Mother daughter graduate med school together

Hope Chicago has an ambitious
goal to raise and invest

$1 Billion

in college scholarships and support funding over the next decade for Chicago Public School graduates and families.

Our mission is to eliminate barriers to educational and economic equity by guaranteeing debt-free college and wraparound support services to Hope Chicago Scholars.

Librery read book
Why Now?
College tuition is increasingly unaffordable & public support has not kept up. Twenty years ago, state grants covered the full cost of tuition at Illinois public universities.

Moreover, COVID has had a devastating impact on Black & Brown communities in Chicago. By every measure—the number of cases, deaths, job loss, housing insecurity and education—these communities were hit the hardest.

The Challenge:

Debt-Free Higher Education

Hope Chicago will require participating colleges to meet new standards of student support while also holding down costs. We will challenge institutions to stop the practice of “aid displacement” that penalizes students who earn private scholarships by reducing institutional aid. We will support students as they negotiate fair and honest pricing so they do not accumulate debt or drop out for financial reasons.

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The World We Are Facing Today

Today, poverty and segregation are holding Chicago back. Our public schools, like our neighborhoods, are among the most economically and racially segregated in America.

Kalamazoo Promise Results

What we know works

The Kalamazoo Promise offers a scholarship to any Kalamazoo Public School resident graduate, providing up to 100% tuition for post-secondary education. Since the Kalamazoo Promise began in 2005, enrollment has risen dramatically in local public schools and colleges. The college completion rate has risen from 36% to 48% and more than 3,000 scholars from Kalamazoo have earned post-secondary degrees. Local poverty has declined much more rapidly than the nation and the state as a whole and the population is now rising for the first time in decades.

Hope toledo

A Two-Gen Approach

The HOPE Toledo Promise was established to support high-quality education, from preschool to post-secondary and trade school, for every young person in the city of Toledo. It was the first and only two-generation scholarship program in the country. Hope Chicago will be the second.

Students and parents/guardians enrolled simultaneously will motivate and support each other, increase the likelihood of completion, set a new standard of success for the entire higher education sector, and foster deep and lasting economic equity for families and communities.

Thanks to Promise programs like Hope Toledo, more scholars are earning degrees than ever before. In fact, colleges that accept Promise program students have a 45% higher graduation rate than those that don’t.‍

Hope Toledo’s inaugural class (2020) boosted college enrollment rates at the participating high school from:

Faces of Hope

HOPE Mario Purifie 2020
Mario Purifie
19, first generation college student at Wright State, plans to be a lawyer
HOPE Jahquan Chambers 2020
Jahquan Chambers
19, studying auto mechanics at Owens Community College
HOPE Marque Rayford 2020
Marque Rayford
20, studying graphic design at Bowling Green State University
HOPE Elijah Tirouda 2020
Elijah Tirouda
19, first generation college student at Wright State, plans to be a lawyer
HOPE Deanna Dixon Parent 2020
The Dixons
Deanna, 43, and her daughter Arianna, 18, are both attending the University of Toledo
HOPE Jenifer Smith
Jenifer Smith
single mom, 42, who was laid off during the pandemic and is now enrolled at the University of Toledo

Those of us blessed with success have the opportunity to

pay it forward for the next
generation of Chicagoans

by investing in their future through higher education. With your generosity, Hope Chicago will help thousands of students and their parents realize their dreams of the American promise of prosperity.