Seems to be hard to find any student review (here or on other forums) about UKY's honors college. My daughter will likely apply in the fall but will only consider UKY if she is admitted into Lewis with a full ride. So it's s long shot, but as a prospective NMF has it on the table as an option. She is mostly applying to small LAC's but wondering if Lewis would be a good compromise. I know scholarships (and admittance to the honors college) are hit or miss even with her stats:
GPA 4.0 unweighted
3 season varsity athlete/ captain
Editor in chief of Literary Magazine
National writing awards
Many hours of volunteer work etc.
I would love insight as to what Lewis is like, pros and cons, and lastly, I read that a mom missed the deadline to apply for honors dorms because she was waiting on merit $ decisions. Is it that difficult to get o to the honors dorms? Honestly the only thing that would sway my daughter away from a LAC is full tuition/Lewis HC/ Honors residential housing. It seems more and more like it's an incredibly long shot to get all three. Is this perception accurate?
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Just though I would share our experience and my d's view of her visit to UK.
My d will most likely be a NMF- so she would qualify for their generous full-ride scholarship . Since the university is only 2-3 hours from where we live and she knows people who go to UK, she went on a college visit on her own (with a friend) and stayed with someone that she used to dance with (who is now a member of the varsity dance team).
My d has worked very hard in high school, constantly challenging herself with rigorous classes while dancing competitively 15-35 hours/ week. Due to her huge time commitment to dance, she limited herself to mainly AP classes in the STEM subjects- although she did take AP Art History and AP Lang and received 5s on those exams. She said that she and her bright friend attended a session about the Honors program at UK. UK stressed that once an applicant has met certain minimum standards to be eligible for the honors program, the essay is the determining factor in selection into the program. She did not feel this selection method truly reflected selection of the highest caliber students into the honors program.
I have reviewed the posts on this board for more information to verify how students are selected into the honors program since I feel it would be very important for my d to be part of an honors program at a large university to fully realize her potential. She has always been in a higher ability program in public school and this provided some challenge to her. However, even in that program and even in AP classes, she has always easily maintain 95% to over 100% ("over" due to extra credit questions on tests) in her classes.
I have concluded from information gathered from her visit and posts on this site that the honors college benefits are largely reserved for in-state residents or for those who will likely not be STEM majors. Many STEM majors have not spent the time necessary to hone their writing skills- so basing admission into the honors program on writing an essay will likely leave many highly capable STEM students left out of the program. I am bemused by this policy. While universities across the nation are recruiting STEM majors, UK is turning their nose up at them.
The other main way to gain entry to the honors program is through the SIngletary Scholarship. This is a competitive scholarship with almost identical benefit that NMF students get with their Patterson Scholarship award. However, those who are awarded this scholarship are guaranteed membership in the honors program. From posts on this forum, it would seem that this scholarship is reserved mainly for Kentucky residents. With the SIngletary Scholarship, they are looking more for someone who can be a representative of the university than someone who might be a top scholar. It appears they think a student from Kentucky will know more about the university and will perhaps more enthusiastically represent UK.
I am once again astonished that the initial screening is to determine if they are residents or perhaps have alumni ties to the university to consider a student for the SIngletary Scholarship. I am sure that there are plenty of out-of-state students who could be just as enthusiastic and would excel at representing the university. It is my opinion that an out-of-state student with other talents could definitely be a benefit to the university. For example, my d is a very experienced, technically trained dancer that would represent the university on the dance team very well and would be an asset to securing a high placement in the UDA National Dance Competition. Likewise, there are other out-of-state students with talents who would also reflect well on the university.
After reading the post on the UK forum about "Honors College Nonsense", I thought I would share my view of this selection process. My d recently applied to UK and the honors college and has not, at this time, received a rejection from the honors college. However, I am somewhat expecting it since most posters on the UK pages and the NMF pages indicate that their NMF child did not gain entry to the honors program. I wish everyone the best of luck and hope the info in this post will be helpful in your application and selection process. I read that UK recently received a large donation to help expand the honors program. Hopefully changes will be made to the selection process when more seats are available.
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