Mayor Emanuel and Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO of UNCF (United Negro College Fund), today announced a new partnership to assist Star Scholar students who are transferring to one of UNCF’s 37 member-institutions. The scholarship program is expected to launch in Fall 2020 and will provide Star Scholars transferring from City Colleges of Chicago with additional scholarships towards completion of their bachelor’s degrees.
“The Star Scholarship opens the doors of opportunity for our hardworking students and helps them access the college education they deserve no matter their financial means or background,” said Mayor Emanuel. “UNCF today is stepping up for the children of Chicago and giving them the opportunity to earn a college degree and providing them with the opportunity to achieve the successful futures they deserve.”
“For 75 years, UNCF has realized the value of providing a quality education,” said Dr. Lomax. “Through the extension of the Star Scholarship program and Mayor Emanuel’s unwavering support, we are securing better futures for our youth, and ultimately for us all, as these graduates of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) continue to become the next generations of leaders.”
The scholarship program will provide transfer scholarship and support services to Star Scholar students who have earned an associate’s degree and are continuing on to pursue a bachelor’s degree at one of UNCF’s 37 member-institutions. Upon launch, the program is expected to provide annual financial support for two years. UNCF will also work with its member-institutions to ensure wrap-around student support services are available to transfer students.
UNCF is committed to helping students return to Chicago after they obtain a bachelor’s degree. Through the partnership program, UNCF employer partners will offer students work-based learning opportunities in Chicago during the summer break.
To ensure more students can access college, Mayor Emanuel created the Star Scholarship in 2015, to provide CPS students with an opportunity to pursue a degree or certificate at City Colleges at no cost. Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students are eligible for the Star Scholarship if they graduate high school with a 3.0 GPA and test nearly college-ready in math and English. All students who meet the criteria are offered waivers for all tuition and books for up to three years at City Colleges. This program is open to undocumented students as well as to students attending CPS charter schools.
"I want to thank the UNCF and Mayor Emanuel for helping to ensure that cost is not a barrier to college completion. This relationship strengthens our ongoing efforts to forge partnerships that put City Colleges students on a seamless path to a bachelor's degree," said City Colleges of Chicago Chancellor Juan Salgado.
More than 675 Star Scholars have already transferred to more than 75 four-year colleges and universities. More than 500 of those students have gone on to attend one of the 24 Star Scholarship transfer partner schools, where they have earned more than $3.1 million in scholarships.
There are currently 24 four-year colleges and universities giving Star Scholars transfer scholarships to pursue a bachelor’s degree, including two HBCUs and UNCF member- institutions that signed on this year. Florida Memorial University will offer guaranteed admission to all Star Scholars providing they meet admission requirements and will provide $8,000 in scholarships. Stillman College will emphasize teacher education and will offer 10 Star Scholars who are interested in pursuing a degree in the field of education a $4,000 annual scholarship and up to $500 per year for online courses.