Last year, the University of Chicago announced the UChicago Promise, an initiative to prepare Chicago Public Schools students for competitive college applications. This year, Northwestern University has announced a similar program, the Northwestern Academy.
It’s terrific. NU will work with 200 students at CPS schools that are NOT part of the selective enrollment elite. The students will receive academic enrichment and advising services to help prepare them for college, and not necessarily NU.
NU also announced the $3.6 million Sacks Family Scholarship Fund for Chicago Public Schools students who attend NU. It will provide scholarships large enough to eliminate any student loans these people might otherwise have. The university already waives application fees for CPS students and offers special scholarship programs for those who are accepted.
These programs address two key issues: guidance on college applications and financial aid. Although most CPS students would qualify for generous financial aid at Northwestern anyway (87% of students are from low-income families), the reassurance matters a lot to families that don’t know how college works.
Make sure that any people in your life who could benefit know about this. So many people get freaked out by the sticker price of education that they don’t realize that they may not have to pay it – and that’s especially the case for those who could benefit the most from a good education,