HYDE PARK — Applications to the University of Chicago by Chicago high school students spiked after the university announced last year it would waive application fees and guarantee Chicago students graduate debt-free, according to a new report.
One year after the UChicago Promise program was launched, 73 Chicago high school students have enrolled in the University of Chicago. According to a report released Thursday, the university has secured $2.2 million in grants for those students.
Applications from Chicago students rose by nearly 50 percent over the prior year to 1,193 after the university waived application fees for Chicago students. The university accepted about 10 percent of applications from Chicago students.
As the report was released Thursday, the university also announced alumni Steven and Priscilla Kersten would donate $10 million toward research in urban education, and university President Robert Zimmer was praised by President Barack Obama for the university’s efforts to expand college-readiness programs.
“We know that not enough low-income students are taking the steps required to prepare for college,” Obama said at an event in Washington, D.C., with Zimmer.
“That’s why I’m glad the University of Chicago — my neighbor, and the place where Michelle and I both worked in the past — is announcing a $10 million college success initiative that will reach 10,000 high schools over the next five years.”
In 2012, the university created the UChicago Promise program, which committed to replacing all loans with grants and scholarships for any Chicago high school student who attended the university, and the university bolstered its efforts to get more Chicago students to apply for college.
In its first year, the university granted 31 full-tuition scholarships to applicants from public Chicago high schools and 14 full-tuition scholarships to the children of Chicago police officers and firefighters.