University of Kentucky Admissions Statistics

Learn About the University of Kentucky Including GPA, SAT Scores and ACT Scores

University of Kentucky Library
University of Kentucky Library. Top Ipri / Flickr

The University of Kentucky has moderately selective admissions, and applicants shouldn't be fooled by the high acceptance rate of 89 percent. Most students who are admitted have grades in the "B" range or better, and they have SAT or ACT scores that are average or better. The university accepts the Common Application and Coalition Application in addition to the school's own application. The admissions process is holistic, and your honors and extracurricular activities will be part of the equation. All first-year applicants are also required to submit an academic letter of recommendation. There is an additional essay requirement if you wish to be considered for the Lewis Honors College or the university's competitive academic scholarships.

Why You Might Choose the University of Kentucky

The University of Kentucky at Lexington is Kentucky's flagship campus, and it is also the largest university in the state. The University of Kentucky's colleges of business, medicine, and communication studies have all placed well in national rankings, and students can choose from over 200 academic programs offered through UK's 16 colleges and professional schools. The university is near the end of an ambitious "Top 20 Plan" aimed at increasing enrollment, expanding the faculty, improving the graduation rate, and expanding research. The university was awarded a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for its strong programs in the liberal arts and sciences, and it should be no surprise that UK ranks among the top Kentucky colleges. In athletics, the Kentucky Wildcats compete in the NCAA Division I Southeastern Conference.

Kentucky GPA, SAT and ACT Graph

University of Kentucky GPA, SAT and ACT Data for Admission
University of Kentucky GPA, SAT Scores and ACT Scores for Admission. See the real-time graph and calculate your changes of getting in with this free tool from Cappex. Data courtesy of Cappex.

Discussion of Kentucky's Admissions Standards

The University of Kentucky has a high acceptance rate, but realize that most successful applicants have average or above average grades and test scores. In the graph above, the blue and green dots represent accepted students. The great majority of successful applicants had ACT scores of 19 or higher and a combined SAT score of 1000 or higher. Most accepted students had a "B" or higher high school average. Higher test scores and grades obviously improve your chances of getting an acceptance letter, and almost no students with "A" averages and above average ACT scores were rejected.

Note that there are a few red dots (rejected students) and yellow dots (waitlisted students) hidden behind the green and blue in the middle of the graph. Some students with grades and test scores that were on target for Kentucky did not get accepted. Note also that many students were accepted with test scores and grades a bit below the norm. This is because the University of Kentucky accepts The Common Application and has holistic admissions. Kentucky values more than empirical data. The admissions folks will take into consideration the rigor of your high school courses, your application essay, your extracurricular activities, and letters of recommendation.

Admissions Data (2016)

  • University of Kentucky Acceptance Rate: 91 percent
  • Test Scores: 25th / 75th Percentile
    • SAT Critical Reading: 500 / 620
    • SAT Math: 500 / 630
    • ACT Composite: 22 / 29
    • ACT English: 22 / 30
    • ACT Math: 22 / 28


More University of Kentucky Information

Enrollment (2016)

  • Total Enrollment: 29,781 (22,621 undergraduates)
  • Gender Breakdown: 46 percent male / 54 percent female
  • 92 percent full-time

Costs (2017-18)

  • Tuition and Fees: $11,942 (in-state); $28,046 (out-of-state)
  • Books: $1,000 (why so much?)
  • Room and Board: $12,858
  • Other Expenses: $3,730
  • Total Cost: $29,530 (in-state); $45,634 (out-of-state)

University of Kentucky Financial Aid (2015 -16)

  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Aid: 93 percent
  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Types of Aid
    • Grants: 91 percent
    • Loans: 49 percent
  • Average Amount of Aid
    • Grants: $9,258
    • Loans: $7,975

Academic Programs

  • Most Popular Majors: Accounting, Advertising, Biology, Business/Commerce, Communication Studies, Elementary Education, English, Finance, Marketing, Mechanical Engineering, Nursing, Political Science, Psychology
  • What major is right for you? Sign up to take the free "My Careers and Majors Quiz" at Cappex.

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • First Year Student Retention (full-time students): 82 percent
  • 4-Year Graduation Rate: 38 percent
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate: 64 percent

Intercollegiate Athletic Programs

  • Men's Sports: Swimming, Football, Basketball, Track and Field, Tennis, Baseball, Golf, Soccer
  • Women's Sports: Gymnastics, Soccer, Softball, Tennis Volleyball, Basketball, Track and Field

If you like the University of Kentucky, Check Out These Schools

Applicants to the University of Kentucky tend to apply to other public universities in the Midwest and Southeast. Popular choices The Ohio State University, University of Louisville, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Morehead State University, and University of Cincinnati. Keep in mind that OSU is much more selective than the University of Kentucky.

Applicants who are also looking at private colleges and universities are often drawn to Transylvania University, Bellarmine University, and Xavier University.

Data Source: Graph courtesy of Cappex. All other data from the National Center for Educational Statistics.