Northwestern Academy prepares high-achieving students from public high schools in Chicago for success at selective colleges.

Nearly 80 high school students began taking classes last month through the Northwestern Academy for Chicago Public Schools, a new initiative to prepare lower-income Chicago teens for success at selective colleges.

The first Academy class, a group of highly motivated rising sophomores, was chosen from an applicant pool of high-achieving students from throughout Chicago Public Schools. The multi-year Academy program will provide students with summer classes, tutoring, mentoring, and other services at no cost to them or their families.

Based on applications, recommendations, and other qualifications, 80 students will be selected each year for the Academy, which will eventually grow to more than 200 students.

“Northwestern is deeply committed to supporting Chicago Public Schools students and providing opportunities for a world-class education that will prepare these students for college and careers,” said Northwestern President Morton Schapiro. The Academy extends Schapiro’s initiatives at Northwestern that include the Good Neighbor, Great University program of scholarships for local low-income students.

Northwestern Academy is offered through the Center for Talent Development at the School of Education and Social Policy, which has more than 30 years of experience in academic enrichment for gifted students. Northwestern underwrites the Academy program through donations from alumni.

Ninth-graders in Chicago Public Schools who meet the qualifications may apply for the program in February, and interviews take place in early spring. Northwestern Academy selects students who demonstrate an aptitude for strong long-term academic performance, the motivation and willingness to engage in intensive learning experiences, and a commitment to excellence.

For more information about the Northwestern Academy for Chicago Public Schools, visit

For more stories from this month’s Alumni News, visit the NAA on Our Northwestern, the University’s online community.