Press Release: A Seat At The Table Reissue

January 8, 2019

Van Schoales, CEO, A+ Colorado
(303) 725-1151

A+ Colorado Reissues Report A Seat at the Table: Colorado Students’ Access to Top Colleges

Denver — Education Advocacy group, A+ Colorado is pleased to reissue A Seat at the Table: Colorado Students’ Access to Top Colleges. In the important decision of where a child will attend high school, many families look for a school with a proven track record of sending graduates to a top college or university. In this report, A+ Colorado takes a look at where Colorado high school students attend college over a period of seven years. While 57% of all Colorado students from 2009 to 2015 went on to a college program in the fall after they graduated from a Colorado high school, only 18% went to one of the country’s top colleges, a list that includes local schools University of Colorado-Boulder, Colorado State University, Colorado School of Mines, and the United States Air Force Academy. Additionally, massive gaps remain in college matriculation in Colorado along lines of income and ethnicity. The report digs into this and also highlights some Colorado high schools that are doing a tremendous job at ensuring their students access these opportunities, which research shows plays an important role in curbing growing inequality.

“This information isn’t publicly available to families but it should be,” A+ Colorado CEO Van Schoales says. “The reissue of this report is critical as there are very few ways in which Colorado is tracking and publicly reporting the connection between the K-12 education system and opportunities for students after graduation. In order for parents to understand whether and how schools are preparing students for college and career success, the state must be much more intentional about connecting, monitoring, and reporting information about student opportunity across education, higher education, and work.”

A few schools worth highlighting include DSST: Green Valley Ranch, Denver Center for International Studies, and KIPP Denver Collegiate High School, who serve student bodies that are majority low-income and are amongst the top 20 schools in the state at sending those same students to top colleges. These schools prove they can compete with schools in wealthier communities in terms of getting low-income students to top postsecondary options. And while most schools see big disparities, some schools successfully supported students from different racial or ethnic backgrounds to access top colleges; for example, at Douglas County’s Rock Canyon High School black graduates, Latinx graduates, and white graduates matriculated to top colleges at similar rates.

We look forward to the conversations this report sparks about quality colleges and universities, and which Colorado students are attending them. We hope Colorado can build upon information from this report, and become a leader in providing transparent information about access to quality colleges and universities for students.

A Seat at the Table: Colorado Students’ Access to Top Colleges was originally released in December 2017, A+ rescinded the report after discovering a significant problem with the underlying data that tracked Colorado high school students’ matriculation to 300 of the nation’s selective colleges and universities. A+ Colorado and the Colorado Department of Higher Education partnered to identify and rectify the mistake. This reissued report, to the best of our knowledge, corrects this information.


The mission of A+ Colorado is to sharpen public education by building public will and advocating for the changes necessary to dramatically increase student achievement in schools and districts in Colorado. We are an independent, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization working to bring the power of data and research to challenge ourselves, educators and policymakers to rethink public education.