A record 63 percent of CPS seniors are on track to graduate from high school this year – the highest graduation rate ever projected for the District.
“This graduation rate is a testament to our hard-working students, educators and administrators,” said CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. “And with a rigorous curriculum tied to Common Core Standards, we will keep this momentum going on behalf of every child in every neighborhood across the city.”
Ten years ago, the graduation rate for CPS high school students was 44 percent. That number has climbed steadily since 2003 – a result of such key investments as the full school day and increased STEM and IB programs, as well as improved attendance rates and a concerted effort on the part of the District to better engage with families and school communities.
Similarly, the Class of 2013 is likely to earn upwards of $250 million in scholarships – a result of both hard work on the part of CPS students and aggressive outreach plans by the District to alert students of scholarship opportunities.
“We send monthly scholarship bulletins to school counselors and administrators,” said Marcia Boyd, who coordinates scholarship information for CPS, “and we host bi-annual scholarship meetings to introduce students and parents to scholarship providers and assist with the completion of applications.”
CPS has also developed a partnership with the City Treasurer’s Office to improve financial literacy among prospective college students.
“All of our scholarship events contain an emphasis on financial education.” Said Boyd. “We want students and their families to understand their financial aid options, as well as learn the importance of college budgeting.”
This year’s senior class has received numerous academic, talent-based, athletic and organizational awards, including 35 Gates Scholarships, which cover all college costs minus any grants or tuition waivers, and over 100 Posse Scholarships – tuition awards to selective colleges and universities throughout the country.
“This year’s graduates are shining examples of the promise of Chicago’s future,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who joined CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett for the announcement on improved graduation rates. “On behalf of the entire city, I congratulate them on their success.”