Skip to main content

Emerging Rural Leaders II

Rural Leaders

Thanks to the generous support of Trott Family Philanthropies, the College is excited to host the Emerging Rural Leaders II program for high achieving students who attend rural and small-town high schools across the United States.

Top juniors from rural and small-town high schools* are invited to apply for an opportunity to participate on a week-long enrichment program featuring interdisciplinary classes with leading faculty, tours of UChicago’s cutting-edge research facilities, and college application workshops. Students will also be exposed to the kinds of opportunities available in a large urban center for academic work and professional development through activities that showcase the city of Chicago. In the past, students have been able to attend improv shows, baseball games, architecture boat tours, and eat at some of Chicago’s most notable restaurants.

While at UChicago, I met a group that could understand me and whom I could understand in turn, a peer group that I could legitimately compare myself to. I have never felt less unique, and I have never felt more amazing.
- 2019 Emerging Rural Leaders Student -

*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 schools are 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

Application Requirements


Applications will be accepted online beginning January 3, 2023. The deadline to apply is March 1, 2023. All application decisions for this program will be released at the same time in mid-April. There is no application fee to apply.

Applicants must complete the Summer Session Application, and all the related requirements which can be reviewed in the How To Apply section.

Application materials include:

  • Online application
  • Transcript (official or unofficial)
  • Supplement & essays
  • At least one teacher recommendation
  • At least one parent confirmation email received

Applicants will be asked to respond to the following essay questions in the application:

  • Why did you choose the particular program/courses for which you have applied? How are they related to your current interests and future plans? Please be as specific as possible, and make sure your response covers each of the courses you elected. (Limit: 500 words)
  • “Since its founding, the University has been committed to the idea that a culture of rigorous inquiry requires an environment where diverse perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas inform and stimulate intellectual exchange, challenge, and engagement.” -UChicago Office of the Provost. How does your perspective, experience or background contribute to this culture of inquiry in this program? What do you hope to gain or learn by engaging with peers from all over the U.S. or from different parts of the world? (Limit: 300 words)

Review the Application Overview pages for more detailed information.

Tuition & Fees

Costs for the program, inclusive of tuition, room and board, and roundtrip transportation to and from the University of Chicago are completely covered.

Course Dates

July 9 – July 14
First session: July 10
Final session: July 14

Arrive on-Campus: July 9
Closing session and move-out: July 14