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NKU Ranks Among Best in Kentucky for Return on Educational Investment


Nov. 16, 2021 —  Northern Kentucky University ranks as the second-best value school among Kentucky universities and colleges, according to the latest study by SmartAsset.

SmartAsset compared the Commonwealth’s colleges and universities based on a variety of data points, including starting salary, tuition, living expenses, student retention rate and scholarships awarded. The scores of the five categories formed a College Value Index Score.

NKU ranked second, only behind Centre College in Danville, Ky. The No. 2 ranking for NKU also marks the highest ranking for the university on this same list. In 2020, NKU was ranked fourth in the study.

“We are proud of this latest ranking, showing NKU provides one of the best returns on investment in the Commonwealth,” NKU President Ashish Vaidya said. “This directly reflects NKU’s commitment to providing a high-quality education focused on student success at an affordable cost.”

NKU’s strategic framework, Success by Design, challenges the campus community to become a more student-ready, regionally engaged institution. The framework outlines three pillars of student success: Access, Completion and Career & Community Engagement.

The “access” pillar of student success includes access to an affordable education through expanded programs, services, and delivery options to increase access and become a preferred destination for learners across the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the nation, and the world.

More information about the Success By Design strategic plan, can be found online

About NKU: Founded in 1968, NKU is an entrepreneurial state university of over 16,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus nestled between Highland Heights, Kentucky and bustling downtown Cincinnati. We are a regionally engaged university committed to empowering our students to have fulfilling careers and meaningful lives. While we are one of the fastest-growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students' names. For more information, visit