With top-ranked business, law, and medical schools, we bet saying ‘yes’ to a spot at the University of Chicago is easy—even if paying for it more require a little more work.
Whether you’re in Hyde Park or one of UChicago’s international campuses, as an undergraduate or graduate student, you’re guaranteed to be surrounded by bright colleagues and experienced professors. In fact, six current faculty members are Nobel Prize winners. And after you leave UChicago, you’ll join a network of 160,000 alumni around the world. But let’s first help you figure out how to pay for that degree.
How much does it cost to attend the University of Chicago?
Like many private schools, undergraduate yearly tuition is close to $50,000 at the University of Chicago. Together with living and other expenses, students can expect an annual total cost of $70,000—however, the good news is that the school’s robust financial aid program defrays this cost for many.
At Booth, the university’s business school, MBA students can expect to pay over $60,000 in tuition per year of the two-year program, with total costs approaching six figures for the year. Pritzker medical student tuition is near $50,000 for an estimated total annual cost of $80,000, and students of UChicago’s top-ranked law school will pay a few thousand more per year than medical students.
What kind of financial aid does the University of Chicago offer?
Students at the University of Chicago have access to a large pool of financial aid, which was valued at $110 million in the 2014-2015 academic year. In fact, the average undergraduate aid application receives $37,500 in scholarships to attend UChicago and two out of three students graduate debt-free (much better than the 71% of students nationally who graduate in debt).
This is made possible partially through the school’s No Barriers program, which has the goals of increasing access to college and supporting students throughout their careers. Specifically, the No Barriers program waives the college application fee for any student who applies for aid, pledges to award financial aid solely as grants, not loans, offers opportunities for students to work, study, and travel without having to pay extra, and promises lifelong career support starting on day one.
There are some need-based grants available to UChicago undergraduates, including the Odyssey Scholarship (which was funded by an anonymous donor), University of Chicago Grants, and various federal and state-provided grants. Also, students and their families may take out federal or private student loans if they wish, but the No Barriers program removes this requirement from the financial aid package so that loans are an option, not a necessity, for undergraduates.
For graduate students, UChicago has some grants and fellowships that can help reduce the burden of loans. Chicago Booth offers merit-based awards on an ad hoc basis to exceptional business school candidates. Additionally, Booth students are eligible for fellowships, many of which are awarded to specific groups, such as those who plan to pursue a career in private equity, students from Israel, and more.
UChicago’s Law School also offers scholarships, such as the David. M. Rubenstein Scholars Program, which provides full-tuition scholarships based on merit. Other examples of UChicago law school scholarships are the James C. Hormel Public Interest Scholarship, awarded to students who have demonstrated a commitment to public service, JD/Ph.D. fellowships, and the Zubrow Scholars Program, another full-tuition opportunity for students who show promise in both law and business.
Like any medical students, aspiring doctors at Pritzker can take out loans and apply for outside scholarships. The School of Medicine also offers its own scholarships. This money comes from alumni and other donors and is awarded based on merit, financial need, and course of study. Pritzker also offers low-rate loans, which allow students to finance the remainder of their education at low-interest rates.
What kinds of extras should I expect to pay for at UChicago?
Students are discouraged from bringing cars to campus, so you may be dependent on other modes of transportation. The good news is that you’ll save money by avoiding car payments, insurance, parking fees (or tickets), and the many other expenses that go along with car ownership.
If you plan to participate in Greek life, make sure to account for the costs associated with fraternity or sorority membership. Booth students should consider, as well, a budget for weekend trips that are common across business schools and can add up significantly. Lastly, all UChicago students should budget a bit extra for winter clothes as snow, freezing temperatures for weeks on end, and sub-zero temperatures are common in Chicago winters.