University of Chicago Receives $100 Million Donation to Fund Scholarship Grants for Low-Income Students

The University of Chicago’s Collegiate Scholars program enrolls 60 high school students from the predominantly black Chicago public school system. These students complete a three-year academic preparation course during the school year and over the summer months. Five students each year who successfully complete the Collegiate Scholars program are eligible for full-tuition scholarships at the University of Chicago. This and other outreach efforts have enabled the University of Chicago to increase black enrollments in recent years. This past academic year there were 81 black freshmen at the University of Chicago. This was an increase of more than 52 percent from a year earlier.

Now an unidentified donor has given the University of Chicago a $100 million gift which is earmarked for full-tuition scholarships for low-income students. The gift, from an alumnus who graduated in the early 1980s, is the largest cash gift to an educational institution in Illinois history.

The gift will enable the University of Chicago to eliminate student loans for all students from families whose incomes are under $60,000. Students from families with incomes between $60,000 and $75,000 will have about one half of their loan amounts replaced with scholarship grants.

The new scholarship grants will undoubtedly increase the University of Chicago’s ability to attract more low-income black students.