The University of Kentucky’s LEADS
2021 Edge Award Winner
The University of Kentucky’s LEADS: Leveraging Economic Affordability for Developing Student Success, Program. The program represents one of the most innovative ways that the University of Kentucky seeks to improve the experience of undergraduate students by supporting their persistence. The program utilizes a predictive model to isolate financial need as the root cause of student attrition and shift institutional aid—via targeted grants and financial education—to a broader group of students to provide more equitable access to higher education. The LEADS program has flipped the allocation of financial aid to prioritize financial need over financial merit. This initiative places a greater emphasis on the recruitment of high need in-state students.