NKU: 2020 Requirements, Scores & GPAs

This is the go-to guide for getting into Northern Kentucky University. We suggest you read until the end... Not only will we layout the exact GPA and test scores you should aim for when applying to NKU, but we’ll also offer creative ways to help your application stand out from the pack. We breakdown NKU statistics better than any article out there and show you how these have changed over time. Also, make sure to check out Northern Kentucky University on CampusReel to see what it’s really like here. If you're interesting in transferring to NKU, the read our transfer guide. You can also use the below calculator to help determine your likelihood of acceptance at NKU

What are your chances at NKU?

Your SAT Score
Your ACT Score
Select a score
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  • Your GPA*
    on a 4.0 scale

    *gpa score is required

    This free college chances tool calculates your acceptance chances at NKU or any other U.S. college

    Please note all chances are estimates based on test score and GPA averages.

    *or select a school above for a specific calculation

    Need chances at another college?

    What GPA do you need to get into Northern Kentucky University?

    Northern Kentucky University’s average GPA is 3.48. Northern Kentucky University does require GPA. This average GPA means Northern Kentucky University is very selective. Often times, schools in this range are trying to increase their selectivity and “prestige”. We can’t read the minds of NKU application readers, but they likely want to increase the average GPA from 3.48 to 3.65 this year - to play it safe, we recommend striving for the 3.65 GPA.

    *BEFORE CONTINUING PLEASE NOTE: GPA and “prestige” DO NOT mean a college is right for you. Northern Kentucky University may seem amazing on paper, but you may hate it... That’s why 700,000 students transfer colleges every year - they end up going to the wrong school. It’s crucial to watch the videos on CampusReel and make sure you can envision yourself on NKU’s campus. These NKU admission statistics do not sufficiently tell you what a college or university is like.

    What is Northern Kentucky University’s acceptance rate?

    Last year Northern Kentucky University’s acceptance rate was 91.89. However, check out how the acceptance rate has changed over time.

    2016 2017 2018
    Acceptance Rate 91.0 % 90.0 % 91.89 %

    As you can see, Northern Kentucky University is a little easier to get into than last year.

    Acceptance rate alone does not indicate your likelihood for getting into NKU - it’s a very high level understanding of the true competition. Use the acceptance rate as a general guide for curating a list of 10-15 schools that fall into different ranges of competitiveness. Then, use the below data to get a deeper understanding of how your application will compare to the rest of the pool.

    What are your chances at NKU?

    Your SAT Score
    Your ACT Score
    Select a score
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  • Your GPA*
    on a 4.0 scale

    *gpa score is required

    This free college chances tool calculates your acceptance chances at NKU or any other U.S. college

    Please note all chances are estimates based on test score and GPA averages.

    *or select a school above for a specific calculation

    Need chances at another college?

    Does Northern Kentucky University Require Test Scores?

    Northern Kentucky University requires that you either take the SAT or ACT. See the table below for how Northern Kentucky University’s accepted students have performed on both tests. You may be wondering how many test scores should you submit. Generally, don’t freak out about taking the test too often. Industry consensus is that you can submit up to 6 tests as a reasonable limit.

    Northern Kentucky University SAT Requirements

    Northern Kentucky University’s average SAT score is 1020 - this is the sum of the math and reading portions of the SAT (the 1600 scale). Check out the below table for a deeper look into how students performed - it’s also very interesting to look at the average test score over time. The trend over time helps give insight into whether Northern Kentucky University is getting more or less competitive.

    25th Percentile 75th Percentile Average
    Math 440 570 505
    Reading 440 590 515
    2019 Total 880 1160 1020
    2018 Total - - -
    2017 Total - - -

    Northern Kentucky University’s average SAT score is 1020. To be a competitive applicant for Northern Kentucky University your SAT score should come close to the average. If you’re closer to the 880, you’re likely going to have a tougher time getting accepted. To consider Northern Kentucky University a “target” school (one that you are likely to get into) you should aim for a score of 1160.

    Northern Kentucky University ACT Requirements

    Northern Kentucky University’s average ACT score is 69. To be a competitive applicant for Northern Kentucky University your ACT score should come close to the average. If you’re closer to the 59, you’re likely going to have a tougher time getting accepted. To consider Northern Kentucky University a “target” school (one that you have a good chance of getting into) you should aim for a score of 79.

    25th Percentile 75th Percentile Average
    Math 19 26 22
    Reading 20 27 23
    Writing 20 26 23
    2019 Total 59 79 69
    2018 Total - - -
    2017 Total - - -

    Northern Kentucky University Requirements

    Now you know where you need to be for getting into Northern Kentucky University from a grade and test score perspective. Let’s quickly outline what else you’ll need to provide for your application to get reviewed, and then we’ll move onto the most important section: differentiating your app.

    Recommendations Status
    School Rank Recommended
    GPA Required
    School Record Required

    How to get into NKU

    Follow these steps to maximize your chances of getting into NKU. Everything you read above will help prepare you for what you need to achieve to have a shot at NKU, but these steps will take you even further in applying that knowledge and differentiating your application.

    Main Academic Excellence that is in line with NKU admission standards.

    1. Score at least a 1020 on the SAT or 69 on the ACT.
    2. Maintain a GPA of at least a 3.48.

    Join Extracurriculars that Align with NKU’s Values.

    1. Join your school band, a sports team or another group activity. If Northern Kentucky University values music heavily, for example, then try to participate in an organization related to that topic.
    2. Volunteer in your hometown. Highland Heights has tons of ways to be involved beyond just the college. Northern Kentucky University wants applicants that are also good ambassadors for the school - they want students who will give back to the local community and broader Highland Heights area in general.
    3. Spend your summer doing something that speaks to your values, personal growth, leadership qualities and other less quantifiable characteristics. NKU needs to see past your test scores and grades - they need to know that you will be a valuable and contributing member of their community. You are more than grades and test scores - your experiences should demonstrate that.

    Prepare Your Application

    1. Write a stellar essay that shows Northern Kentucky University something they can’t figure out from the other parts of your application. For a detailed guide on writing the best college essay, check this out.
    2. Get teacher recs that speak to your character. If you know what you’re majoring in and include that in your NKU app, try to have at least 1 recommendation from a teacher in that department.
    3. Apply Before the Deadline. Too many students wait until the last minute to submit their application, and too much can go wrong during this precious time window. Since many students are applying on the last day, it’s possible that NKU’s own system crashes. Don’t risk the added stress this can cause - submit your app a few days early.

    What are your chances at NKU?

    Your SAT Score
    Your ACT Score
    Select a score
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  • Your GPA*
    on a 4.0 scale

    *gpa score is required

    This free college chances tool calculates your acceptance chances at NKU or any other U.S. college

    Please note all chances are estimates based on test score and GPA averages.

    *or select a school above for a specific calculation

    Need chances at another college?

    Related College & Universities:

    Transfering to University of South Alabama
    Transfering to Troy University
    Transfering to College of Charleston
    Transfering to East Tennessee State University