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Western Kentucky University

Class of 2017 Applications Instructions

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2014/2015 CALENDAR 


Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2014
Closed Weekend

Nov. 26-Dec. 2, 2014
Thanksgiving Break

December 8-12, 2014
Finals Week

Dec. 12, 2014 – Jan. 5, 2015
Winter Break

January 24, 2015
Final Preview Day

February 1, 2015
Application Due Date

February 28, 2015
Interview Day

Application InstructionsPlease read the following instructions carefully and completely.  The Gatton Academy Admissions Application is not a standard paper application.  Think of your application as more of an online portfolio about yourself.


The Class of 2017 application has been released.

The admissions process for all applicants begins with the completion of the Online Application Request.


Before submitting this form, please ensure your email client will not reject messages from as spam. Some students have not received messages with their username and password because of this.

Please complete this form in full. Once your account has been created, you will receive an email from a Gatton Academy staff member with the subject line "Family Connection Account Information" with the student-specific email and password required for log-in. This online system serves as the repository of information for students pursuing admission to the Gatton Academy.

Once you receive your password, visit to begin the online application.

Completing the Online Application Portfolio

When completing your application online using Naviance, you need only complete the sections listed below. Other areas and tabs such as "Colleges" and "Career Plan" should be ignored.


Please visit the "About Me" tab to begin entering information about yourself. Please ensure the accuracy of the information located in the "Profile" page under the "Official Things" heading. You will also enter information about your parents and/or guardians. Please complete all fields for your parent(s) or guardian(s).


Engagement outside of the classroom is an important component in becoming a well-rounded student. Please share the extracurricular activities, both organized and individual, you have been involved in since high school, or middle school if notable (e.g., chess club, newspaper staff, scouting, music, academic teams, community service, etc.). Please include any summer workshops, camps, or programs. Students are encouraged to note any leadership opportunities or information that would be useful for the Admissions Committee. Please also list any awards and honors that you have received, both in and out of school, since middle school (e.g., academics, music, athletics, forensics, publications, scouts, etc.).  Not all sections of the resume are required.  Complete only those elements that you feel will provide the review committee with insights into your activities and interests.  Applicants do not need to print a copy of their resume, as all elements are available for staff to review.

Test Scores

Include scores for the PSAT, SAT, EXPLORE, PLAN, ACT, or AP exams if available. The Academy will use the highest score in each individual section of the ACT and SAT rather than the highest overall scores. PSAT, PLAN, and AP scores are not required for admission; however, they do provide a more complete portrait of you as an applicant. All public high school students are required to take the PLAN test during the fall semester of their sophomore year.

You are required to have an official ACT or SAT score on file with Western Kentucky University. Students should consider doing testing in October, November, or December. The Gatton Academy advises applicants to test prior to January if possible. Please submit SAT and ACT scores directly to WKU. Submit ACT scores to code 1562. Submit SAT scores to code 1901.

The writing portion of the ACT and SAT is not required for admission to the Gatton Academy. Upcoming SAT and ACT dates are listed on the Timeline page.


Applicants are required to respond to the questions below. Responses are used by the Admissions Committee to gauge your maturity, individuality, and personality. The response to each question should be no more than 500 words. Responses should be typed in 12 point Times New Roman font and double-spaced. Pages should have 1" margins on all sides.

Begin by clicking "Add Journal Entry". Under the "Share With" line, please ensure "Counselors" is selected. Otherwise, the admissions staff will be unable to read your essays.

Completed essays should be saved with a file name in the following format "[Student Name] Essay [Number]". Click "Add new entry" to begin the upload process. Under "Type," select "My Essays." Enter "Class of (Graduation Year) Admissions Essays" in the subject field. Select the document via the "Browse" button. Click "Attach". Finally, click the "Add Journal Entry" button to complete the upload.

Answer the following questions fully and with detail:

1. If you are selected for the Gatton Academy, you will be asked to live, study, and work in a community in which all members contribute. Why would the Gatton Academy be the right place for you to finish high school? What qualities, skills, and abilities do you possess that will enrich the Gatton Academy community? 

2.Living away from home may present significant challenges. Describe a situation in which you have experienced difficulty, overcome adversity, or faced an ethical question. Explain how you coped with this situation and what you learned from it.

3. Students at the Gatton Academy follow their STEM interests and conduct research in a discipline about which they are curious. Subjects may include agriculture, architecture, astronomy, bioinformatics, biotechnology, chemistry, civil engineering, computer science, ecology, electrical engineering, geography, geology, health sciences, karst studies, manufacturing science, mathematics, mechanical engineering, meteorology, physics, plant studies, psychology, or interdisciplinary fields. What STEM related field are you most interested in and what experiences have led you to your answer? (You are welcome to pick from the list above or add to it)

4. There are two primary schools of thought on why we should conduct scientific research. The first school of thought contends that science should be conducted for practical purposes directly benefiting society, while the second school of thought argues that science should be conducted for the sake of science and to expand knowledge. Why do you think scientific or mathematical research should be conducted?

Recommendation Letters

Gatton Academy requires the following two recommendations:

      • one from a current or former high school math or science teacher; and
      • one from a guidance counselor, administrator, or someone else in the applicant's school or community (i.e., a scout leader, youth group coordinator, another teacher) who can comment on the applicant's general academic aptitude, leadership ability, emotional maturity, integrity, and preparation for the rigorous academic program offered by the Gatton Academy

Your recommendations may be written in one of two methods. All recommendations must be accompanied by the Cover for Recommendation.

Recommendations may be completed on the Gatton Academy Recommendation Form (Educator version or Community Leader version). Copies of this form should be made as needed. Recommendations may also be written as formal letters of recommendation.

The Gatton Academy also encourages applicants to ask for recommendations from more than these two people to avoid missing the deadline and to ensure that the Admissions Committee receives the applicant's most representative academic profile; however, please send no more than four letters of recommendation.

Please be sure that those persons completing your recommendations understand the nature and rigor of the Gatton Academy. As a courtesy, please provide individuals writing letters of recommendation with as much time as possible before the deadline. You are encouraged to discuss the academic requirements of the Gatton Academy with those persons completing their recommendations and to direct them to the Gatton Academy website.

To ensure confidentiality and the utmost honesty in assessment, completed recommendations should be submitted directly to the Academy postmarked by February 1. Completed recommendations should not be returned to you. They should be mailed to

The Gatton Academy
Attn: Admissions
1906 College Heights Blvd. #71031
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1031

Official High School Transcript

An official transcript of grades from your freshman and sophomore year should be submitted to the Gatton Academy by your guidance counselor. Transcripts should be submitted in January of your application year to include grades for the Fall semester of your sophomore year. A final transcript of your completed sophomore year is required for admission. Transcripts should be mailed to

The Gatton Academy
Attn: Admissions
1906 College Heights Blvd. #71031
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1031

Release of Confidential Information

Both you and a parent should review and complete the Release of Confidential Information form. A completed copy will be emailed to you and the Gatton Academy.  Please note that the "digital signature" means simply typing in your name in the fields provided.

Confirmation of the Receipt of Materials

Please confirm all application materials have been received in advance of the February 1st  postmark deadline by visiting the "About Me" tab and clicking "Account" followed by "Inbox". Materials are logged online in a timely manner as they are received by the Gatton Academy. Should you be concerned that an item has not been received, please send an email to or telephone 270-745-6565 .

Students are responsible for the completion of the following viewable items:

      • Applicant Information in "Profile"
      • Applicant Activities and Accomplishments in "Resume"
      • ACT, SAT, and/or other exam scores in "Scores"
      • Essay Responses in "Journals"

Receipt of the following items sent by mail or otherwise will be noted in the "Private Comments" section:

      • Recommendation from Math or Science Teacher
      • Recommendation from Counselor, Principal, Administrator, or Community Leader
      • Other Recommendations
      • Official High School Transcript
      • Release of Confidential Information
      • Official ACT or SAT score report on file with WKU (review of receipt begins January 15)

Review of Applications and Notification

After the February 1st deadline, the Admissions Committee will review all applications and select students to participate in formal interviews in late March. Students will be notified by email regarding interviews in mid-February with interviews occuring in March. In late March, the Admissions Committee will select the incoming class. Applicants will be notified of their final status by email on or before April 1st.

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 Last Modified 10/20/14