A record number of city high schoolers went on to college last year, city officials announced Thursday.
Almost 49,000 students — about 62% of the 2018 graduating class — enrolled at a 2-or 4-year college or a trade school, up 11 percentage points from 2013, Mayor de Blasio said.
“We are making sure our students know college isn’t just for a select few and that zip code no longer determines who gets to go,” de Blasio said.
Education Department officials have pushed college enrollment signups through a central initiative that doles out money to schools for college visits and application help.
They also said a decision to administer the SAT on school days rather than on weekends paid dividends, noting that 80% of students in the class of 2018 took the test on a school day during their junior years.
Officials also pointed to changes in higher education policy.
Roughly 45,0000 city students were able to apply to CUNY schools for free through a policy at the city university system that waives application fees for low-income students.
New York’s higher education landscape has shifted in other ways in recent years, including the introduction of the state Excelsior scholarship, which guarantees free college tuition at public colleges in state for students whose families earn under $125,000 a year.
High schools like the school for Telecommunication Arts and Technology in Brooklyn, where de Blasio and schools Chancellor Richard Carranza announced the college enrollment results on Thursday, require students to turn in college applications to school counselors before they’re due to universities.
Melanie Paredes, a senior at the school, said the intensive college advising and the chance to complete internships through the high school helped her decide to apply to Pratt Institute to study architecture.
She credited the close relationships she formed at her high school with setting her on a path to college.
“There are so many familiar faces throughout the school,” she said. “I know there’s always someone to turn to.”