Qualified CPS graduates can now earn an Associate’s Degree from one of Chicago’s City Colleges for no out-of-pocket cost. Called the STAR Scholarship, this waiver of tuition and fees is available to any CPS student who graduates with a 3.0 GPA or higher, tests into college-level Math and English, and enrolls in a City Colleges pathways program. The scholarship is good for up to three years, and can only be accessed after students complete the FAFSA form.
“The Chicago STAR scholarships will open more doors of opportunity for more students in the city of Chicago,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Every student who is willing to work hard should have access to a quality education, regardless of whether they can afford it or not. This new scholarship program will remove a financial barrier to college and give many more students in Chicago a ticket to the middle class that a college education provides.”
The STAR Scholarships are the latest in a line of CCC programs that provide CPS students with college opportunities. Their Dual-Enrollment program, which has more than tripled since 2012, allows CPS students to take college courses for free while still in high school. Credits earned through these Dual-Enrollment courses can be applied to a degree program at one of Chicago’s seven City Colleges or transferred to a four-year college or university.
“CPS is grateful for our long-standing relationship with the City Colleges of Chicago, as we share in our commitment to providing a pathway for our students to attain success upon graduation,” said CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. “These scholarships will help to remove the financial barrier facing many of our students today and will help prepare them for success in college, career and life.”
By completing their first two years of college at CCC, CPS students can save up to $40,000 on the cost of a Bachelor’s Degree. And the relationships CCC maintains with four-year colleges and universities simplifies the transfer process, helping ensure that students maximize their time and money and transition smoothly to the next phase of their college education.