The University of Chicago has announced a new initiative that will work to expand student opportunities for career development and eliminate all student loan requirements in undergraduate need-based financial aid packages.
A new program called No Barriers is one of the key elements of this new initiative and it will work to simplify the university’s admission application and financial aid process for students. Under the No Barriers program, student loans will be replaced with grants in all need-based financial aid packages, application fees will be eliminated for all families seeking financial aid, new scholarships will be put into place for underserved and underrepresented students, and a more simplified financial aid process will be available.
“We want to ensure that students of high ability can aspire to join this community without financial worry, and with comprehensive support for their success both in the College and beyond graduation,” President Robert J. Zimmer said in a statement.
The program, which is set to start with students entering the university in the fall of 2015, will also provide more than 100 annual workshops nationwide to educate prospective students on the admission and financial aid process, increase its National Merit Scholar awards from $2,000 to $4,000 per year for four years, and improve scholarship money for the National Hispanic Recognition Scholars and National Achievement Scholars program, which are designed to positively impact Hispanic and African American students.
“No Barriers will enable students from all backgrounds to gain access to the Core and to the other educational traditions of the University of Chicago that have yielded so many creative and bold thinkers over the generations,” said Dean John W. Boyer.
Earlier this year, the university established a University of Chicago campaign with the goal to raise $4.5 billion by 2019. It’s through this campaign that the university is hoping to garner the most support for their new No Barriers program.