Eastern Kentucky University is a public university with a main campus in Richmond, Kentucky. Most refer to the university as EKU, but some also call it Eastern. Founded as Central University in the 1870s, it suffered a number of financial troubles that led to the university merging with another campus to form the Eastern Kentucky State Normal School. It added Teachers College to its name after adding some four-year education programs. after receiving regional accreditation, the college because one of the main teaching colleges in the state. In the late 1940s, the state granted the college the right to offer degrees other than education degrees, which led to it becoming EKU. The university went through a major renovation in the early 2010s to completely renovate its campus.

U.S. News & World Report is just one of the publications that ranked EKU. It listed the university as the 29th best public college, the 79th best college in the south and as having one of the best business programs. EKU also ranked on its lists of the best online schools for bachelor’s students, graduate nursing students and graduate education students. Forbes also ranked the university as one of the top public schools in the country and one of the best schools in the south. Eastern added a few online classes in later years, which later expanded to include a full online network of both classes and degree programs.

Eastern Kentucky University Accreditation Details

EKU is a regionally accredited public university with accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). SACS is an important type of accreditation because it lets you apply for financial aid and accept aid from the federal government to pay for your college costs. Seven of the degree programs that the university offer have accreditation as well, which applies to both the traditional programs offered on the EKU campus as well as those offered online. It has accreditation from the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) and Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) for its fire protection and safety engineering technology degree and from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs for its emergency medical care program. Other programs with accreditation include those on child and family studies, education, nursing, paralegal studies and public administration.

Eastern Kentucky University Application Requirements

To apply to one of the EKU undergrad online programs, you need to make sure that you meet all application requirements. If you earned at least 24 credits at any other college or university, Eastern will consider you a transfer student and require that you have a college GPA of at least 2.0. Incoming freshmen include those who did not go to college, those who took fewer than 24 credits of college courses and those who only took college classes in high school. These freshmen must have a GPA of at least 2.5 and a score of 950 or higher on the SAT or at least 20 on the ACT. You’ll need to submit your official test score and a transcript when you apply.

Graduate students must have a bachelor’s degree before taking any online classes through EKU. You will need to submit an official transcript that shows you had a GPA of 3.0 or higher in the last 60 credits of work that you completed. The university asks for an official GRE score that shows you scored at least 286 on the two main portions of the exam and at least 4.0 on the writing portion. Whether you apply for a bachelor’s or graduate program, you will also need to fill out the online application.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Though EKU charges less for online classes than it does for its more traditional classes, the cost you face depends on the degree you want to earn. You can earn an associate’s degree after completing 64 credits, and these programs cost $409 per credit hour. The university charges the same amount for all its bachelor’s programs except for its RN to BSN program. This program costs $460 per credit hour, but you’ll pay the standard rate for some of the non-nursing classes that you’ll take. The price for graduate programs ranges from $510 to $662 per credit hour. Education courses are the cheapest, while nursing courses cost the most.

Even as an online student, you may still qualify for financial aid. You can submit the FAFSA in October of the year before classes start, but you should make sure that you file this form during the spring at the latest. EKU has a limited number of aid packages and will provide students who file sooner with more aid. You can go online to learn about the scholarships that the university offers and find out how to apply for one. Eastern packages can include grants from the federal government and Kentucky government and some loans.

Online Degrees Available

EKU offers more than 20 different subjects that you can study as an online student. One that you might find interesting is a degree in fire, arson and explosion investigation. This program includes dozens of classes that teach you how to investigate fires and similar crimes, identify suspects, find the source of the explosion and present your findings to others. Many of the students in this program work for fire departments before enrolling. It features classes on fire protection systems, electrical and mechanical fires, proving criminal acts and building construction.

If you want to work as a teacher, you’ll like the university’s Master of Arts in Education programs. You can pick a specialty in elementary, middle school or gifted education, in literacy or in school library work. While you work on your degree, you can sign up for an endorsement program that lets you get certification in a different field from the one you studied.

EKU also offers a degree in paralegal studies for those who want to work as paralegals and assist practicing attorneys. You can complete an associate’s degree or stay in school longer and earn a bachelor’s degree. There is also a certificate program open to those who already have a bachelor’s degree. You’ll need to spend two weeks living on the campus, but the rest of this Eastern Kentucky University program takes place online.