University of Kentucky

University of Kentucky Student Enrollment and Financial Aid Info

Located in Lexington, Kentucky, the University of Kentucky is a large public university that offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs. Read about the pros and cons of the school, plus ranking, tuition and admission information.

Is the University of Kentucky the School for You?

The University of Kentucky's sprawling 779-acre campus is located in Lexington. Students can pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in many areas, including the liberal and fine arts, sciences, medicine, law, business and the social sciences. Read on to determine if this is the school for you.


  • Offers several graduate programs that are highly ranked
  • Acceptance rate is 4.6 percentage points higher than the national average
  • Students graduate with average debt of $20,579, which is $6,081 less than the national average
  • Endowment grew by 17.6% from 2010-2011, according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers


  • The student-faculty ratio of 18:1 is two higher than the national average
  • The 4-year graduation rate for students beginning their degree programs in 2005 was 34%, which is six percentage points higher than the national average

Rankings & School Analysis

According to U.S. News & World Report, the University of Kentucky has several top 10 ranked graduate programs, including public finance and budgeting, pharmacy and nursing service administration. This school offers many colleges, including one for engineering, one for architecture and one for pharmacy.

A majority of students who begin classes at the University of Kentucky return for their second year. The school's retention rate is 82% for full-time students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

Set in an area known for horses and horse racing, the university recently launched an equine science and management program. Students can study either equine biology and biochemistry or agricultural marketing and business as it relates to equine management. The College of Agriculture offers several undergraduate and graduate majors, including horticulture, plant and soil science, crop science and agricultural economics.

The Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce offers graduate degrees for students interested in leadership roles in an international setting. Students can choose from concentrations in diplomacy, intelligence and international commerce, security or organization. Overall, the university offers more than 200 degree programs, and some of the most popular among undergraduates are biology, psychology and accounting.

Getting In & Financial Aid

Incoming freshmen can submit an application online or apply using the Common Application. Along with an application, prospective students must submit a processing fee of $50, SAT or ACT results, high school transcripts and a letter of recommendation. Transfer students with fewer than 23 semester hours must submit the same materials as incoming freshmen, plus their college transcripts. Transfer students with at least 24 semester hours only need to submit an application and college transcripts and pay the fee. Fall applications must be received by February 15 for new freshmen and August 1 for transfer students.

Aspiring transfer students can check which course credits will transfer by using the admission office's course acceptability system or Transfer Equivalency database. Once accepted to the University of Kentucky, students must schedule an advising conference to register for courses and consider housing options and dining plans.

The university offers several non-competitive scholarship programs to students with high ACT or SAT scores, in which case they can be awarded aid automatically for up to four years. The university's competitive scholarships require an application. The university also offers federal work study programs, which place students in libraries, laboratories or research centers. The program also allows for off-campus employment at local community service organizations, such as the YMCA or LexArts children's programming. Students who are interested in financial aid can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine if they qualify for federal, state and school aid.

Application and Tuition Info
Regular Application Deadline (2013-2014) February 15****
Application Fee (2011-2012) $50***
Acceptance Rate (2011) 68.4%***
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $9,676 (in-state), $19,864 (out-of-state)***
Percent of Students with Need Met (2011) 17%***
Average Student Debt at Graduation (2011) $20,579***
Student Loan Default Rate (2009) 4.3%*

Life at the University of Kentucky

The University of Kentucky has a variety of on-campus living options, including traditional residence halls, learning communities, residential colleges and apartments. Additionally, students can join sororities or fraternities. There are several meal plans available to students, including those living on or off campus, as well a variety of dining facilities, including Chick-Fil-A, Panda Express, Subway and Starbucks. There are more than 450 student clubs and organizations to join.

If you're interested in sports, the University of Kentucky has varsity athletic teams that play in the NCAA Division I Southeastern Conference. The school is known for basketball, but some of the other sports include football, baseball and softball. Intramural sports are also offered.

Student Life Info
Campus Setting City***
Student Population (2011) 20,099 undergraduate students, 7,127 graduate students*
Male-to-Female Student Ratio (2011) 51% to 49%*
% of Full-Time Students (2011) 92%*
% of In-State Students (Fall 2010) 76%*
% of International Students (Fall 2010) 1%*
Retention Rate (2010-2011) 82% full-time students, 46% part-time students*
Campus Housing Available Yes**
% of Students Living on Campus (2011) 26%***
Number of Libraries 13**
Extracurricular Activities More than 450 student clubs and organizations**

Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **University of Kentucky, ***U.S. News & World Report, ****College Board.

School Contact Information

  • Address: 100 W.D. Funkhouser Building, Lexington, KY 40506-0054
  • Phone: (800) 432-0967