Applications for the class of 2027 open on December 15, 2023

How to Apply

Minds Matter Chicago is recruiting current high school freshmen (Class of 2027) to join our program in Fall 2024!  Student applicants must ensure that the following are completed by March 1, 2024 by 11:59 pm. Click the links to view forms:

Part 1: Student Application

Part 2: School Counselor Nomination Form

Part 3: Teacher Recommendation

Part 4: Parent/Guardian Consent Form / Formulario de Padres/Custodios en Español

Please send links to Parts 2-4 directly to the appropriate adults.


  • Be a freshman student during the application year
  • Maintain a strong overall grade point average of 3.0 or higher
  • Be committed to pursuing a college education
  • Must qualify for free or reduced-price lunch
  • Demonstrate strong academic potential, motivation, maturity, and responsibility
  • Be active in extracurricular and/or community activities (part-time jobs included)
  • Show that he/she would benefit greatly from a summer academic experience

Program Requirements:

  • Commit to 3 years of program participation, working together with two mentors
  • Attend Minds Matter sessions 10:30 am - 2:30 pm every Saturday during the school academic year (excluding holidays and breaks) at Roosevelt University in downtown Chicago
  • Attend 2 summer enrichment programs during Sophomore and Junior year summers
  • Maintain a good GPA and academic standing


Please contact Minds Matter Chicago Representative at [email protected].

Important Dates:

December 15, 2023: Application Goes Live

January 2024: School Presentations

February 10, 2024: Minds Matter Live (Open House)

March 1, 2024: Application Deadline

April 2024: Candidate Interviews

May 1, 2024: Decision day

June 1, 2024: Accepted Student and Parents Day

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the requirements to be accepted into the Minds Matter program?

A: Minds Matter is looking for students who:

  • Will be enrolled in Grade 10 at the start of our program and interested in pursuing a college education
  • Demonstrate strong academic potential, motivation, maturity, time management and responsibility
  • Maintain an overall grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale)
  • Are active in extracurricular and/or community activities (part time jobs included)
  • Qualify for free or reduced lunch
  • Would benefit greatly from a summer academic experience

Q: What is the cost of the Minds Matter program?

A: The entire program is of NO COST to the student, his/her family, or school. Minds Matter helps students apply for financial aid awards and raises funds to supplement financial aid.

Q: How are students notified whether they were accepted into the program?

A: Students will be contacted via email regarding the interview notification. Final acceptances to the program will be communicated via a call.

Q: How often and where does the Minds Matter program meet?

A: Minds Matter sessions are held on Saturdays from 10:30AM – 2:30PM during the school year. Sessions are not held on holidays or during school vacations. Currently, we meet at Roosevelt University, which is easily accessible via public transportation.

Q: What process is used to match Minds Matter students with their mentors?

A: Minds Matter takes mentor/mentee matching very seriously. Volunteers and students are asked a series of questions during the application process to assess interests, areas of strength, and areas of improvement. This input allows the Directors of Mentors and Mentees canto do their best to ensure a good match and overall experience for everyone involved.

Q: Do students stay with the same mentors throughout their entire Minds Matter experience?

A: Ideally, a mentee will have the same mentors throughout the entire program. Minds Matter does its best to assess each volunteer’s availability and match accordingly. We do understand that “life happens,” and sometimes we experience turnover due to unforeseen circumstances such as job changes, relocation, and graduate school. Luckily, Minds Matter is growing on a national level and we often see volunteers join a different chapter should they move to another city. In fact, most of Minds Matter’s chapters were started in other cities by volunteers who had to leave New York because of work and school commitments.

Q: What criteria are taken into consideration when matching a student to a summer program?

A: In early spring, Minds Matter mentors begin work behind the scenes with the summer programs. Based on each student’s attendance, commitment, and involvement in Minds Matter and the scholarship money offered to each student, we work to place each student in a summer program. Students are notified of their placement in April and May.

Q: What kinds of summer programs do Minds Matter students apply to?

A: Minds Matter Sophomores and Juniors apply to a variety of academic summer programs at colleges, universities, and prep schools around the country. Here are some examples of where our students have gone in previous years: Boston Leadership Institute, Brown University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins Engineering Innovation, MIT Research Science Institute, Northwestern University, Stanford University, University of Southern California, and University of Virginia Summer Enrichment.