CPS Students Earn Record $266 Million in Scholarships in 2011-2012 School Year, Increase of Nearly $120 Million 

College enrollment rate highest on record and up for seventh consecutive year


August 21, 2012


Chicago Public Schools (CPS) announced today that students at 62 high schools were awarded more than $266 million in college scholarships during the 2011-2012 school year, an 81 percent increase over the previous school year and more than 18 times the amount awarded during the 2003-2004 school year, when CPS first started tracking scholarship data. Students earned scholarships in a variety of areas, including academic, talent-based, athletic, organizational and need-based awards.


“I want to congratulate all of our students who won scholarships last year and recognize their commitment and hard work —we wish you great success as you embark on the exciting and challenging journey of college,” said CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard. “We couldn’t have reached this landmark accomplishment without the great work of our teachers, principals and school staff to help ensure more students have access to the resources and supports available and necessary for success in college.”


Scholarship dollars won in past school years were:


$266,718,384 in 2011-2012

$147,000,000 in 2010-2011

$143,522,401 in 2009-2010

$213,118,384 in 2008-2009

$156,903,427 in 2007-2008

  $82,182,601 in 2006-2007

  $20,810,767 in 2005-2006

  $14,401,520 in 2003-2004


The jump in scholarship dollars is due in large part to efforts to improve communication between high school counselors, college and career specialists, teachers, principals, network chiefs and Central Office.


CPS staff worked together in a variety of ways to help students achieve the highest-ever total of scholarship dollars, including:


  • Distributed monthly scholarship bulletin to let students and school staff know about scholarships they are eligible for with approaching deadlines
  • Hosted scholarship information meetings for students and parents with tips for preparing a competitive application
  • Partnered with city Treasurer’s Department to provide financial literacy information to students who participate in CPS scholarship events.


CPS continues to see an increase in the number of graduates who enroll in college. By Nov. 1, 2011, 59.5 percent of CPS graduates from the class of 2011 had enrolled in college, an increase of 3.8 percentage points more than the prior year and the largest jump in the enrollment rate since CPS started tracking college enrollment data. This was the seventh consecutive year that CPS has seen an increase in the college enrollment rate; it is up 16 percentage points since 2004.


This year, CPS will continue to work to improve communication between students and staff to make sure seniors are taking advantage of every scholarship opportunity available to them. On Sept. 27, CPS will host a strategic scholarship training day for 300 senior class leaders, who will bring the information they learn about scholarships and choosing the right college back to their high schools.


About CPS

Chicago Public Schools serves 403,000 students in 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.


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