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Qazi Ahmad / Tiffany Tran


Sept. 29, 2016
Mrs. Jara
AVID 11 Period 6
The University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is one of the worlds best higher education institutes despite
not being as well-known as some other top-schools like Stanford or Harvard. This university is
statistically comparable to the best universities around the world, but it is often overlooked by
students as a potential place to study at. In fact, it is ranked number four in terms of the ranking
of National Universities, with an acceptance rate of 8.8% ("The 10 Best Universities in
America"). Despite consistently staying near the top of the rankings, people downplay it as a
choice on college application. The university is a top-tier choice for both domestic and
international students; it actually has centers in quite a few international locations including
Delhi, Beijing, London, Paris, and a recently-opened one in Hong Kong. The University of
Chicago, which has a top institution for decades now, is a college that should be considered by
students of all types of demographics, because it has many appealing attributes, including its
rich campus diversity, the great amount of majors it offers, its great relations with the
international community, and its consistent placement among the top schools.
Before looking at the other qualities of the University, we must look at the history of the
college. The University of Chicago was formally founded on September 10, 1890 with the
support of several individuals and organizations, the most prominent of which would be from oil
tycoon John D. Rockefeller and the American Baptist Education Society. The first president of

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the University would be William Rainey Harper, whose aim was to make it a modern research
university, combining an English-style undergraduate college and a German-style graduate
research institute (The University of Chicago). Soon, Harpers vision would come to fruition,
and the University would become a leader among the nations universities. With an open
admission from its founding (which is rare to find in the early histories of most well-known
colleges), the University attracted many minorities, among which Jewish and African American
students were the most prolific. Through its 126 years of existence, it has been under the
presidencies of a variety of people, including having its president Edward Levi become the first
Jewish president of a top school in the nation in 1968 and Hanna Gray becoming the first woman
president of a major university focused on research in 1978.
The Universitys legacy since its foundation is prestigious and honorable, to say the very
least. Its research has revealed some of the most fundamental knowledge that has shaped our
modern world into what it is, such as establishing groundbreaking theories in the field of
economics and finding the link between cancer and genetics. The University of Chicago was
home to the first American to win a Nobel Prize in any of the fields of sciences. It has been the
location where great advancements were made in our understanding of the measurement of the
speed of light, the first controlled, self-sustaining nuclear reaction which would spark the modern
nuclear age, and a new perspective and analysis on asset prices. Furthermore, its alumni, who
have earned 90 Nobel Prizes in total, are some of the most well-known names in mathematics,
astronomy, cosmology, art, economics, medicine, as well as a variety of other fields.
Away from its roots of research, the University is also a national leader in athletics. It is
one of the founding members of the Big Ten Conference in football, which is a top-tier

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competition in the sport. Coupled with that, it was home to the first tenured coach in the history
of the U.S. Sponsoring nineteen intercollegiate sports, UChicago was also the home of Edwin
Hubble, a former professional basketball player who is the namesake of the Hubble Space
Telescope. There have been multiple Rhodes Scholars from the University, which is one of the
most distinguished awards in college athletics. On top of all that, UChicago supports around
nineteen intercollegiate sports and hosts over 300 sport tournaments each year. Students of
course get the benefit of having discounted rates to the home games. As far as scholarships for
athletics, there is not a strong foundation for athletic scholarships in the University, but they do
offer athletic scholarships to deserving students who can maintain their grades (The University
of Chicago)
Throughout its history, it has had a varying degree of crime around it. Being in the city of
Chicago, one can get a general idea of how it might be difficult for crime to be contained.
Especially in times of difficulties, such as the Great Depression and the World Wars, crime rates
would spike up and there would be rest. However, recent statistics show that the crime rate inside
the university is nowhere close to extreme. For example, the total reported sexually-related
offenses was only twenty four in 2014; although this figure only includes the reported crimes, it
is still extremely low compared to many other top league universities like Harvard and Berkeley,
both of which are ranked in the top ten for worst crime rates in U.S. colleges. It is amazing to
actually look at the crime statistics of UChicago, such as the one about the total reported
sexually-related offenses, and compare it to the environment outside of the college. The city of
Chicago has a plethora of problems that it is currently dealing with, and it is awe-inspiring to see
how much better off the University of Chicago is in comparison (The University of Chicago).

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UChicago has had a focus on nurturing and facilitating the development of leadership and
community relations since its foundation as an institution. Specifically, it is focused on nurturing
the growth of leaders and intellectuals in fields such as economics and medicine. The oil mogul
John D. Rockefeller, who was one of the principal founders of the college, wanted it to be a
place where people could learn about economics at a time where the field of economics was
being completely revolutionized. Medicine, and in particular research in the medical field, has
always been at the forefront of UChicagos agenda; the number of achievements its alumni have
gotten only serves to emphasize the Universitys success. In fact, one of the most important
projects in modern history, the Manhattan Project, would not had been possible if not for the
discoveries about nuclear physics made in the University of Chicago.
UChicago's legacy of emphasis on research is being added to even in recent times,
particularly the biological and biomedical sciences departments. For every one hundred students
at the University, over seven major in biology or biomedical majors (University of Chicago).
The campus is also home to the Research in the Biomedical Sciences, or RIBS, program, an
innovative program exclusive to UChicago. During the four-week program, high-school students
have the opportunity to experience life in real laboratories where they are able to experience the
fields of molecular, microbiological, and cellular biology. Although there is a hefty sum of
$10,000 associated with participating in this program, the knowledge students gain from
executing their projects is practically unrivaled in terms of opportunities available to high school
students (Research in the Biological Sciences).
One of the most important things that students think about when they are thinking of
which colleges to attend is the cost associated with attending the institution. The University of

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Chicago has always had a policy of not discriminating against any of their students, especially
not on the basis of wealth. UChicago has continuously proven not only in words, but also
through its actions that it is committed to meeting 100% of any need that undergraduates might
have. Whether it be financial, health-related, or anything else, UChicago has always been
focused on meeting its students needs. In addition, an average of over $45,000 is given to
applicants for financial aid. Although there is an amazing system for students to gain aid, the
college is not cheap by any means. Tuition costs approximately $50,000 and room and board
costs around $15,000. Despite this, no student that is admitted has to worry about not being able
to afford the education due to the programs, in specific the No Barrier Program. The No Barrier
Program, an initiative of UChicago, assures that, among other things, students are able to
graduate without any student debt to hold them back. Furthermore, there are an abundance
amount of scholarships available at UChicago, including merit scholarships such as University
Merit Scholarships and the Stamps Scholarship, many need-based scholarships like the Odyssey
Scholarship, and many others that are geared towards students either from the Chicago-area or
not (Cost & Aid).
With an acceptance rate of around 7.5%, the University of Chicago is near the top
echelon of exclusive universities to get into. For recent statistics, the class of 2016 had
approximately 25,000 applicants, of which around 3,300 were admitted (Facts and Figures).
Over 75% of the classes have less than 20 students, and the faculty to student ratio is one faculty
for every five students (University of Chicago). The ratio makes the college a very close-knit
campus as classes are very personal and focused on making sure the students have all the
resources they need in order to succeed. Aside from the great classrooms UChicago offers, the

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University has six different locations for its library. The library, which is the tenth largest
research library on the continent, has over eleven million volumes in print and over 150 terabytes
of digital archives (About the Library).
UChicago offers a rich and vibrant dorm life to its students, with over 50% of students
remaining on campus after the mandatory stay freshmen must have during their first year. The
University operates on a system called The College Houses, which serve to offer a great living
environment and a way for them to become active in the college community. With over seven
residence halls, the college is divided into thirty-eight houses, each of which offers a variety of
activities for students to engage in. No House has more than 104 residents, and each has all types
of students in order to adhere to the non-discriminatory policy that has been a driving force for
the University since its foundation. The college offers all kinds of environments in these
residents by making sure that dorms are not loud enough to become hindrances to student
success or quiet enough to feel oppressive at times. Although it does cost an average of $15000
for room and board combined, there are many facilities and advantages associated with it such as
kitchen facilities, telephone services, computer facilities, and a wide range of other services
(UChicago Housing).
Being inside one of the most iconic and busy cities in the United States, the University of
Chicago has many different types of activities and places to explore for recreation. The campus
itself is located in Hyde Park, one of the most historically-important parks in American history.
At Hyde Park, students can experience a variety of activities including, but not limited to,
cultural activities, two of the four historic sites of Chicago, and a copious amount of unique
annual events. The university has its own theater in the form of the Revival Improv Comedy

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Theater; this theater was actually the location of the birth of improvisational comedy around
sixty years ago. There are four main museums located on the campus including the
redevelopment project 53rd Street, the DuSable Museum of African American History, the Hyde
Park Art Center, and the Museum of Science and Industry. Of these four, there is always at least
one open for students to go into on any day; notably, the Museum of Science and Industry is
open every day of the year aside from the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas
("Neighborhood Attractions).
As can be seen, the University of Chicago is definitely worthy of being called one of the
top-tier universities in the world. Having been consistently ranked among the best universities
both in the U.S. and abroad, UChicago has had a noble and honorable past through its over-125
year history. As a leader in a multitude of fields including research and economics, the
University attracts all kinds of students. Personally, keeping UChicago in mind as a potential
choice for college applications is appealing due to how many opportunities are available here
despite the lack of name recognition it has compared to other top universities. Among a myriad
of other reasons, the University of Chicago offers rich campus diversity, offers a plethora of
majors to its students, has deep and close relations with the international community, and, as
emphasized before, a top-performing college that is always considered near the top. This is
definitely a university that is important to consider, because, despite not having the name
recognition of other universities, it is still one of the best schools students have the chance to
attend.

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Works Cited
"The 10 Best Universities in America." National University Rankings. U.S. News, n.d. Web. 25
Sept. 2016.
"The University of Chicago." The University of Chicago. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.
"University of Chicago." National University Rankings. U.S. News, n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.
"Research in the Biological Sciences." The University of Chicago Summer Sessions. The
University of Chicago, n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.
"Cost & Aid." College Admissions. The University of Chicago, n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.
"Facts and Figures." College Admissions. The University of Chicago, n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.
"About the Library." The University of Chicago Library. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.
"UChicago Housing." College Housing. The University of Chicago, n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.
"Neighborhood Attractions." Visiting the University. The University of Chicago, n.d. Web. 25
Sept. 2016.