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Experts by Experience is a series of discussions with college students from Chicago who are navigating the current rupture in their educational journeys. Through our monthly discussions with students, we aim to shed light on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on young Chicagoans who are pursuing higher education. These discussions provide opportunities for students to share their insights on how educators, policymakers, and college success practitioners can best support them through this new normal. The series also highlights the innovative ways that students themselves are adjusting in real time to rapidly evolving conditions.

For our second conversation, we are joined by two CPS graduates, Kiara and Yoselin, who are currently enrolled in City Colleges of Chicago. We focus on how they have been navigating the shift to online instruction and the impact of the exclusion of undocumented students in coronavirus college relief.

If you are a student who is interested in participating in a future discussion, please fill out our survey.

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Resources for Students

“The Retention of Illinois Students & Equity (RISE) Act allows eligible undocumented students and transgender students who are disqualified from federal financial aid to apply for all forms of state financial aid. The Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid provides a pathway for these qualified students to apply for Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants, the state's largest need-based grant program for low-income college students.” To learn more about these programs, please visit the RISE Act’s page on the Illinois Student Assistance Commission’s website.

Rise First’s consolidated directory of COVID-19 resources for first-generation and/or low-income college students is a curated list of aid offered by businesses, organizations, universities, and people across the country. Visit Rise First’s page to explore the list.

All Chicago's Student Emergency Fund provides up to $750 per student per semester to cover a wide variety of basic needs. Residents of Chicago who attend college in the state of Illinois are eligible for assistance, and must provide basic documentation about their crisis (e.g., copy of eviction notice). To learn more about the Student Emergency Fund, visit All Chicago's website.

Previous Episodes

Listen to the first episode of Experts by Experience.

Download Episode 2 Transcript

Download the discussion transcript