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Rural & Small-Town Applicants

Explore recent media coverage to hear student experiences and learn more about UChicago's access initiatives.

At the University of Chicago, we believe that all students should have access to higher education opportunities no matter their geographic location or ability to pay. UChicago knows that students from rural and small-town contexts bring valuable experiences and viewpoints to a college community, from understanding the strengths and challenges of living in isolated areas to bringing a different understanding of complex political and social issues to the classroom. However, students from rural and small-town communities are often faced with unique social, economic, and cultural barriers to college admissions because of their geographic isolation.

The UChicago Empower access initiative is designed to address the challenges faced by first-generation, low-income, and rural and small-town students. Thanks to a generous donation from the Trott Family Foundation, UChicago created the Emerging Rural Leaders Program in 2018 to reduce the barriers to college that rural students and families face by offering college admissions programming on-campus and in local communities, providing mentoring and support systems for high school students, and updating financial aid policies and scholarships to enable more rural students to pursue higher education at UChicago.