# The Ultimate Guide to Applying to the University of Chicago

Housed in famed Chicago, Illinois, the University of Chicago is a 130-year-old powerhouse for intellectual excellence and eccentricity. Campus culture strongly encourages academic debate and learning for the sake of learning, so “the life of the mind” is a phrase oft-repeated amongst students.

The private research university has an undergraduate enrollment of over 6,000 students, all operating under a quarter-based system. Of all applicants to the Class of 2024, only 6.2% were accepted, making UChicago the seventh-most selective college in the United States. Intense as the competition may seem, gaining a spot in this years’ class may be made all the more possible through reading our Ultimate Guide.

## Average Stats of Accepted University of Chicago Students

It comes as little surprise that a school known for nerdiness prizes academic excellence; the middle 50% SAT score range for the Class of 2024 at UChicago was 1510-1560, and 1518 was the overall average score. Meanwhile, the average ACT score was 34, with the middle 50% being 34-35. A staggering 99% of students were in the top 10% of their class.

Remember that universities interpret your achievements, academic and otherwise, within the context of your environment. This is likely why the vast majority of admitted students were in the top decile of their senior class; regardless of their standardized testing scores, admits thrived within their respective communities.

Though many accepted students submitted anywhere between a median score (by UChicago standards at that!) to a perfect one, please remember that stats are not everything. 1020 SATs and 20 ACTs also made it to the admit pile.

While your stats may not likely make or break your admissions status, having solid ones will at least hold your admission officers’ interest. Lower numbers will hurt you, with some exception given to underrepresented minorities, legacies, and recruited athletes.

Though your standardized testing score is not a complete measure of your academic aptitude, many universities will treat it as such if you choose to submit it. They’re calculated into your Academic Index, a number universities create based on your test scores, GPA, and class ranking to evaluate your overall academic aptitude.

Many universities this year have gone test-optional due to the coronavirus pandemic, but perhaps more uniquely, UChicago made that shift in 2018 to increase its accessibility to low-income and first-generation students. There’ll be no negative judgement on UChicago’s end if you either opt out or cannot submit your scores.

If you do choose to submit them in the 2020-2021 cycle, we generally recommend doing so only if your SAT score falls within 60 points of the 25th percentile score, or if your ACT score falls within three points of the 25th percentile score. This is because superscores are lower this cycle, and having a score close to the 25th percentile can strengthen your application.

While UChicago doesn’t report the GPA of its accepted class, it’s important to know yours for the application process (we can also probably safely assume it’s an A average). If you don’t know yours, you can find it using our free GPA calculator.

## UChicago’s College Application Process

### Application Overview

UChicago accepts both the Coalition Application and the Common Application without preference given to either platform.

If this appears (understandably) beyond your family’s budget, don’t despair; 40% of students receive need-based financial aid, and UChicago’s average aid package is $55,458. ### How to Apply for Financial Aid If you’re applying for aid, you’ll need: Financial aid priority deadlines—that is, the day by which you will be given “priority” to receive your financial aid package before May 1—are as follows: Early Decision 1 and Early Action: November 15 Early Decision 2: January 15 Regular Decision: February 15 Transfer: April 15 While you can still submit a financial aid application after the above dates, you are not guaranteed an answer by the time you may need it. The financial aid office reviews each application case-by-case, so it can take a while to receive your aid decision. Like many other top schools, the University of Chicago has pledged to meet all demonstrated financial need with no loan expectation. In essence, they promise to make up the difference between your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) and the total cost of room and board. Under UChicago’s Empower initiative, families making under$125,000 with typical assets will receive free tuition, and those making under $65,000 with typical assets will receive full coverage of their room and board as well. UChicago practices need-blind admissions, meaning ability to pay won’t be factored into your decision, and is no-loan for students meeting certain financial criteria, meaning that generous financial aid is given to qualifying students to facilitate their ability to graduate college with no loans. The University offers merit scholarships to select admits. Scholarships may be awarded on the basis of exceptional academic achievement—through the National Merit Finalist or National Hispanic Recognition Program, for example—leadership, community contributions, or extracurricular achievement. Given without consideration of financial need, these awards tend to be between$5,000 to $10,000, or take the form as funding for summer opportunities. For example, first-generation college students receive a$20,000 scholarship over four years and a guaranteed paid internship for their first summer. Children of Chicago public school educators and police and firefighters are eligible for specific scholarships as well (note that none of these require a specific application process except for the Police and Fire Scholarship).

Aid is typically administered only to full-time students (students taking no less than three classes totaling 300 credits each quarter), but you may still be eligible as a part-time student. In this situation, it is best to speak directly with the financial aid office.

## What Are Your Chances of Acceptance?

It’s difficult to determine your true chance at the University of Chicago, but you can check out our chancing calculator for a clearer picture. Our complex algorithm will take your demographics, academics, and extracurriculars into account and give you specific tips for improving your profile.

For a comprehensive, statistical breakdown of this university, check out our UChicago profile page! It holds all of the granular information you’ll need when deciding whether to apply or attend—everything from weather to demographic breakdowns.