We are reaching out for your help in preparing your soon-to-be graduate for success after high school. While there are many pathways your child may choose from after high school, if they want to enroll in college next fall, the time to apply is now. Due to the pandemic, we are seeing a significant drop in the number of high school seniors applying to college for the fall, and we need your support in encouraging them to stay the course.
We know that this has been an unusual and challenging school year for your family. However, we do not want COVID-19 to have a negative impact on your child’s future, especially when it comes to college. The current data showing high school seniors pressing pause on their education is troubling, because studies show that a significant number of students who take time off never end up completing their college degrees.
Even more compelling, the majority of professional and technical jobs require a college degree, including those in medicine, law, engineering, finance, and computer science. Additionally, almost all of the new jobs created since the 2008 recession require some level of education beyond high school.
No matter what your child plans to study, completing their college education is the best thing your child can do to achieve personal and professional success. We encourage students to apply to at least three schools, because research tells us that students who apply to multiple schools are far more likely to enroll in college. Additionally, if you have not already done so, please plan on submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and applying for as many scholarships as possible as soon as you can.
Your child’s teachers, school counselors, and postsecondary coaches are here to support them through this process, and to provide them with the guidance and resources they need to create a successful college plan. This support includes helping them research schools and working with them on their college applications, letters of recommendation, and financial aid and scholarship materials. These professionals care deeply about your child’s success, so we urge you to encourage your child to reach out to them now.
Thank you for partnering with us in this work. We see tons of potential and possibility in your child, and want to do everything we can to prepare them for their bright future. We urge you to encourage your child to connect with their school counselor or postsecondary coach as soon as possible. You can also find a comprehensive list of college planning tools by visiting cps.edu/learnplansucceed.
LaTanya D. McDade Michael Deuser
Chief Education Officer Chief of College and Career Success
Chicago Public Schools Chicago Public Schools