Number of high schoolers enrolling in college has increased: DOE

Photos by Todd Maisel

The number of high school seniors enrolling in college continues to increase, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio and School Chancellor Richard Carranza.

From 2018 to 2019, about 8 percent more students enrolled in higher education. Last year, only 62 percent of high school seniors enrolled, they said.

The mayor and chancellor announced the figures on Thursday in Brooklyn, stating that a total of 48,782 seniors decided to pursue college after graduating this spring, which was an increase of 3,600 students from 2018’s enrollment numbers.

According to the DOE, 27,783 high school seniors are enrolled in a CUNY school; 8,241 at SUNY; 4,637 at an out-of-state school; and 6,858 at an in-state private school. An additional 1,263 are enrolled in vocational, public service programs like AmeriCorp or the City Year volunteer corp, or are receiving associates degrees in partnership with the DOE.

The inclusion of students off to vocational school and public service programs is typically incorporated in college enrollment numbers, according to the DOE.

According to a press release, those students enrolled in two-year or four-year colleges, vocational programs, or public service programs.

The DOE has not responded to a request for a break down of that number.

De Blasio intimated that the upward trend is a sign that things are changing for the better in the public school system, in growing opportunity for generations.

“You should never be kept from your dreams or your potential because of your neighborhood or the ZIP code you grew up in, or the the amount of money in your family’s bank account,” said de Blasio during a press conference at the High School of Telecommunications Arts and Technology in Bay Ridge. “That’s not they way its supposed to be. It’s the way it has been for a long time.”

De Blasio boasted that since his time as mayor, more than 8,000 extra students have been able to pursue college degrees. According to city data the number of high school seniors that enrolled in college in 2013 was only 40,641.

“Let’s be honest, how many great young people didn’t get to pursue their dreams because of those realities?” said de Blasio. “What we are committed to in this city is ending that once and for all, and saying that it doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from, we’re going to help you get a higher education.”

The mayor credited the increase to programs started under his Equity and Excellence for All Agenda, which included expansions in the universal Pre-k and 3K for All programs, access to advanced placement classes, and waivers of admission fees for attending CUNY.

“The numbers are in and the results are clear: In New York City, more students are enrolling in college and are on a path to success. Our schools are assisting at every turn by building college and career-ready cultures, eliminating barriers such as application fees, and helping students directly apply,” said Carranza.

De Blasio expressed optimism that the upward trend in college enrollment will continue in the years to come.

“In the next two years, we are going to take that higher and higher. By the time that we leave the administration, two-thirds of our kids will be going on to higher education,” he said.

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