Last Tuesday, something very exciting happened —
our seniors were admitted to college!
Through our partnership with Chicago Scholars — an innovative not-for-profit organization designed to assist marginalized Chicago-area high school students overcome barriers to collegiate access and success — our seniors were invited to participate in the Fifth Annual Onsite Admissions Forum. The Onsite is a live college admissions event that is designed to ensure that students are matched with a set of “good-fit” college options as they jump-start the admissions process — putting Scholars ahead of traditional admission cycles, relieving anxiety (particularly for first-generation college students), and freeing them up to concentrate on academics. By mid-September, participating students submitted completed applications to five “good-fit” attending colleges, and colleges came to the Onsite event in late October prepared to meet with students to discuss their applications and often to admit them “onsite.”
More than 500 students interviewed for admission to 70 colleges as part of this year’s Onsite event — with more than 3000 total interviews taking place that day!
As a special treat for the students, Chicago-born rapper Common flew in from Los Angeles to share words of inspiration and to announce the partnership of his organization, the Common Ground Foundation, with Chicago Scholars.
At the Onsite event, our seniors were admitted to the following 16 universities:
Arizona State University (1 student), Bradley University (3), Case Western Reserve University (2), Colgate University (1), DePaul University (2), George Washington University (1), Grinnell College (6), Knox College (4), Illinois Institute of Technology (7), Illinois State University (1), Iowa State University (1), Lake Forest College (1), Loyola University-Chicago (1), Marquette University (4), University of Arizona (2), and University of Illinois-Chicago (1).
Also as part of the Onsite, our seniors applied and interviewed for admission to 25 other highly selective and selective colleges, none of which were offering “onsite” admissions decisions but who were offering students the valuable opportunity to introduce and advocate for themselves face-to-face with admissions representatives. Colleges in this group included:
Amherst College, Augustana College, Boston College, Boston University, Carleton College, Claremont McKenna College, Colby College, Colorado College, DePauw University, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Marist College, Northwestern University, Pitzer College, St. Olaf College, Syracuse University, University of Chicago, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, University of Miami, University of Minnesota-Twin-Cities, University of Pennsylvania, University of Southern California, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Vanderbilt University, Villanova University, and Williams College.
Scholars will hear back from these colleges, and any others to which they have applied outside of the Onsite, between December 2011 and March 2012.
Though exciting, the day was long, with Scholars arriving at 8am for check-in and with many not leaving until 6pm. What did they do during all that downtime?
Thank you to everyone at Chicago Scholars — especially to Willard Dix, Karen Foley, Marybeth Kravets, and Meseret Negash — for putting together such an incredible, transformative event (and for being so patient with me throughout the process)! Thanks also go out to volunteers Laila Alamuddin, Connie Ma, and Ruth Martin; IIT Admissions staff Tanya Cabrera, Sheena Enriquez, and Bryan Woods; and IIT Boeing Scholars Academy Program Interns Anna Kladzyk and Christopher Stovall, for all their help with students’ college applications and admissions essays, as well as with the administration of our college “mock”-interviewing event.
As has been said before, it takes a village (maybe several).
P.S. Happy Halloween!!