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Chicago Scholars Now Accepting Applications from the 2027 Graduating Class


CHICAGO — Dec. 13, 2021 — Chicago Scholars has opened applications for students to join the program’s next class. Academically ambitious first-generation or under-resourced students currently enrolled in their junior year of high school with plans to attend college in the fall of 2023 are encouraged to apply for the college preparation and success program.

The seven-years and beyond program is aimed at providing students from underrepresented communities with the necessary resources to succeed throughout the college admissions process, higher education and their future careers.

Once admitted into the program, each Scholar has access to a comprehensive support system and are guided through a specialized curriculum that outlines the college application process — each Scholar receives assistance with finding institutions that best fit their needs, gets support with developing college application materials, and attends workshops discussing how to navigate different aspects of the college experience. In October of their senior year of high school, Scholars will also get the opportunity to participate in the organization’s flagship Onsite College and Leadership Forum. Students will meet with representatives from some of the nation’s top universities at the forum, with many receiving letters of admissions and scholarships during the event. This year, participating students secured more than 750 letters of admission and were awarded over $31 million in merit scholarships.

For the next five years of the program, Scholars receive support throughout and beyond their college experience. The college success curriculum equips students with leadership opportunities, supportive relationships, experiential learning and additional internship and career planning resources as Scholars graduate from college.

“As a result of the pandemic, we know this is a difficult moment for students—college enrollment numbers have declined around the country. Chicago’s students have the talent and the leadership to go to the best colleges and universities, and it’s our mission to make sure they get there and have the resources to thrive on their college campuses,” says Jeffery Beckham, Jr., CEO of Chicago Scholars. “Even in the face of unprecedented challenges, Chicago Scholars is continually growing and evolving, and we are excited to meet a new class of Scholars and help them reach their highest potentials as we continue this journey.”

Students in the incoming class of Chicago Scholars have the opportunity to participate in a randomized controlled trial evaluating the efficacy of the organization’s initiatives to provide first-generation, low-income students with college preparation and success strategies through a partnership with Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. In early September 2021, Chapin Hall was awarded a $2 million grant from the Institute of Education Sciences National Center for Education Research to conduct the study. Participation in the study is not required and will not impact acceptances in any way.

Last year, the organization accepted nearly 600 new Scholars and aims to continue to expand their impact for the Class of 2027. High school students who apply will undergo a rigorous application process and will be notified of acceptance in spring 2023, with orientation starting during the summer. Chicago Scholars is looking for ambitious and driven students with the goal of becoming Chicago’s next generation of leaders. For more information on the program and how to apply, visit or email with any questions.

About Chicago Scholars:

Chicago Scholars is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit leadership development organization that empowers academically ambitious first-generation or low-income students to overcome systemic barriers to success in college and beyond while preparing the city’s businesses and organizations for the next generation of leaders.