Student Services

Chicago Academic Achievement Program

The Chicago Academic Achievement Program (CAAP) is a year-long program that 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 are from lower-income backgrounds. 

Through a two-week residential program prior to the start of their first year, CAAP students engage in skills building seminars, develop social networks, connect with campus resources, and explore the city of Chicago.

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

CAAP Academy

Monday, September 9 through Monday, September 23, 2024

During the course of the CAAP Academy, students 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.

    The First-Year Transition Seminars are designed to connect first-year FLI  students and campus partners to forge meaningful relationships and discover ways to navigate undergraduate experiences through exploration of the following central themes: self-efficacy, College connections, and community connections. 

    These themes will be explored through discussions centered on topics such as:

    • Creating, understanding and building community
    • Navigating academics and extracurricular and cocurricular activities
    • Setting and managing expectations of self
    • Budgeting and money management

    Seminars will be offered daily during the two-week pre-orientation program and weekly throughout the Autumn Quarter. Seminars will also be supplemented with group outings, Chicago neighborhood exploration, and opportunities for community engagement activities wtihin the surrounding UChicago communities. CAAP students will also receive support through resources provided by the Center for College Student Success. 

    Developing a strong community and support network is a key component of the program. CAAP students will still be supported by Graduate Assistants (GAs), CAAP Interns, professional program staff, and various campus partners. The CAAP Interns and GAs serve in a mentoring capacity and also coordinate experiences to help CAAP Scholars learn about residential life, campus resources, and the City of Chicago.

    CAAP students will take part in weekly resource seminars and community building initiatives during the CAAP Academy and academic year, in addition to  study breaks and fun social activities. 

    There is no charge to participate in CAAP!  Students selected to participate in the program will be provided transportation to campus, room and board for the program, and provided any materials required for seminars. 

Application Process

Applicants must be admitted to the University of Chicago as first-year students in the College. We look for participants who want to take advantage of early exposure to the University of Chicago to leverage their strengths through participation in the First Year Transitions Seminars during Autumn Quarter, as well as continue with CAAP academic year supports and engagement components throughout the remainder of the academic year.  

Students currently living in the U.S. are eligible to apply. International students and transfer students are not eligible at this time. 

Applications will be available through the UChicago Admissions portal on March 29, 2024. Selected students will be notified May 7, 2024. 


Application Opens Application Deadline Notification
March 29 April 22 May 7


Program FAQs

    If you would benefit from learning about navigating the University of Chicago and campus resources, and developing relationships with peers within the FLI (First-generation, Lower-Income) community, then CAAP might be a good option for you. Students who say they have gotten a lot from from the program have been first-generation college students (e.g. students whose parents have not completed a bachelor's degree); students who will receive need-based financial aid awards; and students from very small towns or rural areas.

    The CAAP Academy is free of charge. Students selected to participate will have their transportation costs to campus covered by CAAP, and will coordinate with CAAP staff to plan their travels. CAAP students will also be provided additional support through resources offered by the Center for College Student Success (CCSS).

    Students who participate in the two week CAAP academy, will not return home at the end of the CAAP Academy and instead will transition to Orientation Week activities and move into their room assignments for the academic year.  Prior to coming to campus, information will be shared regarding items to bring to campus and where necessities can be purchased upon arrival on campus.