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River Forest, IL—Dominican University today announced a new partnership with Hope Chicago, a nonprofit organization offering debt-free college and workforce opportunities to 4,000 Chicago Public School graduates and their parents residing in some of Chicago’s most disadvantaged and disinvested neighborhoods.

Thanks to an expansion of Hope Chicago’s college and university partner network, Hope Scholars can choose Dominican as their college of choice and use their Hope Chicago scholarships there. These scholarships cover tuition, housing, books, fees and an annual stipend—all with a goal of reducing economic and social inequity among CPS students and their families. 

As a partner, Dominican will provide Hope Scholars with the wraparound support and career preparedness that are hallmarks of the university. Faculty will help these scholars navigate their new college environment, encourage placement in campus programs and connect them to academic, financial and career advising. 

“Dominican University is honored to partner with Hope Chicago and be a school of choice for Hope Scholars for the 2024-25 academic year,” said Genaro A. Balcazar, senior vice president for enrollment and marketing strategy. “At Dominican, we have a proud history of helping generations of students ‘go first’ in attaining a college degree, providing the wraparound support they need to complete that journey to a successful career. As we continue our focus on enhancing the social and economic mobility of our students, this partnership with Hope Chicago is a perfect fit and one that will allow us to expand our mission to an even greater number of Chicago Public School graduates and their families.”

Dominican is one of six new institutions of higher learner to join Hope Chicago’s partner network. There are now 29 Illinois schools offering higher education and workforce options for Hope Scholars.

“Access to quality postsecondary education is not just a privilege; it's a fundamental right that can transform the trajectory of low-income families and disadvantaged communities in Illinois,” said Dr. Janice Jackson, Hope Chicago CEO. “For South and West Side Chicago Public School students, pursuing higher education isn't merely about acquiring a degree; it's about unlocking doors to opportunity and offering them a stake in a more prosperous and equitable future of our city and state.

“We’re proud to be expanding our network of high-quality offerings to Hope Scholars here in Illinois—empowering them to find their best postsecondary fit,” Jackson added.

About Dominican University      

Founded in 1901, Dominican University is a comprehensive, coeducational Catholic institution offering an associate of arts in liberal arts and sciences as well as bachelor’s and master’s degrees through the Rosary College of Arts and Sciences, the Borra College of Health Sciences, the Brennan School of Business and the College of Applied Social Sciences. The university also offers doctoral degrees in information studies and applied social justice. U.S. News & World Report ranks Dominican University #11 out of all Midwest regional master’s level universities, #1 in the Midwest for Best Value and #1 in Illinois for innovation and ensuring the social mobility of its graduates.

About Hope Chicago

Hope Chicago's mission is to create pathways to success for multiple generations of Chicagoans through equitable access to debt-free higher education and the support to complete postsecondary journeys. In February of 2022, Hope Chicago promised every enrolled student and one parent/guardian of each student the opportunity to pursue a debt-free postsecondary education at five Chicago community high schools across the city’s South, Southwest, and West Sides – accounting for 4,000 families. Hope Chicago’s goal is to provide debt-free higher education to 30,000 CPS students and their parents over the next decade.