September 12, 2023

New Research Shows KIPP Public Schools are Closing the College Completion Gap

(September 12th, 2023)

 A new Mathematica study released today titled “Long-Term Impacts of KIPP Middle and High Schools on College Enrollment, Persistence, and Attainment” shows that the impact of attending a KIPP middle and high school, could close the college completion gap between white, Black and Latinx students. Outlined below are some key findings from the study.

Key Findings of the Study:

  • Students who attended both KIPP middle and high school were nearly twice as likely to persist and graduate from a four-year college than those who did not. This is the first independent study of KIPP Public Schools’ long-term impact spanning 15 years.
  • Students who attended KIPP for both middle school and high school were 67% more likely to enroll in a four-year college than those who did not go to KIPP.
  • KIPP schools are closing the college completion gap. The impact of attending a KIPP middle and high school, extrapolated nationwide, would be large enough to close the degree completion gap for Black students and nearly close the degree completion gap for Latinx students in the United States.

The study followed 2,066 students from ten regions, including KIPP Academy Lynn, who applied to join KIPP in 5th and 6th grade via an admissions lottery. These students graduated from high school in the classes of 2016, 2017, and 2019. The students’ college enrollments, college persistence, and degree completion were tracked through the Spring of 2022. The 2023 study builds upon Mathematica’s earlier 2019 study that looked at KIPP middle school’s impact on college enrollment and persistence rates. The findings from the 2023 study supersede the 2019 study.

Mathematica researchers also conducted interviews with 10 KIPP school counselors and staff in the regions represented in the study to determine what factors may have contributed to the positive results. Researchers attribute KIPP’s large, positive, statistically significant, meaningful impacts to:

  • A rigorous high school experience and college-going culture
  • Robust support in the college application and financial aid processes
  • Continued support for KIPP alumni

The Mathematica study supports KIPP’s internal analysis that suggests the longer students stay at KIPP, the better the outcomes. This data is also proof that KIPP’s high school and match strategy is really making a difference in students’ postsecondary trajectory.

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