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Emerging Rural Leaders

Thanks to the generous support of the Trott Family Foundation, the College is excited to host the Emerging Rural Leaders program. Emerging Rural Leaders offers two summer programs to top freshmen and juniors from rural and small town high schools. Selected students will have the opportunity to participate in a Summer Session course free of charge.

Emerging Rural Leaders I: Freshmen

Dates: July 19 – July 25, 2020

Eligibility: current high school freshmen attending rural and small town high schools* in the United States. Learn more about Emerging Rural Leaders I

Emerging Rural Leaders II: Juniors

Dates: June 20 – July 10, 2020

Eligibility: current high school juniors attending rural and small town high schools* in the United States, Learn more about Emerging Rural Leaders II

*Rural and small town high schools: We use data from the US Census Bureau and the National Center for Education Statistics to help us determine which considered rural or small town high schools in the United States. Most rural areas have populations of less than 50,000 residents and are located several miles outside of an urban or suburban area. If you are unsure whether your high school would be considered rural or small town, please contact Marjorie Betley at

Tuition & Fees

All expenses for both Emerging Rural Leaders I & II are covered for all selected students. Students will also receive a travel stipend for costs associated with travel to/from the program.

Life on Campus

All selected Emerging Rural Leaders will have the opportunity to explore what life is like on a residential college campus. Students will make new connections and lifelong friendships by living and learning alongside their classmates from around the world. Students will also live alongside Residential Assistants, who are current undergraduate students, there to provide guidance and mentorship as students adjust to life on a college campus. All students selected will live on-campus in a residence hall and will have unlimited access to the dining hall for meals.

Out & About in Chicago

The city of Chicago is truly a mosaic of culture, cuisine, and activity, full of possibility in every corner. Students will explore the unique kinds of opportunities available in a large urban center for academic work and professional development through fun activities like:

  • Visiting world-class museums, such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Field Museum of Natural History, or the Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Diving into the world of politics and civic debate at the renowned University of Chicago Institute of Politics
  • Networking with current students, alumni, and local employers in the City of Chicago
  • Taking in amazing downtown architecture on a river boat cruise