FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
For more information, contact:
CPS Office of Communications
CHICAGO – Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson today announced that the 2015 graduating class received more than $950 million in scholarship offers, an increase of over 21 percent from the previous year. The significant scholarship dollars received by CPS students last year reflect the hard work of students, parents, school counselors, post-secondary coaches, teachers and administrators who work tirelessly to support students in their pursuit of higher education.
“Our students continue to make tremendous gains in the classroom each year, which is evidenced by both the rising graduation rates and the nearly $1 billion in scholarship offers earned by our hard working students this year,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Across the City our teachers, principals, and school leaders are providing essential support for students to navigate scholarship opportunities and remove the financial burden of college, preparing them for a bright future and the opportunities that come with a college degree.”
The graduating class of 2014-2015 received a total of $956,970,918 in scholarship offers, which is a 21.62 percent increase from School Year 2013-2014 (SY 13-14), when students received $798,497,709 in scholarship offers. In SY 12-13, CPS students received $399,890,411 in scholarship offers, which means that in just two years, CPS students have more than doubled their scholarship offers.
“School counselors and post-secondary coaches play a crucial role in ensuring our students are able to maximize their opportunities and succeed beyond our doors,” said CPS Chief Education Officer Jackson. “School-level staff have played a significant role in helping students attain more scholarships, and we will continue to seek innovative ways to support their efforts.”
CPS has made a dedicated effort in recent years to provide school counselors, post-secondary coaches, parents and students with robust tools and information on scholarship opportunities and strategies. Beginning last school year, CPS began offering a comprehensive web tool to all CPS high school students that has streamlined the scholarship search and application process. This tool has removed barriers that might have prevented students from applying for scholarships in the past and highlighted opportunities that could have previously gone unnoticed.
To keep students and staff informed of potential opportunities, the district hosts a scholarship information webpage on ChooseYourFuture.cps.edu, publishes a scholarship guide that provides a comprehensive overview of scholarship opportunities, and issues a monthly scholarship alert that highlights new offerings and upcoming deadlines.
School staff, including counselors and post-secondary coaches, also benefit from targeted professional development and the support of college and career specialists from the Office of School Counseling and Postsecondary Advising to ensure they have the tools they need to establish a college-going culture and positively impact post-secondary outcomes.
In addition to gains in student scholarship dollars, CPS students have made significant achievement improvements in recent years. This past year, CPS students attained a record average Composite ACT score (18.2), a record Freshman-on-track to graduate percentage (84.1 percent) and a record 5-year cohort graduation rate (69.9 percent).