Announcing the 2012 Northwestern Chicago Scholars Program

Northwestern University has had a long and substantial partnership with the Chicago Debate League — from having a representative of its singularly successful intercollegiate Debate Society on the original Chicago Debate Commission, to hosting our Chicago Debate Championship on three previous occasions (2012 will be the fourth time), to recruiting and offering college scholarships to many of the top CDL debaters over the years. The nationally-respected Northwestern National High School Institute, NU’s summer debate institute, has provided CDL students with dozens of scholarships over the years, enabling more than 75 CDL debaters to learn from some of the top competitive academic debate teachers, in a debate “hot house” on an amazing campus.

Now we’re very happy to announce a brand new iteration of this important relationship. Northwestern will be offering four full-ride scholarships (pending financial need) as part of the Northwestern Chicago Scholars program this summer. A letter from Northwestern University Director of Forensics Dr. Daniel Fitzmier explains the program in fuller detail. Northwestern Chicago Scholars will be provided intensive instruction in a specially designed and led lab group, one that will also have full access to all institute-wide offerings. The overall objective of the Northwestern Chicago Scholars is to begin to transform the competitive academic debate skills of this group. Longer term, and most significantly, Northwestern intends to cultivate these students, if they show themselves highly motivated and hard-working, for recruitment to the university as undergraduates.

The Northwestern National High School Institute runs from July 8th – August 4th, and costs each participant $4,650, so the value of these scholarships is up to $18,600.

The Northwestern Chicago Scholars is open to rising 10th graders (9th graders now), with one-year of debate, who are in the top 10% of their class. Northwestern has restricted this program to non-RCC schools; however it strongly encourages all RCC students to apply regularly for the NU debate institute and has said that RCC students’ prospects for receiving financial aid will be unaffected by the Northwestern Chicago Scholars program.

After reviewing Cityspan to identify initially eligible debaters, and reviewing participation and competitive performance during the 2011/12 season through T5, the CDC will talk with coaches about whether their prospects have the work ethic and deep interest in to debate to be successful in this program. Then the CDC will be making recommendations to Northwestern. There is no application process, though after being selected students will need to complete the application form on the NU website. The Northwestern Chicago Scholars will be announced at the Awards Ceremony of the 2012 Chicago Debate Championship, March 25th.

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