In 2015, 63 percent of Chicago Public Schools high school graduates immediately enrolled in a two- or four-year college, a substantial increase from a decade ago, according to a new report from the University of Chicago’s Consortium on School Research.
The 13-percentage-point increase from 2006 was driven in part by a growing number of students enrolling in four-year colleges, researchers found. But the enrollment rate gains were not shared equally by African-American and Latino graduates in 2015, according to the study. Race-based gaps in immediate college enrollment that year “were much wider in Chicago than gaps seen nationally,” the report said.
The district’s overall 63 percent college enrollment rate lagged behind a national average of 69 percent, researchers said. Graduates who attended low-income high schools nationally had an immediate college enrollment rate of 54 percent, the study said.
The percentage of CPS ninth-graders the consortium estimated would earn a bachelor’s degree within a decade of starting high school last year didn’t change from the estimate a year earlier. Researchers again estimated, based on data from 2016, that 18 percent of CPS ninth-graders would graduate from a four-year college within 10 years of starting high school. That projection includes students who first enroll in a community college after leaving high school or delay starting higher education.