Mayor Rahm Emanuel and City Colleges of Chicago Chancellor
Cheryl Hyman today announced three additional colleges have joined the Chicago
Star Partnership, a group of four-year colleges and universities who have
committed to providing scholarships to Chicago Star Scholars pursuing four-year
degrees following their graduation from City Colleges of Chicago.
Dominican University, Northwestern University, and Robert Morris University
have joined twelve other Chicago colleges and universities signing on to offer
Star Scholars—high-achieving Chicago Public Schools (CPS) graduates who
complete an associate’s degree at City Colleges—financial support to continue
“I commend Dominican, Northwestern, and Robert Morris for joining the other 12
Chicago colleges and universities who have stepped up to create a clear path
for our students from high school to community college and on to a four-year
university,” said Mayor Emanuel. “These institutions recognize the potential of
our hardworking students so I want to thank them for joining our effort to help
break down the financial barriers to a college education and provide more
ladders of opportunity to a great career and a stronger future."
In its first year, the Chicago Star Scholarship has enabled more than 1,000 CPS
graduates to pursue their degree from CCC free-of-charge. The first cohort of
Star Scholars has achieved a 94 percent retention rate, suggesting that
students enrolled in this program are more likely to persist in their
coursework toward a degree. So far, applications to the Star Scholarship for
2016 are up by more than 20 percent over last year, with four months remaining
for students to apply.
“A college degree is not a luxury, today it is a requirement for a
family-sustaining career,” said City Colleges of Chicago Chancellor Cheryl
Hyman. “These commitments from our four-year university partners not only make
a bachelor’s degree affordable, but also give these hard-working students
plenty of options to find the transfer destination that works best for them.”
The newest Chicago Star Partnership awards are outlined below:
- Northwestern University will offer admitted Star Scholars benefits of up to
$50,000/year towards a bachelor’s degree.
- Dominican University will admit any Star Scholar who graduates from a CCC
with an Associate Degree and a minimum GPA of 3.0 and those students will be
eligible to receive a Dominican Star Scholar Award, including awards ranging
from $8,000 to $12,000 for each of their two years of study. Star Scholars who
are members of Phi Theta Kappa will also receive an additional $2,500 PTK
- Robert Morris University will provide up to 20 scholarships of $10,000 to
qualifying Star Scholarship graduates. Additionally RMU will offer Star
Scholars the opportunity to explore a second major at no tuition cost.
These institutions join Columbia College, DePaul University, Governors State
University, Illinois Institute of Technology, Loyola University, National Louis
University, North Park University, Northeastern Illinois University, School of
the Art Institute of Chicago, Roosevelt University, the University of Chicago,
and the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Chicago Star Partnership.
Each of the 15 university partners have committed to creating an opportunity
that will allow Star Scholars to continue their college education following a
successful completion at CCC. These packages range in monetary value between
$2,500 and nearly $50,000 each year. To qualify, Star Scholars must graduate
with a 3.0 GPA, and while some of these awards require additional academic
merits, all are “last dollar” scholarships that may be applied in addition to
other financial aid awards earned. Furthermore, each of the partners has
committed to providing Star students transferring in with advising and
“Northwestern University has always sought to attract the best students, both
nationally and here in Chicago, and provide them with the financial support
needed to obtain a Northwestern education. Through this partnership and others,
we hope to make it possible for more students from low- and middle-income
families and who are first-generation college students to attend Northwestern,”
President Morton Schapiro said.
CPS students must meet specific criteria to be chosen as Star Scholars at City
Colleges of Chicago. These students must graduate with a GPA of 3.0 or higher,
they must demonstrate “completion ready” ability with an ACT math and English
score of 17, and they must enroll in one of CCC’s structured, relevant
pathways. Students meeting these criteria will be offered waivers for all
tuition and books for up to three years at City Colleges of Chicago.
It is estimated that students who complete the first two years at one of the
seven City Colleges and then transfer to a four-year institution can save up to
$40,000 on the cost of a bachelor’s degree.
The Star program is one of many reforms created under the City Colleges of
Chicago’s Reinvention effort, which has directed significant investments in all
seven colleges to ensure that all degrees and certificates are made relevant to
the demands of the workplace and four-year institutions. Furthermore, since its
launch in 2010, Reinvention has equipped all of the City Colleges to deliver
enhanced academic supports for students to ensure that they have the tools and
support they need to be successful in their pathway of choice. As a result,
this year, CCC realized its highest graduation rate on record—17 percent—which
is more than double the rate since the launch of the Reinvention effort.
For more information about the Chicago Star Scholarship at
City Colleges of Chicago, go to: www.ccc.edu/starscholarship.