New UIC-City Colleges scholarships will benefit transfer students

Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, joined by UIC student trustee Jauwan Hall, left, and Chancellor Michael Amiridis, announce the scholarship at a news conference Tuesday. Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin/UIC Photo Services


A new scholarship for high-achieving students who graduate from the City Colleges of Chicago and pursue a bachelor’s degree at UIC was announced Tuesday by Mayor Rahm Emanuel at a news conference on campus.

The program will benefit Chicago Star scholars, a new City Colleges scholarship beginning this year that provides free tuition, fees and books to qualified Chicago Public School graduates.

The first Star Scholars are expected to graduate from City Colleges in 2017. After that, Star Scholar students who transfer from City Colleges to UIC with an associate degree and 3.0 GPA will be eligible for the UIC Star Scholar Award, $5,000 over two years. UIC will offer the scholarship to at least 250 students each year.

At the news conference in the Daley Library, Emanuel spoke of the “No. 1 challenge” of providing “access to higher education without parents going into the poorhouse.”

The new program recognizes that what is most important about students is “how hard they work, not what they can afford,” the mayor said.

“This is the future of public higher education,” said University President Timothy Killeen at the news conference.

He noted that U of I’s three campuses have an enrollment of 79,000 — “another new record” — and 20,000 graduates a year. “We do things at scale,” Killeen said. “And we can do even more” with programs such as the Star scholarships.

Chancellor Michael Amiridis said the program “helps ensure that Chicago Public Schools students are able to pursue the dream of college without debt.”

“City Colleges students can understand that UIC wants them and welcomes them. The doors of opportunity are now open,” Amiridis said.

City Colleges Chancellor Cheryl Hyman said 800 of her students transfer to UIC each year. “UIC is our top transfer partner even before this extended partnership,” she said.

Jauwan Hall, a senior in political science and UIC student representative to the U of I Board of Trustees, is a transfer student from one of the City Colleges, Kennedy-King.

“I am living proof of what can happen when you create avenues of accessibility for students and provide them with proper support services,” said Hall, an Honors College student.

In addition to the new scholarship program, UIC and City Colleges will intensify efforts to identify the best pathways for four-year degree completion. UIC agreed to increase its support for City Colleges transfer students, including a City Colleges transfer counselor and access to campus resources for City Colleges students.

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