Loyola University Chicago

Target New Transitions


Who Wants to Win a Scholarship?

The Target New Transitions academic model originated through a 2002 Loyola program called “Who Wants to Win a Scholarship?". Inspired by the popular reality show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” the 2002 Loyola program combined rigorous academics and cable television excitement to engage hundreds of high school students in a scholarship competition. The program was funded through Gear Up, a grant-based program designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. Aired on public access television, the competition awarded over $750,000 in scholarship funds. As well, the program received Honorable Mention from the Alliance for Community Media in 2004.

The scholarship competition matched students from 14 different Chicago Public High Schools with a cadre of undergraduate students from Loyola who acted as the Academic Coaches for the competing high schoolers. Together, the high school and college students devoted 4 hours on Saturday mornings to review study guides and prepare for the televised scholastic competitions. Loyola’s scholarship competition resulted in over 46,000 hours of Academic Coaching, alongside the substantial financial aid.

Chicago Scholarship Challenge

“Who Wants to Win a Scholarship?” evolved into a team-based version of the competition in 2006. Renamed “The Chicago Scholarship Challenge,” students worked in teams from their high schools to compete against teams from other participating schools. The team-based structure allowed more students the chance to win the scholarship and, moreover, to use that scholarship for whichever school they chose to attend after high school.

Target New Transitions Today

Target New Transitions (TNT) launched in 2008 and continued the successful model of pairing college students with Chicago Public School students. Partnering with 4 Chicago Public Schools, TNT used Saturday morning Academic Coaching to specifically help freshmen transitioning into the new academic and social scene of high school.

Since 2008, TNT has worked with multiple Chicago Public Schools and partnered with the Brighton Neighborhood Council to promote its work at Thomas Kelly High School. From 2014-2015, TNT included the Loyola campus as a site for Saturday sessions. Though TNT has decided to work exclusively on site at the high schools, the program brings students to the Loyola campus twice a year. True to its origins, one of those visits includes a Vocabulary Contest among all the high school students who participate in TNT. 

Continuing its commitment to the Academic Coaching Model and to the students it serves, TNT continues to grow and to build on its strong foundation.


2002- Who Wants to Win a Scholarship

2004- Honorable Mention for Who Wants to Win a Scholarship at the Alliance for Community Media’s Hometown Video Festival

2006- Chicago Scholarship Challenge

2008- TNT is born and partners with Curie

2010- Loyola receives President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll

2011- TNT (and 2 other programs) receives Promise Neighborhood Award

2014-2015- TNT receives Ignatian Spirit Award