Skip to main content

Voltage Scholars

voltage scholars pose for a group picture

The Voltage Scholars program offers the opportunity for a diverse cohort of outstanding high school students with an interest in economics to be exposed to The University of Chicago’s distinctive approach and abundant research and academic opportunities in the field. This program is anchored by The Voltage Effect text and introduces students to the concepts of macroeconomics and microeconomics.

For decades, the University of Chicago has led the field of economics with bold, revolutionary ideas. Such ideas are critical to being able to address some of the world’s most challenging problems and crises: poverty, climate change, trade, and healthcare inequities, among many others. Just as critical is bringing a real diversity of perspectives, ideas, and experiences to the table to solve such problems.

Currently, there is little diversity among economics majors as compared to other fields. For example, women account for 28.4 percent of the nation’s economics major, and only 14.7 percent of economics majors are Black, Hispanic, or Native American. An important step in tackling this diversity challenge is to gather a broader range of perspectives and backgrounds to widen the field’s ability to contribute to public policy and society. The Voltage Scholars program offers the opportunity for outstanding students of all backgrounds who value diversity of thought and experience to apply.

"I met so many great people, and it was very hard to say goodbye. I already miss evening conversations in the dorm. UChicago is such a special place, and I'm so thankful that I got the opportunity to participate in the program!"
Ashley M., 2023 Voltage Scholar -

Program Description

In this three-day, two-night accelerated program, curious high school students will have the opportunity to learn from hands-on lectures about UChicago’s distinctive approach to the field of economics. This program will run alongside the Becker Freidman Institute’s Expanding Diversity in Economics undergraduate program and will give Voltage Scholars the opportunity to network with current college students.

In addition to exploring topics in economics, students will also meet with UChicago admissions counselors to learn about highly selective college admissions and attend sessions to prepare for future careers in the field of economics.

This program is not-for-credit and participation in all sessions is required to receive the program certificate. The program will be hosted on the UChicago campus, and program participants must reside in campus housing for the duration of the program. This program is being offered at no cost to selected participants and participants who require financial assistance for travel to and from campus are eligible to receive additional funds.

Program Contact: All questions should be directed to Lindsey Eichelman at

Application Requirements

Eligibility: Current 10th grade students, who are at least 14 years old, and enrolled in a U.S. high school, are invited to apply. 

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 and essays
  • A nomination from a teacher or counselor is also recommended, and can be completed here.
  • 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.

Costs, inclusive of tuition, room, and board, for this program are completely covered. Students will need to have their own U.S. health insurance coverage and will need to provide their own transportation to and from campus.

Students who require financial assistance for roundtrip transportation to and from campus may apply for additional funding by completing the Financial Aid Application as part of the Summer Session application.

Program Dates

June 9-11, 2024

  • Arrival date: Sun. Jun. 9
  • First session: Mon. Jun. 10
  • Closing session: Tue. Jun. 11
  • Move-out: Tue. Jun. 11