U of I, City Colleges expand guaranteed admission partnership

UIC campus and Chicago skyline

City Colleges of Chicago students who transfer to UIC are eligible for awards through the STAR Scholarship program.

A guaranteed admission partnership with City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) has been expanded to include all three U of I System universities and that top transfers will be eligible for scholarships through a new pilot program.

The new initiatives will expand educational opportunities for Chicago-area students by uniting Illinois’ largest university system with the state’s largest community college system. The U of I System’s three universities and CCC’s seven campuses each serve more than 80,000 students annually.

The transfer partnership grew recently to guarantee admission across the U of I System through new agreements between CCC and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Illinois at Springfield. The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) already had a longstanding transfer partnership with CCC.

Under the agreements, students who enroll at CCC will be guaranteed admission anywhere in the U of I System if they meet their selected university’s admission requirements, then complete required community college credits.

University President Tim Killeen said CCC transfers also will be eligible to compete for five scholarships of $2,500 a year for up to two years under a newly created pilot program that will ultimately grow to 10 scholarships.

Transfers to UIC will be eligible for additional awards through an existing program offered to students who study at CCC under STAR Scholarships, which provide free tuition to Chicago Public School graduates with a 3.0 grade-point average who test high in math and English. UIC awards scholarships to about 250 STAR transfers annually, providing $2,500 for up to two years.

“These partnerships reflect the U of I System’s bedrock commitment to access and affordability, creating an easier pathway into our universities and providing the financial support that is so important to help students achieve their dreams,” Killeen said.

From 2012 to 2016, transfer enrollment across the U of I System grew about 14 percent to more than 3,900, including more than 400 from CCC — a nearly 60 percent increase. The U of I System has about three dozen guaranteed admission agreements with Illinois community colleges.