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Wisr Helps Power Groundbreaking University of Chicago Program

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Wisr Helps Power Groundbreaking University of Chicago Program

CLEVELAND, OHIO: For decades nearly every college admission application process required a predictable step: Taking the ACT or SAT. Now, the University of Chicago is rolling out a groundbreaking initiative, UChicago Empower, that is reevaluating how students from every background can thrive. That means throwing out typical standard test requirements by 2023 and focusing on building programs from admissions through graduation that work for all students.

The initiative is built to expand access for first-generation and rural students, enhance financial support for those who serve their communities, and enable student agency and ownership in the college admissions process. To move the process and required technology forward, the University of Chicago has tapped Wisr as a partner.

This seismic change is the result of engagement strategies blooming across the country. “From the beginning, we knew that the industry had to completely rethink how it supports student outcomes for all students,” says Kate Volzer, Co-Founder and CEO of Wisr. “This is the kind of step that makes that future possible. We are so excited to be a partner in this monumental push forward with the University of Chicago.”

Wisr’s platform was built in partnership with ambitious research and liberal arts universities that see the need for a new way to engage students, alumni, and the community around them. The company’s mission is to improve student outcomes at every stage of the student lifecycle, and this shared vision is what initially led to the partnership with the University of Chicago and the Empower initiative. “We’ve had so many great conversations with first-generation students and students from different economic backgrounds, and with the right support, they thrive,” says Volzer. “When industry leaders like the University of Chicago step up the plate, the results will create an impact across the country.”

As part of the UChicago Empower Initiative, Wisr offers resources that:  

  • Provide access to free technology to empower students of all backgrounds with greater access to resources
  • Drive mentorship and support opportunities focused on first-generation and low-income students
  • Build out real-time interactions through “live chat” with volunteers to schedule mentorship sessions
  • Support the University of Chicago with a way to measure these activities through the Wisr platform

About Wisr: Wisr’s mission is to improve student outcomes from high school to post-graduation, for students of all educational and socioeconomic backgrounds. Our student and alumni networking platform was built in partnership with top research and liberal arts universities with the purpose of enabling alumni-to-student and alumni-to-alumni connections. Working with their teams of career services, alumni relations, and advancement professionals, we built a tool that helps higher education institutions build an online community for students, alumni, faculty, staff, and other supporters to connect and share knowledge about career paths and experiences they’ve had. Learn more at getwisr.com.

Co-founder & CEO

Kate is passionate about helping students find success in their pursuit of higher education which was the catalyst for launching Wisr where she currently serves as CEO

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