Going to College Debt-Free with a Hope Chicago Scholarship

Considering further education but worried about how to fund it? Fret not! Launched in 2021, the Hope Chicago Scholarship provides residents of Chicago and their adult family members access to higher education without incurring any student loan debt.

Hope Chicago Scholarship
Photo: @pressfoto at freepik.com

Hope Chicago is a non-profit organization that awards scholarships to high school graduates from Chicago public schools and their adult family members so that they may enroll in post-secondary programs leading to degrees or professional credentials.

The Hope Chicago Scholarship is open to any senior enrolled in one of the higher education institutions that works with Hope Chicago. Keep reading to learn more about this program.

About Hope Chicago

Chicago Public School (CPS) alumni and their adult family members who are eager to further their education and improve their job prospects can get financial aid from the non-profit organization Hope Chicago, whose mission is to reduce economic and social inequity by providing post-secondary scholarships and other educational support.

Businessman Ted Koenig and entrepreneur Pete Kadens started the non-profit organization. With the purpose of assisting tens of thousands of Chicago students and their families in obtaining post-secondary qualifications, Hope Chicago aims to raise and spend at least $1 billion over the next decade.

For CPS students and their families, Hope Chicago’s scholarships cover all of the costs associated with attending college, including tuition, lodging and board, books and fees, and a yearly stipend.

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Wraparound services, such as advising and mentoring, are provided to Hope Scholars as well to ensure that they are successful in obtaining their educational goals.

Those in the higher education community, the non-profit sector, and the business and philanthropic sectors who share Hope Chicago’s vision of more students and parents achieving their postsecondary goals without incurring crushing debt are providing the necessary support and investment.

Hope Chicago Programs

Founded with the goal of helping students and their families afford higher education, Hope Chicago awards financial aid to those who demonstrate financial need. The following are some of the unique programs provided by Hope Chicago:

Hope Chicago Scholarships

All educational expenses, including accommodation and board, books, fees, and levies, are paid for by the Hope Chicago Scholarship. Additionally, each Hope Scholar will get a laptop and a modest yearly stipend. Students may seek for supplemental funding to assist them continue their studies if they encounter unforeseen difficulties.

Inclusive of More Post-Secondary Paths

Colleges and universities with four-year programs, community colleges, trade schools, and institutions with two-year programs as well as professional certificates are all included in Hope Chicago’s definition of postsecondary routes.

Open to All Students Regardless of GPA

Hope Chicago Scholarship, in contrast to most other scholarship programs, does not require its participants to have a minimum grade point average or standardized test score.

Research-Based Program Model

The success of other promise programs throughout the nation and years of study on increasing college enrollment and completion influenced the development of Hope Chicago’s program.

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The nonprofit will employ outside experts to assess the results of its approach and the long-term effects of helping families pay for education without incurring debt.

Two-Generation Model

One parent or guardian of a high school senior enrolled in a school that is a Hope partner school is eligible for a Hope Chicago scholarship and other post-secondary education resources provided by Hope Chicago.

Wraparound Support to Get Scholars to The Finish Line

Students receiving the Hope Chicago Scholarship will have access to a wide range of services and resources, including but not limited to academic and financial advising, career exploration assistance, mentoring, tutoring, workshops, and a regular number of touchpoints with designated support staff associated with the Hope Chicago program at each campus in the Hope Chicago network.

Pete Kadens Hope Chicago

Pete Kadens is the Chairman of The Kadens Family Foundation, a nonprofit with the mission of reducing the income and educational disparities that plague the United States.

He also co-founded and served as CEO of Green Thumb Industries, the world’ second-largest cannabis firm (with a market valuation of more than $6 billion).

Pete retired in September of 2018 after taking the firm public. Pete founded SoCore Energy in 2008, which has now grown to become one of the leading commercial solar enterprises in the United States.

SoCore, which he oversaw, is now present in 17 different states and has been recognized as an innovative leader in Chicago by the Chicago Innovation Awards. He parted ways with SoCore Energy in 2013 and sold the firm to Edison International, a Fortune 500 energy conglomerate.

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Since 2009, Pete has been the chairman of StreetWise, one of the major homeless relief groups in Chicago, an organization he strongly supports because of its mission to improve lives and develop communities.

Pete is now on the boards of numerous other organizations, both nonprofit and for-profit, in addition to his role as chairman emeritus at StreetWise.

Pete and his family foundation initiated an initiative to fund higher education for both kids and one of their parents from the most neglected and underprivileged high schools in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio. Hope Toledo has grown to help more than 300 families.

Pete is also the leader of a group called Hope Chicago, whose mission is to provide educational opportunities to the city’s underprivileged youth.

Hope Chicago Partners

Scholars at Hope Chicago have access to a wide variety of professional paths and get unmatched assistance from high school through college graduation.

Hope Chicago is elevating and redefining the standards for the academic, social/emotional, and financial assistance available to students enrolled in its network of postsecondary institutions.

Each school in the Hope Chicago Network provides its scholars with a comprehensive set of services and resources to ensure a successful transition to and completion of higher education.

The following is list of Hope Chicago’s In-Network partners:

  • Arrupe College
  • Chicago State University
  • Eastern Illinois University
  • Governors State University
  • Harold Washington College
  • Harry S Truman College
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Illinois State University
  • Kennedy-King College
  • Loyola University Chicago
  • Malcom X College
  • National Louis University
  • Northeastern Illinois University
  • Northern Illinois University
  • Olive-Harvey College
  • Richard J. Daley College
  • Southern Illinois University
  • SIUE Cougars
  • University of Illinois Chicago
  • University of Illinois Springfield
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Western Illinois University
  • Wilbur Wright College

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