At the Chicago Forum this past weekend, we had a whole lot of questions about financial aid and scholarships. So, I thought I would take this opportunity to address the way we award scholarships here at U of C and how you can make sure you are being considered for them!
Last year we awarded 59% of the entering class with merit and/or need based scholarships. Here at Chicago, one of our priorities is to make sure we can help support as many students as possible and so we spread our scholarships very wide. Our scholarship award letters will follow closely after admission and contain one large scholarship award amount, to be spread over your three years here at U of C. The benefit of this for you is that you don’t have to worry each year about re-qualifying for your scholarship; there is no pressure to maintain a certain grade point average, nor do you have to remember to re-apply for your scholarship or risk losing it!
Everyone who is admitted to U of C is automatically considered for merit based scholarships; you do not need to fill out a special application. Instead, we make decisions for merit aid based upon your admissions application in its entirety. This means that scholarships are not determined solely by your LSAT score and GPA. Yes, it is that “holistic review process” again!
To the extent that you want us to consider your financial need when awarding scholarships, however, you can elect to fill out the Need Access form online. Again, this is only IF you want us to consider financial need. The Need Access form must be filled out and submitted online by March 1.
I also had several questions about whether or not we awarded “Diversity Scholarships” or “Scholarships for Minorities”. Here at Chicago, we do not divvy up the pots of money and say “amount X is for these people” and “amount Y is for those people”. Instead we make ALL of our admits candidates for scholarship money. Everyone is considered, minority or not, “diverse” or not. I hope that admitted students take comfort in this approach.