UK increases admission standards

By Danielle Kaye

Academic requirements are on the rise for students applying to UK.

The Institutional Research, Planning, and Effectiveness is a strategic partner with UK.

According to their website, the average ACT score for incoming freshmen has steadily risen since 2006 – 2007.

“The average composite ACT score of the freshmen 2011 class is 25.5, up from 25.2 last year,” said Michelle Nordin, student services director, in an email to the Kernel.

The increase in admissions standards is not a coincidence. It is in part due to the goal that UK set for the “top 20 by 2020,” Nordin said.

“The University’s Strategic Plan for 2009-2014 calls for us to enroll more high-ability students from all societal segments,” she said.

As UK’s admission standards are increasing, so are the requirements for high school students in Kentucky.

Part of the assessment for high school seniors is a College Career Readiness component, according to Sally Adams, a guidance counselor at Lafayette High School.

High school juniors enrolled in public schools in Kentucky are required to take the ACT for state assessment, Adams said.

Local high schools are offering ACT preparation programs for high school students.

UK offers a program for high school students through the Division of Undergraduate Education.

Although ACT and SAT scores are important, they’re not the sole determinate in acceptance to the university, Nordin said.

High school schedule, leadership activities, essay questions and letters of recommendation are now playing a role in the admission process.

The increased rigor of the application process has resulted in a decrease in the freshmen class size for 2011 by about 200 students.

According to UK’s Office of Institutional Research, the average GPA for freshmen in the fall of 2009 was 2.82.

Students are being chosen through a more demanding application process.

The university is striving to attract “more top students from within the state of Kentucky and beyond, including undergraduate international students,” Nordin said.