Chicago University has a new way to make admission to college more affordable: Admission is being waived for students who are on food stamps and other financial assistance.
The policy was announced Tuesday by university president Gregory L. Fenves, who has pledged to end tuition and fees at the public flagship.
Students with incomes of up to $25,000 or who earn less than $30,000 per year, or those living in low-income households, will be exempt from the $9,500 fee for those who meet those criteria.
Fenves said the program was inspired by the high cost of living in the U.S. and in the city, as well as concerns about students’ health.
He said he hopes that the new policy will help alleviate student hardship by helping students to avoid the financial stress of applying to college and graduate school.FENVIS: We are not asking students to put themselves out there on the marketplace, but rather to make it as easy as possible to enroll.
He said the policy will begin in 2018, and will be rolled out over the next five years.
The move comes as Chicago University prepares to release its 2019-2020 academic year.
In a statement, Fenves said he believes the policy has been beneficial to students and the university.
He cited data showing that the average student is earning more than $75,000 annually.
He also noted that students from high-income families are more likely to receive financial aid, and that the school will continue to make investments in student services.
The university will continue its effort to increase the number of eligible students who qualify for financial aid through the student assistance program.
The policy will also allow students to earn their bachelor’s degree through the College of Education at Chicago.