Western Kentucky University

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This school appears in our ranking Top 30 Online Master's in Special Education Degrees 2017.

Western Kentucky University is a public and state university in Kentucky that started out as a regional campus which offered opportunities for students in the western region. When officially established, the university served as Western Kentucky Normal School, which offered some of the best education programs in the state. Though other schools operated in the area prior to the founding of Western Kentucky, the university later took over those campuses, which helped it grow significantly over the years. It operated under the name Western Kentucky University Normal School and Teachers College before officially becoming Western Kentucky University in 1930.

More commonly called WKU and Western Kentucky, the university ranks as one of the best schools in the nation on the annual list released by Forbes. U.S. News & World Report ranked the university at number 30 on its list of the best American schools, and Washington Monthly included WKU on its own list of the best graduate schools in the nation. The university is home to six undergraduate colleges that focus on subjects like engineering, business and education. It offers more than 80 programs for students at the undergrad level, which include both online and traditional programs. Enrollment at Western Kentucky University now includes more than 17,000 undergrads and several thousand doctoral and graduate students.

Western Kentucky University Accreditation Details

One of the requirements for students seeking financial aid is that they must attend a college or university with regional accreditation. WKU has regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. SACS accreditation is also one of the requirements that many schools have in place for students who want to transfer credits they completed at another school to a different campus. WKU has accreditation for many of its degree programs too, including its physical therapy, dietetics, nursing, music, education and public health programs.

Western Kentucky University Application Requirements

Both traditional and online students applying to WKU must use the same application. The university offers applications for transfer students, incoming freshmen who bring less than 20 credits with them and military students. Incoming freshmen must have an SAT score of at least 1020, an ACT score of at least 20 or a high school grade point average of 2.5. Students only need to meet one of these requirements to receive an acceptance letter from the university.

WKU also requires that students follow a preparatory program in high school that prepares them for college. These programs usually include four years of English classes, at least three years of math and science classes and two years or more of social studies/sciences classes. Students should take at least two years of a foreign language while in high school too.

Though the university offers a fee waiver that lets students skip paying the application fee, students must apply for this waiver prior to completing the application. They can create their own personal accounts, which let them work on the application over multiple days or weeks. The university charges a $45 application fee for American students and a $75 application fee for students applying who live outside of the United States. Students must also provide WKU with an official test score and an official high school transcript.

Tuition and Financial Aid

WKU offers four different tuition rates for incoming freshmen, military students, students who come from other states and students from other countries. Tuition starts at $438 per credit hour, which is the rate the university charges for both military students and Kentucky residents. These students pay $5,256 per semester for full-time enrollment. Nonresidents pay close to $1,100 per credit hour, which brings their semester totals up to $13,140. International students pay a similar rate. WKU charges room and board fees for on-campus students too.

Any student who wants to attend WKU should file the FAFSA around the same time that he or she submits an application to the university. The answers and information shared on this form will determine if the student qualifies for any government aid from the state or federal government. Those aid types can include grants, loans and admission to the university's work-study program. WKU offers a number of scholarships for incoming students and online students too. They can apply to one of the six scholarship programs through the WKU website. Some scholarships carry over from year to year and provide students with a set amount of money each year.

Online Degrees Available

WKU online students can enroll in traditional undergrad degree programs or one of the more unique programs that the university offers. One of the more unique programs available through this university and its online system is a Bachelor of Science in Family & Consumer Sciences with a concentration in family studies. This program prepares students for working in different positions that require direct contacts with families. It features courses such as Child Development, Implications of Research in Consumer & Family Sciences, Aging in Society and Management of Family Resources. WKU offers this program with a concentration in child studies too.

Students can also enroll in the WKU RN to BSN program. Designed for students who already work as registered nurses, the program asks that students submit proof that they already have a nursing degree and that they have a nursing license that is in good standing. The program requires that students take at least 36 credits of nursing classes at the 300 or 400 level. They'll take classes like Professional Issues, Concepts of Disease Process, Health Assessment and Teaching and Health Promotion. This program helps students earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and allows them to make the transition to a Master of Science in Nursing program.

Western Kentucky University also offers a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology, which ranks as one of the top undergrad criminology programs in the state. It provides students with a broad overview of criminal justice subjects and prepares them for both working in certain fields and for continuing their studies at the graduate level. Students will take some criminology electives like Sociology of Criminal Law and 22 credits of required classes. Online students can do internships in their own cities. Western Kentucky University offers certificate and graduate programs through its online system and a few programs that allow students to continue their studies beyond the bachelor's level before studying at the graduate level.

Western Kentucky University Website