5 entire high schools in Chicago get full college scholarships

The program will award 4,000 students college scholarships at about 20 Illinois institutions.

Inside a packed auditorium at Benito Juarez Community Academy, Senior Maria Vazquez sat in shock. She had just found out that she, her classmates, — and their parents — would get their college education paid. In full.

Tears streamed down her face as she searched for her parents in the auditorium.

Before the life-changing news, the price of college had limited her educational prospects, said the 18-year-old daughter of Mexican immigrants.

“Now, the possibilities are more open,” Vazquez said. “This is an opportunity I never thought I would get.”

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