Northwestern University is one of the nation’s most prestigious institutions of higher learning. Five years ago, the school’s freshman class included just 28 graduates from Chicago Public Schools.

The Northwestern Academy, a new program created by the university, is seeking to increase that number.

From Chicago Tribune:

The Northwestern Academy will target up to 200 CPS freshmen from low-income households who don’t attend one of the city’s selective enrollment high schools. The goal is to better prepare them for Northwestern or another top college or university by providing year-round tutoring, college counseling, test preparation, family workshops and other services during high school.

The Northwestern Academy, in partnership with the city of Chicago, is the latest program designed to encourage qualified Chicago high school graduates to attend selective colleges and universities, particularly students who may not realize they have the academic qualifications for a top school. The University of Chicago, in Hyde Park, also has increased its CPS-specific programs in recent years.

Read more at Chicago Tribune

This fall, 75 of the 2,000 incoming freshmen came from Chicago public high schools. CPS freshmen will be invited to apply to the Northwestern Academy based on their high school entrance exam scores and initial grades. 50 freshmen will be chosen a year.

About 1,250 CPS freshmen are expected to receive invitations this year to join the inaugural class. The participants will be chosen in March and the program will start in April. The program will cost roughly $1 million-a-year, and will be free for students.

Thoughts on the new program?

Do you think it will help more under-served students of color obtain a greater education?

Sound off below!