Report Finds NKU Among Best Universities for Economic Mobility

About 16,000 students attend Northern Kentucky University, located on 300 acres in Highland Heights, just seven miles from downtown Cincinnati.

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky.—According to a new report from public policy think tank, Third Façon.

“This new report reflects that NKU is well on its way to achieving its vision of being nationally recognized as an institution that enables diverse learners to benefit from economic and social mobility,” said the president of NKU, Ashish Vaidya. “Faculty and staff here work hard every day to create real opportunities for our students.”

Success by design challenges the campus community to become a more student-ready and locally engaged institution. The framework describes three pillars of student success: access, completion, and professional and community engagement. The access pillar of student success includes access to affordable education through expanded programs, services and delivery options. The “completion” pillar of student success ensures that first-generation, post-traditional, low-income, and underrepresented students earn highly valued degrees, certificates, and degrees. Finally, the “professional and community engagement” pillar guides NKU in its contribution to the economic, social and civic prosperity of the region through talent development, research and innovation and place management.

NKU, nationally ranked at No. 241 Third Way Economic mobility index, is the only college or university in Greater Cincinnati at the graduate level. Alice Lloyd College is the only other Commonwealth institution to be ranked number one.

The Third Way Economic Mobility Index aims to rank and evaluate universities based on how well they serve low-income students, according to its website. The tier system is used to break down rankings by placement percentage. By ranking first, NKU is among the top 20% in economic mobility.

This is the latest in a series of accolades NKU has received for providing the best educational experience in Greater Cincinnati and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. In March, SmartAsset ranked NKU #1 on ROI in Kentucky. Most recently, World’s Universities with Real Impact named NKU as one of the most innovative universities in the worldsuperior to any institution in the Greater Cincinnati area and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Founded in 1968, NKU is an entrepreneurial state university of more than 16,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a suburban campus nestled between Highland Heights and downtown Cincinnati. For more information, visit

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