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The Latin American Recruitment and Educational Services program has been in existence since 1975. LARES was established to assist UIC in the recruitment of Latino students and to provide academic support to increase their chances for success. Since its inception, the program has grown from serving approximately 100 Latino students to its present enrollment of more than 3,300.

In order to fulfill the mission of the program, LARES has developed numerous initiatives that address the comprehensive needs of  Latino students. In addition to its own independent projects, LARES cooperates with other units on Latino-focused initiatives and acts as a reference point directing students to appropriate University offices. Through this three-pronged approach, Latino undergraduates are encouraged and supported throughout the pursuit of their academic goals.

Through its activism, LARES has emerged as the premier Latino academic support program in the State of Illinois and the largest academic support unit on the UIC campus. Over the years, UIC has become a major center for Latino education in the Midwest, granting the largest number of baccalaureate degrees and enrolling the largest numbers of Latino graduate and professional students among higher education institutions in the State of Illinois.

UIC Latino students are well represented in local and national scholarship programs as well as special opportunity efforts targeting minority students. As a result of this representation, UIC Latino students continue to rank number one when it comes to the number of Hispanic Scholarship awarded in the Midwest.