Within weeks, thousands of Chicago-area students will head to colleges and universities throughout Illinois in hopes of preparing for high-quality jobs and achieving economic success. Some will be saddled with student debt that they will be paying off for years. Others will find a range of hurdles — from campus culture to lack of support — that will cause them to stumble before graduating.  And, despite ample evidence that college is a wise investment, there are thousands more college-age students – especially African Americans and Latinos from low-income families – who will decide to forego college altogether.

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