• Unequal Opportunity in Illinois: A Look at Who Graduates College and Why It Matters

    Unequal Opportunity in Illinois: A Look at Who Graduates College and Why It Matters

    Our new report reveals persistent achievement gaps and highlights how college is becoming more unaffordable for low-income students and students of color in Illinois.

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  • Catalyzing and championing policies, systems and practices that ensure all students in and around Chicago - particularly low-income, first generation students - graduate from college and achieve their career aspirations.

  • Catalyzing and championing policies, systems and practices that ensure all students in and around Chicago - particularly low-income, first generation students - graduate from college and achieve their career aspirations.

  • Catalyzing and championing policies, systems and practices that ensure all students in and around Chicago - particularly low-income, first generation students - graduate from college and achieve their career aspirations.

37%

37%

university

Completion rates across the state for all low-income students who begin college are 37%, compared to 75% for their wealthier peers.

16 %

16 %

united states

In our community colleges, on average, only 21 % of all first-time, full-time students & 16% of low-income students will graduate within 3 years.

How we accelerate action to close the graduation gap:

Public Awareness

Public Awareness

Increase understanding, elevate public discussion,and create a greater sense of urgency related to increasing graduation outcomes through public reporting of data and championing successful efforts.

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Technical Support

Technical Support

Expand and Scale implementation of evidence-based approaches to increasing graduation rates at colleges and universites throughtout the region and at public universities accross the state.

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Public Policy

Public Policy

Lead, guide, and support local, state, and national legislative and administrative policy efforts to catalyze institutional reforms that accelerate and prioritize student success.

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Illinois In Context

Illinois In Context




Nationally, Illinois higher education achievement results are mixed. In 2013, Illinois' public universities ranked 13th in the nation with an average graduation rate of 62%. Community college graduation rates on the other hand ranked 19th with a completion rate of 22%.

Achievement gaps

Achievement gaps

Achievement gaps within many Illinois institutions range from 8% to 20% between Pell-eligible students and non-Pell eligible.
College completion crisis

College completion crisis

Illinois, like the nation, faces a college completion crisis. In 2015, 64% of students were graduating high school and enrolling in college, while only 28% were completing their programs at any college after 6 years.
Underrepresented student groups

Underrepresented student groups

At the majority of Illinois’ public universities, completion rates for low-income, first-generation and other underrepresented student groups range from 16% to 56%.
College student loss

College student loss

In 2015-2016, 16,461 residents left Illinois to attend other colleges, while only 2,117 residents of other states chose to attend Illinois’ public universities. Approximately 6,600 fewer students were enrolled in Illinois’ public universities this year than last.

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