Effects of charter middle school attendance on college enrollment and completion

Effects of charter middle school attendance on college enrollment and completion

The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) has released a report examining the effects of attending a charter middle school on students' later rates of college enrollment and completion.

Researchers compared the December 2017 data of students who had entered lotteries to be admitted into 31 charter middle schools nationwide more than ten years prior. A total of 1,723 students who had randomly won the lotteries and were admitted into charter middle schools were compared to the 1,150 students who were not admitted at that time.

Three to eight years after expected high school graduation, results showed equal rates of college enrollment (69%) and current enrollment/completion (47%) for both groups. There was also no difference among charter middle attendees and non-attendees in rates of attending a 2- or 4-year college; if colleges attended were public, private, non-profit, or for profit; and if colleges were highly selective or not. In addition, charter middle school students were as likely to attend dual enrollment high schools (earning college credit while in high school) as their non-charter-selected peers.

It is of note that these same schools were examined in an earlier study, the Evaluation of Charter School Impacts, where some schools demonstrated improvements in students' middle school achievement, especially in urban, low SES areas. These schools were as successful as the others in students' later college attendance and graduation rates.

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