A Community of Support and Belonging

Photo of students sitting at a table studying together

There comes a time in every student’s academic journey when they’ll need help navigating their wildest ambitions. And, as the University for Kentucky, it’s our job to make sure we meet them where they are and provide the tools and resources they need to thrive in our community.

With record enrollment and retention rates, it’s only fitting to remind our community of our Four Pillars of Academic Excellence: academic success, belonging and engagement, student health and wellness, and financial stability. At UK, we are proud of the work that’s been done to engage in ongoing conversations around these pillars, while working to cultivate a culture of belonging in all aspects of our students’ lives.

The success of our students is at the center of everything we do at the University of Kentucky. Through several campus-wide initiatives, such as peer-tutoring at The Study, career advising, and major exploration, we take a student-centered approach.

Success is a broad term we use that’s not simply measured by graduation, but is defined by how well students have grown in their intellectual, emotional, social, and ethical development at UK.

We know that the community students create on and off campus can last a lifetime. To that end, we offer more than 550 student organizations in which students can participate and lead, in addition to service learning, education abroad, and research opportunities that enhance the undergraduate and graduate experience to develop more well-rounded members of society.

Of course, we can’t expect students to imagine what’s possible if they can’t first take care of themselves. At UK, wellness encompasses several dimensions – emotional, financial, intellectual, physical, social, and spiritual. Our campus recreation centers, Disability Resource Center, and Violence Intervention and Prevention Center are only a few of the ways we support our students.

We also understand that being away from home for the first time can be challenging and often intimidating for students, especially in managing their personal finances. Financial literacy is an essential life skill that the University of Kentucky Student Financial Wellness Center works to build through the MoneyCATS team.

From helping students file for FAFSA, to bringing in financial experts, to hosting lunch and learns centered on budgeting and other money-related topics – we are helping our students become prepared for life on campus and in the broader world where they will compete.

By engaging in open dialogues about how we can best serve our students, we recognize the individual importance of each pillar but also the intersectionality between them. With the support of our faculty and staff, these pillars provide an important framework that informs how we support students, even as we are providing them with the skills they will need to thrive in the world beyond this campus.