Chicago Scholars Among First to Be Accepted to College

Chicago Scholars has done it again. The seven-year college access, mentoring, and leadership development program serving under-resourced youth recently held its 10th annual Onsite Admissions Forum, attended by nearly 1,000 college bound students.

Indeed, there is power in partnerships. Chicago Scholars partnered with 176 institutions of higher learning, as well as 34 other community-based organizations, to provide opportunities for the city’s most ambitious, underserved students by allowing them to interview with their top college choices. Colleges offered on-the-spot acceptances as well as merit aid to many applicants, making these students among the first in the nation to be accepted to college this year.

Education Equals Opportunity


Along with host committee members like Mellody Hobson and George Lucas, other participants at the event included Chicago Scholar alum Paul Trussell, director of Deutsche Bank and regular CNBC contributor; current scholar Daniela Fernandez, Glamour‘s 2016 College Woman of the Year and founder of Georgetown Sustainable Oceans Alliance; as well as Dominique Jordan Turner, president and CEO of Chicago Scholars.

Jaime Garcia, the organization’s Director of College Access, spoke with Black Enterprise about the event.

Black Enterprise: Why is this event important for colleges as well as students?

Garcia: This is a great event for colleges, because they want access to high-achieving, diverse students, and this event helps them to tap into that rich population. These are students we’ve vetted, who have already expressed interest in those colleges. For colleges, that’s a huge incentive to attend.

For students, an event like this is critical. College Scholars has 176 college partners, allowing students to expand their selection.

Students can submit an application and gain admission on the day of the Onsite. So they go back to their high school and already have dollars attached to their college acceptance, when many of their peers are just starting the college application process.

Black Enterprise: How are colleges able to offer on-the-spot acceptances?

Garcia: Colleges review completed applications in advance of the Onsite event. This is a big [thing to] ask, because this is [in] the middle of the recruitment season. Many colleges haven’t started evaluating students yet. The colleges partner with us with the understanding that they can offer admission the day of the event.

College Scholars guides students through the college application process. The goal is to submit in early October and receive a decision during the Onsite event.


Chicago Scholars mentors students through college and helps them land their first professional jobs. For more information about Chicago Scholars, explore its website.