Mar. 6, 2003 – Vol. 22 No. 11

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    University partners with CPS to offer top students academic opportunities

    By William Harms
    News Office

    In recognition of the outstanding students who attend public schools in the city of Chicago, the University will announce today that it is establishing the Chicago Public Schools Scholarship program, which will offer 20 full-tuition scholarships to Chicago Public Schools graduates.

    The University also will bring 150 to 200 talented, public high school students to campus to study free of charge with distinguished faculty members as part of an intensive enrichment program. This program is designed to prepare students to successfully complete studies at America’s most competitive colleges.

    Representatives of the University and Chicago Public Schools will announce the programs at a press conference.

    “We are proud to offer students what we truly believe may be the very best education available at any university in the nation,” said President 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. 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 is $27,324) for each year of enrollment in the College. The scholarships are renewable for four years, so that at any given time there could be as many as 20 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 10th through 12th grades will be engaged each year in academic enrichment activities, cultural events, college counseling and, ultimately, courses in the College, 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 Chairman of Economics; Paul Sally, Professor in Mathematics; and Herman Sinaiko, Professor in the Humanities. Other leading faculty members also will 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, 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 Chicago.

    The University of Chicago Collegiate Scholars Program is a partnership with the Chicago Public Schools. Initial funding for these programs includes a gift from the Crown family of Chicago, a grant from the public schools for the enrichment program and University support.

    “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 and the Crown family for this program.”

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

    James Crown, Vice Chairman of the University Board of Trustees, said: “My family is thrilled to participate in supporting two profoundly important areas of academic life in Chicago. We strongly support the efforts of the Chicago Public Schools system to provide enrichment and opportunity for motivated students. By paving a pathway to the University, 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 group of programs that link the University and the public schools.

    In some of the many programs, University faculty work with Chicago Public Schools 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 29 local schools.