City Colleges of Chicago and Chicago Public Schools Honor Students Who Earned College Credits While in High School

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Seniors from 47 Chicago Public Schools high schools were recognized at Kennedy-King College on May 24, 2022, in a ceremony celebrating them for earning 15 or more college credits while in high school.

“Reaching this moment required a lot of hard work and determination,” said City Colleges of College Chancellor Juan Salgado at the event. “On behalf of City Colleges of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools, and our faculty and staff, I want to congratulate each and every one of you.”

In total, 460 seniors from Chicago Public Schools (CPS) were honored this week for earning 15 or more college credits from City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) before high school graduation, the  highest number since the dual enrollment and dual credit Early College program began in 2005. It was nearly double the 235 students who earned 15 or more college credits last year.

An inspiring 31 of those CPS students also earned their associate degree from CCC this spring. For seniors like Infinity High School’s Jose Marquez, who spoke at the ceremony, the opportunity to work towards his high school diploma and college degree at the same time will have a tremendous impact on his future. Jose is the first in his family to go to college, and he plans to transfer his Early College credits to UIC in the fall to study electrical engineering.

The City Colleges of Chicago Early College program is open to high school juniors and seniors who are at least 16 years old. Enrolled students earn both college and high school credit at no cost without having to adjust their weekly schedule.

The no-cost program offers a significant tuition savings to students who participate. According to the Education Data Initiative, the average cost of fifteen credits from a public, in-state university is $5,850. That same number of credits can cost an average of $20,475 at a private university.

The Early College program operates with support from the Chicago Roadmap, a strategic initiative between City Colleges of Chicago and Chicago Public Schools that aims to create a seamless and successful educational journey for every student in Chicago. The 460 students recognized at Kennedy-King this week are already on a clear path toward college and career success thanks to their hard work and Early College participation.

Students were celebrated by family, friends, teachers, school counselors, and advisors who joined CCC and CPS staff at the festive occasion.

The entire City Colleges community joins them in recognizing this impressive achievement!