
Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies Bachelor's Degree 17 20% cheaper
Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist Associate's Degree 16 65% costlier
Human Resources Development Bachelor's Degree 14 7% cheaper
Social Sciences, General Bachelor's Degree 14 16% cheaper
Business/Managerial Economics Bachelor's Degree 14 20% cheaper
Commercial and Advertising Art Bachelor's Degree 13 15% cheaper
Spanish Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 12 25% cheaper
Manufacturing Engineering Technology/Technician Bachelor's Degree 11 0% cheaper
Journalism Bachelor's Degree 10 17% cheaper
Kindergarten/Preschool Education and Teaching Bachelor's Degree 9 1% costlier
Business/Commerce, General Associate's Degree 9 46% costlier
Environmental Science Bachelor's Degree 7 25% cheaper
Athletic Training/Trainer Bachelor's Degree 7 15% cheaper
Electrical, Electronic and Communications Engineering Technology/Technician Bachelor's Degree 7 0% costlier
Criminal Justice/Police Science Associate's Degree 6 66% costlier
Mathematics, General Bachelor's Degree 5 22% cheaper
Radio and Television Bachelor's Degree 4 17% cheaper
Trade and Industrial Teacher Education Bachelor's Degree 4 3% costlier
German Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 3 32% cheaper
Construction Management Bachelor's Degree 3 9% cheaper
Rhetoric and Composition Bachelor's Degree 3 14% cheaper
Political Science and Government, General Bachelor's Degree 3 23% cheaper
Business Teacher Education Bachelor's Degree 3 5% costlier
International Relations and Affairs Bachelor's Degree 3 32% cheaper
Geography Bachelor's Degree 2 13% cheaper
Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General Bachelor's Degree 2 24% cheaper
English Language and Literature, General Bachelor's Degree 2 20% cheaper
Geology/Earth Science, General Bachelor's Degree 2 22% cheaper
Broadcast Journalism Bachelor's Degree 1 16% cheaper
Public Relations/Image Management Bachelor's Degree 1 19% cheaper
Physics, General Bachelor's Degree 1 27% cheaper
Information Technology Bachelor's Degree 1 6% cheaper
Criminal Justice/Safety Studies Bachelor's Degree 1 5% cheaper
Statistics, General Bachelor's Degree 1 29% cheaper
Aviation/Airway Management and Operations Associate's Degree 1 51% costlier
Psychiatric/Mental Health Services Technician Associate's Degree 1 78% costlier
French Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 1 30% cheaper
Philosophy Bachelor's Degree 1 29% cheaper
Anthropology Bachelor's Degree 1 29% cheaper
Accounting Bachelor's Degree 1 14% cheaper
Elementary Education and Teaching Bachelor's Degree 1 9% cheaper
Sociology Bachelor's Degree 1 22% cheaper


Use the calculators below to formulate a college savings plan for Northern Kentucky University or model a student loan.

College Savings Calculator

Plan and Save for College

Discover how much will you need to start saving now to afford Northern Kentucky University in the future.

Student Loan Calculator

Estimate Loan Payments

Modify the loan assumptions to fit your financial situation and likely tuition price. Then calculate your payoff and loan payments for a Northern Kentucky University student loan.

Prepayment Option

About Northern Kentucky University

Northern Kentucky University is a four year public college located in Highland Heights, Kentucky.  Full time enrollment is 9,896 and part time is 4,646. Learn more about getting accepted at Northern Kentucky University at CollegeSimply.

Students attending this school may pursue both undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Northern Kentucky University
Nunn Drive
Highland Heights, Kentucky

For Profit / Not For Profit Status

Northern Kentucky University is a public not for profit institution. Public schools often represent the best value for your education dollar, especially when students qualify for in-state tuition.

Northern Kentucky University cost and financial aid data source: U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=157447 IPEDS survey data.