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1906 College Heights Blvd
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1000
p. 270-745-0111
w. www.wku.edu

Western Kentucky University

Western Kentucky University Rating: 4.0/5 (36 votes)

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Introduction

Western Kentucky University, also known as WKU, is a large public university located in Bowling Green, Kentucky. WKU boasts a student body of roughly 21,000 students and operates a satellite campus in Bowling Green and regional campuses in the towns on Glasgow, Elizabethtown/Fort Knox and Owensboro in addition to its main College Heights campus. It is the second-largest public university in the state.

Western Kentucky University is accredited to award associate, bachelors, masters and specialist degrees as well as the doctor of education by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Various WKU programs are also accredited by discipline-based agencies such as the American Bar Association, Kentucky State Board of Nursing, National Association of Schools of Music, and the Society of Human Resource Management.

WKU’s invigorating mottos are “The Spirit Makes the Master” and “Life, More Life!” In 2010, the university was ranked 31st in the nation for universities offering master’s degrees in the South by U.S. News and World Report.

Academics

Undergraduate Colleges

Western Kentucky University is comprised of six undergraduate colleges: the Bowling Green Community College of Western Kentucky University; the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences; The Gordon Ford College of Business; the Ogden College of Science and Engineering; the Potter College of Arts and Letters; University College; and the College of Health and Human Services.

Popular Majors

Eighty undergraduate majors and seventy undergraduate minors are offered at Western Kentucky University, which lead to the following degrees: Bachelor of Engineering; Bachelor of Arts; Bachelor of Fine Arts; Bachelor of General Studies; Bachelor of Science; Bachelor of Science in Nursing; and Bachelor of Music.

Popular majors include business, management, marketing, education, communication, journalism, health progressions, and social sciences

Associate Degrees and Graduate Degree

WKU also offers several associate degrees and certificate programs as well as multiple graduate degrees.

Most Popular Fields of Study

Unique Programs

The Western Kentucky University Honors College, which was established in 2007, is the first and only Honors College in the state. Admission to the Honors College is separate from admission to WKU. Interested incoming freshmen that have met specific ACT / SAT score requirements, maintained an unweighted 3.8 high school GPA, and / or are in the top 15% of their graduating high school class are eligible to apply to the Honors College.

Admissions

Prospective Western Kentucky University students are fortunate to have the welcoming and accommodating WKU Office of Admissions at their disposal. Admissions representatives are on hand to answer questions, help set up meetings with counselors, schedule campus tours, assist with applying for admissions, and more.

Once they have applied to WKU, students can check their application status on the official school website.

Financial Aid

Western Kentucky University realizes that nearly all students need some type of financial assistance to help pay for tuition and the other costs associated with attending college. The university offers a variety of helpful financial aid programs for its students, including grants, student employment, loans, veterans’ benefits, and tuition waivers.

Applying for Financial Aid

To apply for financial aid at WKU, students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or renewal FAFSA with the U.S. Department of Education. The FAFSA can be completed online or on paper, which must be mailed in. Students must be enrolled at least 6 credit hours per semester to be eligible for financial aid.

Spring Financial Aid

Students that begin their studies at WKU during the spring semester must have a current FAFSA on file and complete the WKU Spring Only Application.

Summer Financial Aid

Due to recent changes, summer classes are now considered to be part of the academic year. Students must have a current FAFSA on file, but separate supplemental summer paperwork is not required.

Winter Financial Aid

WKU students must have a current FAFSA as well as the Winter Term Financial Aid application on file with the financial aid office to be considered for financial aid during the winter term.

Grants

Various grants, which are “gifts” that do not require repayment, are available to eligible WKU students. To be eligible for grants at Western Kentucky University, students must be accepted into a degree program and not yet hold a bachelor’s degree. Because grants are dispersed on a first-come, first-served basis, students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Grant programs at WKU include the College Access Program (CAP) and the Pell Grant, as well as the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG.)

Student Employment

WKU’s student employment program is for students that need part-time earnings to help pay for their education. Students that are eligible for the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal College Work-Study Program are paid from federal funds and the university, and student employees that do not qualify for the work-study program are paid directly from WKU’s institutional funds.

Scholarships

Scholarships are another form of free money to help pay for college. WKU offers a variety of scholarships to eligible students, such as Merit Scholarships, Tuition Incentive Program (TIP), departmental scholarships, and alumni grants. Scholarships are available to freshmen and transfer students returning students. Some Western Kentucky University scholarships are one-time only while others are renewable each year. Students can also look into private scholarships that are not affiliated with WKU.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 3812th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Kentucky.

Students

The WKU Mission Statement explains its goal for students: “Western Kentucky University prepares students to be productive, engaged, and socially responsible citizen leaders of a global society. It provides research, service and lifelong learning opportunities for its constituents. WKU is responsible for stewarding a high quality of life for those within its reach.”

Student Organizations

With over 30 active Greek organizations on campus, Greek life is thriving at Western Kentucky University. WKU sororities and fraternities have an average of 1500 members each year. A wide variety of other clubs and organizations are also present on campus, including sports clubs, book clubs, clubs based on academic majors, and many more.

Campus Housing

WKU freshmen and sophomores are required to live on campus unless they are married, have dependent children, live with their parents or guardians within 50 miles of campus, are military veterans, or are over the age of 21. Students living on campus have two housing options: living learning communities and themed living options.

Living learning communities (LLCs) are unique in that WKU students with similar interests and goals live together. Students are enrolled in two or three courses along with a small, core group of students that live in their LLC. Themed living options (TLO) allow students to live with others that have shared interests in a particular major, social or cultural interests, or hobbies.

WKU Student Media and Publications

  • WKU’s student newspaper is known as the College Heights Herald.
  • WKU’s yearbook is the Talisman
  • WKU Spirit is the university’s alumni magazine
  • WWHR is WKU’s college radio station
  • WKU News Channel 12 is the university’s student-run TV newscast, which appears on local cable twice per week.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics

Athletics

Western Kentucky University is home to 17 athletics teams. Men’s athletic teams are known as the Hilltoppers while the women’s teams are known as the Lady Toppers. Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, swimming and diving, tennis, and track and field while women’s sports also include soccer, softball, and volleyball. WKU also has a cheerleading squad and a dance team known as the Topperettes.

The WKU mascot, Big Red, is one of the most popular collegiate mascots. He has even appeared in a series of ESPN commercials. The school’s colors are red and white. WKU is a member of the Sun Belt Conference and the Missouri Valley Conference.

Local Community

Bowling Green is the third most populated city in the state of Kentucky. Significant employers in the area include Fruit of the Loom, Holley Performance Products, and Camping World. Western Kentucky University students can enjoy a wide variety of parks, community centers, swimming centers, and museums including the National Corvette Museum, Jackson’s Orchard, Riverview at Hobson Grove, and the Kentucky Museum and Library. For golf fans, Bowling Green is home to seven golf courses.

Popular Bowling Green eateries include the Great American Donut Shop, a WKU favorite, as well as Montana Grille, Mariah’s, and the Brickyard Café.

Alumni

Notable Western Kentucky University alumni include:

  • Julian Goodman, the former president of NBC
  • K.C. Armstrong, a former assistant producer on the Howard Stern Show
  • Matt Long, actor best known for the role of Jack on the WB’s Jack and Bobby
  • Steve Gorman, drummer in the rock band The Black Crowes
  • Larnelle Harris, a popular gospel singer
  • Virgil Livers, an NFL player
  • Kenny Perry, a pro golfer
  • Duncan Hines, the bakery company’s namesake

Bibliography

  • Grath, Anne, ed. U.S. News & World Report: Ultimate College Guide. Naperville, Illinois: Sourcebooks, Inc., 2010. Print.
  • Official Municipal Website of Bowling Green. Web. 9 September 2011.
  • Western Kentucky University. Web. 7 September 2011.
  • Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers. Official Home of Western Kentucky University Athletics. Web. 7 September 2011.

Information Summary

Ranks 11th in Kentucky and 822nd overall
See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list

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University Building :: Western Kentucky University Department of Physics and Astronomy :: Western Kentucky University PotterHall :: Western Kentucky University Campus :: Western Kentucky University Van Meter Auditorium :: Western Kentucky University

Campus Crime Statistics

Ranks 0th in Kentucky and 251st overall on StateUniversity.com‘s Safe School Index
  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault 2 0.01
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape 5 0.02
Robbery 3 0.01
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 32 0.15
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft 1 0.00
Arrest 140 0.67

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 73 0.12
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter 3 0.01
Forcible Rape 31 0.05
Robbery 60 0.10
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 462 0.79
Larceny 2,127 3.64
Vehicle theft 127 0.22

Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Bowling Green, KY 42101-1000
Surrounding communitySmall city (inside urban area, pop. under 100,000)
Total Population49,351 (31,717 urban / 17,634 rural)
Households18,142 (2.45 people per house)
Median Household Income$27,664
Families11,303 (3.00 people per family)

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Master's Colleges and Universities (larger programs)
UndergraduateBalanced arts & sciences/professions, some graduate coexistence
GraduatePostbaccalaureate comprehensive
Undergraduate PopulationFull-time four-year, selective, higher transfer-in
EnrollmentVery high undergraduate
Size & SettingLarge four-year, primarily residential

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringDoctoral degree
Calendar SystemSemester
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District2102

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees


Ranks 1150th for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $8,722 $8,722 $22,248
FT Undergraduate Required Fees N/A N/A N/A
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $363 $363 $927
FT Graduate Tuition $9,800 $9,800 $12,800
FT Graduate Required Fees N/A N/A N/A
PT Graduate per Credit Hour $490 $490 $640
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $18,822 $18,822 $32,348
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $20,859 $20,859 $34,385
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $11,502 $11,502 $25,028

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $8,084 $8,472 $8,084 $8,472 $20,016 $21,000
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $1,000(N/C)
On-Campus – Room & Board $7,320(N/C)
On-Campus – Other Expenses $1,600(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board N/A $6,736
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses N/A $1,000
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board N/A $1,000

Admission Details

Effective as of 2014-09-19
Application Fee RequiredN/A
Undergraduate Application Fee$40
Graduate Application Fee$40
First Professional Application FeeN/A
Applicants 8,526 (3,682 male / 4,844 female)
Admitted 7,871 (3,337 male / 4,534 female)
Admission rate 92%
First-time Enrollment 3,375 (1,481 male / 1,894 female)
FT Enrollment 3,296 (1,444 male / 1,852 female)
PT Enrollment 79 (37 male / 42 female)
Total Enrollment20,448

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record  /  N/A / 
College Prep. Completion
RecommendationsN/A
Formal competency demoN/A
Admission test scores
TOEFLN/A
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Athletics - Association Memberships

Sports / Athletic Conference Memberships NCAA
NCAA Football Conference Sun Belt Conference
NCAA Basketball Conference Sun Belt Conference
NCAA Baseball Conference Sun Belt Conference
NCAA Track & Field Conference Sun Belt Conference

ACT Test Admission

745th for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting ACT results 93%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 18 / 26
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 17 / 24
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 18 / 25

SAT Test Admission

644th for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting SAT results 7%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 410 / 580
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 420 / 570
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 830 / 1150

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm Capacity5,043
Meals per Week19
Room Fee$4,170
Board Fee$3,150

Student Completion / Graduation Demographics

 
Total 160 267 76 34 9 3,393 38 4,024
Accounting 4 1 1 57 65
Adult Development and Aging 2 2
Adult and Continuing Education and Teaching 1 15 16
Advertising 1 19 20
Agricultural Production Operations, General 7 7
Agriculture, General 1 1 72 75
Alternative and Complementary Medical Support Services, Other
American Sign Language (ASL) 1 6 7
Anthropology 1 1 1 10 16
Apparel and Textiles, General 2 18 20
Applied Economics 2 1 6 9
Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD
Architectural Technology/Technician 3 6 10
Art History, Criticism and Conservation 7 7
Art Teacher Education 1 1
Asian Studies/Civilization
Audiology/Audiologist and Speech-Language Pathology/Pathologist 1 6 4 3 57 2 74
Biochemistry 1 7 8
Biological and Physical Sciences 4 4
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 4 6 2 1 104 120
Biotechnology 1 2 3
Broadcast Journalism 8 1 51 1 61
Business Administration and Management, General 14 5 7 2 1 136 2 170
Business Teacher Education 6 6
Business/Managerial Economics 1 1 5 7
Chemistry, General 9 3 1 31 1 45
Child Care Provider/Assistant 1 8 9
Civil Engineering Technology/Technician
Civil Engineering, General 1 1 17 19
Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist 1 1
College Student Counseling and Personnel Services 5 2 9 16
Communication Sciences and Disorders, General 1 1 29 32
Community Health and Preventive Medicine 6 14 20
Community Organization and Advocacy 2 2
Computer and Information Sciences, General 28 1 12 41
Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance 1 4 5
Construction Engineering Technology/Technician 13 13
Counseling Psychology 1 1 39 41
Criminology 4 4
Cultural Resource Management and Policy Analysis 1 1
Cultural Studies/Critical Theory and Analysis 1 6 7
Dance, General 1 4 5
Data Processing and Data Processing Technology/Technician 3 3
Dental Hygiene/Hygienist 1 1 31 33
Dietetics/Dietitian 10 10
Digital Communication and Media/Multimedia 4 4
Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General 3 1 18 23
Dramatic/Theatre Arts and Stagecraft, Other 1 12 14
Early Childhood Education and Teaching 1 18 20
Economics, General 1 1 1 12 1 17
Education, General 1 1
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Autism 1 1 2 4
Educational Administration and Supervision, Other 1 1 1 17 20
Educational/Instructional Technology 2 2
Electrical and Electronics Engineering 2 18 20
Elementary Education and Teaching 6 4 263 1 274
Emergency Medical Technology/Technician (EMT Paramedic) 5 5
Engineering/Industrial Management 1 1 4 6
English Language and Literature, General 1 1 51 3 58
English Language and Literature/Letters, Other 1 1 16 18
Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies 1 5 6
Environmental Health 1 6 8
Executive Assistant/Executive Secretary 2 10 12
Family Practice Nurse/Nursing 3 3
Family and Consumer Sciences/Home Economics Teacher Education 5 22 27
Finance, General 3 1 29 33
Financial Planning and Services 10 11
Fine/Studio Arts, General 3 43 1 47
Folklore Studies 2 3 5
French Language and Literature 1 2 3
General Studies 3 47 8 249 2 316
Geographic Information Science and Cartography 2 11 13
Geography 1 1 16 19
Geological and Earth Sciences/Geosciences, Other 1 4 5
Geology/Earth Science, General 1 11 13
German Language and Literature 1 1
Health Information/Medical Records Technology/Technician 2 11 13
Health Services/Allied Health/Health Sciences, General 2 1 18 22
Health Teacher Education
Health/Health Care Administration/Management 6 6 41 54
History, General 2 1 57 60
Hospitality Administration/Management, General 2 2 2 1 48 56
Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration, General 2 5 7
Industrial Technology/Technician 2 1 18 3 24
Information Technology 1 1 32 2 37
International Business/Trade/Commerce 3 1 2 6 12
International Relations and Affairs 1 4 5
Journalism 1 1 18 20
Junior High/Intermediate/Middle School Education and Teaching 1 2 1 46 1 51
Kinesiology and Exercise Science 1 1 1 37 41
Legal Assistant/Paralegal 1 14 15
Library and Information Science 56 57
Management Information Systems, General 4 1 1 56 1 63
Management Science 8 1 9
Manufacturing Engineering Technology/Technician 1 1 11 13
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 2 4 43 1 50
Mass Communication/Media Studies 7 7
Mathematics, General 5 47 52
Mechanical Engineering 1 24 25
Meteorology 1 1 2
Molecular Genetics 1 1
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other 1 1
Music Performance, General 2 20 22
Music Teacher Education 1 15 16
Music, Other 1 8 9
Occupational Health and Industrial Hygiene
Organizational Communication, General 1 1 19 2 23
Organizational Leadership 14 12 1 36 63
Parks, Recreation and Leisure Facilities Management, General 1 28 4 2 94 1 130
Photojournalism 1 13 14
Physical Education Teaching and Coaching 4 28 32
Physical Sciences 6 6
Physics, General 2 3 5
Political Science and Government, General 2 2 28 32
Psychology, General 4 3 3 98 1 111
Public Administration 6 6 26 1 39
Public Health Education and Promotion 1 1
Public Health, General 18 3 1 4 26
Public Relations/Image Management 6 29 35
Radio and Television 1 8 9
Reading Teacher Education 10 10
Real Estate 1 1
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 10 1 2 3 250 5 274
Religion/Religious Studies 1 1 6 8
School Psychology 7 7
Secondary Education and Teaching 1 18 19
Social Sciences, General 1 32 33
Social Work 1 14 1 1 79 2 99
Sociology 1 14 1 79 2 98
Spanish Language and Literature 1 5 6
Special Education and Teaching, General 1 1 1 82 86
Speech Communication and Rhetoric 7 2 26 35
Sports Studies 2 1 26 1 31
Student Counseling and Personnel Services, Other 1 4 5
Teacher Education and Professional Development, Specific Levels and Methods, Other 2 2
Teacher Education, Multiple Levels
Teaching English or French as a Second or Foreign Language, Other
Technical Teacher Education 8 8
Trade and Industrial Teacher Education 2 2
Water Quality and Wastewater Treatment Management and Recycling Technology/Technician 3 3
Women's Studies 4 4

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 1838th for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $64,208 ($70,158 male / $56,167 female)
Number of FT Faculty 788 (390 male / 398 female)
Number of PT Faculty 1,248
FT Faculty Ratio 0.6 : 1
Total Benefits $20,167,505
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Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.

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