Who is eligible for Chicago Scholars?
- Juniors in high school who will graduate in 2025
- Students who live in and attend high school in Chicago
- Students who will be a first-generation college student (neither parent graduated from a four-year college in the US) and/or students who come from a low-income household
- Students who are academically-ambitious, motivated, and believe in the possibility of their unique superpowers
- Students who are demonstrated leaders in their schools, communities, or homes
- Students who are committed to furthering their education and have a strong desire to attend a four-year college
- Mature students who can fully commit to a rigorous academic and leadership development program
- Students with a minimum GPA of 3.0*
*If you are a student with an academic profile that does not meet this criteria and would like to apply, please continue on with the application. There will be a space in the essay portion of this application that allows you to provide proof of an upward trajectory in your academic performance.
Why should I apply to Chicago Scholars?
We stick with our Scholars from their first day in our program through their first job after college — and we never really leave. We don’t say “once a Scholar, always a Scholar” for nothing!
Scholars come from all over the city of Chicago to get the resources, training, and opportunities to navigate the college application process, graduate, and transition into a professional career.
Our Scholars are the next generation of leaders who will transform our communities, city, and world. So, when it comes to questions about college, sharpening your leadership skills, or emerging as a young professional—we’re your people.
As a Scholar, you’ll get support with:
Getting to College: During the first part of our program, Scholars receive support and guidance as they navigate the college application process to enroll in a best match-fit college.
Succeeding in College: Scholars receive experiential learning and leadership development opportunities that will help them become the visionary leaders they want to be.
Transitioning from College to Career: We prepare our Scholars for their careers by supporting them with resume building, internship opportunities, interviewing skills, networking, and much more.
If you submit your completed application by the priority deadline and meet all our stated requirements, you will be guaranteed an admission interview. This is a big deal, as only a certain number of students who apply will be asked to move forward to this phase of our application process.
Please note that if you meet the priority deadline, your counselor and recommender still have until the standard deadline to submit your letter of recommendation and transcript.
Chicago Scholars staff members take a big-picture approach to reviewing applications. We’re looking for students who are committed to their postsecondary success and will demonstrate their commitment through full participation in our program. As we read applications, we give careful consideration not just to a student’s academic profile, but also to his/her/their character, leadership qualities, academic goals, and potential contributions to the Chicago Scholars community.
When reviewing applications, we consider many aspects of students’ academic profile. We understand there are a multitude of reasons why a student may have a GPA that falls below our academic threshold. Test scores are only used to supplement a student’s academic profile. If in doubt, you may contact the Chicago Scholars Community Engagement Team directly at email@example.com to discuss any concerns.
See more FAQs here.