City Colleges of Chicago Launches Future Ready


Chicago’s community college system offers 60+ high-demand, short-term programs at no cost to qualifying Chicagoans on a first-come, first-served basis this fall

Chicagoans also invited to return to college through the Fresh Start debt forgiveness program

CHICAGO — To prepare Chicagoans to seize career opportunities in the post-COVID recovery, City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) announces Future Ready, offering high-demand, short-term college programs at no cost to qualifying Chicagoans on a first-come, first-served basis this fall.

“More often than not, students who are weighed down by significant socioeconomic burdens are kept away from opportunities to further their education and enter sustainable, good-paying careers,” said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “I commend City Colleges for their phenomenal efforts to help alleviate these burdens and for finding ways to creatively support our residents as they chase after their academic and professional goals.”

“The time is now to get the education Chicagoans need to be a part of the COVID economic recovery,” said Juan Salgado, Chancellor, City Colleges of Chicago. “There is no better way to launch a career path than by taking advantage of City Colleges’ Future Ready program this fall.”

Chicagoans interested in pursuing careers in fields as diverse as: healthcare, technology, transportation, distribution, and logistics, cannabis operations, auto tech, criminal justice and more have never had a more direct route to earn a college credential.

Students who are new to City Colleges are eligible, along with those returning after two or more semesters (fall/spring) who left City Colleges in good standing.  Students who previously took adult education (GED/ESL) or continuing education are also able to take part. Undocumented students are included too.  This opportunity is for Chicago residents.

The programs may be offered in-person at one of the seven City Colleges or its satellite sites or online, and may offer college credit, depending on the program selected.  Programs range in length, with some as little as one day in length up to three semesters.

A complete list of the 60+ eligible programs can be found at

Future Ready will only cover classes on a student’s program plan, and is good for one credential only.

Students will need to complete their program within 150% of time (For example, three semesters, if it is a two semester program).  Future Ready is a last dollar scholarship for credit programs, meaning students will apply for financial aid if they are able and Future Ready will make up the difference in their tuition cost after the application of financial aid or other scholarships.

Future Ready at City Colleges is made possible through the use of federal HEERF funds and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Chicagoans seeking to return to City Colleges with previous debt are encouraged to apply for the Fresh Start Debt Forgiveness program.  Fresh Start offers former City Colleges students the opportunity to return to college, “learn off” their debt, and earn a college certificate or degree.

To learn more about taking programs at no cost through Future Ready, Chicagoans should go to

Registration is underway for fall 16-week classes at City Colleges of Chicago through August 26, 2021.