City Colleges of Chicago Class of 2024 students are invited to apply for this year’s PepsiCo Foundation S.M.I.L.E. Scholars program.

The program is designed specifically for students from select participating colleges, including City Colleges of Chicago, who are looking to transfer to a four-year college or university to pursue a bachelor’s degree in an eligible STEM or business major. Scholarship awardees will receive a $25,000 scholarship that may be renewed for an additional year. There will be up to 50 awardees.

The S.M.I.L.E (Success Matters in Life & Education) Scholars program provides more than just financial support to its recipients. Scholars can also access emergency grants, mentorship, networking opportunities, financial literacy courses, and career coaching. In addition to paying for courses and books, the scholarship money can also be used for childcare expenses, transportation, and living costs.

“We believe in the power of community colleges as a unique pathway for students seeking an affordable and flexible education which creates economic opportunities and enables them to secure jobs in industries with growth potential,” said C.D. Glin, Global Head of Philanthropy, PepsiCo & President, The PepsiCo Foundation. “Through the S.M.I.L.E scholarship, the PepsiCo Foundation and City Colleges of Chicago are proud to work together, continuing to break down barriers of inequality and feeding the potential of students who aspire to continue their educational journey.”

The PepsiCo Foundation S.M.I.L.E. Scholarship was life-changing for Harold Washington College alumna Ashley Moncrief. Ashley wanted to continue her education in pursuit of her dream of becoming a financial analyst, but she didn’t know how she would pay for her bachelor’s degree at UIC’s School of Business. She received the PepsiCo Foundation S.M.I.L.E. Scholarship, which was a dream come true.

“I cried so hard because I knew this scholarship was meant for me,” Ashley said. “I’m ready to go to school and not only make a difference for myself, but for my daughter and my family forever.”

Students who plan to study STEM or business at a four-year institution for the 2024-2025 academic year and meet the other eligibility requirements can apply for the PepsiCo S.M.I.L.E. Scholars program from February 1, 2024, until 3:00 p.m. on March 1, 2024.