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Starting next fall all incoming freshman will receive an iPad Air, Apple Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil. 

The measure was approved by the UK Board of Trustees on Tuesday afternoon is the first step in a larger university initiative to increase graduation rates and "persistence" by using technology to ease the transition from high school to college and to better connect the campus community, a press release stated.

UK plans to use $1.5 million for the first year of iPads. The money will come from campus efficiency projects, the press release said.

“Placing student success at the center of all that we do guides our work,” UK President Eli Capilouto said in announcing the initiative. “We know students’ persistence is impacted by health and wellness, financial stability, academic preparation and belonging. Through leveraging the power of technology, we can address these obstacles across multiple platforms with a cutting-edge digital suite of tools — beginning with providing iPad to incoming students.”

The iPads will be pre-loaded with apps "that are aimed at helping these students achieve a high level of academic success," the press release stated. About 700 freshman who will be participating in transition programs this summer will be the first to receive the devices.

“Our students will use iPad Air throughout their four years and in virtually every aspect of their lives,” Provost David Blackwell said. “Our goal is to best maximize the effectiveness of that technology — in the classroom, in preparation for a first career or starting a business, and creating community for our students’ success.”