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UChicago Empower, the First Test-Optional Admissions Process by a Leading College, Increases Access to Higher Education for First-Generation, Low-Income Students
The initiative includes expanded financial aid, new scholarships, and programs for under-represented communities
A strategic initiative to address key barriers encountered by underserved and under-represented students, the UChicago Empower Initiative has three areas of focus: (1) the use of technology for greater flexibility in the admissions process, including making submissions of standardized test scores optional; (2) increased financial support, on-campus programming, and online resources for first-generation, rural, and under-represented students, with full tuition aid for students whose families earn less than $125,000, and (3) new scholarships and access programs to recognize those who serve our country and local communities. Each aims to empower historically under-represented communities in the highly selective admissions process by increasing equity and access. "Today, many under-resourced and under-represented students, families and school advisers perceive top-ranked colleges as inaccessible if students do not have the means to help them stand out in the application process," said James G. Nondorf, vice president, dean of Admissions, University of Chicago. "The UChicago Empower Initiative levels the playing field, allowing first-generation and low-income students to use technology and other resources to present themselves as well as any other college applicant. We want students to understand the application does not define you – you define the application." Rollout of the UChicago Empower Initiative will begin with the Class of 2023. Specific offerings will include: Flexibility in the Application Process
- Self-submission of transcripts, to eliminate fees and simplify the application process.
- The ability to apply without submitting either SAT or ACT scores, and additional ways to exemplify strong academic work and demonstrate intellectual abilities.
- The ability to submit a two-minute video introduction, to embrace technology in communicating merit.
- Full tuition aid for students whose families earn less than $125,000, to build on the College's history of ensuring access to all.
- Scholarships of $20,000 over four years, and a guaranteed paid summer internship, for all first-generation College students.
- Expanded funding for veterans and the children of veterans, police officers and firefighters at state and local departments across the U.S., in addition to covering all education costs for eligible Yellow Ribbon participants (veterans and their eligible children).
- New mentoring technology for first-generation and low-income students, to expand the ways in which engaged alumni can offer mentorship and support.
- Partnership with the Posse Foundation's Veterans Program, to build an undergraduate veterans cohort.
- Allison Davis Jr. Education Summit and the UChicago Summer Scholars Program for African American students sponsored by UChicago's Women's Board.
- Partnerships and experiential learning opportunities that will be announced in 2019.
We heard from OM and industry vet Jeff Anderson who informed us of the following: "I am no longer Operations Manager for Beasley Charlotte’s WBAV 101.9 and WPEG Power 98. I am thankful to Bill Schoening, Justin Chase, and the Beasley Family for their support and the opportunity to reenergize their stations. This has been an awesome opportunity and I am thankful to have been able to put together a great staff and grow the ratings to new heights. Unfortunately, in this financial climate, changes have to be made so I am looking forward to assisting the next brand with meeting their ratings and revenue goals. I can be easily reached at [email protected]" Jeff Uzi D Anderson
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