Six Chicago-area universities are set to begin offering scholarships to high-achieving students upon graduation from City Colleges of Chicago under a program Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office announced Tuesday.

“Having a college education should always be determined by a student’s willingness to work, not their ability to pay. So with the support of our partners at Chicago’s top universities, we are giving our students a clear pathway from high school to four-year degree,” Emanuel said in a statement. “The Chicago Star Partnership will help ensure that our hard-working graduates remain in Chicago for college, and continue to contribute their talents and skills to our growing economy and communities.”

DePaul University, Governors State University, Illinois Institute of Technology, Loyola University Chicago, National Louis University and Roosevelt University are joining the University of Illinois at Chicago in offering the scholarships, according to the mayor’s office. The scholarships will only be available to students who originally graduated from Chicago Public Schools.

UIC launched its Star Scholarship Award in August and will enable at least 250 Chicago Public Schools students who transfer from one of the City Colleges of Chicago with an associate’s degree and a 3.0 GPA an opportunity to earn a scholarship of $5,000 over two years.

The six universities that have signed on to the scholarship program are still developing their own incentive programs, the mayor’s office said.

“In order to secure a family-sustaining career in today’s economy, a post-secondary credential is needed, and in many cases, that credential is a bachelor’s degree,” Chancellor Cheryl Hyman of City Colleges of Chicago said in a statement. “The Chicago Star Partnership offers our high-achieving high school students a way to earn an associate’s and bachelor’s degree, saving tens of thousands of dollars along the way.”

For more information about the Chicago Star Scholarship at City Colleges of Chicago program, go to www.ccc.edu/starscholarship.

Contributing: Maudlyne Ihejirika