(CBS) — Archbishop Blase Cupich gave a special blessing at the launch of a new two-year associate degree program for students who can’t afford to go to college.

Loyola’s Arrupe College’s associate degree is transferrable to more than 100 colleges in Illinois. Cupich says it’s for those who have the desire to succeed.

“What we’re doing today is has greater depth to it than just opening the doors of a new program,” the archbishop said. “We’re rebuilding our sense of dreams in this land.

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez is a Loyola alum and says your zip code shouldn’t determine whether you can go to college.

“It doesn’t whether you grew, whether you grew up in Gage Park, whether you’re from the North Shore, education is the one thing that is going to put you on that level playing field,” Alvarez said. “It’s going to put you in the room as that CEO, it’s going to put you in that OR as a surgeon, in the courtroom as the judge, as the state’s attorney. It’s the one thing that’s going to get you there.”

160 students are enrolled in the program this fall.