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Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza Announce Record High 48,782 New York City Students Enrolling in College

November 21, 2019

College enrollment hits record high of 62 percent of graduating students, an 11 percentage point increase since the start of this administration

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza released the announced that a record-high 48,782 students in the Class of 2018 enrolled in college, up approximately 8,000 students since the start of the administration and approximately 3,600 students compared to the year prior. College enrollment is at its highest ever – 62 percent of New York City’s Class of 2018 (students entering 9th grade in Fall 2014) enrolled in a two- or four-year college, vocational program, or public service program after graduation, up 3 percentage points from the previous year and up 11 percentage points from the Class of 2013.

“Our schools launch our kids to successful futures, and now more students than ever are enrolled in college and taking another step toward fulfilling their potential. We are making sure our students know college isn’t just for a select few and that zip code no longer determines who gets to go,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“The numbers are in and the results are clear: in New York City, more students are enrolling in college and on a path to success. Our schools are assisting at every turn by building college and career-ready cultures, eliminating barriers such as application fees, and helping students directly apply. This is Equity and Excellence in action, and I’m so proud of students, educators and families,” said Chancellor Richard A. Carranza.

The Equity and Excellence for All agenda has improved outcomes for students year after year, ensuring every high school has resources for students to graduate with a college and career plan and every middle school is providing students with early exposure to college campuses and school-based events promoting the pursuit of higher education. Measures of college readiness for the Class of 2018 also improved – 51 percent of all students in the Class of 2018 graduated college ready, defined as graduating high school on time and meeting CUNY’s standards for college readiness in English and Math. The graduation rate for the Class of 2018 reached a record-high of 75.9 percent.

Through College Access for All, more students are completing key milestones and directly applying to college: they are visiting a college campus with their high school, taking the SAT, applying to college, applying for financial aid, and enrolling in college and postsecondary programs. The initiative has also removed financial obstacles for students. In the Class of 2018, 44,944 students redeemed fee waivers through CUNY, allowing them to apply for free. That same school year, 80 percent of juniors participated in SAT school day, taking the exam in school free of charge.

As a result, more students are enrolling in programs at CUNY, SUNY, New York State private colleges and out of state colleges. In addition to increases in college enrollment and college readiness, the 2018-19 School Quality Reports, released today, give families a clear, concise picture of the quality of each school, and the School Quality Guide provides more detailed information intended for schools to use to inform their planning efforts.

The School Quality Reports are available on the DOE and individual school websites Executive Superintendents and Superintendents are able to use data and information from the Reports to make informed decisions about which targeted supports will be most useful to schools.

The School Quality Snapshot is available as a searchable web-based and mobile-ready tool, so families can easily search for schools and information, including from their phones. The tool is available in more than 100 languages through Google Translate, and has screen-reader compatibility making it more accessible for individuals with disabilities.

School Quality Report data is also included on the School Performance Dashboard, an interactive data tool that shows data for each school over time. The School Quality Reports were updated in 2015 to align to the Framework for Great Schools, the DOE’s research-based approach to school improvement, and continue to be refined based on feedback from school leaders and communities as well as analysis conducted internally and by external researchers. Schools with strong 2018 Framework ratings were nine times more likely to substantially improve student achievement in 2019, demonstrating that schools with a focus on improving the elements of the Framework are more likely to see improvement in student achievement. 

Mayor de Blasio’s Equity and Excellence for All initiatives are promoting increased college readiness and access to postsecondary options across all five boroughs. This specifically includes the College Access for All, AP for All, Algebra for All, and Single Shepherd initiatives.

Together, the Equity and Excellence for All initiatives are building a pathway to success in college and careers for all students. Our schools are starting earlier – free, full-day, high-quality education for three-year-olds and four-year-olds through 3-K for All and Pre-K for All. They are strengthening foundational skills and instruction earlier – Universal Literacy so that every student is reading on grade level by the end of 2nd grade; and Algebra for All to improve elementary- and middle-school math instruction and ensure that all 8th graders have access to algebra. They are offering students more challenging, hands-on, college and career-aligned coursework – Computer Science for All brings 21st-century computer science instruction to every school, and AP for All will give all high school students access to at least five Advanced Placement courses. Along the way, they are giving students and families additional support through College Access for All, Single Shepherd, and investment in Community Schools. Efforts to create more diverse and inclusive classrooms, including Equity & Excellence for All: Diversity in New York City Public Schools are central to this pathway.

More information about the School Quality Reports, including reports for individual schools, training materials, and a link to the School Performance Dashboard, is available online.

“Higher education is a gateway to higher incomes, fulfilling careers, and the numerous tangible and intangible ways for students to be empowered and access social mobility. I commend Mayor de Blasio, Chancellor Carranza, and all the educators and students who have helped achieve this year’s record-high levels of college enrollment in New York City. While much remains to be done to tackle the lack of quality education as a main contributor to the systemic inequalities many of our youth and communities are up against, initiatives like the Equity and Excellence for All and the a College for All agendas play an important role in breaking down those barriers, righting historic wrongs, and opening meaningful, life-changing opportunities for our students,” said Senator Luis Sepulveda.

“I applaud Mayor de Blasio and his forwarding thinking Equity and Excellence agenda that has worked to significantly improve academic outcomes for students across our city. Though there is much more to be done to close the sprawling achievement gap, I am encouraged by the progress the Mayor has made for our students and their families, and I remain eager to support his efforts in any way that I can,” said Senator Kevin Parker. 

"Congratulations to all 48,782 graduates of our New York City schools who enrolled in college-8,000 more students than last year. This record high number is a testament to the strength and intelligence of New York City's students, and I congratulate Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza for their work to make this a reality," said State Senator Brad Hoylman.

"NYC students and their families work so hard and overcome so many obstacles to achieve success.  Our job in government is to provide them with adequate funding and effective school governance to let them succeed.  Congratulations to all principals, teachers, Chancellor Carranza and Mayor de Blasio on their efforts.  More to come as we continue to focus on equity and excellence" said Deputy Speaker Catherine Nolan.

"It is encouraging to see the heightened numbers of students enrolling in higher education. It is also critically important that we continue to equip all students with the tools to accomplish their college and career aspirations, both academically and financially. We all understand that education is the essential pathway to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today," said Assembly Member Charles D. Fall.

"More New York kids graduating high school and more of them going on to college is really great news," said Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried.  "We're moving in the right direction."

"I am happy to see college enrollment of New York City students trending in a positive direction. It is heartening that the City has removed many economic barriers to applying for college, so that all students can get the opportunity to get into college regardless of their economic background. Thank you to the Mayor's Office for prioritizing this initiative," said Assembly Member Michael DenDekker.

Assistant Speaker Felix W Ortiz said, “A college education opens the door to countless opportunities. I am pleased that so many of our high school students are applying to college this year. Let’s continue to emphasize the need for higher education as a meaningful experience towards a more productive future.”

“I am elated and proud at what Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza have been able to accomplish with their diligence in pushing the Equity and Excellence for All agenda. 48,782 New York City students enrolling in College is no easy feat. It means that our city is working in unison to put our children first and higher education at the forefront. Congratulations to everyone and for their hard work - the dreams of so many are now New York’s reality,” said Assemblymember Alicia Hyndman.

"All students deserve a quality education and access to resources for advancement. Today's announcement is a testament to our faculty and staff preparing our children for success in college and in their future careers," said Council Member Mark Treyger, Chair of the Committee on Education. "Let's continue to provide our students with the knowledge, skills and social foundations that they need for success in both college and work."

"Cultivating the next generation of leaders and change makers always starts in the classroom. The record-breaking achievements our City has reached to graduate students and enroll them in college are testament to the strong  investments prompted by the Equity and Excellence for All initiative to build inclusive classrooms and remove the barriers preventing students from meeting their full potential - I'm excited to see these numbers soar even higher in the years to come," said Council Member Margaret S. Chin.

"Our children are the future of New York City and we need to invest in our students every chance we get," said Council Member Adrienne Adams. "I am so proud that we have hit a record high for students enrolled in college. This directly reflects on the hard work and effort being made by the Department of Education's administrators, teachers, and service personnel that keep improving our education system."

"New York City is home to really smart young people. This year's record number of high school students headed to college is proof of that," said Council Member Ben Kallos. "This administration's Equity and Excellence for All agenda has been a success story for many students who otherwise would have missed out on the opportunities presented by a college education. Thank you to Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza for being committed to this initiative and getting results."

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