University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

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Illinois Scholars Program

The Illinois Scholars Program is designed to help guide undergraduate students’ transition to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign by providing historically underserved students a wide range of educational, personal, social, and cultural opportunities. ISP aims to combine opportunity and access, experiential learning, and support to position students for academic success and personal growth throughout their time at Illinois.

Four Illinois students smiling on a summer day.

ISP includes both a summer bridge experience – transitioning from high school to college – and inclusive excellence academic support throughout the ISP Scholar’s four years on campus. ISP offers two tracks tailored to meet students’ academic needs: ISP Engage, for students in Division of General Studies and College of LAS, and ISP Merit, for students in the Merit Program for Emerging Scholars. In each track, students connect with a cohort of 30 other new students and have access to academic advising, workshops, community-building activities and other enrichment opportunities that will help the students meet the rigorous challenges of university life.

The Illinois Scholars Program for 2021–2022 is sponsored by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in partnership with the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, the Division of General Studies, and the Merit Program for Emerging Scholars. ISP Merit is supported by a generous donation from an alumnus.

Summer Virtual Experience | July 18 – August 13, 2021

The Illinois Scholars Program Summer Bridge Experience will be fully virtual, with two optional immersive in-person weekend opportunities. The summer virtual experience will provide:

  • Summer research experience with campus scholars
  • Academic preparedness in math and writing for first year courses
  • Individualized support to help navigate the transition from high school to college
  • Strategies for setting and achieving academic goals
  • Opportunity to utilize the University’s technology resources
  • Virtual campus and resource tours
  • Peer mentorship with past ISP alumni
  • Optional in-person weekend with fellow ISP members, following University and state guidance for social distancing.

Students who successfully complete the summer experience will receive a stipend and four (4) years of inclusive excellence academic support.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Admitted students to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Resident of the state of Illinois
  • Students in ISP Engage must be part of the Academic Achievement Program (AAP) in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences or the Education Enrichment Program (EEP) in the Division of General Studies
  • Students in ISP Merit must be selected to participate in the Merit Program for Emerging Scholars
  • Priority given to students who are first generation, from low sending counties and/or who received fee waivers

Year Round Academic Support Experience

  • Help students manage effectively while in college (socially, intellectually, emotionally)
  • Earn 1 hour of college credit
  • Familiarize students with college technology resources
  • Opportunity to build community and support systems
  • Student development workshops
  • Tutorial services and study skills
  • Support in developing personal academic goals
  • Leadership experiences, and exposure to campus life and more
  • $1,000 scholarship for study abroad opportunity in their first year*

*Due to the current pandemic, the study abroad component will be re-evaluated during the Fall 2021 semester.