Check out our shareables below for quotes, infographics, key facts, and more to spread the word on how all of us can help close the gap between our students' college aspirations and attainment.

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Freshman OnTrack Data Insight

Ninth grade is a "make it or break it" year for students at all achievement levels.

Course performance in the ninth grade is more predictive of a student’s odds of graduating high school than all other factors, including race, gender, socioeconomic status, and prior academic achievement, combined. Freshmen who are “on-track” in the ninth grade, earning five full-year credits and no more than one semester F in a core class, are nearly four times more likely than their off-track peers to graduate from high school. 

Attendance contributes more than any other factor to course failure and low grades

College-ready students (those who have the best chance of enrolling and persisting in college) have average attendance rates of 98 percent, meaning they miss less than a week over the course of the entire school year. 

Strong Grades Data Insight

Earning As and Bs matters for success in both high school and college

Strong grades are a sign that students are able to meet academic challenges, and are developing the skills they need to handle new academic challenges in the future. 

Grades are more predictive of college success than test scores

While ACT/SAT scores matter for college access, grades (GPAs) are much more predictive of college success. In fact, strong grades—earning As and Bs in high school—are the strongest indicator of college readiness and are much more predictive of college graduation than any test score. 

To&Through: Spread the word to help move more students to and through college

The To&Through Project

The vast majority of U.S. high school freshmen aspire to earn a college degree, yet less than one in three succeed. Let's close the gap between our students' college aspirations and attainment and make sure that every ninth grader who aspires to earn a college degree has the opportunity and support to do so. 

To&Through Shareable: College Aspiration-Attainment Gap and the Benefits of Earning a College Degree

Let’s close the gap between our students’ college aspirations and attainment

Closing the college aspiration-attainment gap—in Chicago and nationally—is critical because research tells us that a college degree is still the most effective path out of poverty. People who finish college also tend to be healthier and happier—even live longer.

To&Through Shareable: Student voices

Students Speak: Why college access and opportunity matter

Students told us why college matters to them—share their powerful words to highlight the importance of closing the gap between our students' college aspirations and attainment. 

To&Through Shareable: Student voices

Students Speak: Becoming the first in the family to go to college

Students told us how their college attainment would change history for their families—share their powerful words to bring attention to how we can help more students make it to and through college. 

To&Through Mythbusters: The potholes on the road to college

MYTH: “Students who really want to go to college will get there. If they have the will, they’ll figure out the way.”

To&Through Mythbusters: Institutional graduation rates matter

MYTH: “A student’s odds of graduating from college will be the same anywhere.”

To&Through Mythbusters: Grades matter

MYTH: “As long as a student’s grades are strong enough to graduate high school, GPAs don’t really matter.”

To&Through Data Insight: Chicago's college aspiration-attainment gap

Most Chicago students aspire to earn college degrees, yet still only a few succeed

76 percent of Chicago Public Schools high school freshmen aspire to earn a college degree, yet projections show only 18 percent of them will do so within ten years of starting high school. Chicago's degree attainment has doubled since 2006, yet we still have a long way to go to close the gap between our students' college aspirations and attainment. 

Chicago Public Schools’ college attainment is similar to the nation’s

Though the vast majority of U.S. high school students aspire to earn a college degree, only 22 percent of all high school freshmen nationwide are projected to enroll immediately in a four-year college after high school and earn their degree within six years of enrolling in college. 

The To&Through Project: People with college degrees tend to be healthier, wealthier, and happier

Greater college degree attainment means greater health, wealth, and happiness

People with bachelor’s degrees are less likely to commit crimes, face financial hardship, or suffer from illness. And they are more likely to volunteer, vote, engage in their communities and their children’s activities, and even live longer.

To&Through Data Insight: High school graduation improved most in Chicago's highest-poverty neighborhoods

High school graduation improved most in Chicago’s highest-poverty neighborhoods

In recent years, high school graduation rates improved most among students from Chicago's highest-poverty neighborhoods—a step toward closing the achievement gap among students from different socioeconomic backgrounds.

To&Through Data Insight: Chicago's progress on the milestones that matter

Chicago has made significant progress on key attainment milestones

Over the past decade, Chicago has made great progress on high school graduation and college enrollment; college graduation, however, has improved comparatively slightly. The work of both high school and higher education stakeholders will be critical to move even more students to and through college.

To&Through Data Insight: High school graduation rates improved for students of all genders and races

High school graduation rates improved for students of all genders and races

From 2006 to 2014, high school graduation rates increased most among Latino males, rising from 56 percent to 76 percent, and African American males, rising from 44 percent to 62 percent. 

To&Through Data Insight: Chicago's neighborhood high schools' graduation rates have caught up to charter schools

Neighborhood high schools’ graduation rates improved the most

For many years, Chicago's charter high schools had higher graduation rates than non-selective neighborhood schools—the recent improvement in neighborhood high schools' graduation rates has closed this historical gap.

To&Through Data Insight: Chicago's educational attainment improved but not at the expense of achievement

Chicago’s educational attainment improved alongside rising achievement

Chicago Public Schools’s rising high school graduation rate was accompanied by stronger student GPAs and ACT scores. This means that though thousands more students took the ACT and made it to their senior year, achievement on average still improved.

To&Through Data Insight: The most promising path to a degree is the most direct path

The most promising path to a college degree is the most direct path

The vast majority of students who ultimately earn bachelor’s degrees enroll in a four-year college immediately after graduating from high school.

To&Through Data Insight: Chicago's educational attainment is catching up to the nation's

Chicago’s educational attainment is catching up to the nation’s

Over the past decade, Chicago Public Schools has largely caught up to the nation on key attainment milestones, narrowing the gap to 10 points or less on high school graduation, college enrollment, and college graduation rates.

To&Through Data Insight: Many colleges have improved graduation rates for underrepresented minority students

Many colleges have improved graduation rates for underrepresented minority students

Since 2006, the majority of the top ten colleges attended by Chicago Public Schools graduates have improved their graduation rates for underrepresented minority students.

To&Through Data Insight: Grades matter more than test scores for college success

Grades are more predictive of college success than test scores

Research shows that it is high school GPA—not ACT scores—that most strongly predicts a student’s likelihood of successfully earning a college degree.