Focus on College Completion


Critical Factors for College Completion

We are often asked what distinguishes KIPP’s four-year college graduates from the KIPP students who do not enroll in college, or who start but do not finish. Rigorous research and our own early experience have helped us understand the factors instrumental to KIPP students’ college success. These findings were first published in our College Completion Report and include:

ACADEMIC READINESS

A rigorous education is one that keeps the end in mind, and ensures that all students are prepared for the demands of higher education. At KIPP, we recognize that academic readiness is rooted in excellent teaching. 

A POWERFUL SET OF CHARACTER STRENGTHS

Character strengths including grit, self-control, social intelligence (including self-advocacy), zest, optimism, and gratitude, that enable students to stick with college even in the face of considerable obstacles. "Work hard. Be nice." is more than just a motto.

THE RIGHT MATCH

Choosing the right higher education institution is key to a student's college success. Graduation rates vary widely among institutions at all levels of competitiveness. KIPP is building partnerships with colleges and universities in order to help improve college completion rates.

SOCIAL AND ACADEMIC INTEGRATION

Integration through study groups, campus clubs, alumni contacts, and activities that enhance a  student’s college experience and help him or her resist negative pressure to leave school. KIPP Through College offers a variety of local and national supports.

COLLEGE AFFORDABILITY AND FINANCIAL UNDERSTANDING

It can be challenging for families to get accurate information about college financing. KTC advisors help students navigate the challenge of paying for college.


KIPP College Completion Report

At KIPP, teachers, leaders, students, and parents are all united around the same goal: college graduation.

While we know that not every student will choose to attend a four-year college, the skills necessary to get into and succeed in college are essential to creating greater opportunity and self-sufficiency. Far too many smart, hard-working students from low-income backgrounds are not being prepared for college, and those who are attending are not graduating at the rates of higher-income peers. While making it to college is an important step, our goal is to equip our students with the skills needed to graduate from college.

In an effort to demonstrate how our KIPP alumni were faring after they left our schools, the KIPP Foundation published The Promise of College Completion: KIPP’s Early Successes and Challenges in 2011. This report detailed the college completion rates from the first two KIPP middle schools and offered a clearer picture of the challenges students from low-income communities face on the path to a degree, as well as the factors that help them succeed. The 2012 Alumni Data Update shows that KIPP alumni are graduating college at rates that exceed national averages and are approximately four times the rates of their low-income peers.