Discover the Hidden Treasures of EKU

Published on July 01, 2024

By Ethan Sirles

A beautiful and lively campus, in-demand degree programs, modern facilities, free books and generous scholarships encompass some of the top reasons students choose Eastern Kentucky University (EKU). With affordability and opportunity top of mind, EKU changes the game for students pursuing higher education. 

“As the first in my family to earn a college degree, EKU changed the trajectory of my life—a game changer in allowing me to achieve my personal and career goals,” said EKU President David McFaddin. “We’re a community and a campus where students learn, grow and thrive, and are supported and encouraged every step of the way.” 

What makes EKU a game changer? 

  • Conveniently located in Richmond, Kentucky, near Louisville and Cincinnati

  • 16-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio

  • Perfect size with 15,000 students enrolled

  • Unlocking opportunity with half of new freshmen being first-generation college students

  • Historic retention at nearly 80%

  • No. 1 among public institutions in retaining alumni in Kentucky to fuel our workforce

  • Nearly three out of four students receive financial aid

  • $28 million awarded in merit scholarships in 2023-24

  • More than 200 student clubs and organizations

For Amelia Smitha, ’24, “EKU has been a game changer because it has encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone in so many ways. I have grown so much as a student as well as a person during my time at EKU, and I am so thankful for all the resources and opportunities they provide.” 

EKU’s commitment to students starts with affordability. A degree earned at EKU is a responsible investment. EKU’s tuition and fees are lower than the national average cost of in-state tuition. The out-of-state rate is among the lowest of public institutions in Kentucky, and it’s also one of the most competitive rates in the country. 

EKU provides 100% free textbooks for all degree-seeking students through EKU BookSmart, representing a savings of about $1,250 per year for undergraduates. Additionally, EKU offers a wide range of scholarships, with more than 74% of students receiving financial aid. 

While at EKU, students choose from more than 100 in-demand academic fields, such as education, nursing, criminal justice, manufacturing engineering and psychology. Beyond academics, EKU’s engaging campus environment ensures that students not only excel academically but also thrive personally through a holistic college experience. Since the inception of the Exceptional Eastern Experience (E3), EKU has hosted over 1,100 student life events from free concerts to sports events. 

New and renovated residence halls, a state-of-the-art science building and a revitalized campus keep all the amenities convenient and within walking distance for students. EKU’s new Recreation Center features a pool, climbing wall, yoga, dance groups, various sports and more. 

Six months after graduation, EKU graduates earn an average of $50,000; 93% of EKU graduates report being satisfied with their career choice; 77% of EKU graduates are employed full time and 59% are employed within their field of study. 

“Our commitment is to serve as the School of Opportunity, providing an accessible and cost-effective choice and ensuring that the investment in education yields significant returns and long-lasting benefits for our students and the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” said McFaddin. 

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