As part of an anonymous $100-million gift, UChicago Promise awards full-tuition four-year scholarships to a select number of graduates of Chicago Public Schools who are admitted to the College of the University of Chicago. Awards are made to outstanding students who show the greatest potential for making contributions to the academic, extracurricular and community life of the College. Financial need does not affect admissions decisions. The University of Chicago waives the application fee for all CPS applicants.
The Promise marked a new milestone in the University of Chicago’s commitment to help increase access to college for students from the City of Chicago. Research shows that many Chicago students do not take the steps needed to enroll in colleges that match their qualifications. A 2008 study of CPS graduates found that only 27 percent of students qualified to attend a selective college enrolled in a selective college and only 38 percent of students with qualifications to attend a very selective college enrolled in a very selective college. While strides have been made in boosting college enrollment rates, many Chicago students remain daunted by the college application process or complex financial aid paperwork, while others do not get the support and counsel they need to aim high and succeed.