College Success Award Celebrates 814 High Schools that Prepare Students to Get to and Succeed in College

First Recognition of its Kind Underscores the Importance of School-Level Postsecondary Data

OAKLAND, CA (April 26, 2018) — GreatSchools is proud to unveil the inaugural cohort of College Success Award recipients. This first-of-its-kind honor recognizes 814 schools across nine states that excel in ensuring students prepare for college, enroll in college and succeed once they get there.

The Award-winning schools are located in nine states where school-level postsecondary data is available: Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio.

The College Success Award-winning schools have a successful track record of graduating students who later enroll in two- or four-year college, are ready for college-level coursework and persist into their second year, according to available data from each state.

GreatSchools has launched this new award with the support of New Profit, a national venture philanthropy organization, and a consortium of foundation funders. “By the year 2020, 65 percent of all jobs will require a college degree or credential, far above the 47 percent of Americans who have one today,” said J.B. Schramm, Managing Partner at New Profit. “The College Success Award-winning schools are leading the charge to change this reality by providing their students with a strong foundation to get into and stick with college.”

In addition to identifying outstanding high schools based on postsecondary data, GreatSchools researched the schools’ promising practices for preparing students to succeed in college. Based on a survey administered to nearly 3,400 schools, GreatSchools found that College Success Award-winning schools are more likely to adopt practices such as providing access to rigorous academic offerings both within school and through extracurricular programs, systematically identifying and supporting at-risk students at every grade level, and providing more robust academic and college counseling. “We hope that uncovering these promising practices will help other schools around the country adopt interventions that truly support their students’ future success in college,” said Matthew Nelson, president of GreatSchools.

“Postsecondary data shines a light on schools that excel in helping students succeed beyond high school graduation. Side-by-side with information about how students fare in high school, postsecondary success data gives the fullest picture of student outcomes,” said Jennifer Bell-Ellwanger, president and CEO of the Data Quality Campaign. “Opening access to this information will help schools, parents, educators, and policymakers support students to succeed in high school, college, and beyond. It’s also critical for state leaders to ensure that data highlights the performance of distinct student groups to ensure schools are preparing all students for college and productive futures.”

“We are thrilled to be an inaugural recipient of the College Success Award,” said Dr. Rodney Swanson, principal at Arabia Mountain High School in Lithonia, Georgia. “At Arabia Mountain High School, we’ve always known that getting to graduation day is just the first step for our students, and we make it our job to ensure that they’re ready to achieve even after they leave our school. This Award tells us that we’re heading in the right direction, and it motivates us to go even further in setting all of our students up for future success.”

For more information about the College Success Award, visit

About GreatSchools:
GreatSchools is the leading national nonprofit empowering parents with essential information to improve educational opportunities for their child. Using GreatSchools’ trusted ratings and school quality information, parents can find the right school for their family and take action to improve schools in their communities. Thousands of articles, tips and interactive tools offer parents easy-to-use resources to support their child’s learning and we-being every day. Families, community leaders and policymakers turn to GreatSchools for the school information they need to guide children to great futures.

About New Profit:
New Profit is a pioneering venture philanthropy organization that invests in breakthrough leaders and initiatives that create transformative, sustainable impact. New Profit’s mission is to break down the barriers that stand between people and opportunity in America. For the past 20 years, New Profit has applied the principles of venture capital in the social impact sector to catalyze innovation and drive systems change in early learning, K-12 education, workforce development, criminal justice reform, and more.


GreatSchools is the leading nonprofit providing high-quality information that supports parents pursuing a great education for their child, schools striving for excellence, and communities working to diminish inequities in education. We are the only national organization that collects and analyzes data from all 51 state departments of education and the federal government to provide analysis, insights, and school quality ratings for parents, partners, researchers, and policymakers. Over 49 million users visit GreatSchools’ award-winning website annually to learn about schools in their area, explore research insights, and access thousands of free, evidence-based parenting resources to support their child’s learning and well-being.

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