University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
College of ACES
ACES Academic Programs
Give to ACES

Increasing Undergraduate Student Diversity and Retention

  • Recruiting a diverse undergraduate student population is a key priority for ACES. The provision of appropriate academic supports continually boosts student retention and graduation.
  • The Research Apprentice Program is an on-campus experience created to educate students about STEM in the food and agricultural sciences. RAP is considered one of the leading recruitment efforts among peer agricultural institutions to attract diverse underrepresented students.
  • The retention of underrepresented students in ACES programs is a result of focused efforts from our summer transition program (Young Scholars Program), specialized academic support, and enhanced opportunities for scholarly and leadership development. 96% of YSP graduates who enroll at Illinois earn bachelor’s degrees.  
  • A major challenge in the recruitment and retention of underrepresented students involves consistent financial support across all four years of college.


Pre-College STEM Programs

The Pre-College STEM Summer Youth Programs introduce STEM disciplines and careers related to the food and agricultural sciences to rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors (ages 15-17). There three components are the Imagine ACES Experience, the Research Apprentice Program, and USDA Ag Discovery.

Campus Scholarships and Financial Aid Counseling 

The College of ACES is committed to providing financial support to recognize the hard work and accomplishments of our students. Thanks to our generous alumni, corporate partners; and other supporters, ACES awards over $3.5 million in scholarships each year. More than 150 different scholarship funds support hundreds of our current and incoming students.

Mentoring and Academic Support