Despite a great deal of interest and research focused on improving college outcomes for our target population, college enrollment and completion rates for Chicago public high school students remain tragically low. According to a research brief released from the Urban Education Institute at the University of Chicago in June 2016, less than 1 out of 5 (18%) Chicago Public high school freshmen will earn their bachelor’s degree within 10 years of starting high school.
This statistic underscores the huge need and opportunity for Bottom Line to help improve Chicago's college enrollment and completion rates. Access to the one-on-one support from our full-time, trained advisors will set Chicago's low-income students on a path to be accepted to a 4-year institution and successfully earn a college degree.
In the 2014-2015 school year, our inaugural year, we served 150 high school and college students across our Access and Success programs. During this year 100% of our high school seniors were accepted to college (97% to a 4-year institution) and 96% of our college students persisted into their second year.
In our second year, we scaled our reach by doubling the number of students served to 345 with 100% of our high school seniors accepted to college (97% to a 4-year institution) and 90% of our college students persisting into their second year.
In the 2016-17 school year, we scaled our reach in Chicago by nearly doubling the number of students served to 682 students, and in 2017-18 we served more than 1,000 students. This year we are on our way to serving nearly 1,400 high school and college students and plan to annually serve nearly 2,000 students by 2021.