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Chi-Rise Scholarship
Deadline to apply: February 26, 2021 3:00 pm CT

The Chi-Rise Scholarship has been established to assist students in selected Chicago Public high schools who plan to continue their education in college or vocational school programs.

This program is administered by Scholarship America®, the nation’s largest designer and manager of scholarship, tuition assistance and other education support programs for corporations, foundations, associations, and individuals. Awards are granted without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation,  gender, disability, or national origin.

Please click and and read through each tab below regarding Eligibility, Awards, Required Documents and FAQ’s for the program before applying for the scholarship.

Eligibility

New applicants to the Chi-Rise Scholarship Program must:

  • Be graduating in 2021 from one of the following Chicago Public high schools:
    • Chicago Vocational Career Academy
    • Percy Julian High School
    • Thomas Kelly College Preparatory
    • North-Grand High School
    • George Washington High School
  • Have a minimum grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale (or its equivalent)
  • Plan to enroll in full-time undergraduate study at an eligible accredited two- or four-year college or university or vocational school for the entire upcoming academic year

2020 Catalyst Grant recipients renewing for 2021 must:

  • Be a 2020 Catalyst Grant recipient currently enrolled in post-secondary school
  • Plan to continue in full-time undergraduate study at an eligible accredited two- or four-year college or university or vocational school for the entire upcoming academic year
  • Have a minimum grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale (or its equivalent) and earning credits on pace for timely graduation

Award

Awards will be granted as follows:

  • 2-year/Vocational Schools – $1,250
  • 4-year Public (In State) – $3,000
  • 4-year Public (Out of State) or Private – $6,000

Awards are for undergraduate study only.

As a competitive scholarship program, not all applicants can receive awards.

Awards are renewable up to three years or until a bachelor’s degree is earned, whichever occurs first, on the basis of satisfactory academic performance (maintaining a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale and earning credits on pace for timely graduation).

Participation in Scholarship America’s financial literacy tool, WhichWay is offered to scholarship recipients. Recipients will be invited to download the WhichWay app and register to participate in activities that encourage financial literacy to help guide a student to financial stability and success.

Selection of Recipients

The donor for this scholarship is eager to help students graduating from eligible Chicago Public Schools. Your submitted information will be evaluated by Scholarship America. Scholarship America will consider your overall application including your academic and personal background along with your future plans and special circumstances to determine awards. Financial need will be considered. Additionally, they will award funds up to the budget provided by the donor. We encourage all eligible students to apply.

Notification
Applicants will be notified in April.

Payment of Scholarships
Scholarship America processes scholarship payments on behalf of the scholarship sponsor. Payments are made in early-August.

New applicants to the Chi-Rise Scholarship Program must upload the following documents:

  • Current, complete transcript of grades. Grade reports are not accepted. Unofficial or online transcripts must display student name, school name, grades and credit hours for each course, and term in which each course was taken.
  • Student Aid Report (SAR) or equivalent report from the Alternate Application for Illinois Financial Aid.

2020 Catalyst Grant recipients renewing for 2021 must upload the following documents:

  • Current, complete transcript of grades. Grade reports are not accepted. Unofficial or online transcripts must display student name, school name, grades and credit hours for each course, and term in which each course was taken.
  • Student Aid Report (SAR) or equivalent report from the Alternate Application for Illinois Financial Aid.

Your application is not considered complete unless all required documents are submitted electronically.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Am I eligible to apply for the Chi-Rise Scholarship?

Students graduating in 2021 from the following Chicago Public Schools are eligible to apply for the scholarship:

  • Chicago Vocational Career Academy
  • Percy Julian High School
  • Thomas Kelly College Preparatory
  • North-Grand High School
  • George Washington High School

OR

A 2020 Catalyst Grant recipient currently enrolled in post-secondary school and maintaining a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale and earning credits on pace for timely graduation.

Scholarship America will verify financial need. You must have either graduated from high school with at least a 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale and be enrolling this fall in a full-time undergraduate study at an eligible accredited two- or four-year college or university or vocational school for the entire upcoming academic year or have received a 2020 Catalyst Grant and currently enrolled in post-secondary school and maintaining a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale and earning credits on pace for timely graduation. This scholarship is intended for first-year college students or a 2020 Catalyst Grant recipient.

2. I am an undocumented student. May I apply for this scholarship?

Yes, there are no citizenship requirements that are part of eligibility or the application process.

3. What is the deadline to submit my scholarship application?

You must submit your application through the Scholarship America Hub portal by 3:00 p.m. Central Time on Friday February 26, 2021.

4. What contact information should I use when applying on the Scholarship America Hub?

If available, applicants are encouraged to use a permanent email (hotmail, gmail, yahoo, etc.) and a mobile phone number when completing their Hub profile, rather than a school email or phone number that they may lose access to in the future.

5. How much scholarship money am I eligible for?

Students awarded scholarships will receive funding for the current academic year based on the type of higher education institution they are enrolling in this fall. The scholarship amounts are based on the approximate unmet need students from eligible high schools are likely to face based on the type of institution they are attending.

  • Two-Year Community College or a Vocational School – $1,250.00
  • Four-Year Public College or University in Illinois – $3,000.00
  • Four-Year Public College or University Outside of Illinois or Four-Year Private College or University – $6,000.00

6. What college expenses can the scholarship be applied to?

This scholarship is designed to support the Cost of Attendance at your higher education institution. For most colleges and universities, this includes tuition, fees, and room and board. Your award will be disbursed to your college or university and applied to your account.

7. Is this scholarship renewable next year?

Awards are renewable up to three years or until a bachelor’s degree is earned, whichever occurs first, on the basis of satisfactory academic performance (maintaining a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale and earning credits on pace for timely graduation).

8. How will the scholarship application be evaluated?

The donor for this scholarship is eager to help students graduating from eligible Chicago Public Schools. Submitted information will be evaluated by Scholarship America. Scholarship America will consider all application materials including academic and personal background, future plans and special circumstances to grant awards. We encourage all eligible students to apply.

9. Are there parts of the application I must fill out? Are there any sections that are optional?

When you begin the application, any question with a “*” is required. Any field without a “*” are optional, though we encourage you to complete as much of the application as possible.

10. What documents do I need to provide as part of my application?

You will need to upload:

  • Current, complete transcript of grades. Grade reports are not accepted. Unofficial or online transcripts must display student name, school name, grades and credit hours for each course, and term in which each course was taken.
  • A copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR) from your FAFSA or equivalent report from the Alternate Application for Illinois Financial Aid.

Please contact your high school or postsecondary counselor if you need help getting a copy of the documents.

11. What if I don’t know how to answer specific, required questions?

Do your best to answer questions and provide an answer for any required question. For example, the application will ask about your intended college major. Feel free to indicate ‘Undecided’; choosing ‘Undecided’ will not affect your scholarship chances.

You may also contact Scholarship America at chi-rise@scholarshipamerica.org if you have any questions. If you email Scholarship America, you should expect to hear back within a few hours.

12. Once I start college, what if I need additional financial help?

The Chi-Rise Scholarship program also has an affiliated Emergency Aid program. Should you find yourself in a situation where you need immediate financial assistance for housing, food, car repairs (to travel to and from campus), other transportation, health care, or certain utilities, you may be eligible for additional support. The emergency aid program will be available beginning on or after January 13, 2021 at https://learnmore.scholarsapply.org/catalystea/.

Selecting the button below will redirect you to the Scholarship America Student Hub to enter your profile information and complete the application!