Chicago State University said it is offering a free tuition plan for some incoming freshmen this coming fall. The plan is part of a broader initiative to close Chicago’s Black and Latinx education and wealth gap.
Under the free tuition plan, admitted incoming freshmen who successfully complete a five-week summer program at the university’s new Rise Academy will receive a full-tuition and fee scholarship, free textbooks, and free laptops and internet service for the 2020-21 academic year. The university announcement didn’t say whether the five-week program is being provided free of cost.
All incoming full-time freshmen students at Chicago State, including transfer students with fewer than 24 credit hours who complete the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA), are eligible to participate in the program. Students who successfully complete the program – that includes study skills workshops and study labs – will earn three college credits before the fall semesters begins. The program will be delivered remotely and will be offered on two start dates: June 29 and July 20.
The broader initiative to close the education gap includes microgrants and scholarships, financial education, workforce preparedness training, access to a food pantry and other support while at the university. The initiative is supported “by a reallocation of current funding” and new gifts from corporate and foundation partners.
“With this bold action, Chicago State University is sending the message to prospective students and families across the state and region, we are here for you,” said Zaldwaynaka “Z” Scott, Esq., president of Chicago State University. “Current events amplify the challenges and underscore the need to address the range of obstacles that create roadblocks for students and families seeking to enroll in college and earn a college degree.”