Today, the Cristo Rey Network announced that 68% of Cristo Rey college enrollees earned their degree within six years from a University Partner, most of which are Catholic institutions including the University of Notre Dame, Georgetown University, Villanova University, and Santa Clara University. This remarkable achievement personifies the Cristo Rey Network’s Catholic mission and data-driven approach to embolden students with limited economic resources in fulfilling their aspirations for a lifetime of success.
Year over year, students who graduate from Cristo Rey schools enroll in college at rates (87%) exceeding that of their high-income peers (79%). This ten-year mission is mobilized by the work of over 100 College Counselors and Alumni Advisors of Cristo Rey Network member schools sharing knowledge, resources, and providing individualized support to guide students to apply to colleges with an eye toward affordability, academic match, college graduation rates, and personal interests.
“We know that a largely first-generation college-bound population requires targeted support to apply to, enroll in, and complete their best-fit college degree,” stated Stephanie Arias, Vice President of College Initiatives at the Cristo Rey Network. “Our mission is rooted in research that demonstrates that carefully selected bachelor’s degree programs are a smart and rewarding investment, remaining the surest path to economic mobility and a lifetime of opportunities.”
According to independent, third-party data from the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC), Cristo Rey graduates complete a bachelor's degree by age 24, more than twice the rate of the total U.S. low-income population (15%). 40% of Cristo Rey graduates from the Class of 2017 completed a bachelor’s degree within six years of their high school graduation, the highest bachelor’s degree completion rate in Network history.
Collectively, the 35 Cristo Rey schools with graduating seniors from the Class of 2023 accomplished the following:
- Seniors submitted a total of 32,500 applications and received nearly 20,000 acceptances;
- 100% were accepted into college, with 94% accepted to at least one four-year university;
- Seniors earned over $650M in scholarship offers over four years;
- 94% committed to college for the fall of 2023, including 131 students who committed to some of our country's most selective colleges, including Harvard, Stanford, and Yale;
- 1 in 6 graduates committed to one of the Cristo Rey Network’s 80 University Partner institutions;
- The average out-of-pocket cost for students committed to four-year college is $2,884/year after standard federal student loans.
In preparation for the future workforce, the Cristo Rey model continues to evolve and adapt to ensure graduates advance into fulfilling careers post-graduation. As predicted by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, by 2031, 72% percent of jobs in the U.S. will require postsecondary education and/or training of which 42% will require a bachelor’s degree or higher.
“The Cristo Rey Network's college completion mission is not just an aspiration; it is a crucial commitment to justice, equity, and the betterment of our society. We defend this mission as a catalyst for social change and a testament to the potential of every student. Through the proven power of education, students are sharpening their potential, investing in their communities, and building their brighter futures,” stated Kelby Woodard, President and CEO of the Cristo Rey Network.
To learn more about the Cristo Rey Network, its college initiatives, or ways to get involved please visit cristoreynetwork.org.
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