Freshman Enrollment in CPS

27,486 first-time freshmen enrolled in CPS in 2020–2021.

Freshman OnTrack in CPS

86% of CPS’s 2020–2021 first-time freshmen were on-track to graduate from high school in 4 years.

High School Graduation in CPS

83% of CPS’s 2016–2017 first-time freshmen graduated high school by spring of 2020.

College Enrollment in CPS

58% of CPS’s 2020 high school graduates enrolled in college in fall of 2020.

College Persistence in CPS

63% of CPS’s 2018 high school graduates who enrolled in college in fall of 2018 were continuously enrolled through spring of 2020.

College Completion in CPS

46% of CPS’s 2014 high school graduates who immediately enrolled in college completed a degree or credential by spring of 2020.

Students’ 8th grade grades and attendance are the strongest predictors of their academic performance in high school—stronger than test scores, disciplinary history, study habits, or background characteristics. Knowing that the transition to high school can be challenging for all students, data on past performance can help educators ensure that students with high 8th grade GPAs and attendance maintain their strong performance as freshmen, while students with lower 8th grade GPAs or attendance receive additional supports in high school in order to get on-track as freshmen. It is important to remember, however, that despite its predictivity, 8th grade GPA and attendance should in no way limit the opportunities of individuals or groups of high school students.

Students who are on-track at the end of ninth grade are nearly three times more likely to graduate from high school than students who are off-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 freshman year. Additionally, only students who earn a 3.0 GPA or above in high school have at least a 50 percent chance of graduating from a four-year college within six years.

Graduating high school with a high level of academic achievement is among the most important markers along the road to college success. Students who graduate from high school with a GPA of 3.0 or above have at least a 50 percent probability of graduating from a four-year college within six years. In order to graduate from high school on time, students must earn a minimum of 24 credits.

Students’ choice of college influences their likelihood of earning a college degree. Students who choose a college with a strong track record of graduating its students are more likely to earn a college degree or credential.

Students who remain continuously enrolled through the first two years of college are more likely to complete a degree or credential.

Completing a college degree or certificate is increasingly a prerequisite for social and economic stability in the 21st century. The college completion rate is the critical benchmark for thinking about the ultimate success of a high school’s efforts to increase the educational attainment of its students.