New scholarships help North Lawndale students pay for college

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Paying for college will be a little easier for some UIC students thanks to the Phoenix Pact, a scholarship program for North Lawndale College Prep graduates.

UIC is among 15 colleges and universities invited to join the pact, which promises to cover any remaining college costs after students receive financial aid from federal, state and institutional grants, work-study and federal loans. The Urbana-Champaign campus is also participating in the program.

“Too often our graduates settle for colleges that haven’t had much success with low-income and minority students because they can’t pay the $2,000 to $3,000 extra that it costs to go to the more successful colleges,” North Lawndale College Prep president John Horan said.  “The Phoenix Pact changes that. It makes college choice cost-neutral.”

Three of the 40 Phoenix Pact scholarship recipients plan to enroll at UIC this fall, said Susan Farruggia, assistant vice provost for undergraduate affairs.

“We know based on research that the two primary reasons for students not returning in the second year are academic and financial aid issues,” she said. “For these students, the program is managing well one of the two major barriers that our students face.”

To receive the scholarship, students must attend a college or university that has a successful track record of graduating minority students.

“Our part of the pact is to ensure that students receive the support that they need — that they have access to and know about all of the support services on campus,” Farruggia said.

UIC’s Student Success Initiative, which identifies ways to help students graduate on time, is one way UIC will uphold its end of the pact to help minority students earn their diploma, Farruggia said.

The Office of First-Year Student Initiatives will work with alumni coordinators from North Lawndale College Prep to help students overcome the challenges they face in college, she said.

“UIC being asked to be one of North Lawndale College Prep’s partners reflects their acknowledgement that UIC is a great place to send their students to college,” Farruggia said. “It really highlights the good work that UIC is doing to support our students.”


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