A Second Chance at College: City Colleges Expands Fresh Start Debt Forgiveness Program

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For two years, City Colleges of Chicago’s Fresh Start debt forgiveness program has given former students a second chance at their education. The program has invited those who left one of our colleges with debt within the last 10 years to come back to class and re-ignite their college journeys.  

Now, we’re expanding the signature debt forgiveness initiative to give even more students the opportunity to have their prior City Colleges debt waived.     

Any former student who left City Colleges with debt before July 1, 2020, is now eligible to take advantage of the program, regardless of the GPA they had when they left. Additionally, even if a student has earned a college degree since leaving, they’re still eligible for Fresh Start.  

This expansion opens the successful program up to benefit students of all ages and walks of life. And beyond giving students a clean slate, Fresh Start empowers participants to improve their financial situation by participating in credit-building and financial coaching sessions.  

“The Fresh Start program is what I needed to be where I am now and where I’m going in the future,” said Maryam Muhammad, a Fresh Start alumna who came back to City Colleges to earn credits before transferring to National University to study biomedical science. 

Whether a student wants to come back and then transfer like Maryam, earn a credential and go straight into the workforce, or take another pathway to success, Fresh Start can help them achieve their goals.  

To learn more about the expanded eligibility, visit www.ccc.edu/freshstart