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Our Learners


NKU currently enrolls 15,827 (Fall 2022) students. About 65 percent of the students are Kentucky residents. Seventy-seven percent of the student population is white, 9 percent African American, 4 percent Hispanic, and 3 percent are classified as two or more races. Forty-two percent of new NKU students are first-generation college students.

We have a large population of commuter students with only 14 percent of full-time undergraduate students living on campus.   

NKU currently claims a 77.5 percent retention rate, which is an increase of nine percentage points since 2018, and a graduation rate of 51.7 percent, an increase of eight percentage points since 2018.

In December 2022, we conferred nearly 2,000 degrees. Among those most recent graduates were 336 first-generation learners, 243 post-traditional learners — those who are typically ages 25 and older, care for dependents, and/or work full time while enrolled — and 222 underrepresented minority learners.

Our Commitment To DEI and Inclusive Excellence


NKU is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion and strives to prepare all students, faculty, and staff to live, work, and flourish through engagement in an increasingly multicultural and globalized community. We work to create conditions that allow all members of the NKU community, irrespective of identity, background or institutional position, to thrive, realize their capabilities, engage meaningfully in institutional life, and contribute to the flourishing of others.

The Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer facilitates this effort in leadership of the Office of Inclusive Excellence. Learn more about this innovative office.

NKU has a commitment to a diverse faculty and student population. We continue to work to include more international students and students from underrepresented groups at NKU. To support these efforts NKU provides scholarships to students from underrepresented groups and offers programs such as NKU R.O.C.K.S for African American Students and L.A.M.P. for Latino students.

Our Athletics


NKU Athletics has enjoyed unprecedented success since attaining full, active Division I status in 2016. Since then, the Norse men’s basketball team has won four of seven Horizon League Basketball Tournaments, earning four trips to the NCAA Tournament. That includes the most recent season in 2023 and the program’s first fully eligible season in 2016-2017 when the program became just the seventh team all-time and only the second since 1970 to qualify for the NCAA tournament in its first year of eligibility.

The Norse women’s soccer program was the first to qualify for a Division I NCAA Tournament when it won the 2016 Horizon League Championship. The women’s volleyball won the Horizon League championship in 2019 and competed in the NCAA tournament that year.

Two Norse stars have been named DI All-Americans: men’s basketball standout Drew McDonald in 2019 and women’s soccer standout Kailey Ivins in 2020.

While successful in competition, Norse student-athletes have also shown great character. NKU competitors have won four of the seven Horizon League Bobby Fong Awards, including softball junior pitcher Lauryn Hicks in 2022. In 2021, Kayla Thompson of the track and field team won the award, joining the 2018 NKU baseball team and women’s soccer player Sami Rutowski in 2017. The Bobby Fong Award was created in 2016 and is presented to the student-athlete who displays the attributes of integrity, respect and stewardship.

Of course, perhaps most importantly, the Norse have boasted three COSIDA Academic All Americans. They were third-team selection Rikard Lindqvist of the men’s soccer team in 2018-2019 and first-team selections Will Haueter from the baseball team in 2017-2018 and women’s basketball player Kailey Coffey in 2021.

Norse Athletics can claim 14-straight semesters with a cumulative, department-wide GPA of 3.20 or better. That also includes a current streak of eight-consecutive semesters of a GPA better than 3.37