Harry S Truman College graduate Tony Tran sums up his advice for Chicago high school students fairly succinctly: “Work hard in high school in order to be eligible to be a STAR Scholar and take full advantage of the system that has been laid out for you. It is the absolute best option for students in Chicago. Why pay a ton of money for a four-year university when you could get an equivalent education for free in a smaller classroom with a much more personalized education?”

As one of four CCC Class of 2017 STAR Scholars who has been offered a scholarship for up to $50,000 at Northwestern University – one of the Star Scholarship transfer partner schools – Tony knows what he is talking about.

Though originally planning to attend a four-year school away from home after graduating from Northside College Preparatory High School, Tony learned of the STAR Scholarship from his two best friends from high school who had already enrolled at CCC. Knowing he now had the opportunity to achieve his associate degree tuition-free and with the expense of his books covered, he made a last-minute decision to enroll at Truman.

While working towards his degree in science through classes at both CCC’s Truman and Wright Colleges, Tony found the need to motivate himself through his occasional procrastination. He found that utilizing the resources of the Wellness Center and fitness center, meeting regularly with his advisor, and availing himself of his accessible instructors’ office hours helped him toward reaching his educational goal of completing a doctorate degree in physical therapy. He credits his instructors and the one-on-one attention he received for setting the foundation to build upon at Northwestern.

He’ll be in good company at Northwestern, for in addition to the connections he hopes to make as he continues his studies, he’ll be joined by the aforementioned best friends – Nadeem and Naeem Patel – two other Northwestern-bound Truman College STAR Scholars who will be attending the Evanston-based university tuition free.

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