Annual Costs

Undergraduate Tuition

Western Kentucky University tuition is $10,202 per year for in-state residents. This is 45% more expensive than the national average public four year tuition of $7,056. The cost is 43% cheaper than the average Kentucky tuition of $17,847 for 4 year colleges. Tuition ranks 12th in Kentucky amongst 4 year colleges for affordability and is the 33rd most expensive 4 year college in the state. If attending from out-of-state, the tuition is $25,512 which represents a 150% premium.

Housing Costs

On campus room and board is provided by the school at a cost of $8,350 per academic year. Students electing to live off campus elsewhere in Bowling Green should budget at least this amount.

Books and Supplies

The estimated annual cost for books and supplies is $1,000.

Other Living Expenses

If living on-campus, students should budget for $1,944 in additional living expenses. Off-campus students should budget for $3,463 in other miscellaneous living expenses.

Total Costs

The total tuition and living expense budget for in-state Kentucky residents to go to WKU is $21,496 for the 2017/2018 academic year. Out-of-state students who don't have Kentucky residence can expect a one year cost of $36,806.

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

Costs and Tuition for Western Kentucky University
Estimated Budgets
Kentucky Resident Total Budget $21,496
   In-State Tuition$10,202
   Other Fees$0
   Room and Board$8,350
   On-Campus Other Budget$1,944
   Books and Supplies$1,000
Non-Resident Total Budget $36,806
   Out-of-State Tuition$25,512
   Other Fees$0
   Room and Board$8,350
   On-Campus Other Budget$1,944
   Books and Supplies$1,000


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 $21,496 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 WKU net price for in-state students is $11,072* for the 2014/2015 academic year. This net price includes housing and meal expenses.

Pell Grants and other Grant Aid

86% of Western Kentucky University students received grant aid in 2014/2015. The average total aid amount was $6,791. 39 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 $4,315. To apply for a Pell Grant to attend Western Kentucky University, the first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Net Price and Financial Aid for Western Kentucky University
Financial Aid Summary
Average Annual Net Price$11,072*
Percent of Students Receiving Grant Aid86%
Average Total Grant Aid$6,791
Percent of Students Receiving Pell Grants39%
Average Amount of Pell Grant Aid$4,315

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$10,933
$30,001 to $48,000$14,505
$48,001 to $75,000$15,523
$75,001 to $110,000$15,942

Average Financial Aid Mix - $21,496 In-State Total Cost

CollegeCalc has estimated typical coverage of the annual in-state tuition and living expenses of $21,496. Breakdown is based on average grant aid and federal loan aid which will vary based on your family income.


Grants and Scholarships

 35% - $6,791

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

Federal Loans

 30% - $5,908

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

Out of Pocket

 35% -  $6,853

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. Western Kentucky University
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga32.5% less expensive
Southern Illinois University Carbondale7.4% less expensive
Southeast Missouri State University39.4% less expensive
Morehead State University12.3% less expensive
Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis19.1% 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 Western 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 WKU is $85,984 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 $11,077 in-state net price as the basis. Applying this cost over 4 would estimate the cost of a degree at $44,308**

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 $107,480 or $55,385 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 Western Kentucky University.

Kentucky Resident Tuition Per Semester$5,101
Kentucky Resident Total Cost Per Semester$10,748
Non-Kentucky Resident Tuition Per Semester$12,756
Non-Kentucky Resident Total Cost Per Semester$18,403

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 Western 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 Western Kentucky University
Price per credit hour for Kentucky residents$425
Cost for one class for Kentucky residents (3 credit hours)$1,275
Price per credit hour for out of state residents$1,063
Cost for one class for out of state residents (3 credit hours)$3,189
Cost for one class for out of state residents (4 credit hours)$4,252


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. 55% of Western Kentucky University students receive U.S. Federal Student Loans with an average annual Federal Loan aid amount of $5,908. The reported average student debt upon graduation is $26,646.

Example Loan Payments and Costs

How much are student loan payments for Western 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 $44,308, 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 $54,976.07. This could be your effective total out of pocket cost of an education at Western Kentucky University. Note that this calculation assumes you don't pay full list price tuition, are part of the reported 86% of students at this school who receive financial aid and you are paying an average annual net price of $11,077. If you do not financially qualify for a reduced net price, your student loan payments could be significantly higher than this example. Use our Western 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.

Western Kentucky University Student Loan Payments
Example Payments
Monthly Loan Payment$458.13
Amount Borrowed$44,308.00
Interest Rate4.5%
Term10 years
Number of Monthly Payments120
Total Interest Cost$10,668.07
Sum of All Payments over 10 years$54,976.07

Affording Student Loan Payments and Post Graduation Salary

Can I afford to attend WKU? 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 Western 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 $54,976.07 would be needed to afford a $458.13 monthly payment in the example $44,308.00 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 Western Kentucky University in the future? In the past four years, this school's published in-state tuition and fee total rose from $8,472 to $10,202. This amounts to an average annual price increase of 4.1%. 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 $85,984.00. 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 Western Kentucky University.

Annual4 Year Degree
Estimated Cost in 5 years for students enrolling in 2024$29,562$118,248
Estimated Cost in 10 years for students enrolling in 2029$37,729$150,918
Estimated Cost in 15 years for students enrolling in 2034 $48,153$192,614
Estimated Cost in 18 years for students enrolling in 2037 $55,744$222,974

Tuition History

What was tuition at WKU 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$8,084$20,016 6.9%
2011$7,560$18,840 5%
2010$7,200$17,784 3.9%
2009$6,930$17,088 8%
2008$6,416$15,470 7.8%
2007$5,952$14,400 12%
2006$5,316$12,732 15.7%
2005$4,596$11,184 25.9%
2004$3,650$8,498 17%
2003$3,120$7,992 9.7%
2002$2,844$7,424 12.2%
2001$2,534$6,834 6%
2000$2,390$6,430 5.8%
1999$2,260$6,100 5.6%
1998$2,140$5,740 8.6%
1997$1,970$5,510 3.1%
1996$1,910$5,270 6.1%
1995$1,801$4,961 5.7%
1994$1,704$4,704 10.4%
1993$1,544$4,224 7.2%
1992$1,440$4,040 9.1%
1991$1,320$3,680 13.8%
1990$1,160$3,280 1.8%
1989$1,140$3,220 4.6%
1988$1,090$2,992 5.8%

Comparable Cost for Popular Majors

We've compared the out of state cost of the most popular undergraduate areas of study at Western 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
Elementary Education and Teaching Bachelor's Degree 179 4% costlier
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse Associate's Degree 84 82% costlier
Social Work Bachelor's Degree 51 2% costlier
Organizational Communication, General Bachelor's Degree 47 8% cheaper
Kinesiology and Exercise Science Bachelor's Degree 47 4% cheaper
Family and Consumer Sciences/Home Economics Teacher Education Bachelor's Degree 42 18% costlier
General Studies Associate's Degree 41 74% costlier
Advertising Bachelor's Degree 35 5% cheaper
Information Technology Bachelor's Degree 33 8% costlier
Fine/Studio Arts, General Bachelor's Degree 32 15% cheaper
Apparel and Textiles, General Bachelor's Degree 31 1% cheaper
Communication Sciences and Disorders, General Bachelor's Degree 31 2% costlier
Health/Health Care Administration/Management Bachelor's Degree 30 12% costlier
History, General Bachelor's Degree 30 10% cheaper
Chemistry, General Bachelor's Degree 26 12% cheaper
Physical Education Teaching and Coaching Bachelor's Degree 24 5% costlier
English Language and Literature/Letters, Other Bachelor's Degree 24 21% cheaper
Public Relations/Image Management Bachelor's Degree 21 7% cheaper
Business Administration and Management, General Associate's Degree 21 70% costlier
Music Performance, General Bachelor's Degree 20 8% cheaper
Industrial Technology/Technician Bachelor's Degree 20 23% costlier
Community Health and Preventive Medicine Bachelor's Degree 19 7% costlier
Civil Engineering, General Bachelor's Degree 18 13% cheaper
Sociology Bachelor's Degree 17 11% cheaper
Construction Engineering Technology/Technician Bachelor's Degree 17 9% costlier
Photojournalism Bachelor's Degree 17 6% cheaper
Sports Studies Bachelor's Degree 15 14% cheaper
Architectural Technology/Technician Bachelor's Degree 13 13% cheaper
Business/Managerial Economics Bachelor's Degree 12 8% cheaper
Computer and Information Sciences, General Bachelor's Degree 12 0% cheaper
Dental Hygiene/Hygienist Associate's Degree 12 88% costlier
Social Sciences, General Bachelor's Degree 12 4% cheaper
Special Education and Teaching, General Bachelor's Degree 11 3% costlier
Manufacturing Engineering Technology/Technician Bachelor's Degree 10 15% costlier
Executive Assistant/Executive Secretary Associate's Degree 10 111% costlier
Electrical and Electronics Engineering Bachelor's Degree 10 13% cheaper
Spanish Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 10 15% cheaper
Legal Assistant/Paralegal Associate's Degree 10 82% costlier
Technical Teacher Education Associate's Degree 10 75% costlier
Health Information/Medical Records Technology/Technician Associate's Degree 9 92% costlier
Religion/Religious Studies Bachelor's Degree 9 23% cheaper
Early Childhood Education and Teaching Associate's Degree 9 93% costlier
Psychology, General Bachelor's Degree 8 9% cheaper
Environmental Health Bachelor's Degree 7 2% costlier
Dramatic/Theatre Arts and Stagecraft, Other Bachelor's Degree 7 8% cheaper
Business Teacher Education Bachelor's Degree 6 20% costlier
Mass Communication/Media Studies Bachelor's Degree 6 3% cheaper
English Language and Literature, General Bachelor's Degree 6 8% cheaper
Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General Bachelor's Degree 6 13% cheaper
Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist Bachelor's Degree 5 3% costlier
Meteorology Associate's Degree 5 6% costlier
Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies Bachelor's Degree 5 8% cheaper
Political Science and Government, General Bachelor's Degree 5 12% cheaper
Dance, General Bachelor's Degree 5 19% cheaper
Teacher Education, Multiple Levels Bachelor's Degree 4 3% cheaper
Trade and Industrial Teacher Education Bachelor's Degree 4 18% costlier
Management Science Bachelor's Degree 4 11% cheaper
Biochemistry Bachelor's Degree 4 21% cheaper
Speech Communication and Rhetoric Bachelor's Degree 4 7% cheaper
Cultural Studies/Critical Theory and Analysis Bachelor's Degree 4 19% cheaper
French Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 3 20% cheaper
Molecular Genetics Bachelor's Degree 3 19% cheaper
International Relations and Affairs Bachelor's Degree 3 22% cheaper
Finance, General Bachelor's Degree 3 1% cheaper
Anthropology Bachelor's Degree 3 19% cheaper
Biology/Biological Sciences, General Bachelor's Degree 3 9% cheaper
Geography Bachelor's Degree 2 0% cheaper
Marketing/Marketing Management, General Bachelor's Degree 2 1% costlier
Art History, Criticism and Conservation Bachelor's Degree 2 25% cheaper
Economics, General Bachelor's Degree 2 18% cheaper
German Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 2 22% cheaper
Accounting Bachelor's Degree 2 1% cheaper
Agriculture, General Bachelor's Degree 1 12% costlier
Mechanical Engineering Bachelor's Degree 1 13% cheaper
Music, Other Bachelor's Degree 1 16% cheaper
Mathematics, General Bachelor's Degree 1 10% cheaper
Physics, General Bachelor's Degree 1 16% cheaper
Parks, Recreation and Leisure Facilities Management, General Bachelor's Degree 1 9% costlier
International Business/Trade/Commerce Bachelor's Degree 1 11% cheaper
Broadcast Journalism Bachelor's Degree 1 4% cheaper
Junior High/Intermediate/Middle School Education and Teaching Bachelor's Degree 1 8% costlier
Agricultural Production Operations, General Associate's Degree 1 104% costlier
Emergency Medical Technology/Technician (EMT Paramedic) Associate's Degree 1 104% costlier
Geographic Information Science and Cartography Bachelor's Degree 1 13% costlier
Biotechnology Bachelor's Degree 1 2% cheaper
Geology/Earth Science, General Bachelor's Degree 1 11% cheaper
Hospitality Administration/Management, General Associate's Degree 1 85% costlier
Mechanical Engineering/Mechanical Technology/Technician Bachelor's Degree 1 7% costlier
Journalism Bachelor's Degree 1 5% cheaper
Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD Associate's Degree 1 86% costlier
Management Information Systems, General Bachelor's Degree 1 0% costlier


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

Prepayment Option

About Western Kentucky University

Western Kentucky University is a four year public college located in Bowling Green, Kentucky.  Full time enrollment is 14,161 and part time is 6,110.

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

Western Kentucky University
1906 College Heights Blvd
Bowling Green, Kentucky

For Profit / Not For Profit Status

Western 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.

Western Kentucky University cost and financial aid data source: U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=157951 IPEDS survey data.