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 for select admitted new students. The Illinois Scholars Program (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.

The Illinois Scholars Program begins with a four-week intensive summer bridge experience for incoming freshmen, but ISP continues to provide support and community for Illinois Scholars during their undergraduate years. During the summer experience, Illinois Scholars will be matched with an ISP Mentor, receive personalized math and writing instruction, and build a strong relationship to peers and campus to support them during their first year and beyond to help them meet the rigorous challenges of university life.

The Illinois Scholars Program for 2022–2023 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. The Illinois Scholars Program is supported by generous donations from graduates of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Summer Experience | July 20 – August 16, 2022

The ISP Summer Bridge Experience begins July 20-22 with a virtual orientation and program preparation. Illinois Scholars will move in on Saturday, July 23rd, with a weekend of family engagement and cohort building. Academic workshops, preparatory courses, and campus activities will take place from 8:30am-6pm Monday through Friday with extra-curricular activities in the evenings and on weekends.

All meals are included plus snacks. ISP Scholars have the option to move directly into their University residence hall on August 14, and ISP Scholars will present their final research projects on August 15-16. Optional weekend programming will be provided.

The summer bridge experience will provide:

  • Individualized support to help navigate the transition from high school to college
  • Academic preparedness in math and writing for first year courses
  • Strategies for setting and achieving academic goals
  • Opportunity to present your research to campus scholars
  • Unique opportunity to interface with campus facilities, resources, and leaders
  • Peer mentorship with matched ISP alumni
  • Programs to connect family members to campus during move-in weekend

Students who successfully complete the summer experience will receive 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 must be part of one of the following programs:
    • Academic Achievement Program (AAP) in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
    • Education Enrichment Program (EEP) in the Division of General Studies
    • Merit Program for Emerging Scholars (Biology or Biochemistry)
  • Priority given to students who are first-generation, from low-sending counties and/or members of underserved groups.

Year Round Academic Support Experience

  • Initiatives to help students manage stress 
  • Workshops with academic and career advisors
  • Networking and connecting with alumni
  • Access to Academic Inclusive Excellence facility for studying and meetings
  • Community-building and social programs