Note to users: In 2020, the To&Through team made a series of updates to our data, which are reflected on the Online Tool and may result in slight changes in rates from previous iterations of the Tool. Perhaps the most noticeable is the inclusion of students who received their high school diplomas from Options schools (sometimes called alternative schools) in our high school graduation rates and in the denominators of college enrollment rates. Also, as we continue to learn more about the National Student Clearinghouse data and our other data sources, we made a number of other small refinements to our internal decision rules to ensure we are reporting data as accurately as possible. Please reach out to any of our team members if you are interested in more information.

Data Definitions

Attendance

A student is considered absent if they are not present for the entire school day. Partial days and late arrivals do not count as an absence.

Census Data

Total Population

The total number of people living in the community area, of any age. Data in this census table is separate from data available in the rest of the tool, which deals specifically with data on students in Chicago Public Schools.

Race and Ethnicity Breakdown

Data are grouped into five race/ethnicity categories. The “Latino” category is composed of people who self-identified as Hispanic or Latino, regardless of which race they selected. All other race/ethnicity categories are composed of people who identified as not Hispanic or Latino, and the category is based on the race they selected. The “Other” category consists of categories that were combined due to low N’s at the city level: American Indian and Alaska Native, two or more races, and some other unlisted races.

Household Annual Income Breakdown

The combined income of individuals sharing a housing unit (related or not), or an individual’s income if they live alone. Data is organized into four categories based on income level; for context, $25,000 is close to the federal poverty level for a family of 4 and the median household income in Chicago is approximately $60,000.

High Schoolers in Public Schools

Of students enrolled in grades 9-12, this percent attend Chicago Public Schools (CPS), as opposed to a non-CPS option (e.g., private school, homeschool, religious school). For communities/regions with low public school enrollment, the data in this tool should be interpreted with caution as the experiences of students that are enrolled in non-CPS schools is not captured in the tool.

Highest Education Level

Data are grouped into four categories. “High school or less” is defined as anyone whose highest level of education was less than a high school diploma. “High school diploma” includes those whose highest level of education was completing a high school degree or equivalent (such as a GED). “Some college, no degree” represents those who attended some college but did not complete any degree. “College degree” includes anyone who completed an associate’s or bachelor’s degree or higher, including a masters or doctorate.

College Enrollment

The proportion of graduates who enrolled directly in college in the fall following spring or summer high school graduation. Data on college enrollment come from the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC), which houses enrollment and graduation records for colleges throughout the United States. This does not include students who delayed college entry. Enrollments from two institutions typically attended by many CPS graduates, North Park University and Lincoln University, are missing from 2020 rates, as these institutions have not yet reported Fall 2020 enrollments to NSC. In 2019, 146 students immediately enrolled at these two institutions. If a similar number of 2020 graduates enrolled at these institutions, the actual immediate enrollment rate would be 0.6 percentage points higher than the rate reported here.

Two-year Enrollee

Students who enroll in a two-year college the fall after graduating from high school. [[MORE:inst_enroll]]

Four-year Enrollee

Students who enroll in a four-year college the fall after graduating from high school. [[MORE:inst_enroll]]

College Completion

The proportion of two-year and four-year college enrollees who completed a degree or certificate within six years of high school graduation. Data on college completion comes from the NSC. Students who enrolled in a college that does not provide graduation records to the NSC, or whose records are suppressed due to FERPA or other reasons, are not included in these rates.

College Persistence

Enrolled continuously (no semesters off) for the four semesters after high school graduation in one or more two-year or four-year colleges, or completed a college degree or credential within two years. Summer semesters are not counted. Data on college enrollment and completion comes from NSC.

Categories for immediate 4-year enrollees:

Remained in a 4-year college

Enrolled continuously (no semesters off) in four-year institutions during the fall and spring semesters of the first two years following high school graduation. [[MORE:inst_persist]]

Transferred to a 2-year college

Enrolled continuously (no semesters off) in a mix of four-year and two-year institutions or earned a credential during the fall and spring semesters of the first two years following high school graduation. [[MORE:inst_persist]]

Did not persist

Was not enrolled during at least one fall or spring semester of the first two years following high school graduation, and did not complete a credential within two years. [[MORE:inst_persist]]

Categories for immediate 2-year enrollees:

Remained in a 2-year college

Enrolled continuously (no semesters off) in two-year institutions or earned a credential during the fall and spring semesters of the first two years following high school graduation. [[MORE:inst_persist]]

Transferred to a 4-year college

Enrolled continuously (no semesters off) in a mix of two-year and four-year institutions during the fall and spring semesters of the first two years following high school graduation. [[MORE:inst_persist]]

Did not persist

Was not enrolled during at least one fall or spring semester of the first two years following high school graduation, and did not complete a credential within two years. [[MORE:inst_persist]]

College Types

2-year college

Institutions classified in the IPEDs data as having only programs that are less than 4-year.

4-year college

Institutions classified in the IPEDs data as having programs that are 4-year or higher.

Community Areas

There are 77 officially defined community areas in Chicago. Community areas are distinct from Chicago’s more commonly recognized neighborhoods, however there is considerable overlap between the two. Where neighborhood boundaries are dynamic and may be recognized differently by different people, community areas have static boundaries which align with the United States census. Community areas were originally defined in the 1920s by social scientists at the University of Chicago and are still used by the City of Chicago today.

Comparison Schools

Comparison schools have similar ninth grade students and geographic proximity. These are schools that are expected to have a similar high school graduation rate based on the characteristics their students had when they started high school that matter most for graduating high school. Comparison schools without data are not included in the comparison school average.

Core Courses

Core courses are English and Language Arts, Science, Math and Social Studies.

Eighth Grade Success Categories

Grades and attendance categories were developed by the Network for College Success using 2014 research from the UChicago Consortium about the 8th grade academic characteristics that are predictive of students’ freshman outcomes. The framework breaks students into groups based on their eighth grade attendance and grades. These groups enable schools to strategically support students in the transition from 8th grade to high school. [[MORE:opp_groups]]

8th Grade Attendance ≥ 98% ≥ 95% ≥ 90% ≥ 80% < 80% 8th Grade Core GPA 0–1.0 1.0–2.0 2.0–3.0 3.0–4.0 Highest grades AND highest attendance High grades OR high attendance Low grades OR low attendance Low grades AND low attendance

High Grades AND High Attendance Students

Students whose 8th grade attainment indicates that they have the capacity to be very successful during their freshman year. These students had at least a 95 percent attendance rate and a 3.0 GPA in eighth grade. [[MORE:opp_groups]]

High Grades OR High Attendance Students

Students whose 8th grade attainment indicates that they are likely to be successful during their freshman year. These students had at least a 98 percent attendance rate and a 2.0 – 3.0 GPA or a 95 percent to 98 percent attendance rate and at least a 3.0 GPA in eighth grade. [[MORE:opp_groups]]

Low Grades OR Low Attendance Students

Students whose 8th grade attainment indicates that they may need additional support to be successful during their freshman year. During eighth grade, these students fell into one of the following groups: At least a 3.0 GPA and an attendance rate of 80 percent to 90 percent; GPA of 2.0-3.0 and an attendance rate of 90 percent to 95 percent; GPA of 1.0-2.0 and an attendance rate of at least 95 percent. [[MORE:opp_groups]]

Low Grades AND Low Attendance Students

Students whose 8th grade attainment indicates that they are likely to need significant support to be on-track during their freshman year. During eighth grade, these students fell into one of the following groups: GPA of 2.0-3.0 and an attendance rate below 90 percent; GPA of 1.0-2.0 and an attendance rate of below 95 percent; A GPA of 0.0-1.0, regardless of their attendance rate. [[MORE:opp_groups]]

Freshman Enrollment

The number of first-time, full-time freshmen enrolled in Chicago Public Schools, including students in charter schools. Students attending private school are not in this data tool.

Gender

Historically, data has been collected in a way that groups students into one of two categories: male and female. We hope in the future to be able to report data that more fully and accurately describes the identities of CPS students.

GPA (Freshman Core GPA)

Freshman core grade point averages (GPAs) are calculated as the unweighted average of a student’s grades in freshman core courses. This includes only courses in Math, English, Science, and Social Studies.

GPA (Cumulative Graduating GPA)

Cumulative graduating grade point averages (GPAs) are calculated as the unweighted average of a student’s entire credit-bearing load. All high school graduation GPA calculations are cumulative and include both core and non-core courses.

High School Graduation

The proportion of first-time ninth-graders who graduate high school in four years, including the summer after their fourth year. A student’s graduation is counted towards the graduation rate of the community area or high school where that student began and finished their first year in the school district. Students who transfer into CPS high schools are included with their corresponding ninth-grade cohort. Students who transfer out of CPS are not included in the high school graduation rate. The To&Through Project uses a high school graduation rate that includes students who graduated through Options schools (i.e., alternative schools).

High School Types

Neighborhood School

CPS schools that have a defined attendance boundary. All CPS students have an assigned high school based on their residential address. If a student lives within a schools’ attendance boundary, it is known as their “assigned neighborhood school”. Some neighborhood schools also accept students who do not live within their attendance boundary.

Neighborhood — Assigned

Students who attend a neighborhood school and have a residential address within that school’s attendance boundaries.

Neighborhood — Other

Students who attend a neighborhood school and who have a residential address outside of that school’s attendance boundaries.

Charter School

CPS schools that are publicly funded but independently run. All CPS charter schools are open enrollment, meaning students from any neighborhood are eligible for enrollment via a lottery system.

Selective Enrollment School

CPS schools that admit students from across the city. Students must apply to gain admission; criteria for admission include students’ grades and scores on standardized tests and an entrance exam, and the majority of seats are allocated according to a tiered system based on socioeconomic status. No student is guaranteed a seat based on their home address.

Citywide School

CPS schools that do not have a defined attendance boundary. Some may offer preferential admittance to students from within a certain area.

Military Academy / Service Learning Academy School

Open enrollment CPS high schools that specialize in JROTC programming; students must meet a minimum standardized test score for admission.

Options Schools

Non-traditional CPS high schools that serve students outside of traditional school-day structures.

Specialty Schools

CPS schools that provide educational, therapeutic, and sometimes residential services to special education students with serious or complicated clinical needs.

Other Schools

Other CPS schools that do not have specified attendance boundaries. Some, such as magnet schools, may have a curriculum specialized in a particular area - for example, fine & performing arts, STEM, or language – while others do not have a particular curricular focus. Some may have test score and/or GPA requirements for admission, while others do not have any criteria for admission.

Institutional Graduation Rate

The proportion of full-time, first-time college freshmen who earned a bachelor’s degree within six years. Data on institutional graduation rates come from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), which is collected by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.

Insufficient Data for Degree Attainment Index

There is not enough data to calculate the Postsecondary Attainment Index, most likely because one or more of the factors is unavailable or suppressed.

Left School

Students who transfer outside of the district (both verified and unverified transfers).

Low Outcome

Fewer than 5 or 5 percent of students achieved the outcome, so data is suppressed in order to preserve student anonymity.

Missing OnTrack

Missing on-track data refers to students missing course credit or grade data for one or more semesters. These are often students who transferred into this district from another district or were previously enrolled in a charter school.

N/A

An N/A label means that the data is unavailable.

Not Shown

Fewer than 10 students are in the student group, so this rate has been suppressed in order to protect students’ privacy.

Networks

Schools within CPS are organized into networks, which are led by a Chief and have a small staff which provides an additional layer of support to their schools.

On-Track

A student is on-track if they fail no more than one semester of a core course and earns at least 5 credits by the end of ninth-grade. The Freshman OnTrack rate does not include ninth-graders who attended charter schools because the district did not receive ninth-grade grades from charter schools until recently.

Off-Track

A student is off-track if they fail more than one semester of a core course and earns fewer than 5 credits by the end of freshman year.

Postsecondary Attainment Index

The Postsecondary Attainment Index (PAI) provides an estimate of the proportion of ninth-graders who will earn any college degree or certificate within 10 years of starting high school. Like the BDAI, this index accounts for students who delay college entry or enroll in a two-year college; in addition, it accounts for students who do not earn a bachelor’s degree, but do earn an associate’s degree or certificate. The PAI uses current rates of high school graduation, any college enrollment, and any college completion. When a degree completion rate for a particular category of students is not calculable for a given school because of insufficient group size, we substitute the district-level degree completion rate for students in the same category.

Postsecondary Attainment Index Unavailable

There is not enough data to calculate the Postsecondary Attainment Index, most likely because one or more of the factors is unavailable or suppressed.

Race/Ethnicity

CPS administrative records group students into the following race/ethnicity categories: African-American, Asian, Hispanic, Multiracial, Native American/Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander/Hawaiian, White, and Not Available. Because some of these categories contain so few students that showing trends on the tool would not be practical, To&Through consolidates these categories into the following: Asian (which includes students in the Asian and Pacific Islander/Hawaiian categories), Black, Latino, Multiracial, Native American/Alaskan Native, White, and Not Available.

We acknowledge that the race/ethnicity categories available in our data do not accurately reflect the full spectrum of races and ethnicities embodied by CPS students and that they mask diversity within racial groups. We hope in the future to be able to report data that more fully and accurately describes the identities of CPS students.

Regions

Regions are combinations of several neighboring community areas (see above for the definition of “community area”). These groupings are used to describe different parts of the city, but are not intended to reflect official or natural geographic divisions.

Students’ College Access Level Groups

Students’ college access levels are based on 2006 research from the UChicago Consortium about the academic qualifications of students that make them likely to be accepted to colleges with different levels of selectivity. The framework breaks students into different groups based on their graduating GPA and ACT scores (or converted SAT scores). Students with selective access are likely to be accepted to selective and very selective four-year colleges, students with somewhat selective access are likely to be accepted to somewhat selective and non-selective four-year colleges, and students with two-year access are likely to be accepted to two-year colleges. These groups enable students to understand where they may be most likely to gain admission, and help schools to understand the enrollment patterns for students with different college access levels. [[MORE:qual_groups]]

Composite SAT Scores Missing SAT < 960 960 – 1050 1060 – 1150 1160+ Unweighted GPA in Core Courses < 2.0 2.0–2.4 2.5–2.9 3.0–3.4 3.5–4.0 Students with Selective College Access Students with Somewhat Selective College Access Students with Limited College Access Two-year colleges Two-year colleges Non-selective four-year colleges Non-selective four-year colleges Somewhat selective colleges Somewhat selective colleges Somewhat selective colleges Somewhat selective colleges Somewhat selective colleges Selective colleges Selective colleges Selective colleges Selective / very selective colleges Selective / very selective colleges Selective / very selective colleges Very selective colleges Very selective colleges Selective / very selective colleges Selective / very selective colleges Selective colleges Selective colleges Somewhat selective colleges Somewhat selective colleges Somewhat selective colleges Non-selective four-year colleges

Students with Selective College Access

Students whose GPA and ACT scores (or converted SAT scores) suggest they have at least a 50 percent chance of being admitted to selective or very selective four-year colleges (based on Barron’s selectivity categories). [[MORE:qual_groups]]

Students with Somewhat Selective College Access

Students whose GPA and ACT scores (or converted SAT scores) suggest they have at least a 50 percent chance of being admitted to somewhat selective four-year colleges (based on Barron’s selectivity categories). [[MORE:qual_groups]]

Students with Two-Year College Access

Seniors whose GPA and ACT scores (or converted SAT scores) give them access to non-selective or two-year colleges. [[MORE:qual_groups]]

Underrepresented Minority Graduation Rate

The Underrepresented Minority graduation rate describes the graduation rate (at 150 percent of standard time, so 3 years for students in 2-year colleges and 6 years for students in 4-year colleges) for students whose race/ethnicity is described in the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPED) data as one of the following: Black or African American, Hispanic, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander.

Unexpected Value

An unexpected value was reported. This is an internal error due to an issue in the dataset. Please report the issue to toandthrough@uchicago.edu.

Data Sources

UChicago CCSR’s archive of CPS administrative records includes student demographics, test scores, course grades, and high school graduation records. With the exception of course grades used to compute GPAs, all of these data are available for charter school students.

Data from the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) are used for all college enrollment and college completion rates. The NSC houses enrollment and graduation records for colleges throughout the United States and covers 98 percent of all postsecondary enrollments nationally, including undocumented immigrants. Data on the institutional graduation rates of the colleges attended by CPS graduates are from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), which collects data from all colleges that participate in federal student financial aid programs. Selectivity categories are based on ratings from Barron’s Profiles of American Colleges (2012). All of these data are available for charter school graduates.

Rates shown on this tool may not match those calculated by CPS, both for SQRP or other purposes. The To&Through Project and CPS use slightly different rules when calculating these rates.

This site provides applications using data that has been modified for use from its original source, www.cityofchicago.org, the official website of the City of Chicago. The City of Chicago makes no claims as to the content, accuracy, timeliness, or completeness of any of the data provided at this site. The data provided at this site is subject to change at any time. It is understood that the data provided at this site is being used at one’s own risk.

American Community Survey five-year estimates

This source provides information on the entire population of Chicago and is released by the US Census Bureau on a yearly basis; it is separate from the decennial census. The American Community Survey is a long-form survey given to a select sample of households and therefore has a margin of error. If the margin of error is higher than the estimate itself, the estimate is not shown in the table. The five-year estimates, though not as temporally specific as one-year estimates, were chosen because they provide greater spatial accuracy.