The University of Chicago News Office
Oct. 19, 2006 Press Contact: William Harms
(773) 702-8356

University of Chicago makes permanent a pilot program to enroll city’s top public school students

The University of Chicago is celebrating the achievements of a partnership with the Chicago Public Schools by establishing permanently a program that gives full tuition scholarships each year to five of the city’s most outstanding public school students.

In recognition of the success of the CPS Scholars program, the University will hold a reception on Thursday, October 19, at 5 p.m. at the Gordon Center for Integrative Science, 929 East 57th St.

The CPS Scholars program was begun in 2003 with a gift from the Crown Foundation, which funded the initiative’s first four years. Because of the accomplishments of the students it attracted, the University has decided to continue the program using other scholarship resources.

Michael Behnke, Vice President for Enrollment at the University said, “We wanted to attract more of the best students from the Chicago Public Schools and we have certainly done that. The Chicago Public Schools Scholars have done the city and our University proud.”

Arne Duncan, CEO of the Chicago Public Schools, said “We are thrilled with the success of the CPS Scholars program. We have consistently worked at improving the high school experiences for our students so that they can be well prepared to succeed at the nation’s top universities. The success of this program at the University of Chicago shows that our efforts are working.”

The programs have increased University applications from CPS students. In 2001, 137 CPS students applied, while last spring, 308 applied.

In announcing the scholarship program, the University said the initiative was made possible by the educational improvements in the Chicago public schools which have increased the pool of students qualified to study at the College, the University’s undergraduate division.

Among the first 20 CPS scholars are students who are the first in their families to attend college, and students who are exceptionally talented in areas such as art and mathematics. One has helped uncover a Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton from a rock and another is taking part in the University’s urban teaching program. Other student plans after college include attending law school, studying film production, and studying public health.

Two of the students in this year’s entering class who are CPS scholars also took part in the Collegiate Scholars Program, an enrichment program that brings 150 outstanding CPS students to campus each year and prepares them for admission to the nation’s leading universities.
Last modified at 06:34 PM CST on Sunday, February 11, 2007.

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