CSP Graduation Keys

Prospective Scholars

Are you a current 9th grade student enrolled in a Chicago Public School and interested in joining a community of like-minded peers? Have you distinguished yourself through your academic achievements and contributions to your school and community? The University of Chicago Collegiate Scholars Program (UCCSP) might be the place for you.

The University of Chicago Collegiate Scholars Program (CSP) is currently accepting applications for the CSP Class of 2026. Current 9th-grade students in Chicago Public Schools are encouraged to APPLY HERE. The deadline to apply is February 10, 2023. If you have questions, please email the Collegiate Scholars Program at uccsp@uchicago.edu or contact our office at (773) 834- 2774.

Collegiate Scholars Program Admissions

Each year we seek a diverse group of CPS ninth grade students to join our program. We are looking for exceptional high school students who are involved in extracurricular activities and are academically strong and involved in their schools and communities.  We also look for candidates who are able to work well with others. In addition, candidates must value a Liberal Arts education; they should be eager to be exposed to new ideas, people, and experiences.

Finally, strong applicants embody the following characteristics:
  • Ability to Overcome Obstacles: Demonstrated perseverance when presented with a challenge; Demonstrated ability to seek and utilize resources; Demonstrated ability to think critically to solve problems

  • Commitment to Managing Short- and Long-Term Goals: Demonstrated ability to fulfill commitments and manage and prioritize time; Demonstrated ability to choose pathways that will lead to long-term success

  • Intellectual Curiosity: Demonstrated ability to handle a challenging load of courses; Demonstrated desire to learn from experiences inside and outside of the classroom; Demonstrated ability to think critically

  • Self-reflection: Demonstrated ability to learn from successes and failures; Demonstrated ability to be open to constructive feedback; Demonstrated desire to grow as a scholar and a human being

  • Unique Worldview and/or Interests: Applicant presents experiences, perspective, goals or a resume that is unique; Showcases what makes him/her/them special and stand out from the crowd

CSP at Columbia

Benefit of Being a Collegiate Scholar

Being a Collegiate Scholar gives you the opportunity to experience college life firsthand, work with a diverse group of students, and receive help with the sometimes daunting tasks of preparing for and applying to college.  The University of Chicago Collegiate Scholars Program (UCCSP) offers you the opportunity to:

  • Study and learn with a diverse group of students from a wide range of Chicago Public Schools

  • Develop valuable skills that will help you to excel in your high school classes and prepare you better for the opportunities that lie ahead in college

  • Experience the college classroom dynamic and the culture of a college campus

  • Get a head start on the college application process by attending workshops, college fairs, college readiness courses, and college tours

Collegiate Scholars Commitment

Scholars make a three-year commitment to our program. They begin the summer after ninth grade and continue until they graduate from high school. The summer program runs 6 weeks from the last week of June through the first week of August. 

  • It  consists of academic courses taught by University of Chicago faculty, as well as workshops and events

  • Most scholars are on campus Monday-Friday from 9:30am-3:00pm, with breaks throughout the day to complete homework and engage in social activities.  

  • There is an optional college tour for UCCSP scholars the week after the summer program ends; exact dates/times vary every year.

During the academic year, scholars participate in events from September to May geared towards leadership development, college readiness and more

  • Events are usually on weekends and evenings and are typically 1-3 hours in duration. 

  • Students receive a catalog of opportunities, and choose 5-10 events per year.

College Readiness

CSP supports students and their families in planning for college through college search and selection guidance in our College Countdown course. 

  • Students meet with representatives from selective colleges across the country through our college exploration series

  • Visit college campuses locally and nationally through College Tours 

  • Complete P-SAT/SAT Test Prep courses

  • Conduct college preparatory workshops; and 

  • Receive college admissions mentorship year round.  

By offering these programs, coupled with our student enrichment activities and rigorous academic courses, our students will not only have the greatest number of options when selecting schools, they will also better understand what to consider when selecting the school they would like to attend.

CSP scholars on trip

How to Apply

In order to be eligible for the University of Chicago Collegiate Scholars Program, a student must be:

  1. A current 9th grade student

  2. Enrolled in a Chicago Public Schools high school (i.e. neighborhood, charter, selective enrollment etc.)

There are no academic, citizenship, income or demographic eligibility requirements for admission. All interested scholars are encouraged to apply.  

The Collegiate Scholars Program manages an annual admissions and recruitment process for 9th grade students who are interested in applying to the program. The annual recruitment timeline is outlined below.

  • November: Application is available on the CSP website. 
  • February: Application is due.
  • March & April: Applicants who are identified as finalists will be invited to an interview.
  • May: Admissions decisions are released.
  • June: Orientation for the new class of Collegiate Scholars 

If you have any questions or concerns about the application or the admissions process, please contact:

The University of Chicago
Collegiate Scholars Program
Tel. 773-834-2774
Email: uccsp@uchicago.edu


Facebook image