Thursday, April 2, 2015

CPS students won't come by free City Colleges scholarships so easily | Chicago

CPS students won't come by free City Colleges scholarships so easily | Chicago:

CPS students won't come by free City Colleges scholarships so easily

Well it was kinda not a lie!
 Mayor Rahm Emanuel announces the Chicago Star Scholarship program on Oct. 1, 2014. | Brian Jackson/Sun-Times
Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to give “B” students free scholarships to attend City Colleges of Chicago is a campaign promise he repeatedly cites in re-election talking points.
While it’s widely viewed as a free tuition program for those students, a look at the fine print shows it won’t be a cakewalk for graduating Chicago public school seniors.
An additional testing score required to win the Star Scholarship would rule out more than half of the pool of Chicago Public Schools students who graduated last year with a B average, a Chicago Sun-Times review of the numbers shows.
That’s because B students must also score at least a 21 on both the math and English sections of the ACT. This extra qualification alone cuts out more than half of the pool of more than 5,264 students who graduated from CPS in 2014 with B averages.
In 2014, 2,503 students in CPS fulfilled that requirement, according to numbers provided to the Chicago Sun-Times by CPS.
That same year, CPS students scored an average 18 on the ACT, 17.4 on English section and 18.2 on mathematics, according to Illinois State Board of Education statistics.
Typically, about 90 percent of City Colleges students need to take remedial courses in English and math to elevate to college-level classes.
CPS officials have estimated that between 500 and 1,000 students graduate with a B average and do not go on to college, many because of financial need.
But CPS did not have estimates on how many students typically don’t go on to college and meet the full requirements for the scholarship.
Students who apply for the scholarship must first apply for federal grants and financial aid. But if students are denied the federal aid, they still qualify for the scholarship, a City Colleges spokeswoman said.
“Star is a unique scholarship program for us in that it allows any student who meets the qualifications to automatically receive a full ride (after application of financial grant aid) and, unlike any other scholarships, is open to any and all students who qualify,” said Katheryn Hayes, City Colleges of Chicago spokeswoman.

Hayes said the colleges have received 1,220 applications and is working through the evaluation process, which cannot be completed until the end of the school year.
Emanuel has touted the scholarship to the two-year colleges as a way for deserving students who otherwise can’t afford college to eventually move on to earn a bachelor’s degrees.
But there are skeptics, including those who say the qualifications CPS students won't come by free City Colleges scholarships so easily | Chicago:

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