Hope Chicago, Chicago State University to provide debt-free higher education for future Cougars

Hope Chicago announces a formal partnership with CSU, opening the door for the first of many Hope Scholar, Hope Parent Scholar cohorts to pursue their higher education goals debt-free. 

Hope ChicagoCHICAGO, IL, June 6, 2022 -- Hope Chicago, the innovative two-generation college scholarship program committed to investing $1 billion in postsecondary scholarships to Chicago Public School students and their parents over the next decade, has announced a formal partnership with Chicago State University to support this year’s incoming Fall 2022 inaugural Hope Scholar cohort.

As a Hope Chicago partner university, incoming Hope Scholars to Chicago State University are eligible for the full suite of comprehensive supports Hope Chicago offers including scholarships paying for all college expenses—not just tuition and traditional dormitory life, but also transition support, academic and social/emotional supports, and exclusive access to dedicated support staff on campus.

“We know the transition for any scholar into a new postsecondary setting is a critical moment in time. That’s why we are so excited to have such deep relationships in place with our partner universities that ensure a deep bench of support for our first cohort of Hope Scholars enrolling this Fall.” shares Hope Chicago’s Chief Program Officer, Michele Howard.

In February of 2022, Hope Chicago visited five CPS high schools on the city’s South, Southwest, and West Sides promising 4,000 students and one parent/guardian of each student access to debt-free higher education. With future cohorts in the works, the partnership with Hope Chicago opens the door for more CPS graduates and their families to experience the world-class education that Chicago State University has to offer.

Hope Chicago’s engagement with Chicago State University started as a pilot program in fall 2021 with freshman students from two Illinois higher education systems — Chicago State University and City Colleges of Chicago. In October 2021, Hope Chicago’s official launch event and a celebration of the six Chicago State students in the pilot program took place at Chicago State’s campus. Two Chicago State Hope Chicago recipients were featured on Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien (segment begins at 17:45) to discuss the life-changing impact of the organization.

“A degree from Chicago State University has a proven value as we are in the top 4% in students’ economic mobility among all colleges and universities nationwide. And we are at the forefront of providing an inclusive environment with data driven student success strategies designed to meet the desired career outcomes for our students,” said Zaldwaynaka (Z) Scott, Esq., President of Chicago State University. “Hope Chicago is the type of innovation needed in higher education, allowing students and a family member to earn a debt-free college degree that will change the trajectory of their family.”

“We know a college degree is the most powerful tool one can use to maximize their career opportunities,” says Hope Chicago’s Chief Executive Officer Dr. Janice Jackson. “That’s why we aim to change the game and redefine the college experience for our scholars in collaboration with our partner institutions.

For more on Hope Chicago, visit hopechicago.org or contact press@hopechicago.org or 312-477-3170.