Rise Academy FAQs

Rise Academy is a first-year experience scholarship program that starts in the Summer or Fall semester with an introductory five-week college course, support workshops, targeted advising, and continues with holistic student support throughout the student’s first academic year. In the Rise Academy, the student will participate in workshops, build relationships with classmates, explore career options and learn the “ins and outs” of college life.

All incoming full-time freshmen students and transfer students with no more than 23 credit hours earned at a prior college or university, who apply and are admitted to Chicago State University with a completed Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) are eligible. Students must successfully complete the first 5-weeks of the Rise Academy program during one of our two summer cohorts or during the fall cohort in order to be eligible to receive the tuition scholarship.

NOTE: Your notice of eligibility does not mean you have completed the requirements to secure the scholarship.  Please contact the Director of Rise Academy, Dr. Kenneth M. Nole at knole@csu.edu to complete all requirements and secure your slot.

Full-time enrollment is 12 or more credit hours in both the fall and spring semesters.
Students enrolled in the 5-week Rise Academy program will not be considered full-time.
Rise Academy starts with a 5-week course that starts in either the Summer or Fall prior to enrolling in full-time classes. Rise Academy provides targeted advising and continues with holistic student support throughout the academic year. The 5-week cohort runs Monday through Friday (daytime courses, workshops, and networking activities). During the academic year students must be committed the entire year through class and workshop attendance, academic advisor and peer mentor check-ins, meetings, tutoring, and other supportive programming.
No, Rise Academy is designed to be an introduction to college
Students who successfully complete the Rise Academy program will receive:
  • The Rise Scholarship which covers full-tuition and fees for your first-year at CSU after applying all financial aid awards for the 2023-2024 academic year (*).
  • Free loan of a university laptop for all four undergraduate years including internet access for the first/freshman year of study at CSU (**).
  • Textbook vouchers to eliminate and/or reduce the cost of textbooks.
  • Advisors, workshops & resources to guide and support your progress while studying at CSU.
Note: The Rise Academy scholarship is applied after all other grants (i.e., Pell and MAP) and scholarships have been applied. This scholarship does not cover food and housing expenses (formerly known as room and board).
The Office of Student Financial Aid will email your book voucher instructions including your username and password, prior to the start of the semester. You may only purchase books via the online bookstore.
There is no housing provided during the 5-week cohort (Summer or Fall). Students who are out-of-state/area will be enrolled in an online course for the duration of the 5-week cohort. Students are strongly encouraged to apply for housing for their Fall/Spring semester, immediately upon being accepted to the university. Space is limited and is granted on a first come-first serve basis.

Note: This can be done prior to completing the 5-week cohort. Food and housing expenses (formerly known as room and board) are not covered by the Rise Academy Scholarship. Students are encouraged to use other means of financial aid to pay for food and housing (formerly known as room and board) expenses.

In order to be eligible to live in the residence halls, students must be enrolled full-time (at least 12-credit hours) during both the Fall and Spring semesters. Students need to meet all housing requirements prior to being eligible to live on to campus.

Requirements include:

  • $75 non-refundable application fee
    • Paid to the Cashier Office either in person, via phone via student portal
  • Medical & Immunizations Requirements Cleared with the Wellness Center
    • Diphtheria and Tetanus (TD), must have been within the last 10 years.
    • Tuberculin (TB), skin test with results within the last year.
    • Complete Physical, completed within the last year.
    • 2 doses of Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR), or a test verifying immunity.
  • Background Check through Castlebranch - fees will apply
    • Use package code: cg78
    • Students must send their RESULTS to housing@csu.edu

Housing and Residence Life (HRL) is a first come and first serve basis in terms of housing. Therefore, it is up to the student to complete all necessary requirements to live on campus. HRL doesn’t guarantee ANY student housing. CSU has limited housing and students will be placed on the waiting list for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to: not all requirements are met, not full-time enrollment, last application fee, etc.

Students should expect to have a roommate. If students have any accommodations needed for housing these need to be approved by the abilities office. They can be contacted at (773) 995-2380 or email abilities@csu.edu

The RISE scholarship does not cover food and housing (formerly known as room and board), students who apply and are accepted into our residence hall must secure other financial means to pay for their food and housing expenses.

The first step is to apply for admissions to CSU. Once accepted into the University, you are required to attend a Rise Academy Information Session to learn more about completing all steps to secure the scholarship. Sign up today.

NOTE: Your notice of eligibility does not mean you have completed the requirements to secure the scholarship. Please contact the Director of Rise Academy, Dr. Kenneth M. Nole at knole@csu.edu to secure your slot.

You can contact the Director of Rise Academy, Dr. Kenneth M. Nole with any questions at knole@csu.edu.


Rise Academy Application & Cohort Start Dates

2024 Application Deadline Cohort Start Date
Cohort One June 10 June 17
Cohort Two June 24 July 1
Cohort Three October 14 October 21