The University of Chicago has created a new scholarship program for children of employees of Chicago Public Schools (CPS). The scholarship, called the “Chicago Public Schools Educators Award Scholarship,” will provide full tuition to undergraduate students who are accepted to the University and whose parents are employed by CPS. Students do not have to attend a Chicago Public School in order to be eligible for the scholarship, which will go into effect for students accepted for the 2018–19 school year.
The children of all CPS employees are eligible for the scholarship. In addition to rewarding teachers at Chicago Public Schools, the scholarship also recognizes the employees who fulfill other roles necessary to the running of public schools, including counselors, custodial workers, and school clerks.
Among the scholarship’s proponents are Dean John Boyer, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and Derek Douglas, UChicago’s Vice President for Civic Engagement. “This new scholarship recognizes the vital role that Chicago Public Schools educators play in the lives of our city’s students, while building on the University’s longtime partnerships with local schools,” Douglas said to UChicago News.
The CPS Educators Award Scholarship is an extension of UChicago Promise, the University’s multifaceted approach to providing academic aid to Chicagoans. UChicago Promise offers services ranging from assistance with the college admissions process to tutoring for CPS students of all ages. Additionally, according to the College Admissions website, the University of Chicago already offers full-tuition scholarships to graduates of CPS who are admitted to the College and who demonstrate the greatest promise of having a positive impact on the University. UChicago also offers full-tuition scholarships to children of active Chicago firefighters and police officers.
UChicago Promise has already had a far-reaching effect on students, which will be expanded by the CPS Educators Award Scholarship. As fourth-year and anthropology major Rita Jefferson, who currently benefits from the scholarship for CPS graduates, has said, “It has quite literally changed my life.”