A photo of a Northeastern graduate holding their diploma cover and a child

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Northeastern Illinois University has entered into a formal partnership with Hope Chicago, a nonprofit organization seeking to reduce economic and social inequity by funding postsecondary scholarships and non-tuition costs for Chicago Public Schools graduates and their adult family members eager to return to school and update their skills. 

“At Northeastern, we believe in empowering students with the tools they need to create a more equitable, diverse and inclusive world,” President Gloria J. Gibson said. By breaking barriers they change the trajectory of not only their lives, but the lives of their families and communities. The Hope Chicago partnership with Northeastern will be able to break the financial barrier to higher education and ensure that students receive the support they need to succeed at NEIU and beyond.”

Hope Chicago is committed to investing $1 billion in postsecondary scholarships to Chicago Public Schools students and their parents over the next decade beginning with the inaugural Hope Chicago scholar cohort, which will join the Northeastern campus community in Fall 2022. 

“We’re not satisfied merely providing access to higher education; instead, we are focused on ensuring students complete their degree or vocational program,” Hope Chicago’s Chief Executive Officer Janice Jackson said in a press release. “That critical work requires collaboration and partnership with higher education institutions. A college degree is the most powerful tool our students can use to maximize their career opportunities, and we’re thrilled at the energy and enthusiasm from both our in-network partners and our Hope families.”

To date, more than 140 students from Hope Chicago high schools have applied to attend Northeastern this fall. These students will have an assigned Campus Contact to support their success throughout their undergraduate studies at Northeastern. 

“Northeastern Illinois University wants Hope Chicago scholars to accomplish their goals on their terms,” Vice President of Enrollment Management Kimberley Buster-Williams said. “If a scholar wants to finish their degree faster, graduate sooner and begin their career, we want to support their drive and help them thrive. Through the extra benefits Northeastern will provide Hope Chicago scholars, I am confident that any scholar who chooses to come to NEIU will find not only a supportive academic environment, but also a community that will cheer them on from start to finish.”