Student Services

Chicago Academic Achievement Program

COVID-19 Update: CAAP will be offered remotely in Summer 2020

The Chicago Academic Achievement Program (CAAP) provides early exposure to scholarly and social life at the University of Chicago to a group of academically talented incoming first-year students, many of whom are the first in their family to go to college or from low-income backgrounds. 

Through an intensive six-week online program the summer before their first year, CAAP students engage in Core-level coursework, develop social networks, connect with campus resources, and remotely explore the city of Chicago.

During the first year, students continue their personal development through resource workshops, social events, and individual advising with College staff.

CAAP Summer Academy

Monday, July 6 through Friday, August 14, 2020

Over the course of the summer, scholars get a “head start” by becoming acquainted with the expectations of classes, meeting their peers, and learning about the campus, local neighborhoods, and the city of Chicago at large.

CAAP Scholars will receive instruction in the following areas: math, lab science, humanities, and writing. All books and course materials will be provided by the program. 

The Humanities courses and accompanying writing workshops are based on the UChicago Core sequences. Course descriptions will be available in May for admitted scholars.

Math class offerings include calculus and statistics. Scholars will take an online placement exam to determine their CAAP course.

Lab science class offerings include chemistry, biology, and computer science. Scholars will be assigned to a class based on their intended course of study and its requirements (e.g. pre-med students will enroll in chemistry).

All classes will have scheduled "real-time" classes in addition to coursework that can be completed on a student's own time.

While the 2020 CAAP Summer Academy will not take place on campus, CAAP Scholars will still be supported by resident assistants (RAs), CAAP alumni interns, and professional program staff members.  Students will have access to virtual experiences to learn about campus resources and the city of Chicago.


Students will receive stipend support upon successful completion of the Summer Academy and compliance with program expectations. The CAAP Stipend covers the student work expectation component of each student's financial aid package. Because these work expectations are met, it is a program requirement that Scholars are unable to take on any other paid work during the academic year.

There is no charge to attend CAAP.  In addition, books and supplies required for online study through the Summer Academy are covered by CAAP.

Academic Year Program

During the academic year, students will receive a stipend to cover the work-study portions of their financial aid packages. During the time that would otherwise be dedicated to employment, CAAP Scholars attend on-campus workshops and events, and engage in additional experiential opportunities to augment their college experience.

CAAP Scholars are required to meet with program staff and complete a series of tasks outlined in our yearly CAAP Portfolio. You can see an example here. CAAP Scholars also receive loans of all required first-year math, science, humanities, and language textbooks.

Application Process

Students who have been admitted to the College may apply for participation the following academic year. Applicants must be admitted to the University of Chicago as first-year students in the College.  Any students currently living in the U.S. are eligible to apply, including students who are undocumented or DACAmented. International students and transfer students are not eligible to apply. 

We look for participants who could benefit from early exposure to the University of Chicago and are eager to engage in a rigorous academic program over the summer. 

Applications will be available through the UChicago Admissions portal in January 2020. In addition to the online CAAP application, students must complete a video or phone interview with CAAP staff.


  Application Deadline Invitation to Interview Interviews Notification

Round 1: Early Action/ Early Decision 1 Admitted Students

February 23 February 24 February 25-March 10 March 20
Round 2: All Admitted Students April 26 April 27 April 28-May 8 May 19


Parent/Guardian FAQs

If your student has been admitted to the College, and would benefit from taking preview courses, learning about campus resources and developing relationships with peers, CAAP might be a good option. Students who benefit the most from the program tend to be those whose parents have not completed a bachelor's degree; students who will receive need-based aid; students from very small towns; students who have never visited campus; and students whose high schools had few or no options for IB Higher Level and/or AP exam preparation.

All costs are all covered by the program and students receive a stipend to cover the work expectation outlined in their financial aid package.

No. Regardless of CAAP participation, students in the College may not take courses on campus for credit before matriculation. In addition to this rule, courses offered for credit towards the degree must be billed at standard tuition rates. In other words, we would not be able to offer this program to students if the courses conferred credit. The preview courses DO, however, prepare students for the pace and intensity of the quarter system.