KEES - Kentucky Education Excellence Scholarship

KEES

Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarships (KEES) are available to Kentucky high school graduates who are residents of the Commonwealth of Kentucky as determined for purposes of admission and tuition assessment by the University.  KEES awards are available for a maximum of 8 academic terms and must be used within the earlier of attainment of a baccalaureate degree or 5 years from high school graduation.  KEES awards can be used for the fall and spring terms only and are not available for summer coursework.

You do not have to apply for a KEES award.  Your high school should provide all necessary information to the Kentucky Higher Educational Assistance Authority (KHEAA).  You should have received a letter from KHEAA each summer while in high school with the award you earned for the previous school year.  You may also access your award information at the KHEAA website when you long into KHEAA's Zip Access System at https://www.kheaa.com/apps/registration/signin.  If a KEES award is not listed in your information, contact your high school guidance counselor.

How Your KEES Award Is Determined for Subsequent Academic Years:

To determine your KEES award for a subsequent academic year, the University of Kentucky will send your UK overall cumulative GPA to the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) at the end of each spring term.  (Note:  KEES eligibility is not evaluated after fall terms.)  If you were not a UK student during the spring semester, the University that you did attend is responsible for sending your cumulative GPA from that school to KHEAA.  If you did not attend any post-secondary institution for a spring term but attended UK during the preceding fall semester, contact the UK KEES Coordinator in the UK Financial Aid Office to request that your cumulative GPA be sent to KHEAA from UK.  Summer courses taken will not be included in the cumulative GPA until the end of the next academic year unless completed as repeat options -- you must contact the KEES Coordinator after the repeat option form is completed.

Additional criteria impacting your KEES Award if you are a Kentucky high school graduate who received you first KEES award BEFORE May 2009:

You will not be evaluated for the new "on track" regulations.  However, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be degree seeking.  (Note:  If you are a visiting student receiving a bachelor's degree from another Kentucky college or university, you must provide a letter from the Registrar at that school to the UK KEES coordinator.)
  • You must be considered as a Kentucky resident for tuition assessment.
  • You must have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA to receive your full KEES award for the next academic year.
  • You must have a cumulative GPA between 2.5 to 2.99 to receive half of your KEES award for the next academic year.
  • If your cumulative GPA drops below a 2.5 you will lose your KEES award for the next academic year.
  • You may regain your KEES award for subsequent academic years by meeting the above criteria by the end of the spring term in which you meet the criteria.

Additional criteria impacting your KEES Award if you are a Kentucky high school graduate who received you first KEES award AFTER May 2009:

New KEES regulations require you to be "on track" to graduate.  (See KY Legislative Reference:  KRS 164.7881).  Your "on track" status will be sent to KHEAA along with your cumulative GPA at the end of each spring term.

  • If you have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA, you will receive your full KEES award.
  • If your cumulative GPA is between 2.5 to 2.99 and if you meet the "on track" to graduate requirement per the "on track to graduate" information below, you will receive your full renewal KEES award.
  • If your cumulative GPA is between 2.5 to 2.99 but you do NOT meet the "on track" to graduate requirement per the information below, you will receive a 50% renewal KEES award if you were enrolled full time for a least one of the previous two semesters.
  • If your cumulative GPA is between 2.5 to 2.99 but you do NOT meet the "on track" to graduate requirement per the information below and you were enrolled part time for both previous semesters, you will not receive a KEES award for the next academic year. 
  • If your cumulative GPA drops below a 2.5 you will lose your KEES award for the next academic year.
  • You may regain your KEES award for subsequent academic years by meeting the above criteria by the end of the spring term in which you meet the criteria.

UK Definition for On Track to Graduate: 

UK will monitor earned hours as part of the On Track to Graduate policy (transfer hours accepted at UK will be included in the calculation):

Year One:
Number of terms enrolled (count fall/spring only):  Not applicable
Earned hours required to be "on track" to graduate:  Not applicable
UK Cumulative GPA at the end of the spring term:  2.5 or higher = full award

Year Two:
Number of terms enrolled (count fall/spring only):  Up to 4 terms
Earned hours required to be "on track" to graduate:  48 credit hours
UK Cumulative GPA at the end of the spring term:  2.5 or higher = full award

Year Three:
Number of terms enrolled (count fall/spring only):  Up to 6 terms
Earned hours required to be "on track" to graduate:  72 credit hours
UK Cumulative GPA at the end of the spring term:  2.5 or higher = full award

Year Four:
Number of terms enrolled (count fall/spring only):  Up to 8 terms
Earned hours required to be "on track" to graduate:  120 credit hours
UK Cumulative GPA at the end of the spring term:  2.5 or higher = full award

Year Five (Student pursuing a degree in Landscape Architecture only):
Number of terms enrolled (count fall/spring only):  Up to10 terms
Earned hours required to be "on track" to graduate:  145 credit hours
UK Cumulative GPA at the end of the spring term:  2.5 or higher = full award

Since the calculation for "on track" is done after each spring term and all summer courses are not completed until August, summer hours will not be included in the total hours completed until the end of the next spring term.  There is no exception to this rule as your "on track" status must be submitted in May in order for KHEAA to determine awards for the next academic year by early summer.

Award estimates are based on full-time enrollment.  Your actual KEES award will be based on your enrollment status after the last day to add a class each fall and spring semester. 

  • If you are enrolled for 6 to 11 credit hours, your semester award will be reduced proportionally. 
  • If you are enrolled for only 1 to 5 credit hours, you are not eligible for a KEES award for that semester unless you are participating in a cooperative education or a study abroad program and the Office of the Registrar considers you to be enrolled full-time.
  • You may defer your KEES award for a semester if you are in a cooperative education program, but you must contact the KEES Coordinator. 
  • Keep in mind that the award expires if you do not use it within five years of your high school graduation.

Any questions regarding your KEES award should be directed to one of the following individuals:

Terri Jo Thomas, University of Kentucky KEES Coordinator, Office of Student Financial Aid, Room 127 C Funkhouser Building, Lexington, KY 40506-0054, Phone:  859-218-2030 ext. 227, Fax:  859-257-4398, E-Mail: treed@email.uky.edu.

Megan Cummins,  Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA), KEES Coordinator, P.O. Box 798, Frankfort, KY 40602-0798, Phone:  1-800-928-8926, E-mail:  mcummins@kheaa.com.

University of Kentucky