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Emerging Rural Leaders II

emerging rural leaders students pose for a group picture

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.

Program Description

Top juniors from rural and small-town high schools are invited to apply for an opportunity to participate in 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.

The program will be hosted on-campus, and program participants must reside in campus housing for the duration of the program.

Program Contact: All questions should be directed to Allison White at

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 -

Application Requirements

Eligibility: Current 11th grade students, who are least 15 years old and who attend a rural or small-town high school* within the United States, are invited to apply.

*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

Applications will be accepted online. The deadline to apply is our Regular Deadline, March 5, 2024. All application decisions for this program will be released at the same time in late April. 

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 
  • Supplement & essays
  • At least one teacher recommendation
  • At least one parent/guardian 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 would you 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.

Costs & Fees

The application fee is automatically waived for any applicant who selects any Enrichment Program as their first choice. 

All program costs, inclusive of tuition, room and board, and roundtrip transportation are completely covered. Students will need to have their own health insurance.

Program Dates

July 21-26, 2024

  • Arrival date: Sun. Jul. 21
  • First session: Mon. Jul. 22
  • Closing session: Fri. Jul. 26
  • Move-out: Fri. Jul. 26