New scholarship to aid community college transfers

Kelli Nguyen, Assistant Campus Editor

A new scholarship will offer up to $50,000 in financial aid to City Colleges of Chicago students admitted as transfers to Northwestern, University President Morton Schapiro and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Thursday.

The Chicago Star Scholars Program will provide two years of financial aid to students who enroll at NU after studying at one of seven Chicago community colleges. To qualify for the scholarship, students must meet NU admission requirements and enroll as full-time undergraduates.

“We’ve been trying to reach out to Chicago to attract more students (from) there, and this is another way of doing that,” University spokesman Al Cubbage said. “What we’re trying to do is encourage students who otherwise wouldn’t consider Northwestern to do so.”

The Star Scholarship is capped at $50,000, but qualifying students still have the opportunity to receive additional financial assistance under the University’s need-based financial aid system, Cubbage said. There is no limit on how many students can receive the award, he added.

Cubbage said the scholarship is part of a wider NU effort to increase its outreach to students from the Chicago area, particularly those who graduated from Chicago Public Schools.

“Through this partnership and others, we hope to make it possible for more students from low- and middle-income families and who are first generation college students to attend Northwestern,” Schapiro said in a news release.

CCC Chancellor Cheryl Hyman (Kellogg ‘06) said many city college students’ career paths require advanced degrees. Partnerships between community colleges and institutions such as NU allow city college students to achieve their career goals while racking up less debt, Hyman said.

“It signals to the world that city colleges and community colleges in general are not a last resort but a (good) first option,” Hyman said. “That’s a stereotype that community colleges have had to unfairly deal with, and I think institutions like Northwestern partnering with them signals that that’s not true.”

NU was among three institutions to join the Chicago Star Partnership on Thursday, which now totals 15 university partners, including the University of Chicago, DePaul University and Loyola University Chicago.

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