USA TODAY cites findings from a recent report on Chicago’s Latino neighborhoods and population produced by UIC’s Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy and UIC’s Great Cities Institute in a story about undocumented immigrants studying at City Colleges of Chicago, where many are Chicago Star Scholarship recipients. The scholarship allows eligible students to attend any of Chicago’s seven City Colleges for free, even if students are not eligible for federal financial aid.
Among the more than 200 scholarship winners who have graduated, about two-thirds were the first in their families to go to college. More than 90% were members of minority groups and more than 60% were female.
In a city with an estimated 425,000 undocumented immigrants — the bulk of whom come from Chicago’s large Hispanic community — demographic data offer a glimpse of why the scholarship may have had a disproportionate draw in the undocumented community.
Overall, Hispanic residents make up nearly 30% of the city’s 2.6 million population, and are the city’s second-largest ethnic or racial group. But the community trails Asian, black and white residents when it comes to home ownership, education achievement and earnings, according to a report published this month by the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy and Great Cities Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
The article quotes several undocumented students for whom the scholarship has been instrumental in earning a college education.