Mayor Emanuel And City Colleges Of Chicago Celebrate More Than One Thousand Star Scholar Graduates

January 14, 2019
Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and City Colleges of Chicago today announced more than 1,000 students have graduated from City Colleges as part of the Star Scholarship program. More than 6,000 students have been named Star Scholars since the program launched, and nearly 50 percent of first-time, full-time Star Scholars who started at City Colleges in fall 2015 have graduated within three years. 

“Thanks to the Star Scholarship, access to a college education has been unlocked for thousands of hardworking Chicago students no matter their financial means or background,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Today more than a thousand Star Scholars have earned their degree, and are now going on to achieve the successful futures they deserve. This is not just a diploma, it is cause for celebration for every student, their families and for the entire City of Chicago.”

Star Scholars have a retention rate of 86 percent, nearly double the average at City Colleges. Now more than two-thirds of Star Scholars are Latino, and 62% are female. This program is open to undocumented students as well as to students attending CPS charter schools.  

“The Star Scholarship is a game changer for Chicago families seeking a quality affordable path to a college degree,” said Chancellor Juan Salgado.  “It creates a north star for CPS students, who now know that if they study hard in high school, a college education and all that it affords is waiting for them.”

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.

The following universities and colleges offer Star Scholars additional support once they move on to earn their bachelor's degree: University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago State University, Columbia College, DePaul University, Dominican University, Elmhurst University, Florida Memorial University, Governors State University, Illinois Tech, Illinois State University, Kendall College, Loyola University, Marquette University, National Louis University, North Park University, Northeastern Illinois University, Northwestern University, Robert Morris University, Roosevelt University, Saint Xavier University, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Stillman College and the University of Chicago. CME Group, the Star program's first corporate partner, has provided students with 50 $5,000 scholarships and connected City Colleges students with paid summer internships at elite trading firms. 

To ensure more students can access college, Mayor Emanuel created the Star Scholarship in fall 2015, providing CPS students with an opportunity to pursue a degree or certificate at City Colleges at no cost.  Students are eligible for the Chicago Star Scholarship if they have recently graduated from a Chicago Public Schools (CPS) high school with a 3.0 GPA and test nearly college-ready in math and English, and enroll in a City Colleges structured, relevant pathway.  Students meeting these criteria will be offered waivers for all tuition and books for up to three years at City Colleges.  

To learn more about the Star Scholarship, go to   

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