Application Best Practices Guide

The CORSO application approval process is highly competitive every year with typically only 25-35% of organizations receiving approval. The following list of recommendations is meant to serve as a resource in crafting a strong application.

  • The committee highly values organizations that have done some work to establish themselves as a functioning entity. Applying to receive RSO status should not be your organization's first step. While the committee understands you most likely don’t yet have access to funding or room space on campus, make an effort to collaborate with other groups to host an event, connect with a faculty member, or have a mission and vision brainstorming session with your organization’s leadership, etc. The more work you have done to create a strong foundation for your organization, the more likely it is your organization will make a sustainable and successful RSO.
  • Make sure your answers are robust and detailed. Applications that have one sentence answers to the prompts are rarely successful. Also remember the committee is reviewing upwards of 70 applications, so don’t overdo it.
  • With over 400 active RSOs already, ensuring that you are explaining how your organization is unique is highly important. Explore the organization directory on Blueprint to familiarize yourself with what’s currently available. In some cases, collaborating or becoming a subsidiary of another RSO may be the best option.
  • While there are many benefits to being an RSO, there are also a number of responsibilities that can be demanding. You can review this information here. Becoming an RSO isn’t the only path for a group to be successful. Many organizations utilize the Dean’s Fund, the Student Engagement Fund, or departmental/university office funding in order to achieve their goals. 
  • Oftentimes applications are denied based on a failure to complete all the mandatory components. Please remember to complete all pieces from the Sponsorship form to listing seven members with their Student ID numbers to ensuring your application is submitted on time. Late or incomplete applications are not considered.  
  • Once you have submitted your application, you cannot go back and edit it. While the CORSO application is open for over 7 months, we find that the organizations that start early but submit in late November are typically more successful because their application represents the most up to date information about their activity.  
  • If your organization is currently associated with an academic department, graduate division, or external (inter)national organization, please share in your responses how RSO status would supplement your organization’s work.
  • We encourage all prospective groups to set up a time to attend CORSO's RSO Office Hours offered throughout Fall quarter. In this meeting, a CORSO committee member can offer guidance on how to approach the application and provide valuable feedback. You do not need to come in with a full application, but we recommend coming into office hours with some materials prepared. Meeting with more than one CORSO member is not necessary. 
    • Below are the current availabe office hours for the CORSO committee members.  Feel free to schedule a time to talk with any of the current members.
  • Any questions can be directed to the CORSO Chair, Jiayi Yue, or Jimmy Brown, Director of the Center for Leadership & Involvement who advises this committee.

UChicagoSocial: Center for Leadership and Involvement