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High School Success Stories: Helping All Students Thrive

By Carrie Goux For NewsUSA

(NewsUSA) - At a time when it's hard to find moments of everyday joy during the school year, a leading nonprofit organization has given high schools reason to celebrate. The third annual GreatSchools College Success Award recognizes schools that provide a strong foundation for their students to build pathways after graduation. This is the only national award that uses education data to identify schools that prepare their students not only to enroll in college, but return for a second year and succeed in college-level coursework.

This year GreatSchools presented the 2020 award to 2,158 schools in the 29 states that connect postsecondary data to high school information. The College Success Awards also offer a glimpse into the best practices woven into the fabric of these schools, from ensuring rigorous academics are widely available to providing 1:1 college counseling for every student.

As the pandemic continues to threaten the financial stability of the nation and disrupt opportunities for young people, these award-winning high schools can offer hope to communities looking for strength to recover from devastating loss. The College Success Award helps the entire learning community understand which schools in their area adequately prepare students to graduate, enroll in college, and succeed once they get there.

Schools are complex. They succeed (and stumble) in many different ways -- but this award seeks to highlight successes that might not otherwise be seen. At Veterans Memorial High School in Brownsville, Texas, success includes encouraging all students -- 92 percent of whom are low-income -- to explore the school's 13 dual-enrollment classes. At Newark's North Star Academy, after research showed low-income graduates lacked college-savvy support, the school created an alumni department that offers coaching to college freshmen to help them adjust to their new life.

These are just a few of the best practices the College Success Award reveals. Parents and school leaders can find out if their school won an award and explore more insights about how to look for schools engaging in practices that will help their child succeed by visiting to search for their school, and learn from videos, articles, and more.


Carrie Goux is the VP of External Affairs at GreatSchools