The KIPP public charter school network prides itself on its mission of putting disadvantaged students on the path to a college degree.
But a new survey of thousands of KIPP alumni nationwide has found that many of these students face daunting financial hurdles once they get to college, including worries about where they will get their next meal, and whether they can find work-study jobs and internships in line with their career goals.
The survey of former KIPP students who are now in college offers a window to a crucial slice of the higher education market. The vast majority of KIPP students come from low-income families. Most are Hispanic or African American. Many of their parents do not have college degrees. As a result, these students are a sample of some of the most vulnerable populations on any college campus.
The KIPP Foundation, which supports a network of about 200 schools nationwide, sent surveys via email and text message to about 10,000 former students who finished at least eighth grade in a KIPP middle school, or 12th grade in a high school within the network. The foundation was able to analyze 2,969 answers from KIPP alumni in college.