Cost to Attend Western Kentucky University

Western Kentucky University
Bowling Green, Kentucky

Annual Costs

Undergraduate Tuition

Western Kentucky University tuition is $10,992 per year for in-state residents. This is 45% more expensive than the national average public four year tuition of $7,601. The cost is 42% cheaper than the average Kentucky tuition of $18,927 for 4 year colleges. Tuition ranks 12th in Kentucky amongst 4 year colleges for affordability and is the 31st most expensive 4 year college in the state. If attending from out-of-state, the tuition is $27,000 which represents a 146% premium.

Housing Costs

On campus room and board is provided by the school at a cost of $10,708 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 $2,115 in additional living expenses. Off-campus students should budget for $5,195 in other miscellaneous living expenses.

Total Costs

The total tuition and living expense budget for in-state Kentucky residents to go to WKU is $24,815 for the 2021/2022 academic year. Out-of-state students who don't have Kentucky residence can expect a one year cost of $40,823.

Citation: Price data from the U.S. Department of Education's 2022 IPEDS survey response for Western Kentucky University and represent reported costs for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Costs and Tuition for Western Kentucky University
Estimated Budgets
Kentucky Resident Total Budget $24,815
   In-State Tuition$10,992
   Other Fees$0
   Room and Board$10,708
   On-Campus Other Budget$2,115
   Books and Supplies$1,000
Non-Resident Total Budget $40,823
   Out-of-State Tuition$27,000
   Other Fees$0
   Room and Board$10,708
   On-Campus Other Budget$2,115
   Books and Supplies$1,000
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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 $24,815 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 $12,705* for the 2019/2020 academic year. This net price includes housing and meal expenses.

Pell Grants and other Grant Aid

98% of Western Kentucky University students received grant aid in 2019/2020. The average total aid amount was $7,987. 38 percent of students received aid in the form of Pell Grants from the U.S. Federal Government. The average Pell Grant awarded for 2019/2020 was $4,575. 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$12,705*
Percent of Students Receiving Grant Aid98%
Average Total Grant Aid$7,987
Percent of Students Receiving Pell Grants38%
Average Amount of Pell Grant Aid$4,575

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 2019/2020 academic year.

Family Income Avg. Net Price
$0 to $30,000$12,195
$30,001 to $48,000$16,211
$48,001 to $75,000$17,490
$75,001 to $110,000$16,529

Average Financial Aid Mix - $24,815 In-State Total Cost

CollegeCalc has estimated typical coverage of the annual in-state tuition and living expenses of $24,815. Breakdown is based on average grant aid and federal loan aid which will vary based on your family income.

Grants and Scholarships
35% - $7,987

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
24% - $5,370

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

Out of Pocket
41% -  $9,343

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 2019/2020 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
Austin Peay State University38% less expensive
University of Southern Indiana24.4% less expensive
Indiana University Southeast34.8% less expensive
Eastern Kentucky University14% less expensive
The University of Tennessee Martin23.8% 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 $99,260 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 $124,075 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 2019/2020 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$5,496
Kentucky Resident Total Cost Per Semester$12,408
Non-Kentucky Resident Tuition Per Semester$13,500
Non-Kentucky Resident Total Cost Per Semester$20,412

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$458
Cost for one class for Kentucky residents (3 credit hours)$1,374
Price per credit hour for out of state residents$1,125
Cost for one class for out of state residents (3 credit hours)$3,375
Cost for one class for out of state residents (4 credit hours)$4,500

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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. 52% of Western Kentucky University students receive U.S. Federal Student Loans with an average annual Federal Loan aid amount of $5,370.

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 $56,368.62. 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 98% 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$469.74
Amount Borrowed$44,308.00
Interest Rate4.99%
Term10 years
Number of Monthly Payments120
Total Interest Cost$12,060.62
Sum of All Payments over 10 years$56,368.62

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 $56,368.62 would be needed to afford a $469.74 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 $9,912 to $10,992. This amounts to an average annual price increase of 2.2%. 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 $99,260.00. 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 2028$34,126$136,506
Estimated Cost in 10 years for students enrolling in 2033$43,555$174,220
Estimated Cost in 15 years for students enrolling in 2038 $55,588$222,353
Estimated Cost in 18 years for students enrolling in 2041 $64,350$257,402

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%


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 12,115 and part time is 4,635. Learn more about getting accepted at Western Kentucky University at CollegeSimply.

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 IPEDS survey data. Data last updated February 2023 and reflects academic year 2021/2022 costs reported by the school.