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Odyssey Scholarships

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Thanks to the incredible generosity of the anonymous donor “Homer” and additional gifts from alumni and friends of the University, the Odyssey Scholarship program provides enhanced academic, social, and career support to students who are from lower-income families or the first in their families to attend college. Odyssey Scholars are selected on the basis of financial need and family circumstances and will be eligible for additional funding for study abroad and other costs such as health insurance. Students must apply for need-based financial aid in order to be considered for the Odyssey Scholarship; students selected as Odyssey Scholars usually have family incomes under $90,000.

No Student Loans in Your Financial Aid Package

Odyssey Scholars are not expected to borrow student loans as part of their financial aid package. Instead, students receive University grant funding, which does not need to be repaid. Please note that you will be eligible for Federal Student Loans, but will not be expected to borrow to pay for your education. Contact Financial Aid if you have questions concerning loans.

Odyssey Internship Program

The University of Chicago is committed to providing you with an education that enhances your personal and professional development. To that end, Odyssey Scholars have the opportunity to receive a funded summer internship or research opportunity after their first year in the College. To qualify for the opportunity, you will need to participate in Career Advancement programs and meetings with your career adviser. You will meet with your adviser throughout the year to discuss your academic and career interests in order to ensure that you are in a strong position to find an internship that fits your interests and goals.


Through programs and events offered by both Career Advancement and the Center for College Student Success, students enjoy opportunities to meet other current Odyssey Scholars as well as alumni who benefited from and support the Odyssey Scholarship program.

Funding for Study Abroad

Odyssey Scholars are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the wide range of study abroad offerings in the College. Scholars will receive funding for program fees and housing costs associated with study abroad. Additionally, scholarships available through the College can be used to assist with additional costs related to study abroad, such as airfare to the program site and meals.

Financial Life Skills

Financial literacy seminars for Odyssey Scholars assist students in learning the basics of budgeting a student income, managing personal expenses, and understanding student loans, credit cards, and other consumer debt.

Assistance with Health Insurance Costs

Students are required to have health insurance while enrolled in the College. You must purchase the University Student Health Insurance Plan (USHIP) unless you are covered under another plan (e.g. a parent’s health insurance plan). As an Odyssey Scholar, the cost of USHIP is paid for you by Odyssey Scholarship funds.

† New for 2017-18: Odyssey Scholars who wish to utilize USHIP and have their Odyssey funding cover the cost must actively enroll in the USHIP plan. The enrollment/waiver period is August 14th to October 13th. In order to learn more, enroll, or waive USHIP, please visit the USHIP website.

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