The April 2011 release of KIPP’s College Completion Report changed the No Excuses narrative almost instantly from “college acceptance” to “college completion.” A bold and laudable exercise in transparency, the report gave ammunition to KIPP’s boosters and critics alike. KIPP has held fast to the idea that college is indispensable.Thirty-three percent of the earliest cohorts of KIPP middle-school students were found to have graduated college within six years, four times the average rate of students from underserved communities and slightly higher than the figure (31 percent) for U. The goal remains to see 75 percent of graduates earn a four-year college degree, comparable to the rate at which top-income-quartile students graduate.
Three years from now that figure will explode, with 10,000 KIPP alumni on America’s campuses.
KIPP’s rapidly growing “KIPP Through College” program offers support programs and services stretching from middle school through college and beyond, including high school and college placement, financial literacy, mentorships, college and career advisement, and one-to-one support from some of the 100 full-time KIPP staff doing college counseling and support work throughout its network.
KIPP’s recipe for getting students “to and through college” is about to be put to the test, if not quite at scale then in unprecedented numbers.
KIPP chief executive officer Richard Barth takes care to manage expectations for how this “KIPP bubble” cohort will perform.
The 75 percent figure is a “long-term play” and does not apply yet.