Accepted to University of Chicago: Now What?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Signage of University of Chicago in the middle of the campus.

Accepted to University of Chicago: Now What?

When high school students are targeting colleges and universities that they want to apply to, a dream scenario is often getting into one of the eight Ivy League schools or one of the other top 10 schools in the United States like the University of Chicago.

University of Chicago is a historical and prestigious school located in, of course, the city of Chicago, Illinois. It is considered one of the best schools in the world for students who are interested in business, engineering, law and chemistry. It is also incredibly difficult to get into. That’s why getting accepted to University of Chicago is a major reason for celebration! But, while getting accepted to University of Chicago may be the end of your journey of applying to schools, it is just the beginning of another far more rewarding and challenging journey of actually attending the school!

On top of that, if you have gotten in – or plan on one day getting in – to the University of Chicago, you probably have a lot of questions about what to do after getting accepted to University of Chicago.

Old university buildings surrounded by trees and grass.

If you have not yet gotten in or have not even reached the age at which you will start applying to schools, you may be curious to learn about how University of Chicago admissions work. If you are curious about that and much more, then you have absolutely come to the right place.

At AdmissionSight, we make it our number one priority to prepare the many students that we work with every school year and application cycle for the many different stages of the college and university application journey. After all, knowing what to expect and what it takes to get into these schools can give students a major advantage compared to those students who decide to go it alone.

While there is obviously no way that any student – no matter how accomplished they are – can truly guarantee that they will get into a school like UChicago (at is it often called), there are absolutely ways in which students can boost their chances compared to the historically low acceptance rates at this school and ones of similar prestige.

One of the best ways for students to improve their own chances is to learn as much as they can about the actual admissions process at a given school. After all, knowing about a school’s unique admissions process will allow you to better craft your application to prove that you will not only survive but thrive within UChicago’s tradition of academic excellence and competitiveness.

That is where AdmissionSight can come in and really help! Our experience that has come with working with countless students trying to get into such schools has offered us an intimate understanding of what these schools are looking for and what students can do to improve their chances and get a leg up on the competition.

So, if you are planning on one day applying to the University of Chicago and want to get a better idea of how University of Chicago admissions work and what you can do to improve the likelihood that you will one day be able to say “I got accepted to the University Chicago,” then you have absolutely come to the right place! Let’s start breaking down all this important information together.

How University of Chicago admissions work

When students start to generate a list of what kinds of schools they are interested in applying to, learning about the unique admissions strategies and expectations at that school is an incredibly useful and important tool that students should utilize. That is all especially true in the event that you hope to apply – and get into – the top schools in the United States, such as UChicago!

University of Chicago building covered in vines.

In the United States, the common practice of colleges and universities is to utilize a holistic admissions process. This means that the admissions officers at schools will consider everything a student sends in to support their case that they deserve a spot in the school’s incoming graduating class. With that in mind, there are of course certain components that all schools consider more strongly above the others.

The most notable and important component of any student’s chances of getting into a school like UChicago is their academic success and preparedness. But that is just one part of a rather complex puzzle.

Knowing a bit more about that puzzle can put you in a better position to get into UChicago whether you are a junior in high school or just about to begin your freshman year, so here are some things that you should keep in mind!

The Office of Undergraduate Admission at the University of Chicago evaluates their applicants in three specific categories:

  • Academics: The top thing that admissions officers at UChicago look for when evaluating a given application is proof that a student would be able to not only survive, but also thrive thanks to UChicago’s incredibly competitive and demanding nature of academics. Of course, the best way to do this is to earn top grades throughout high school, take as many advanced courses as possible and earn impressive SAT or ACT scores. With that being said, it is important to know that there are no required grade point average or standardized score minimums that students need to apply to UChicago. Admissions officers look at each application on a case-by-case basis and will consider a student’s background and the resources available to them when evaluating their application.
  • Extracurriculars: Another characteristic that the admissions committee at University of Chicago factor into their admissions process is an applicant’s extracurricular activities. These activities refer to anything that a student decides to spend their time doing outside of the classroom. This can refer to anything from being on a sports team to being in a school’s student government group and anywhere in between. From what we know about the way that schools evaluate these kinds of activities, it is less important what they are and more important how students approach them. Schools are looking for students who are highly passionate about their interests and put a lot of time and energy into them. Typically, it is said that students should focus heavily on two to four extracurricular activities rather than find a way to split their time between five to seven. When it comes to how UChicago uses this information, they want to see the impact you have had at your job, in your family, in a club, in your school or in the larger community of your hometown.
  • Intellectual fit: One final really important aspect of the school’s admissions process is to look at the intellectual fit that a student may or may not have with UChicago. Admissions officers want to see a student’s commitment, dedication and clear interest in expanding and advancing their intellectual horizons. The best way for students to do just this is to write about their academic passions and goals in their personal essays, have teachers write about their strengths in letters of recommendation as well as within the proof of your course list from high school. UChicago wants students that will go above and beyond in the classroom during all their years at the school.

So, you now have a good idea of what the admissions officers at UChicago are looking for in applicants. While every applicant is different, here are some basic numbers related to students who do end up getting into UChicago:

The applicant with the highest academic rating would have these credentials:

  • Top 5% of high school class
  • Most challenging course load of AP courses
  • SAT/ACT and SAT II scores in the 99th percentile (1540 / 34)

​An applicant with an academic rating of 3 out of 6 would have these credentials:

  • Top 15% of high school class
  • Some of the most challenging course load of AP courses in key content areas
  • SAT/ACT and SAT II around 700 (per section) / 30 (per section)

Finally, just to get an idea of how competitive this school really is, we wanted to discuss the school’s acceptance rate from the most recent application cycle, which is the 2021-22 application cycle. The acceptance rate ended up coming in at approximately 5.0 percent, one of the lowest acceptance rates in the history of the school. So, to get in, you are truly going to have to be amongst the best of the best. It’s a hard journey but we’ve seen many students accomplish it and we are sure that you can too if you put your mind to it!

What to do after getting into University of Chicago

So you’ve officially been accepted to the University of Chicago! That is incredible news and an incredible achievement, and as you now know around 95 percent of the students who do apply to UChicago these days do not end up getting in.

But simply getting into UChicago is just the start of the journey, not the end of it. Whenever students are getting into top schools, or any kind of schools for that matter, a lot of work should be done by that student in order for them to make sure that they are making the final decision that they are most excited about and most well fit for.

Aerial view of University of Chicago.

There is a reason why students tend to hear back from schools by April at the latest (unless they have been deferred or waitlisted) and don’t have to issue official responses to schools until National College Decision Day on May 2nd. That time is meant for students to do their final decision-making process and figure out where they truly want to go for their undergraduate education.

Beyond that, if you have gotten into UChicago, chances are good that you have also been offered a spot at some of the other most prestigious schools in the United States. That could make coming to your final decision that much harder! So, to help you with that decision-making process, AdmissionSight wanted to offer just a few tips on how to come to a conclusion that you are excited about and confident in.

Wait to hear back from all your schools

If you applied to UChicago via early admission, it may take weeks or even months to hear back from any of the other schools that you applied to in the fall and early winter. That waiting period can be excruciating and it can lead you to simply make a decision because you want the waiting to be over and you want to start celebrating and looking towards the future.

Unless you are 100 percent certain that UChicago is where you want to end up no matter what, then you would be wise to hear back from all the schools that you applied to before you start narrowing down your list. After all, through applying, dealing with the different admissions committees, taking part in admissions interviews and more, you may have discovered that a school you were less interested in is now your No. 1 option. You should allow yourself to be flexible during this time to ensure top success.

Visit the UChicago campus

If you have been serious about attending UChicago for quite some time, then chances are good that you found a way to visit the campus before deciding to apply. However, visiting campus before you’ve applied is a very different experience than visiting a campus after you have gotten word that you will actually be able to attend the school in the coming fall.

Young woman smiling for the camera while on a campus tour.

Once you get in, contact the office of admissions and let them know that you plan on visiting campus as a prospective student. Chances are good that you will be able to meet with current students, a faculty that teaches a subject that you are interested in, or even possibly audit a class and see what learning at UChicago is actually like!

On top of that, you should try to explore the area and see what kinds of recreation areas there are, what students do for fun and more to get an idea of what your day-to-day life could be like if you end up accepting your spot at UChicago.

Talk it out with the people you trust

Another great way to make sure that you are making the right decision is to consult with the people in your life who you trust and who have helped you get to this point. Speak with your family, friends, counselors, teachers and (if you have one) your admissions consultant to really help you make that final decision.

Group of people talking while sitting on the stairs.

Talk about what you want to study, your goals, what activities you want to take part in outside of the classroom and what kind of environment and community you want to live in for years. Knowing the answers to these questions should allow you to make a clear and informed final decision in terms of whether UChicago is the right kind of school for you.

Take the final steps to accept your spot at UChicago

Once you have done all of this important work and have indeed come to the conclusion that UChicago is the right school for you, there are a few steps that you are going to have to take in order to ensure your spot and start prepping for enrollment.

Here are some of the most important things to have on your checklist, the entire list is offered by the school here on its official site:

  • Officially accept your spot by May 2nd and withdraw your application from the other schools you applied to
  • Create your CNET ID by May 31ss
  • Apply for a UChicago Summer Opportunity or Pre-Orientation Program by June 10th
  • Connect with fellow members of your incoming graduating class on the school’s official Facebook page
  • Complete pre-registration for your autumn quarter Humanities sequences course between June 21st and June 24th.
  • Submit your official photo ID by June 30th
  • Complete your Career Interests Survey by July 1st to share your career goals and interests with Career Advancement to help you best match with your career adviser at UChicago
  • Complete your housing application by July 1st
  • Complete the Math and other relevant placement tests by July 22nd

There are many more steps that students can take to be better prepared, but these are the key ones to look out for as your first day of classes at UChicago edges nearer during the summer!

Congrats on your UChicago admission

One of the most exciting things a young student can experience is getting into a college or university that is at the very top of their list. If UChicago is that school for you, you are going to have to work extremely hard to make that dream a reality and beat the low acceptance rate at the school. It is hard, but it is not impossible!

If you’re interested in learning more about UChicago, how to improve your chances of getting into the school, and what to do once you have received an acceptance letter, then contact us today to schedule a free consultation with AdmissionSight today!




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