No tutors needed.

Rigorous academics anchored by a Learning Strategies class teach students how to understand content, build skills, and create an action plan for effective study habits. Learning. Assignments. Deadlines. Nothing falls through the cracks.

WELCOME TO WOLCOTT

On behalf of the entire admissions team, I thank you for your interest in Wolcott. We are committed to providing an exemplary high school program for students with learning differences that is tailored to the strengths and aspirations of each student. At Wolcott, we strive to create a welcoming and collaborative admissions process for all prospective students & families, & together explore the benefits of a Wolcott education.

Rachel Spiro, Director of Admissions

The Wolcott Edge

Applying to Wolcott

Admissions Events

To truly understand Wolcott College Prep, you need to visit our campus and meet the people who shape our community. Learn more about our award winning campus, our incredible faculty, and our talented students. We look forward to meeting you.

Inquire & Request Information

We are interested in getting to know you and your student. Equally important, we encourage you to learn more about us. By submitting the inquiry form, you will receive invitations to Wolcott’s dynamic programs —which showcase our expertise in educating adolescents.

How to Apply

Step 1. Complete the Online Application

Step 2. Application Process Review

Step 3. Interview and Decisions Process

Tuition & Financial Aid

Wolcott offers an enriched school day with small classes led by expert faculty, robust sports programs, and ample opportunities for artistic expression & extracurricular activities. Additionally, tangible cost & time savings are provided through benefits such as MacBook Air for each student, personalized college counseling, & secured standardized testing accommodations. Ultimately, Wolcott’s transformative impact equips students with critical thinking skills, self-confidence, and academic independence, preparing them for college and beyond, with tuition assistance available for nearly half of families.

Campus Gallery

Wolcott College Prep’s facilities are designed to support high school students & teachers with modern amenities & technology. The main campus building features classrooms, labs, and community spaces filled with natural light and flexible furniture, while the Arts & Athletics Center includes a gymnasium & performance stage. Studios for arts, media, music, fitness, and innovation cater to diverse programs.

Transportation

Students at Wolcott College Prep have various transportation options, with some walking, biking, or skateboarding to school, while others utilize cars or Metra trains. The school provides a shuttle service to suburban Metra stations in the morning & afternoon, & an intra-campus shuttle during the day. Additionally, students can access the school via CTA buses, carpooling arrangements, or by biking, with secure
bike parking available on campus.

4 Years

of College Prep Curriculum

After School Academic Coaching Offered Monday-thursday

Staffed by faculty and open to all students

40%

Students of color

+70
Course Selections

Including honors & advanced honors courses

Transportation

Trains and Buses, private shuttle suburban trains

100%

Students in clubs or extra curriculars

5:1

Students to learning strategist

2013

Founded In

+40% reduction of college tuition with Graduates Admitted

300 Colleges & Universities

The Wolcott Edge

Parent Testimonials

The Wolcott Edge

Frequently Asked Questions

A Wolcott learner is a creative, athletic, curious student who benefits from a participatory experience and prefers active learning. 

If your child has superior to average intelligence but is not reaching full academic potential or is experiencing frustration in school, look closely at Wolcott College Prep. Through small classes, partnerships with teachers, and regular Learning Strategies classes, we address each student’s learning profile – leveraging strengths to foster learning. Strong arts, athletics, and extracurricular activities emphasize student interests and talents, while our academic and college counseling support round out our approach to preparing every child for college and for life. 

Our students typically have diagnoses such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, ADHD, executive function, and/or processing speed deficits and find that they thrive best in our smaller, more personal setting.

Our program is not designed to meet the needs of students with primary emotional or behavioral challenges.

We are looking for students who are motivated learners and who have demonstrated that they possess:

  • Cognitive and intellectual abilities to meaningfully engage in our college prep curriculum
  • Academic achievement scores indicating the potential to succeed at Wolcott   
  • Typical social and emotional behaviors

Diversity is at the root of Wolcott’s mission. Our community is intentionally diverse — just as our students come from a wide range of socio-economic, racial, and religious backgrounds, they also travel from 45 different neighborhoods across Chicago-land.

Through our community engagement, clubs, and affinity groups, our students are encouraged to celebrate their identities and build mutual respect.  

There are many reasons why capable students fall through the cracks — whether it be the pace of the classroom, the quantity of homework, the emphasis on memorization, or the delivery of content.  At Wolcott, our students engage in a college-prep curriculum that stresses visual, auditory, and experiential learning. We structure our program to be as equally rich in content as it is engaging, interesting, and manageable. 

We create an environment where every student feels known and valued. How do we know? Because time and time again, we hear our students say with satisfaction, “My teachers understand me.” This is an essential factor in helping students become critical thinkers and confident, strong self-advocates. 

Wolcott is convenient to families traveling from the north, south, and west. Most students travel to school by car, bus, or train. 

As Wolcott students come from 66 different zip codes across Chicago and Chicago-land, we are committed to making the trip to school as smooth as possible. Wolcott contracts with a private shuttle bus company to provide daily morning and afternoon shuttle service. The bus stops at four downtown stations. 

Visit our Transportation page for more detail.

Applying is easy through our online admissions portal. Families can start an application without the need for completing it in one sitting. To be considered in our priority acceptance pool, please submit all materials by the December deadline. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis after the priority deadline. Click to see the application link.

We accept applications for grades 9, 10, and 11.
To request consideration for an application fee reduction, please email Rachel Spiro at rspiro@wolcottschool.org or call 312-610-4925.

We encourage you to apply early as spots are limited.

We evaluate the WHOLE student, and not just test scores or grades. Along with an application, we request that families submit a copy of their student’s most recent (within 3 years) psycho-educational evaluation completed by a licensed clinician. Also requested are teacher recommendations, standardized test scores, and current grades. Some students may have an IEP, 504 Plan or another type of school learning plan. A copy should be submitted if applicable.
Click to see complete checklist.  

Wolcott welcomes transfer students in for 9th, 10th, and 11th grade. 

No. An IEP or a 504 plan are not required to attend Wolcott.  Some of our students have 504 or IEP plans issued by public schools; however, many of our students attended independent or parochial schools and have never had a 504 or an IEP plan. Further, we have students applying from public schools who have documented learning differences from private evaluators, but who were not granted 504 or IEP plans from their public schools because they did not fully meet the public schools’ criteria for eligibility.

 

It is a comprehensive evaluation conducted by a clinical psychologist that helps answer questions regarding an individual’s overall learning profile (including strengths and weaknesses) as well as emotional and behavioral functioning. A typical evaluation assesses an individual’s functioning in cognitive reasoning, oral expression, language comprehension, academic skills, and social emotional well-being. The results determine whether a student’s functioning meets the diagnostic criteria for a learning difference. We require a psycho-educational evaluation for admissions because it helps us determine whether Wolcott’s academic program will be a good fit for a student’s learning profile and needs.

The Wolcott Parent/Guardian Network is a vital and active part of Wolcott. Opportunities exist for families to become involved on a social level as well as to support the educational, financial, and community values of the school. 

Visiting campus is an important and valuable experience for both prospective students and parents. Currently, we are currently limiting visitors to campus in order to keep our community as safe as possible. We can accommodate one family at a time during school hours. Tours are currently limited to our main campus  located at 524 N. Wolcott Ave.  Self guided virtual tours are available by clicking HERE

Families are encouraged to attend an admissions event in person or virtually. Please visit the event page for dates and registration details. 

High school is a time for students to build their independence and expand social connections as they prepare for the transitions ahead. Our students readily acknowledge how much they enjoy Wolcott’s tight-knit community and the opportunity to meet students from different neighborhoods. Mandatory participation in Wolcott’s robust after-school and extracurricular activities fosters a balance between school and life.

Families, students, and friends typically pack the bleachers and outnumber our rivals, home and away. 

Each year, we provide tuition assistance to over 50% of our families to ensure that every qualified student has the opportunity to attend Wolcott College Prep.

It is our philosophy to keep the school within the financial reach of all our families. We are committed to working with families to make a Wolcott education affordable.  If you think Wolcott is appropriate for your student, and are concerned about tuition or transportation, we encourage you to reach out to Rachel Spiro, Director of Admissions. Read more about tuition assistance here.

Wolcott is located in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood. Our campus is comprised of three buildings:

Main Campus Building
524 N Wolcott Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622
(312) 610-4900

Arts & Athletics Center
1950 W Hubbard Street

Educational Services
1845 W Grand Avenue

The closest main intersection to all campus buildings is Grand Avenue and Damen Avenue. 

How do I contact the Admissions Office?
Feel free to email Rachel Spiro, Director of Admissions, or call (312) 610-4925. We look forward to hearing from you.