Jodi S. Cohen and Darnell Little, Chicago Tribune, April 21, 2006
Of every 100 freshmen entering a Chicago public high school, only about six will earn a bachelor’s degree by the time they’re in their mid-20s, according to a first-of-its-kind study released Thursday by the Consortium on Chicago School Research.
The prospects are even worse for African-American and Latino male freshmen, who only have about a 3 percent chance of obtaining a bachelor’s degree by the time they’re 25.
The study, which tracked Chicago high school students who graduated in 1998 and 1999, also found that making it to college doesn’t ensure success: Of the city public school students who went to a four-year college, only about 35 percent earned a bachelor’s degree within six years, compared with 64 percent nationally.
— Students who graduated from high school with a grade-point average below 3.0 were unlikely to graduate within six years, lacking the study skills that contribute to college success. Only about 16 percent of students with a high school GPA between 2.1 and 2.5 graduated during that time, compared with 63 percent of students who had a 3.6 GPA or better.
— African-American and Latino students from Chicago high schools have the lowest graduation rates — lower than the national average for those groups and lower than their white and Asian peers from Chicago. Just 22 percent of African-American males who began at a four-year college graduated within six years.