HBCU Bridge Scholarship Program FAQs

What is the HBCU Bridge Scholarship?
  • It is a merit-based scholarship for exceptional students from select HBCUs* who have completed their BA or BS degree. Selected students are invited to study at the University of Chicago for one academic year (three quarters).
  • The Graham School intends to award up to 10 HBCU Bridge Scholarships for the 2017-18 academic year.
  • Students may select from two study tracks: Autumn, Winter, and Spring Quarters, or Winter, Spring, and Summer Quarters.
  • Students will be awarded full tuition scholarships for a maximum of six courses, enrolling in up to two per quarter.
  • Students may take either undergraduate or graduate courses in the following divisions and schools: Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences, Divinity, Public Policy, Social Service Administration, Law, and Booth School of Business.
  • Students may not enroll in courses through the Pritzker School of Medicine.
  • Students who successfully complete the HBCU Scholarship Program will receive a University of Chicago transcript.

* White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (2015)

Why are we offering this scholarship?
  • The goal is to provide exemplary HBCU alumni with an opportunity to explore new fields of study or delve deeper into academic areas of interest. The scholarships will provide substantive academic experience towards eventual applications to graduate or professional schools.
  • By inviting these exemplary HBCU alumni to engage in courses on our campus, we aim to support the University of Chicago’s mission to foster a culture of diversity and innovation.
  • Introduced in Autumn 2015, seven inaugural HBCU Bridge scholars are currently studying Business, Law, Human Rights, Public Policy, Psychology and Gender Studies.
What are the scholarship qualifications?
  • Applicants must have a BA or BS degree at time of matriculation.
  • Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 to be considered.
What are the academic requirements while in the program?
  • Applicants must complete at least one course per quarter at the “B” grade level or above to remain in the program.
  • Applicants experiencing extenuating circumstances and requiring a Leave of Absence for one quarter or more must continue to work closely with the Program Director and the Dean of Students if they wish to continue in the program.
How do I apply or request a nomination?
  • Each HBCU is invited to hold their own internal selection process and nominate up to three candidates to represent their schools as scholarship candidates.
  • Individual alumni members of HBCUs are advised to contact their alma maters to be considered for their school’s nomination process.
  • Once nominated by their schools, nominees will submit applications through the Graham School Graduate- Student-At-Large (GSAL) program: apply-graham.uchicago.edu/apply/.
  • Nominees will submit their undergraduate transcript (unofficial), SAT/ACT scores, candidate statement, and current resume online, as part of their application.
  • Applicants may be admitted to the GSAL program even if they are not selected for the HBCU Bridge Scholarship.
  • Nominees will submit three Letters of Recommendation (one must be from faculty) and one Letter of Nomination from their school (sealed and signed) via mail to the address below:

ATTN: Esther Pandian-Riske
Associate Director, GSAL and RS Programs Graham School
1427 E. 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

What are the benefits of the program?
  • Weekly, individual in-depth academic advising.
  • Interdisciplinary course offerings, with the flexibility to explore multiple areas of study.
  • Opportunities to attend campus-wide workshops and seminars on graduate programs and career exploration.
  • Opportunities to build professional relationships with faculty.
Who should I contact for more information?

For more information about the HBCU Bridge Scholarship, academic progress and requirements, please contact Esther Pandian-Riske.

Esther Pandian-Riske
Associate Director

What is the HBCU Scholarship Cost?

Course Tuition: $0 (full tuition scholarship)
Student Life Fee: $1,128
Medical Insurance: $3,615†
Books and Course Materials: $800 estimated cost
Graduate Student Housing: $7,200^
One-time Lifetime Transcript Fee: $60
Total: $12,803

†Health insurance is required for all students. Students may provide proof of coverage elsewhere and complete a waiver to opt out of University coverage.
^Estimate based on 9-month lease on studio apartment at $800 per month. Meals are not included.

When are the deadlines?
March 10th Last day for nomination and online application
April 15th Admissions Decisions
May 15th Last day to accept or decline HBCU Bridge Scholarship