Mission Driven: Illinois Tech Partners with Comprehensive Scholarship Program Hope Chicago


A landscape photo taken near the windows at Kaplan Institute

The first Hope Scholars cohort will join Illinois Institute of Technology this fall thanks to the university’s partnership with Hope Chicago, a two-generation scholarship program that is committed to investing $1 billion in higher-education scholarships to Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students and their parents over the next decade.

Hope Scholars will graduate from college debt-free thanks to support from Hope Chicago.

“Illinois Tech was founded on the noble mission of liberating the collective power of difference to advance technology and progress for all,” says Raj Echambadi, president of Illinois Tech. “By partnering with Hope Chicago as part of The Chicago Difference, the university’s community transformation and scholarship initiative designed to provide wraparound support for talented young people from underrepresented backgrounds across Chicago, Illinois Tech continues to meet our mission by leading much of the nation in economic mobility and in the success of our graduates more than 130 years later.”

Incoming Hope Scholars at Illinois Tech will be eligible for the full suite of comprehensive support that Hope Chicago offers, including scholarships paying for all college expenses—not just tuition and traditional residence hall life, but also transition support; academic, social, and emotional support; and exclusive access to dedicated support staff on the university’s Mies Campus.

“We know the transition for any scholar into a new postsecondary setting is a critical moment in time. That’s why we are so excited to have such deep relationships in place with our partner universities that ensure a deep bench of support for our first cohort of Hope Scholars enrolling this fall,” Hope Chicago Chief Program Officer Michele Howard says.

In February 2022 Hope Chicago visited five CPS high schools on the city’s South, Southwest, and West sides, promising 4,000 students and one parent or guardian of each student access to debt-free higher education. With future cohorts in the works, the partnership with Hope Chicago opens the door for more CPS graduates and their families to experience the world-class education that Illinois Tech has to offer.

“We know a college degree is the most powerful tool one can use to maximize their career opportunities,” Hope Chicago Chief Executive Officer Janice Jackson says. “That’s why we aim to change the game and redefine the college experience for our scholars in collaboration with our partner institutions.”