Academic Year Bridge

Applications for the 2021-2022 Academic Year open on June 14.

Program Overview

Applicants must be enrolled in Chicago Public Schools for both the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 academic years and must be a junior or senior during the 2021-2022 academic year.  As a participant in the Academic Year Bridge program, you will enroll alongside UChicago undergraduates in one course each quarter at the University of Chicago. You will select a course from the College’s undergraduate curriculum, in close consultation with the College Bridge Adviser.

Bridge participants are assessed greatly reduced tuition rates and those eligible can receive scholarships, with the maximum award covering the costs of all tuition, fees, and course books. This program is made possible by a collaboration between the University of Chicago's Summer Session and Office of Community Engagement.

Important Dates

  • July 28: Deadline to submit all applications.  Students should start an application and input their recommender’s information as soon as possible and the recommender will receive a request right away, even before the application is submitted.  Students should submit their application before their recommendation is received, if necessary.  The review and interview process will begin as soon as a student submits their application; students are encouraged to submit prior to the deadline. 
  • August 18: Admissions decisions will be released and students will receive available courses to review
  • August 25: Deadline for confirming participation and to submit course preferences
  • September 27: Autumn courses begin

Program Costs

Costs for this program include a greatly reduced tuition, the Lifetime Transcript Fee, and textbooks, as noted in Tier 3 in the chart, below. Students can be considered for additional funding, which will be based on household income, and assigned to a different funding tier, if admitted. The chart below shows the three tiers of support available.

Students who wish to be considered for the additional funding will need to upload additional financial documentation on the Financial Aid and Scholarship page of their application. US citizens and permanent residents should supply their parents' most recent 1040s and W2s. If you have any questions about what to provide, please contact us at summersession@uchicago.edu

Please note that funding for the College Bridge program does not cover any costs associated with the technology necessary to participate in remote learning, such as laptops or tablets, and home internet access.  You will also be responsible for any additional costs, such as meals or transportation to and from the university.

Tier 1 Student Pays UChicago Pays
Tuition (per quarter) $0 $600
Books (per quarter; estimate) $0 $50-100
Lifetime Transcript Fee (one-time) $0 $75
     
Tier 2 Student Pays UChicago Pays
Tuition (per quarter) $300 $300
Books (per quarter; estimate) $50-100 $0
Lifetime Transcript Fee (one-time) $0 $75
     
Tier 3 Student Pays  
Tuition (per quarter) $600  
Books (per quarter; estimate) $50-100  
Lifetime Transcript Fee (one-time) $75  

Application and Eligibility Process

Details about the application and the link to the application are on the Academic Year College Bridge Application page.

Applicants must be enrolled in Chicago Public Schools for both the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 academic years and must be a junior or senior during the 2021-2022 academic year.  They have a strong academic record in a rigorous, college preparatory curriculum, taking the most advanced courses possible in their high school in the subject they wish to study at UChicago or the most closely related discipline, In addition, students should demonstrate the emotional maturity necessary to tackle undergraduate-level coursework, in areas such as self-motivation, self-discipline, and time management.

All applications require short personal essays, a graded work sample, a letter of recommendation from a teacher in subject related to the one they wish to study at UChicago, and transcripts from all high schools attended. Applicants will also participate in an online interview.

Coordination With Chicago Public Schools

Participation in College Bridge must also be approved by your high school counselor or principal. Generally, for each course taken at the University of Chicago, you will be excused from two courses at your high school. After you have obtained permission, the College Bridge Advisor will work with your high school counselor to confirm that your participation is possible and doesn’t interfere with your high school academic or co-curricular requirements.

Academic Information

Autumn 2021 courses will return to being in-person. The College Bridge Adviser will keep admitted students updated on any changes to university policies and course status as information is received.

Courses

Areas of study may include:

  • Biological Sciences
  • Humanities, including foreign language study
  • Physical Sciences (example: Honors Calculus)
  • Social Sciences, (example: Economics, Civilization Studies)

Enrollment in any of these areas will require that a student has completed their high school graduation requirements in the subject area and have completed the most advanced course in that subject area (for example, an Advanced Placement (AP) course) with a strong record of achievement.  A placement test may be required for some subjects; the College Bridge Adviser will help each student select their course(s). 

Academic Credit

All courses are graded (A-F), carry at least 100 units of credit, and are part of the University of Chicago’s undergraduate curriculum. It’s important to note that, as opposed to many universities that structure their calendars by semesters, the University of Chicago operates on a quarter system. Each University of Chicago 100-unit course is the equivalent of 3.3 semester credit hours.

Students interested in transferring UChicago credit earned during College Bridge should contact the university where you would want the credit to be applied about their requirements for doing so. Transfer of credit is at the discretion of the recipient university. You will be able to request your transcript via your MyUChicago account after your courses end.  Students who go on to attend the University of Chicago will not be able to use these courses towards their graduation requirements.

Grades

A grade of B- or higher must be achieved in order to move on to the next quarter. Grades are listed on high school transcripts and weighted as an AP class.  Students cannot take these courses for a pass/fail grade.

Academic Calendar

The University of Chicago is on the quarter system and the regular academic year includes Autumn (September-December), Winter (January-March), and Spring (April-June). Each quarter  is 10 weeks long, followed by a finals week. These quarters do not coincide neatly with the CPS calendar and you will be expected to attend classes at the University of Chicago even when there is no school at your high school.  You can review the exact dates on our Academic Calendar page.  You will not be required to take a course during Spring Quarter, as there is often a great deal of work during that time period in high school (AP tests, ACT, etc.).You must consult with your high school counselor if, for any reason, you are no longer taking courses at the University of Chicago. They will most likely re-enroll you in two high school classes at that time.


Advising and Mentorship Meetings

Summer Session’s Assistant Director of Academic Affairs, Sarah Lopez, supports all participants as the College Bridge Adviser.  Regular check-ins will be arranged with students to ensure they receive the support they need to be successful in College Bridge.