Your College Education—Tuition-Free

Chicago Public Schools students–and students from one of our Chicago-based Big Shoulders Fund partner schools–can pursue a degree or certificate at City Colleges at no cost as a Star Scholar.

Read our Success Stories

A woman with long dark hair parted down the middle smiles slightly at the camera.

Yehiri Gonzalez, Truman College

“[The scholarships] not only help me pay for school, but they are helping develop me as an urban teacher.”

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A woman in a red floral top smiles at the camera in front of a white background. She has deep brown skin, short brown hair and a teardrop necklace.

Valori Laudarji, Wright College

“Receiving college acceptances wasn’t the problem—coming to terms with the enormous amount of debt I would be taking on for the next four years was. It wasn’t until a friend of mine mentioned the Star Scholarship offered by City Colleges of Chicago that I started to see a path ahead.”

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Daley College alumnus Edgar Cruz

Edgar Cruz, Daley College

“As a first-generation college student, I am grateful for this scholarship, which helps relieve the financial burden of paying for college, so I can focus on my education.”

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Benefits of the Star Scholar Program


Debt-Free College Degree

You can save thousands of dollars on tuition and books by earning your associate degree or a certificate as a Star Scholar. You could also earn a bachelor’s degree at no cost or a discounted rate.


Transfer Opportunities

Star Scholars can access scholarships from our partners at 4-year universities to earn a bachelor’s degree. You can even start working with 4-year universities while still at City Colleges.

Learn more here.


Career Connections

Employers all over Chicago know that Star Scholars are some of the city’s best and brightest students. Having the Star Scholarship on your resume can lead to great work opportunities.

Scholarship Basics

You could save thousands of dollars with free tuition and books!

What Does the Scholarship Cover?

City Colleges will provide waivers for all eligible tuition, books, and class materials not covered by financial aid.

Who Is Eligible for this Program?

Chicago Public High School graduating seniors and graduating seniors from one of our Chicago-based Big Shoulders Fund partnered Catholic high schools who meet these academic requirements: Graduate from a Chicago-based partner high school with a 3.0 or higher GPA

How Long Is the Scholarship Good for?

High school graduates will have up to three years to use the funds, starting in the first fall City Colleges semester after their high school graduation.

Those students who don’t matriculate to City Colleges immediately have up to one year to apply before the start of the second fall semester at City Colleges following their high school graduation.


Steps to Apply

icon-arrow Apply online to City Colleges You will have the option to apply for the Star Scholarship in our online admissions application. Please note you will need a valid email address to complete your application.
icon-arrow Complete the FAFSA Fill out and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). All financial aid verification processes must be complete and financial aid award package must be processed. If you are unable to file a FAFSA, fill out the Star Scholarship Certification of Ineligibility to File for Financial Aid form on the student portal once you’ve been admitted to City Colleges.
icon-arrow Register for the next semester Enroll in classes at

Frequently Asked Questions