RISE Academy


Starting your journey as a new college student may feel both exciting and overwhelming, especially in a time when the world is unpredictable and chaotic. Our Rise Scholars program provides comprehensive resources that help kick-start your entry to college and guide you through your entire first year—academically, financially, and emotionally.

Earn Your First Year of College Tuition-Free

What is a Rise Scholar and how do I join?

All full-time freshmen students who successfully complete Rise Academy are designated as Rise Scholars, and receive a full tuition and fees scholarship for the 2020-21 academic year. It is simple to become a Rise Scholar. First, apply for undergraduate admissions for fall 2020. Second, once you are admitted to the university, register for Rise Academy. For any questions on getting started, contact our Admissions Office at 773-995-2513 or by emailing ug-admissions@csu.edu.

Rise Scholar Benefits

What is Rise Academy and how does it work?

Rise Academy is a year-long program designed to kick off your freshman year at Chicago State University by offering you all the tools you will need to succeed in your first year of college, including a strong community of classmates, professors, and advisors. The Academy starts with a five-week intensive program over the summer where you earn 3 college credits before the fall semester even starts. You will get to know your professors and freshmen classmates; discover how different college majors lead to career paths and which is right for you; and explore the Chicago State campus and student resources.

In response to COVID-19, Rise Academy will be offered in an e-learning format this summer. The Rise Academy summer programming will have several start dates to accommodate our entering freshman class, June 29, July 20, and August 10. The course includes instruction in the morning, Monday - Thursday and workshops in the early afternoon, Monday - Friday. 


Rise Scholars

Fall Session

Rise Scholars

Special Fall Session

Deadline to Apply to CSU & Register for Rise Academy July 10, 2020 August 1, 2020
Rise Academy Starts July 20, 2020 August 10, 2020
Classes start August 24, 2020 September 14, 2020


Rise Scholars FAQ

A: All incoming full-time freshmen students, including transfer students with less than 24 credit hours, who complete Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) are eligible. Students must successfully complete the Rise Academy program.
A: 12 or more credit hours in the fall and spring semesters.
A: If you’ve already been accepted as a freshman student to Chicago State for Fall 2020, then you just need to RSVP for one of the Rise Academy sessions this summer (start dates of July 20 and August 10). If you have not applied to Chicago State yet, it is not too late. Apply here.
A: In the Rise Academy, you will participate in workshops, build relationships with classmates, explore career options and learn the “ins and outs” of college life. The program starts with a 5-week intensive course in the summer and continues throughout the academic year. You need to RSVP to one of the two summer sessions to save your seat.
A: If you're not yet admitted to CSU, apply for undergraduate admissions for fall 2020. Once you are admitted to the university, register for Rise Academy. For any questions on getting started, contact our Admissions Office at 773-995-2513 or by emailing ug-admissions@csu.edu.
A: No. If you successfully complete Rise Academy, you will become a Rise Scholar and receive the 2020-21 academic year scholarship. It’s really that simple!
A: Rise Academy is a year-long program, starting with a five-week intensive summer program. During the summer term, the exact time commitment varies slightly based on classes you take. Monday - Friday, there is an English course that either either 8 - 12:15 or 10:30 - 12:45. Monday - Friday, there are workshops in the early afternoon.
A: Students successfully completing the Rise Academy program receive first-year scholarships that cover tuition, mandatory fees, and textbook costs not covered by grants.
A: The safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff continue to be priorities for us during this unprecedented time. Chicago State has remained open and fully operational; however, we are offering all of our summer programs in an e-learning format. We are providing students with laptops for that purpose. We will be planning a socially-distanced campus welcome and orientation later this summer, in accordance with state and city re-opening phases, so that you can experience our beautiful campus in person and meet your professors, advisors and classmates.
Session 2: Starts July 20 Session 3: Starts August 10 If you cannot join one of these Rise Academy dates, contact the program director, Dr. McKnight, with any questions (fmcknigh@csu.edu). Dr. McKnight will support you with next steps.
A: You can learn more by joining a Rise Information Session on July 7 at 2 pm or July 28 at 5:30 pm. You can also contact the program director, Dr. McKnight, with any questions.
This session has a shortened schedule. Those classes cover the same amount of content as classes that start in August, but in a shorter period. This means classes meet for longer periods of time in order to cover all the content. The classes end at the same time as regular fall session classes. Rise Scholars who start in Rise Academy on August 10 will start their regular coursework on September 14, when the Special Fall Session starts. 


Steps in becoming a Rise Scholar


Fall Session 

Rise Scholars

Special Session 

Rise Scholars

Deadline to Apply to CSU & Register for Rise Academy Jul 10, 2020 Aug 1, 2020 If you have not applied to CSU, submit the application and your records. Once admitted, you can register 
Prepare for Rise Academy: Meet with Advisor, take placement test, and pick up ID and computer Ongoing Ongoing Once you register for Rise Academy, an advisor will work with you getting set up to start.
Parent Orientation

Jul 13, 11am - 12

Jul 14, 5 - 6pm

Student Orientation Jul 20, 10 am TBD  
Rise Academy Starts Jul 20, 2020 Aug10, 2020  
Classes start Aug 24, 2020 Sep 14, 2020