Filled with Creativity and Greenery.
What It Feels Like Going Here
Students balance a healthy mix between studying, relaxing and having fun at the University of Chicago. The lush and stunning campus allows students to just walk around and enjoy the beautiful sights and nature. With such strict requirements and an acceptance rate of only 6%, students study their hardest in order to pass their classes.
Unlike most universities, UChicago runs off a quarter system with Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn quarters rather than a fall and spring semester. Students choose to study for one quarter and maybe do an internship for the next. This lifestyle keeps things fresh and fast, but students will have to keep up with their classes nonetheless so they don’t fall behind. But it’s not all work and no play, as the campus is ripe with partying and fun. Typical late weekdays and weekend nights are filled with parties for students to enjoy and loosen up their academic bones.
The University of Chicago was once home to some award-winning and notable alumni. Ed Asner was the 21st president of the Screen Actors Guild and has acted in dozens of movies and shows. He also participated in activism for healthcare and the actors’ strike. James Comey, the 7th Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), served under both Barack Obama and Donald Trump in office is also a UChigago alum. David Rockefeller, as his well-known last name implies, was an investment banker, chairman and chief executive of Chase Manhattan Corporation. Finally, there is Bernie Sanders, one of the prime candidates during the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections.
Where they hang
There are many spots for students to hang out at the University of Chicago. Botany Pond is a spot for students to enjoy the lushest of greenery on campus. The iconic pond is home to Honey the Duck and her ducklings, who are a simple yet adorable sight that always draws in visitors. One of the biggest annual events is the Scav Hunt. Students get a list of hundreds of challenges, ranging from road trips far out from Chicago, changing a bus into a bowling alley and the Scav Olympics.
Need some peace and quiet? The Joe and Rika Mansueto Library is a stunning spectacle— a library made of glass. Here, students can study and read in a 180-seat reading room, use the automated underground retrieval system and simply bear witness to the wonder of the glass dome. Various cultural groups at the university have annual spring events where they teach about their cultures and provide dinner and a show. If you need to chill with a beer in hand, The Cove Lounge, University of Chicago Pub and Truth be Told are just a few of the many bars around campus. Even just walking around the beautiful nature-filled campus is a calming and leisurely activity at the university.
1. How much are students partying?
“Much more than one might anticipate, our university embodies a ‘work hard, play hard’ ethos similar to UPENN. As the weekend approaches, a considerable number of students go to Frats on Friday and Saturday nights, only to find themselves back in the library diligently working come Sunday morning. It’s worth noting that this pattern is more prevalent among first-year students. Upperclassmen, often living off campus, typically don’t attend fraternity parties every weekend,” University of Chicago, Elijah Jenkins, class of 2026, said.
2. What will you get in trouble for at your school?
“The primary offense that can get you into trouble at UChicago is academic dishonesty. UChicago is a very WET campus when it comes to alcohol, so it’s quite rare for someone to face consequences for drinking or using drugs,” Jenkins said.
3. How much sex are students having? How is safe sex encouraged on campus?
“Chicago isn’t known for being a very sexually active campus. The level of activity varies significantly from person to person. Some individuals engage in sexual activities every weekend, while others may not have sex at all. Consequently, it’s challenging to pinpoint a specific percentage. Many students are either in committed relationships, while others are primarily focused on their academics. Regardless, the promotion of safe sex is prevalent, and access to contraceptives is readily available,” Jenkins said.
4. What would you tell incoming freshman about your school?
“Take things one step at a time, especially since it’s your first time on the quarter system. It’s perfectly fine to ease into it. UChicago moves at a fast pace, so try to explore as much as you can to set up your college future effectively,” Jenkins said.
5. What are some of the greatest experiences, surprises and challenges you’ve faced?
“Some of my greatest experiences have been through UChicago Career Advancement. I’ve had the incredible opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., Atlanta, NYC, and Rwanda to explore different career paths. UChicago Career Advancement is really second-hand to no one, the amount of resources available are truly amazing,” Jenkins said.
“In terms of research, there are a lot of opportunities to interact with people from other laboratories inside and outside of UChicago. Only one challenge (complaint) I had is that the University mandated COVID19 vaccine to everyone. Many people were forced to get this, or were fired,” University of Chicago post-doc student Yuji M said.
“What surprises me the most is the drive of the student body. UChicago students are passionate about their futures and are proactive in utilizing available resources to achieve their goals. Despite the individually driven focus, students consistently support each other in and out of the classroom,” Jenkins said.
“I feel students (grad school) are relatively enjoying parties almost every weekend,” Yuji said.
Top 3 Majors
Top 3 Student Organizations
1. Eckhart Consulting
Eckhart Consulting is the premiere consulting group at the university. From data analysis, product innovation, marketing and sales to much more, this group has been around since 2002 and helped over companies. Such companies include Amazon, National Geographic and AirBnB just to name a few. This group is all about quality and impact.
2. The Blue Chips
The Blue Chips is the University of Chicago’s number one investing group. They manage portfolios and investments and want to teach everyone about the importance of investing and business. With countless guest speakers, employer sessions and programs, they are about teaching before anything else.
3. Undergraduate Student Government
This group represents the voice of the students on campus. There are many positions for students to apply for, and the only real requirement is being a student. They are all about improving the student life and constantly making the University of Chicago the best it can be.
When applying to the University of Chicago, keep in mind several things. In addition to your basic application, you need a personal essay with a few prompts to choose from. This represents your personality the best, so make sure to take it seriously. Other basic requirements include a high school transcript, two teacher evaluations/letters of recommendation and a $75 application fee. First-year applicants also have to send in a midyear transcript report. SAT and ACTs are optional, although they can be helpful for the application process. Transfer students need a college report, and international students must submit their English Proficiency Test scores.
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Tuition & Fees: $63,801
Total Cost on Campus: $89,040
Undergrads Enrolled: 7,653
Grads Enrolled: 10,870
Total Enrolled: 18,523
Acceptance percentage: 5%
Percent Admitted who Enroll: “Out of the competitive applicant pool of 37,522 prospective students, 2,041 applicants were admitted and 1,729 enrolled.”
Percentage of Male Students: 53%
Percentage of Female Students: 47%
Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 33%
Percentage Receiving Federal Grants: 54%