NOBLE BREAKS NETWORK RECORD WITH 2015
GRADUATING CLASS OF OVER 1,500 STUDENTS
Send-off celebration held for seniors who have received more than 10,400 college acceptances and over $325 million in scholarships, grants was a success.
The Noble Network of Charter Schools is celebrating its largest class of graduating seniors to date – over 1,500 students from 10 campuses. All of the graduating seniors, nearly all of whom are minorities and from low-income communities, were accepted to a four-year university and, historically, more than 90 percent will enroll in college this fall. Before graduation, the seniors from schools across the Noble network met those with whom they will be attending college in the fall during a send-off celebration Wednesday, May 27.
“Graduation is a celebration of a student’s accomplishments to date as well as a recognition of the opportunities that will become available after completing the next step in their education – earning a college degree,” said Noble CEO and Founder Michael Milkie. “Noble schools focus not only on the academics needed to complete high school but also the life skills a student needs to be successful in both college and life.”
Noble graduates were accepted to some of the country’s best colleges and universities, including University of Michigan, Northwestern, Howard University, Dartmouth College, Stanford University, Wellesley College, University of Chicago and more. Collectively, these graduating seniors received over $325 million in institutional grants and scholarships. The overwhelming majority of these students will be the first in their family to go to college when they enroll this fall. Students had the opportunity to connect with others who are attending the same university they will attend in the fall. This meeting helped to provide students the chance to build a support network for their journey to and through college.
There were over 1,500 Noble seniors, teachers, parents and network leadership as well as special guests Jessica Donofrio of ABC7, local spoken word artist Anthony Briscoe, and Noble CEO and Founder Michael Milkie. Brenda Cora, principal of Rowe-Clark Math & Science Academy, and Kristopher Coachman, a founding class graduate from Johnson College Prep who just finished his first year at the University of Virginia, served as co-master of ceremonies at the May 27th commencement ceremonies.
The commencement was a celebration of seniors’ success in being accepted to and choosing which college they will be attending in the fall. Seniors from 10 Noble schools who will be attending the same colleges this fall were able to meet and make connections. It enable students to connect with others who will be in attendance at the college of their choice.
Noble offers long-term stability as well as unique opportunities, which have led to its success in preparing students for college. A recent WBEZ study found up to 80 percent of Noble students remained at the same high school for four years. Noble offers various support throughout high school like College Seminar, Summer of a Lifetime and the College Completion Standards, which help Noble students reverse an alarming national statistic – 11 percent of low-income students in the country are expected to graduate from college. Currently, Noble alumni – who are 95 percent African American or Latino, with more than 89 percent having qualified for federal free or reduced price meals – graduate college three times the rate of comparable students.
With thousands of alumni in college, Noble has developed a variety of support services that will help students earn their college degree. All Noble campuses with graduates now have at least one full-time alumni coordinator, whose sole job is to support graduates in college. And, starting this fall, 14 colleges across the country, including five in Illinois, have agreed to partner with Noble to close the financial aid gap for 70 undocumented Noble students in the Pritzker Access Scholarship program. Last week, Noble was recognized as a finalist for the Broad Prize for being one of the top three charter school systems in the country.
Enrollment opportunities are still available at Noble campuses for freshmen and sophomore transfer students starting this fall. Spaces are being filled on a first come, first serve basis.
Noble (www.noblenetwork.org) is Chicago’s largest and highest performing network of public high schools. Last year, Noble campuses were eight of the top 10 open enrollment public high schools in Chicago and more than 90 percent of graduates matriculated to college this year. Noble is a non-selective network serving more than 10,000 students throughout Chicago at 16 campuses. Noble campuses are located in some of Chicago’s highest need communities and serve a student population that is 89 percent low-income and 98 percent minority. As a public non-selective high school, there are no testing requirements for enrollment at any of Noble’s campuses.