DePaul University announces $20K scholarships for high-achieving graduates of Chicago Public Schools and Catholic high schools in Illinois

DePaul University commencement
DePaul University announces two new $20,000 scholarships — Chicago Promise Scholarship and Catholic Heritage Scholarship — for CPS graduates or graduates of Catholic high schools in Illinois with a high school grade point average of 3.7 or higher and are admitted to DePaul as full-time freshmen. Pictured here are DePaul graduates during the June 9, 2018, combined commencement ceremony for the College of Science and Health and the College of Education at Wintrust Arena. (DePaul University/Jeff Carrion)
CHICAGO — DePaul University is strengthening its commitment to young people in Illinois with two new scholarship programs that will ease financial burdens in affording a high-quality college education for graduates of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and Catholic high schools in Illinois. 

The Chicago Promise Scholarship and Catholic Heritage Scholarship will each provide a $20,000 scholarship to any CPS graduate or graduate of one of Illinois’ Catholic high schools, respectively, who has a high school grade point average of 3.7 or higher and is admitted to DePaul as a full-time freshman. DePaul already has begun awarding the scholarships to incoming freshmen who would start at the university in fall 2019.

“DePaul’s faith in the transformative power of education is longstanding and undiminished,” said A. Gabriel Esteban, Ph.D., president of DePaul. “These scholarships effectively bring the tuition of a high-quality private university to a level that is close to the published tuition and fees of the state’s flagship public university allowing these students to live, study and work in the world-class city of Chicago while benefiting from all the opportunities that DePaul students enjoy.”

The value of the scholarships is approximately 50 percent of DePaul's undergraduate tuition. The scholarships are renewable over four years, bringing the total award to $80,000. Students who demonstrate exceptional academic achievement or significant financial need upon filing for financial aid may receive assistance in addition to the scholarship.

About 250 CPS graduates enroll at DePaul as freshmen each fall, more than any other private university. Once at DePaul, those students have retention and graduation rates above statewide averages.

“Year after year, CPS students continue to demonstrate that they are among the most talented and hardworking students in the country, and we are grateful to DePaul for believing in our students and providing this opportunity to help ease some of the financial burden as they pursue a degree,” said CPS CEO Janice K. Jackson, Ed.D.

As the largest Catholic university in the United States and the largest private, nonprofit university in the Midwest, DePaul is a special destination for the graduates of the 77 Catholic high schools in Illinois. Between 150 and 200 new freshmen enroll at DePaul each year after graduating from one of these schools. 

“DePaul University has a rich history rooted in providing a superior Catholic education and contributing to the city’s vibrancy,” said Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago. “Through this new scholarship program, DePaul University is opening the door for more Illinois Catholic high school students to experience what a Catholic university has to offer, and in turn those students will help shape the future of Chicago and the world beyond.”

The majority of DePaul alumni choose to live and work in Chicagoland, contributing to the economic and cultural vitality of the city, the region and the state of Illinois. 

“For 120 years, DePaul has been embraced as Chicago’s university. Employers in countless fields hire DePaul graduates for their talents and work ethic,” said James T. Ryan, chair of DePaul’s board of trustees. “The new scholarships confirm DePaul’s longstanding commitment to attracting exceptional CPS students and Illinois Catholic high school students to our campus. It keeps home-grown talent where it belongs: in a globally respected city and at a university that will challenge their intellect and encourage their success.” 

Information about DePaul’s scholarships are online at


Media contact:
Carol Hughes