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The Gatton Academy Class of 2026 Application Instructions

Review the instructions for Gatton's application process below. To create an application, click the link below: 

Create a Gatton Application

We strongly suggest that you both bookmark the link to the application (as it will be your access point to the application throughout the process) and write down your login ID and PIN.  These are both vital in the process.

Application Instructions

Below you will find detailed instructions for each of the required materials for application. 
Once you click on a box, the box itself will expand to include all relevant instructions and suggestions.

Click the button below to open Gatton's Application Creation form in a new tab or window.

Create a Gatton Application

After submitting the form, you will be redirected to a page that displays your Temporary PIN and the birthdate provided. Write this information down before clicking "Account Login."

An email will also be sent with this Temporary PIN/birthdate to the email address provided. Check your spam folder if you do not receive this email.

Upon clicking "Account Login," you will be directed to login with the Temporary PIN and birthdate that you wrote down from the previous screen. Once submitted, you will create a new password. Write this information down and keep it as it will be difficult to recover these after account creation.

Click "Login"

Welcome to your Application Portal!

Once in your Application Portal, click "Gatton Academy Application." Important note: you will only be able to create ONE Gatton Academy Application. Do not submit your application until it is complete.

Click "Open Application."

In the online application, you will see the following sections:

  • Home
  • Instructions and Checklist
  • Personal Background
  • Parent/Guardian Info
  • Academic History
  • Activities/Awards
  • Essays
  • Recommendations (further instructions in the tab below)
  • Additional Information
  • Release of Confidential Information (further instructions in the tab below)
  • Signature
  • Review


At any point in the application process, you will be able to see your Application Checklist on the Instructions and Checklist page. Please note that it will take 15-20 minutes for your checklist to appear after creating your application. Any updates to the checklist may also take up to 24 hours for materials to process. After submitting your application, this checklist will remain available to you.

A space is available to submit your sophomore year schedule. A copy of your schedule is encouraged for all applicants, and is required for any student who is enrolled in Geometry and/or Algebra II this year.


While you can type directly into the fields, we HIGHLY recommend that all applicants copy and paste each activity/award from a Word document to the application. There is a time limit on each page, and it will refresh if you take too long, resulting in lost work. To ensure your work saves, copy and paste from a Word document once you see the format.

The following categories are available to choose from for each activity:

  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Academic Achievement
  • Athletic Achievement
  • Music Achievement
  • Volunteer Service
  • Other Activities

If you are unsure of which category to list an activity, select the one that best matches.


While you can type directly into the fields, we HIGHLY recommend that all applicants copy and paste the three required essay prompts and optional essay prompt into a Word document. This allows for refining of the essay over time. Once you are ready to submit your application, an applicant can simply copy and paste their responses from the Word document to the submission fields. Each essay has a limit of 4,000 characters, including spaces.

You must fill out all of these sections prior to submitting your application.  

The Gatton Academy has always required recommendations as part of the application process, as we highly value what your educators and community leaders have to say about you. 

The Gatton Academy requires the following two recommendations:

  1. A current or former high school math or science (STEM) teacher; and,
  2. guidance counselor, school administrator, a supervisor in the applicant's school, a community leader (i.e., a scout leader, pastor, youth group coordinator), or 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.

NOTE: A parent or relative MAY NOT submit a recommendation for an applicant.

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 recommendations.

Under the Recommendations tab in your application, you will be prompted to "Add Recommendation." Complete the form for each recommender, ensuring at least one is a current or former STEM teacher.

Upon clicking "Send to Recommender," an email will be sent to the address provided for the recommender to submit information on your behalf. We HIGHLY recommend that you communicate with a recommender before submitting their information.

At the end of the form, each recommender will be required to type a short security phrase of their creation, so that when we do random checks (or should any problems arise) we can verify authenticity of information.  

You will see the status of each recommendation in the Checklist on your Application Portal. It may take up to 24 hours after a recommender submits for it to update in your Checklist.

Both you and a guardian should review and complete the Release of Confidential Information form available for download on the "Release of Confidential Information" tab. Print this form, complete it with a parent/guardian, and upload into the submission field. Typed signatures will not be accepted.

Completed forms can be attached as photos or scanned PDFs. 

This application allows you to leave the application and return at a different time. If you would like to save your application and finish at another time, navigate to the "Review" tab of the application and click "Save for Later" at the bottom of this page.  

Once all sections are completed to your satisfaction and there are no blank required fields or errors, you can click the "Submit Application" button under the Review tab. You should only do this once your entire application is completed to satisfaction. Once submitted, you will not be able to go back and change any information.

An official transcript of grades from your freshman and sophomore years should be submitted to The Gatton Academy by your guidance counselor. Additionally, if your transcript does not show what classes you are taking for the spring semester of your sophomore year, we request that you send in your current class schedule on the Instructions and Checklist tab. This schedule is required of any students currently enrolled in Geometry and/or Algebra II. Schedules can be submitted after submitting your application at the bottom of the Application Status Page.

Transcripts and schedules 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 can be sent the following ways:

  1. Parchment (PREFERRED) - For those schools who use Parchment, we can accept Parchment and they must be sent digitally (via email) to academy@wku.edu.  If they are sent to WKU as an institution, we cannot guarantee delivery to our office at The Gatton Academy (they would go to WKU Admissions) and it may not count toward your requirement.
  2. Email - For those schools who do not use Parchment, the student's school can email a transcript directly via email to academy@wku.edu. This email must come directly from the student's current school. 
  3. Mail - Schools or students may also send a transcript via mail.  When sending your transcript (with current schedule), the transcript must include either the school's embossed seal and/or a school official's signature.  All transcripts should be mailed to:
    The Gatton Academy
    Attn: Admissions - Transcript
    1906 College Heights Blvd. #71031
    Bowling Green, KY 42101-1031

Any mail sent to The Gatton Academy may take up to 10 business days to process.  As long as it is postmarked before February 1, it will still be counted.

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 College Board recommends taking the ACT or SAT at least two times before a student enters college. The Gatton Academy advises applicants to test in June prior to their sophomore year and once more by the end of December if possible. Please submit SAT and ACT scores directly to WKU. Submit ACT scores to code 1562. Submit SAT scores to code 1901.  The Assistant Director of Admissions will have access to all scores sent to WKU and will be able to record them for The Gatton Academy's purposes.

The Gatton Academy will use the highest score in each individual section of the ACT and SAT rather than the highest overall scores. We do not superscore (take the best individual scores and make a new composite). 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.


ACT - Go to https://www.act.org/content/act/en/products-and-services/the-act/scores/sending-your-scores.html and place an online request for the scores to come to WKU.  The code for ACT scores to go to WKU is 1562.  Once submitted it may take a week or two to be processed by WKU and then processed by The Gatton Academy.  

SAT -  Go to https://sat.collegeboard.org/scores/send-sat-scores and go down to the rush reporting section on this webpage.  The code for SAT scores to go to WKU is 1901.  Once submitted it may take a week or two to be processed by WKU and then processed by The Gatton Academy.

After the February 1 deadline, the Admissions Committee will review all applications and select students to participate in formal interviews. In mid-February, students will be notified by email (in the evening) regarding interviews that will occur on February 24, 2024. By mid-March, the Admissions Committee will select the incoming class. Applicants will be notified of their final status by email in mid-March 2024. The complete application and notification timeline is available here.

Important Links

Admissions Introduction

This page will introduce you to The Gatton Academy's Admission Process.

Admissions Requirements

This page will introduce you to the minimum requirements for admission to The Gatton Academy.

Admissions Application

Here you will find all the information needed on completing The Gatton Academy's admissions application.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

These questions tend to be some of the most frequently asked questions by both prospective students and their families. 

Recruitment and Preview Days

Are we coming to your area of the Commonwealth?  Keep up to date with this page as we just may be coming to a town near you!


Are you curious whether you are too early or late to apply?  If so, click on this link and you will find a helpful timeline so you can know what needs to be done. 

Some of the links on this page may require additional software to view.

 Last Modified 8/1/23