FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, August 31, 2017
For more information, contact:
CPS Office of Communications
CHICAGO – Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools today announced that the 2017 graduating class received a record-high $1.24 billion in scholarship offers, $80 million more than last year. CPS students have more than tripled the scholarship award amount since 2013 when the graduating class earned $400 million. The increase in scholarship gains reflects the district’s continued efforts to provide all high school students with the tools and support needed to make the scholarship search and application process accessible and successful.
“Year after year, Chicago's students have raised the bar in scholarships earned for postsecondary success. Each dollar earned represents the hard work of the students, as well as the commitment shown by the parents, teachers and school leaders who support them,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. “A college education should be based on a student's merit and not on their family's financial circumstances. We will continue to invest in our students so that tuition cost is not a barrier to entry."
This continued growth in scholarship offers is consistent with the district’s strategic expansion of college-level coursework through International Baccalaureate, STEM, AP and Dual-Credit and Dual-Enrollment opportunities in schools across the city.
“Each and every scholarship dollar earned is a critical step toward making the college dream an attainable reality for our students,” said CPS CEO Forrest Claypool. “Chicago students have the skills to succeed in college, and more and more, they have the resources they need. This continued success is a testament to the collaborative efforts of principals, counselors, educators and parents who help ensure our students have the support they need to succeed after graduation.”
“As CPS school counselors and postsecondary coaches continue to make the scholarship search more accessible for students, our teachers are helping implement new levels of college-level coursework to help prepare all of our students for the next step in their education,” said CPS Chief Education Officer Jackson. “These scholarships demonstrate that CPS students recognize high school is not a last stop destination but rather a stepping stone in their path to a successful future.”
Additionally, the Mayor and CPS have set an ambitious goal of ensuring that at least half of all CPS students earn college credit or career credentials by 2019.
By setting high expectations for students to access the district’s wide menu of college and career credentials while they are still in high school, CPS will provide more of its students with exposure to the rigorous coursework that they will encounter in college, credits that apply toward their degree, and the confidence they need to succeed once they get there.
Mayor Emanuel and CPS also launched the groundbreaking “Learn. Plan. Succeed.” initiative, a graduation requirement designed to help students create a pathway for life after they leave CPS. While nearly 60 percent of CPS students already graduate with a postsecondary plan, Learn.Plan.Succeed. seeks to assist students who need additional planning support by ensuring they have meaningful conversations with an adult at school about their future.
Chicago Public Schools serves 381,000 students in 652 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.