The University of Chicago News Office
March 15, 2003 Press Contact: Sabrina Miller
(773) 702-4195

University of Chicago Creates Scholarship, Enrichment Programs for Chicago Public School Students

Collegiate Scholars Program website

Additional Contact:
Eve Hyatt
Chicago Public Schools (773) 553-1612

(l-r) Arne Duncan, CEO, Chicago Public Schools
Don Michael Randel, President, University of Chicago
James Crown, Vice-Chair, University of Chicago Board of Trustees


In recognition of the outstanding students who attend public school in the city of Chicago, the University of Chicago is establishing the Chicago Public Schools Scholarship program, which will offer 20 full-tuition scholarships to Chicago public schools graduates. In a closely related program, the University will also bring 150-200 talented public high school students to campus to study free of charge with distinguished faculty members as part of an intensive enrichment program designed to prepare them to successfully enter and succeed at America’s most competitive colleges.

The programs will be announced March 6 at a press conference attended by representatives of the University of Chicago and the Chicago Public Schools

“We are proud to offer students what we truly believe may be the very best education available at any university in the nation,” said University of Chicago President Don Michael Randel. “Now, thanks to the success of Chicago school reform and the work of exceptional teachers, more and more outstanding students from the Chicago Public Schools are prepared to take advantage of the education we offer at the University of Chicago. With these new programs, we are committing ourselves to making this education available to considerably more public school students.”

The first group of five scholarship winners will be selected this spring to enroll in the fall. The Chicago Public Schools students, who will be chosen on the basis of their academic talent, extra-curricular accomplishments and other factors, will receive full tuition scholarships (current tuition at the University of Chicago is $27,324) for each year of their enrollment in the College. The scholarships are renewable for four years, so that at any given time there could be as many as twenty Chicago Public Schools Scholars receiving this honor.

The second program, the University of Chicago Collegiate Scholars Program, will bring to campus each year a group of talented students from public high schools across the city. The first set of students, currently ninth-graders, will be chosen this spring for their intellectual promise as well as their records of service to their schools and neighborhoods. They will begin classes at the University this summer. Once the program is fully implemented, approximately 150 to 200 Chicago public school scholars from tenth through twelfth grades will be engaged each year in academic enrichment activities, cultural events, college counseling and, ultimately, courses in the College of the University of Chicago, while still attending their Chicago public high schools.

Among the faculty who will be teaching the students this summer are Robert Fefferman, the Louis Block Professor in Mathematics; Allen Sanderson, Associate Chair of Economics; Paul Sally, Professor in Mathematics; and Herman Sinaiko, Professor in the Humanities. Other leading faculty members will also offer courses through the program.

The University of Chicago Collegiate Scholars will be able to sample the rich array of learning available at the University. In studying with Fefferman, for instance, the students will discuss topics in algebra, geometry and probability theory. Students studying with Sanderson will be introduced to “the economic way of thinking,” with special emphasis on how individuals, families, communities, business firms and governments make decisions with regard to important and contemporary economic, social and political issues. The program will help talented students succeed at outstanding colleges and universities across the country.

In addition to taking classes, students selected for the program will receive academic support and mentoring to help prepare them to succeed at the nation’s top universities, including the University of Chicago. The University of Chicago Collegiate Scholars Program is a partnership with the Chicago Public Schools.

Initial funding for these programs includes a major gift from the Crown family of Chicago, a grant from the public schools for the enrichment program and University support.

“We applaud the University of Chicago and the Crown Family for helping us achieve our goal of presenting varied and rich opportunities to all students,” said Chicago Board of Education President Michael Scott.

“The Collegiate Scholars program supports our goal of getting students into top colleges,” said Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan. “We have very bright students and they deserve to attend the very best universities in the country. I salute the vision of the University of Chicago and the Crown family for this program.”

“My family is thrilled to participate in supporting two profoundly important areas of academic life in Chicago,” said James Crown, Vice Chair of the University of Chicago Board of Trustees. “We strongly support the efforts of the Chicago Public School system to provide enrichment and opportunity for motivated students. By paving a pathway to the University of Chicago, the Collegiate Scholars Program will offer high school students a chance to learn from some of the finest professors in the world. A wonderful extension of this relationship is the Chicago scholarship program. This will allow talented students to attend a world class university without any financial pressure or distractions. We hope the combined impact of these two initiatives brings out some of the best in our current school system.”

The Chicago Public Schools Scholarship Program and the University of Chicago Collegiate Scholars Program expand an already strong array of programs that link the University and the public schools. In some of the many programs, University faculty work with Chicago public school students and their teachers to provide additional learning opportunities, the University operates a Charter School in North Kenwood-Oakland, and it provides extensive technology support to twenty nine local schools.

The University of Chicago, one of the nation’s leading research universities, has a faculty of 2,100 and a student body of 4,100 undergraduates and 8,889 graduate and professional students. More than 70 University of Chicago faculty, researchers and alumni have earned Nobel Prizes since the institution was founded in 1890.

The Chicago Public Schools system is the nation’s third-largest school district and the second-largest employer in Illinois, with more than 43,000 employees. The school system operates 600 schools and serves 437,000 students.
Last modified at 05:07 PM CST on Monday, April 14, 2003.

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