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Voltage Scholars

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 aims to engage students from traditionally under-represented backgrounds in the study of economics.

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 Freedman 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.

Application Requirements

Applicants should be at least 14 years of age, currently in 10th grade, and enrolled in high school in the United States. U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents who meet this criteria are eligible to apply. Our goal is to recruit a diverse group of students from a broad range of backgrounds.

To be considered, applicants must complete an online application, provide an updated high school transcript, and respond to a short essay. A nomination from a teacher or counselor is also recommended and can be completed here.

When applying, applicants must select “One-Week Enrichment Programs,” and then they will be able to select this program.

Applications will be accepted online beginning February 1, 2022. The deadline to apply is March 15, 2022.  Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until April 15, 2022.

Tuition & Fees

Costs, inclusive of tuition, room, and board, for this program are completely covered. Students will need to have their own health insurance. Students who require financial assistance for roundtrip transportation to and from campus may apply for additional funding.

Program Dates

June 22 – June 24th, 2022

Arrival date: Wed., June 22

Class concludes: Fri., June 24

Departure: Fri., June 24