New York City expands ‘College Access for All’ to additional 175 high schools next school year

More New York City high school students will be given a leg up to reach college when a city program is expanded in the upcoming school year.

An additional 175 high schools will join the city’s College Access for All initiative for the 2017–18 school year, Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced Wednesday, bringing the total to 274.

The 175 new high schools include 61 in the Bronx, 56 in Brooklyn, 28 in Manhattan, 28 in Queens and two in Staten Island. Schools participating in the program receive help from the city, including direct funding and support from a college-planning coach, according to the city’s education department.

Fifteen of the 175 new schools will use their training and funding to open up “Student Success Centers” — college and career planning hubs staffed through a collaboration between schools and community-based organizations.

“As the first person in my family to go to college, I understand just how important it is to have a school-wide college and career culture where students have the awareness and support to get to a range of postsecondary options,” Fariña said. “With graduation rates, college readiness, and college enrollment already at record highs, this is the next step in ensuring all our students are ready for college and careers.”

This is also the first time charter high schools will be part of the initiative, with six charter schools joining the program. Two of the charters are located in the Bronx, and the other four are in Brooklyn.

The initiative is part of Mayor Bill de Blasio and Fariña’s “Equity and Excellence for All” agenda, which aims to have 80 percent of students graduate high school on time and two-thirds of graduates college-ready by the year 2026.

Other components of College Access for All have included eliminating the CUNY application fee for low-income students and making the SAT exam available free of charge for high school juniors. (Recent research has shown that practice increases the likelihood that low-income students will attend college).

“Equity and excellence in our schools means making college a reality for all students, no matter what neighborhood they’re from,” de Blasio said in a press release. “As more schools join our program, we are expanding access and opportunity, and changing the trajectory of our students’ futures.”