How to Write the University of Kentucky Essays 2019-2020

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University of Kentucky is a public research institution located in Lexington, Kentucky. It prides itself on being one of only eight institutions in the US with the full complement of liberal arts, engineering, professional, agricultural, and medical colleges and disciplines on one contiguous campus. UK has a total enrollment of around 30,500 and its acceptance rate hovers around 90%.


University of Kentucky applicants have the choice of applying via the Common Application, Coalition Application, or a UK-specific application. Students applying to the Lewis Honors College must use either the University of Kentucky-specific application or the Common Application and respond to an additional prompt. Want to know your chances at University of Kentucky? Calculate your chances for free right now.


For All Applicants

Think of a time when you were dealing with a challenge (personal, academic, work related). How did you handle that? Did you seek support and if so who did you seek support from? (250-650 words)

This prompt wants to address your self-awareness and response to adversity. Your challenge does not have to be something large-scale or grand to effectively answer the prompt. Instead, your topic should allow you to fully answer the questions posed. An essay that discusses struggling to get a good grade in calculus could be just as effective as an essay that focuses on becoming a state champion runner. 


Tone is also crucial in answering this question. This prompt asks you to reflect on a challenge, so do not be afraid to admit that you struggled at first. Humility is key to successful self-reflection. However, your tone should also not be overly self-critical as resilience is an equally important value. 


The first portion of this prompt asks how you handled your challenge. You do not need to focus on only one solution if you relied on multiple mechanisms. However, you should provide clear methods that you used to address your challenge. 


For example, saying you solved your poor calculus grade by studying hard does not explain how you handled the problem in enough detail. What new study methods did you use? Did you organize your class notes and study materials differently? Did you schedule time to study within your day? Your solution should have concrete, actionable changes.  


Support systems—both peer and faculty-based—will become crucial during your college years. Success in a class can largely depend on your ability to know where and when to ask for help. This prompt asks you to explain how you use the support systems in your life. Your challenge should at least be partially addressed by an effective use of your support system. 


For example, you could discuss how you formed a study group for calculus, or how you set up a weekly appointment with your teacher to discuss any questions or concerns you have. 


Your support systems do not need to be official organizations or people in authority. Your friends and family can also serve as a support system. Your support system also doesn’t need to provide you with something tangible (such as a new study guide), so long as they can provide you with emotional support or good advice.  


For Lewis Honors College Applicants Only

If you were to create a new Mount Rushmore, what four individuals (or figures of any kind) would you place on it and why? And how and where would you create this monument? (500 words)

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