One by one, graduating seniors of Uncommon Schools’ Rochester Prep High School recently walked across the stage to declare the name of the college or university they will attend in the fall.
Decision Day at Rochester Prep was meant to mimic the high energy and fanfare of sports signing day ceremonies, but in this case students were celebrating their path to college.
“Decision Day is a celebration to honor and recognize the 2018 senior class achievements,” said Reka Bennett, history teacher. “It celebrates the hard work that our seniors have put in over the years, and proves that our students are achieving regardless of their zip code.”
The Class of 2018 at Rochester Prep is the school’s first graduating class. The 25 graduating students submitted a total of 235 college applications to 74 different colleges in 15 states. Students received scholarships and grants amounting to over $3 million, and 100 percent of the graduating seniors were accepted to college.
Students will attend schools such as George Washington University in Washington, D.C; Rochester Institute of Technology; and Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva.
Rochester Prep is a free, public charter school with a mission to prepare students to enter, succeed in and graduate from college. Rochester Prep is part of the Uncommon Schools charter network and operates three elementary schools, two middle schools and a high school in Rochester. The high school opened in 2014.
Nationally, only about 10 percent of low-income students graduate from college. About 80 percent of Uncommon students either graduated or are on track to graduate from college.
At the ceremony, students received a $50,000 check from KeyBank in support of Rochester Prep’s College Access and Success program. This is in addition to a $250,000 five-year grant that was made in 2016.
“All of us at KeyBank are so proud of everyone at Rochester Prep, especially the seniors on this, the first Signing Day at the school,” said James Barger, KeyBank Rochester market president. “This grant will not only help graduates as they move on to college, but also assist current students as they make their way through the college application process.”