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Chicago Public Schools Celebrates Class of 2022 Record-High Graduation Rate and Scholarship Totals

24 October 2022

District Highlights Rising Freshman-on-Track Rates as Sign of Future Success

CPS Office of Communications

Phone: 773-553-1620
Twitter: @chipubschools
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CHICAGO – Chicago Public Schools (CPS) celebrated a record-setting Class of 2022 graduation rate as well as record-high scholarship totals and rising Freshman-on-Track rates for the 2021-22 school year, reflecting the resilience of students who have successfully navigated more than two challenging years. Monday’s celebration at Gage Park High School showcased the collective grit and grace of Chicago students, parents, teachers, and staff. 

“Chicagoans embody a special kind of strength and endurance and the Class of 2022 certainly demonstrated that tenacity with extraordinary aplomb, having posted the highest graduation rate ever, amid a global pandemic,” said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “We are excited to see what’s next for CPS, and look forward to cheering on our CPS alumni as they continue to triumph over any adversity and succeed inside and outside the classroom.”

CPS CEO Pedro Martinez and CEdO Bogdana Chkoumbova joined Gage Park High School Principal Tamika Ball and leaders from other top-performing neighborhood high schools Monday morning as they recognized growth and record highs in the Districtwide graduation rate for both students who graduated in four years as well as those who persisted to earn their diploma in five years. 

The four-year graduation rate increased by 2.7 percentage points from 80.2 percent in School Year (SY) 2021 to 82.9 percent in SY22. The five-year graduation rate increased by 0.2 percentage points from 83.8 percent in SY21 to 84 percent in SY22. Additionally, these students earned the most scholarships to date - worth more than $1.5 billion. Members of the Class of 2022 have moved on to City Colleges of Chicago, the University of Illinois campus in Chicago and Urbana-Champaign, Loyola, DePaul, Northeastern Illinois and Northwestern Universities as well as Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Morehouse, Dartmouth and institutions around the world.

“I’m deeply proud of the Class of 2022 and our overall continued progress,” said CEO Martinez. “We know that the pandemic had a profound impact on learning as well as our students’ social-emotional well being yet somehow this class persisted and set a great example for their younger peers. Our students are beating the odds; their success is our city’s success.”

The Class of 2022 set a record breaking $1.55 billion in earned scholarship awards, marking a seventh consecutive graduating class to earn more than $1 billion in college scholarship offers. CPS remains focused on connecting students to dedicated school counselors and college and career coaches for continued exposure to scholarship opportunities.

Through the District’s Learn.Plan.Succeed. initiative, all high school students are required to develop a concrete post-secondary plan before they graduate. This year, 97.2 percent of seniors at District-managed high schools submitted a post-secondary plan, and 84.4 percent of the CPS Class of 2021 graduated with plans to attend college.

"These impressive gains remind us that great things are happening in schools every day” says CEdO Chkoumbova. “From ensuring students have meaningful planning conversations through Learn.Plan.Succeed., to increased access to scholarship opportunities, today we show our unwavering commitment to providing our students with the skills necessary to succeed post graduation.”

Perhaps as important as the Class of 2022 outcomes is the promising Freshman-on-Track rate which also grew, with 88.8 percent of freshmen in SY22 on track to graduate. This is a 2.1 percentage point increase from the SY21 rate of 86.7 percent. This State-reported metric was established in recent years following research that found freshmen who earned at least five full‐year course credits and who failed no more than one semester of a core subject course (the definition of on track) were over 3.5 times more likely to graduate in four years than off‐track freshmen.

This year marks the highest 5-year graduation rate on record, with 21,205 graduates, an increase from last year’s 20,722 graduates. 

This year, 59 CPS schools, including neighborhood, charter, magnet and selective-enrollment schools met or exceeded the District four-year- graduation rate average of 82.9 percent.

Today’s celebration also recognized the top five high schools in Illinois, according to U.S. News and World Report are in CPS and are as follows:  

Walter Payton College Prep: 1st 

Northside College Prep: 2nd 

Jones College Prep: 3rd 

Whitney Young Magnet High School: 4th

Lane Tech College Prep: 5th