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Syracuse University teams up with KIPP Schools to promote college completion

July 27, 2012

Tiffany Kirkland
(315) 443-6888

KIPP—the Knowledge Is Power Program–a national network of open-enrollment, college-preparatory public charter schools that prepares students for success in college and in life, has announced a partnership with Syracuse University to increase college completion rates for young people from low-income communities.    

More than 95 percent of KIPP's 39,000 students in 20 states and Washington, D.C., are students of color, and 85 percent qualify for the federal free and reduced-price meals program. KIPP Tech Valley (KTV) in Albany, N.Y., which serves nearly 300 students, will work closely with SU in the partnership. KIPP Tech Valley has earned the highest results in the city of Albany on the state’s eighth-grade ELA and math test for four years running. 

SU is the 13th college/university in the nation to partner with KIPP. SU hopes to recruit and enroll 15-20 qualified KIPP alumni, beginning in the 2013-14 academic year, and will meet the full financial need of all who matriculate into the University, while also providing strong support for KIPP alumni, including mentoring programs and assistance in finding housing. There are currently nine KIPP alumni attending SU, with eight more joining in the fall. Six KIPP grads have also graduated from SU, three of them reaching the milestone this past May. 

“Syracuse University is proud to partner with KIPP to provide students with the support they need to stretch their limits and persist toward a degree,” says Donald Saleh, SU's vice president for enrollment management. “KIPP’s culture of achievement is already evident at Syracuse University, where KIPP alumni have excelled academically and contributed as leaders on campus. We look forward to infusing more of these intelligent and motivated students with diverse backgrounds into our community.” 

Thirty-one percent of all Americans ages 25-29 have earned a college degree. For students in the bottom economic quartile, only 11 percent complete college by their mid-20s. As of 2011, 36 percent of KIPP students had completed a four-year college after finishing eighth grade at a KIPP middle school 10 or more years ago. KIPP’s four-year college completion rate is above the national average for students across all income levels and more than three times the rate for students from low-income families. 

KIPP's goal is to attain a college completion rate for its students that is comparable to the nation’s highest-income students. 

“We have been bringing a lot of kids to visit the Syracuse campus for the past seven years,” says Dustin Mitchell, founder of KTV. “It is a fantastic school that many of our students hope to attend. Moreover, this visit is a chance for our kids to see what their future can look like if they work hard and climb that mountain to college. This partnership takes it a step further, working to ensure that our students not only get to, but through college as well.”

With the addition of Syracuse, KIPP’s total number of college and university partners now stands at 13. Other university partners include Colby College (Waterville, Maine), University of Houston (Houston), Franklin and Marshall College (Lancaster, Pa.), San Jose State University (San Jose, Calif.), Mercy College (Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.), Tulane University (New Orleans), Spelman College (Atlanta), Morehouse College (Atlanta), Texas State University (San Marcos, Texas), University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia), Duke University (Durham, N.C.) and Davidson College (Davidson, N.C).

KIPP has a track record of preparing students in underserved communities for success in college and in life. KIPP was founded in Houston in 1994 and has grown to 125 schools serving more than 39,000 students in 20 states and Washington, D.C. 

For more information, contact Steve Mancini at KIPP, at 415-531-5396, or

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