* 148849

Shimer College

Chicago, IL
University Website: www.shimer.edu
Apply Online: www.shimer.edu/admissions/applytoshimer.cfm
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Shimer College (often referred to as Shimer i/ˈʃaɪmər/ SHY-mər) is a very small, private, undergraduate liberal arts college in Chicago, Illinois, in the United States. Founded by Frances Wood Shimer in 1853 in the frontier town of Mt. Carroll, Illinois, it was a women's school for most of its first century. It joined with the University of Chicago (U. of C.) in 1896, and became one of the first junior colleges in the country in 1907. In 1950, it became a co-educational four-year college, took the name Shimer College, and adopted the Hutchins Plan of Great Books and Socratic seminars then in practice at the U. of C. The U. of C. relationship ended in 1958.

Shimer enjoyed national recognition and strong growth in the 1960's, but was forced by financial problems to abandon its campus in 1978. The college then moved to an improvised campus in the Chicago suburb of Waukegan, remaining there until 2006, when it moved to the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in the Bronzeville neighborhood in the Douglas community area of Chicago.

Classes are exclusively small seminars in which students discuss original source material rather than reading textbooks. The core curriculum, a sequence of courses in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and integrated studies, comprise two-thirds of the course work required for a degree.

Shimer has offered a study abroad program in Oxford, England, since 1963 and a weekend program for working adults since 1981. Applicants to the school are evaluated on their academic potential, based primarily on an essay. No minimum grades or test scores are required. The Early Entrant Program, in place since 1950, allows students who have not yet completed high school to start college early. Shimer has the third highest rate of graduates who complete doctorate degrees of any liberal arts college in the country. Fifty percent of students go on to graduate study; over twenty percent complete doctoral degrees.

Shimer resides on the IIT main campus, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. There, students maintain Shimer College traditions but also participate in IIT student life. Shimer practices democratic self-governance to an extent that it states "is rare among institutions of higher education". Since 1977, the college has been governed internally by faculty, staff, and students working through a structure of committees and an egalitarian deliberative body called the Assembly. Shimer enrolled 119 full-time students in 2011. Notable alumni include poets, authors, political theorists, experimental artists, and computing pioneers.

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Fast Facts

  • Private not for profit, Four or more years
  • students
  • $26,510.00 avg tuition

3424 South State Street
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 235-3500

Apply online Admissions:
Financial Aid:

Areas of Study:

  • Liberal Arts And Sciences, General Studies And Humanities
  • Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Social Sciences
More Less

Shimer College

Applied 108
Admitted 50 46%
Enrolled total 16
Full Time: 15
Part Time 1
Test 25th % 75th %
SAT Math 0 0
SAT Written (2006-2015) Optional 0 0
ACT Composite 0 0
ACT English 0 0
ACT Math 0 0
ACT Writing 0 0
Retention / Graduation:
Retention rate 84%
4-year graduation rate 22%
6-year graduation rate 28%
Application Deadlines:
Regular Application Deadline
Early Admission Deadline
Early Decision Deadline
Financial Aid Deadline
Student Response Deadline
Transfer Student Application Deadline
Open Admissions Policy No
Secondary School GPA Recommended
Secondary School Rank Neither required nor recommended
Secondary School Record Recommended
Formal Demonstration of Competencies Neither required nor recommended
Admission Test Scores Neither required nor recommended
TOEFL Required
Other Tests Neither required nor recommended
AP Credits Yes
Dual Credit Yes
Credit for Life Experiences Yes

Shimer College

Tuition In-District In-State Out-Of-State
Avg Full-Time Undergraduate Tuition $26,510.00 $26,510.00 $26,510.00
Full-Time Undergraduate Required Fees $3,640.00 $3,640.00 $3,640.00
Part-Time Undergraduate Cost Per Credit Hour $970.00 $970.00 $970.00
Avg Full Time Graduate Tuition $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Full Time Graduate Required Fees $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Part-Full Time Graduate Cost Per Credit Hour $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Expenses On-Campus Off-Campus
(without family)
(with family)
Room and Board $0.00 $10,000.00 $3,000.00
Other Expenses $0.00 $3,000.00 $3,000.00
Additional Fees
Undergraduate Application Fee $25.00
Graduate Application Fee $0.00
Books and Supplies $750.00
Financial Aid
Percent receiving aid 100%
Percent receiving grant aid 100%
Avg amount of grant aid $12,938.00
Percent receiving student loan aid 68%
Avg amount of student loan aid $8,488.00

Shimer College

Programs and majors Associate's Bachelor's Master's Doctorate
Humanities/Humanistic Studies X
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies X
Natural Sciences X
Social Sciences, General X

Scholarships for Students in Illinois

Name Amount Deadline
Peters Foundation Scholarship Up to $5,000 April 01, 2017
Muddy Waters Scholarship $2,000 April 30, 2017
David Arver Memorial Scholarship $1,000 April 01, 2017
Richard J. Schnell Memorial Scholarship Varies July 01, 2017

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