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The educational attainment of Chicago Public Schools students: A focus on four-year college degrees

Author(s):Healey, K., Nagaoka, J., & Michelman, V.
Organization(s): University of Chicago Consortium on School Research (UChicagoCCSR)
Description:While 75 percent of Chicago Public School (CPS) high school students aspire to attain a four-year college degree, 2006 data showed that few achieved this goal. This December 2014 research brief from the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research updates this data, called the "degree attainment index" and describes three key milestones that comprise it including high school graduation, four-year college enrollment, and bachelor's degree completion. The 2014 degree attainment matrix is 14 percent, meaning that out of 100 CPS ninth-graders, 14 will earn a four-year college degree within 10 years of beginning high school. However, the degree attainment index only captures students who immediately transition into a four-year program following high school graduation. Therefore, an "adjusted degree attainment index" was created to account for alternative routes. Using this index, the percentage of CPS students completing a four-year degree by their mid-twenties increased to 17 percent. Compared to other urban school districts, or the nation as a whole, CPS's degree attainment is similar or higher than reported rates.
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