College and career readiness has been a recent drive of K-12 education, aiming to prepare students to enter post-secondary education without remediation. Students generally take the ACTⓇ or SATⓇ college entrance exams during high school, and the scores are used as a factor in college admission. Being admitted to and paying for college both require planning and preparation.
Imagine how students’ preparation could change if they knew their four-year college tuition would be paid in full? Without a doubt, the students would plan and prepare long before taking their college entrance exams!
One specific group of students that ought to take heed and begin planning now are those whose parents are employees of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). The Chicago Public Schools Educators Award Scholarship was recently announced as a full four-year scholarship to the University of Chicago for children of CPS employees admitted to the university for the 2018-19 academic year. This scholarship is part of the UChicago Promise initiative, which helps students become college and career ready.
I wanted to find out exactly which students are likely to be eligible for the full scholarship to the University of Chicago, so I used the NWEA™ College Explorer Tool, which matches students in grades 5-9 with colleges and universities using comparative assessment data of MAPⓇ, ACTⓇ and SATⓇ. Here’s what I learned:
University of Chicago students perform above the norm on MAP.
MAP scores (reported as a RIT score) can range from 100-350. Based on the 2015 NWEA Normative Data, a typical fifth grader taking the MAP reading assessment scores between 205 and 211; a typical 9th grader between 220 and 222 during the academic year. The College Explorer Tool showed me that of the 9% of applicants admitted to the University of Chicago, their MAP on track scores for math were between 239 and 276 for 5th-9th grades, respectively.
Performance within the norm is likely to get you into nearby schools.
The College Explorer Tool has an option to input a MAP score, or a range of scores, to locate schools with corresponding median ACT scores. I entered the norm MAP scores and learned that there are many other colleges and universities within the Chicagoland area with median admission scores that are different from the University of Chicago. (Keep in mind that admission scores are just one of many factors that schools take into consideration when reviewing applications.)
The scholarship will save you nearly $200,000.
Information from the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard is embedded in the College Explorer Tool, and that provides quantitative data, such as most popular majors, percent of education financed, and cost of tuition. Four years at the University of Chicago will cost roughly $192,000.
Although this tool won’t provide a definitive answer about whether a student will be admitted to a specific college, it will give you insight into the goals one may strive toward based on historical data and trends. It’s easy to use and navigate, and is accessible to anyone with an Internet connection.
Got a RIT score? Get ready! If you’re eligible for the Chicago Public Schools Educators Award Scholarship, you’ve got a head start on MAPping the road to college. Many schools nationwide are gearing up for their spring MAP testing season, and the College Explorer Tool is a great resource to share with educators, students, parents, and other stakeholders.