Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's planned initiative to provide free City Colleges of Chicago tuition to Chicago Public Schools students with at least a "B" average contains another little-known requirement that makes it harder to win the "Star Scholarship."
In addition to graduating with a "B" average, CPS students have to earn a score of at least 21 on the ACT's math and English portions in order to qualify for the tuition program, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
A review by the newspaper showed that the majority of CPS students who graduated in 2014 with a "B" average would be disqualified for the program due to the ACT requirement.
In response to the newspaper's findings, mayoral spokeswoman Kelley Quinn said, "The Administration has been not only clear about the requirements of the STAR Scholarship, but why it is needed. Too many students face too many financial barriers to college. This program is about making our city colleges a ticket to a middle class life and a brighter future for all CPS students."
Chicago Teachers Union research facilitator Pavlyn Jankov expressed concerns about the City Colleges of Chicago scholarship program, saying "This could draw in students who would otherwise go to state colleges and who would be better off in those schools."
"In a way, touting these scholarships kind of takes away from some of the problems that are already there," Jankov told the Sun-Times. "You're not going to improve the schools by pulling in better students, you're going to improve the school by improving the services. The issue is, there are still students out there who do need the remediation classes."