CPS Students Earn Record $1.1 Billion in Scholarship Offers in 2016 

With Continued Expansion of College-Level Coursework and New Online Tools, More Students Receive Aid to Reduce Financial Barrier of Going to College

Friday, September 2, 2016                                                       

For more information, contact:
CPS Office of Communications
Phone: 773-553-1620

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) today announced that the 2016 graduating class received a record-high $1.16 billion in scholarship offers, an increase of more than $206 million (20 percent) in scholarship dollars over the previous class year. This dramatic increase underscores the hard work of teachers, parents and college support staff in helping students navigate the scholarship search and application process. These remarkable scholarship gains also reflect rising student achievement through access to college-level coursework, preparing more students for the rigors of college. 

“Every year, our students earn more scholarship awards to support the next step of their education, and every dollar earned represents the hard work by our students, their teachers, and school leaders who support their progress,” said Mayor Emanuel. “We will continue to invest in opportunities that prepare our students for college while expanding those that reduce the barrier of cost, so that college enrollment is based on their merits, not on their family’s financial circumstances. I want to congratulate the class of 2016 for their hard work and determination in earning these awards and wish them luck as they move on to college and career.”

Since 2011, CPS students have earned almost four times more scholarships dollars. In School Year 2011-12 (SY 11-12), students received a total of more than $266 million compared to this year’s $1.16 billion; a 336 percent increase over the past five school years.  The growth in scholarship offers over time shows that students are not only receiving the kind of instruction that will prepare them for postsecondary education, but are making progress toward reducing the financial burden of attending college.

“As an educator and administrator, one of my primary goals is to ensure that CPS students have the tools and resources needed to succeed beyond CPS,” said CPS Chief Education Officer Jackson. “Each school has a dynamic team of school counselors and postsecondary coaches who are always seeking to expand their capacity to provide students with scholarship opportunities that might have gone unnoticed or overlooked. The District will continue to provide tools that will make the scholarship search and application process more accessible to all CPS high school students.”

CPS counselors and college and career coaches play a crucial role in ensuring that students receive the support needed to apply for college scholarships. In SY 14-15, 6,224 CPS high school students reported scholarship offers. This year, 6,862 students reported offers, an increase of 638 students from the previous school year. Additionally, 47 CPS high schools have shown increases in scholarship offers since last year.

Growth in scholarship offers over recent years is also consistent with the District’s strategic expansion of college-level coursework through expansion of STEM, IB, AP and Dual-Credit and Dual-Enrollment opportunities in schools across the city. Last year nearly 36 percent of CPS students earned one or more of the following college or career credentials: early college credit, a 3+ on an AP exam, a 4+ on an IB exam, an approved career certification, or a JROTC program completion certification; representing a 10-point increase from roughly 30 percent the year before.

To continue growing Chicago’s participation in college-level coursework and climbing college enrollment rates, Mayor Emanuel recently set an ambitious new goal of ensuring that at least half of all students earn college credit by 2019.  This means, that by 2019, the Mayor and CPS will aim to have half of all CPS high school students earning college credit while they are still at CPS schools through key programs including Dual Credit and Dual Enrollment, Advanced Placement, and IB coursework.

Page Last Modified on Friday, September 02, 2016