It is the mission of the Great Books Summer Program to create warm and lively communities of learning where free inquiry, reason, and civil discourse shape critical thinking skills. Our unique combination of academic rigor and supportive communality gives literary-minded students the tools and the confidence to develop their own best thinking in preparation for college and beyond.
To extend this opportunity to students who wish to participate but may lack the financial means, we, along with our mission partners, offer a number of scholarships to deserving students who qualify.
In addition to each of the scholarships listed below, GBSP extends a limited amount of financial aid for our domestic (US) programs, through our relationship with the following sponsors and mission partners: Amherst College, Open Books Foundation, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, KIPP Charter Schools, Achievement First, Schuler Scholar Program, Reach Prep, Red Cloud Indian School, Chicago Youth Programs, and Beacon Academy.
Scholarships for Summer 2020:
The Lewis-Sebring Scholarship
The two recipients of these one-week full scholarships to the Amherst Program or the University of Chicago Program are selected based on the criteria established by the Lewis-Sebring Family Foundation, which provides educational scholarships to deserving students from communities of color and low-income backgrounds to attend the Great Books Summer Program.
Please note that Lewis-Sebring Scholarship applicants must write a minimum 400-word essay in response to one of the following prompts:
- 1. Write an essay describing a challenging experience, and how you overcame it.
- 2. Write an essay describing a leadership experience in your community.
Applicants who do not receive the Lewis-Sebring Scholarship will automatically be considered for General Financial Aid.
The recipient of this one-week full scholarship to the University of Chicago or Amherst College Program is selected based on the criteria established by the estate of Joseph W. Korner and The Open Books Foundation. The scholarship will be awarded to a Chicago Public School high school student who demonstrates a love of learning and a desire to read and discuss ideas. To learn more about Joseph W. Korner and his commitment to learning, please click here. Please note that Joseph W. Korner applicants must write a minimum 400-word essay in response to the following prompt:
Write an essay describing the teacher from whom you've learned the most. What about that teacher's approach made their lessons meaningful?
Applicants who do not receive the Joseph W. Korner Memorial Scholarship will automatically be considered for General Financial Aid.
The Joseph J. Ellis Scholarship for American History
ESSAY BASED SCHOLARSHIP FOR THE AMHERST PROGRAM
Recipients for these two full one-week scholarships to the Amherst Program are selected based on a minimum 500-word essay in response to the following prompt:
Write about an important person in American history, and explain the role they played in that history. Further instructions can be found in the online Financial Aid Application.
Applicants who do not receive the Ellis Scholarship will automatically be considered for General Financial Aid.
“I am honored and thrilled that the Great Books Summer Program has created these scholarships in my name,” said Ellis, who speaks at the program every Fourth of July. “These scholarships go to a cause that I believe is really worthy. The program is based on an elegantly simple idea—bringing bright kids together to read great works and classic texts, which is the closest thing to the sacred for me.”
“For the last ten years, Joseph Ellis has generously shared his time and expertise with our students, who look forward to his inspired talks about the founding of our country. We could not be more pleased to honor him by offering these scholarships in his name,” said David Ward, co-founder and President of the Great Books Summer Program.