Chicago studies "potholes" on the road to college

March 21, 2008

In Chicago, just 8% of high school students gain a college degree by their mid-20s. Although 83% say they want to pursue PSE, 40% of those never even apply. A new three-year study out of the University of Chicago has found that critical factors include a "college-going culture" at the high school, and steady support from teachers and guidance counsellors through the financial aid and application process. (One pilot program assigns a counsellor to incoming grade 9s for 5 years, through their first year of PSE.) Simplifying the financial aid application process could make a big difference to participation rates. Christian Science Monitor