Student Success at the University of Kentucky

Timothy Tracy, the University of Kentucky's provost and chief academic officer, describes the journey his university is taking to achieve its perfect formula for student success.

2-Minute Read

As a public, land-grant institution with more than 20,000 undergraduate students and 10,000 graduate and professional students, the University of Kentucky (UK) serves two big cities (Lexington and Louisville) and a vast rural area that is home to some of the most impoverished groups in the U.S. Tracy and his executive team are striving to create opportunities for students and the state by casting a wider net for UK’s “ideal student” and shifting financial aid from a merit-based approach to a needs-based one. With this new method, Tracy hopes to propel disadvantaged students toward a different life trajectory by offering greater access to a college degree. It’s more than just better outcomes and flourishing endowments; it’s also about improving the local economy and quality of life in rural Kentucky.

It's more than better outcomes; it's about improving the local economy.

At the recent American Council of Education (ACE) annual conference in Washington, D.C., Huron sponsored a panel discussion that included Tracy, who was interviewed by EdTech Times. Some aspects of Kentucky’s path to student success may be familiar, while others are certainly unique to the university’s situation. See below for highlights from this interview, and listen to the recording to learn more:

  • Student success aligns to four pillars: academic success, financial stability, belonging and engagement, and both physical and emotional wellness. Addressing these four pillars helps Kentucky achieve its goals of a 90 percent retention rate for its first- and second-year students and a 70 percent six-year graduation rate.
  • Unmet financial needs are substantial factors in retention and graduation. Finding financial assistance for an increased number of students who need it creates more opportunities for UK's students and delivers a more skilled and educated workforce to the state.

Learn about Timothy Tracy's plans to help solve these complicated problems at the University of Kentucky:


Huron will continue to explore the journey to student success in future blogs and discussions with industry leaders.

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