News Release Library
December 5, 2013

St. Edward's University Partners with KIPP Schools to Increase College Completion Rates

AUSTIN, Texas (Dec. 5, 2013) – KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) announced today that it has partnered with St. Edward’s University in an effort to increase college completion rates for underserved KIPP students in Austin and nationwide.

With this partnership, St. Edward’s seeks to recruit and enroll up to 10 qualified KIPP alumni for the 2014-2015 school year and each year thereafter.  St. Edward’s will waive application fees for KIPP students, and help KIPP students planning to attend the university secure housing. KIPP schools in Austin will serve both as certified work study sites for all St. Edward’s University students and teaching residency sites for St. Edward’s students enrolled in teacher preparation programs. St. Edward’s will also partner with KIPP Austin schools to develop an on-campus mentorship program aimed at increasing persistence of KIPP students.

“This partnership provides an important alignment for two institutions that understand the importance of access to higher education for talented students from underserved backgrounds,” said Tracy Manier, associate vice president for admissions at St. Edward’s. “KIPP schools excel at mentoring and preparing students for college. This new partnership allows St. Edward’s to more effectively recruit students who are a good match for a liberal arts college like St. Edward’s.”

KIPP students will also be eligible to apply for scholarships through the university’s Munday Scholar program, which recently benefited from an additional $20 million gift by Bill and Pat Munday to help cover 25 percent of tuition costs for talented students from low-income backgrounds. Four of the KIPP students who began as freshman at St. Edward’s this fall are Munday Scholars.

In total 26 KIPP alumni have attended or are attending St. Edward’s. Fifteen KIPP alumni currently attend the university, and an additional 11 KIPP students have graduated from St. Edward’s.

“We’re very excited to partner with St. Edward’s University,” said Steven Epstein, executive director of KIPP Austin Public Schools. “St. Edward’s is a fixture in the Austin community and an excellent college choice for our KIPPsters. We are grateful for their commitment to our students and look forward to working together to get more of our students on the path through college and towards a great future.”

Founded in 2002, KIPP Austin Public Schools currently serves over 3,000 students across 9 campuses in east and south Austin, including one high school, four middle schools, and four elementary schools. KIPP Austin Public Schools has been a Texas Education Agency (TEA) “Recognized” school district and this past year received the highest state rating under the new Texas school accountability system.  In 2012-2013, KIPP Austin College Prep was ranked as the top performing middle school in central Texas serving low-income families. KIPP Austin Public School students consistently outperform their peers across central Texas and the state in all subjects as measured by Texas end-of-year assessments.  

KIPP Austin is part of a national network of 141 KIPP public charter schools. A report released this year by independent research firm Mathematica showed that KIPP middle schools nationwide are producing positive, significant and substantial achievement gains for students in all grades and four subjects—math, reading, science, and social studies. Mathematica researchers found that KIPP achieved these academic gains with students that entered middle school with lower achievement scores than their peers in neighboring district schools.

According to the Pew Research Center’s 2012 analysis, 33 percent of Americans aged 25-29 have earned a college degree. For students in the bottom economic quartile, only 10 percent complete college by their mid-20s. Currently, 42 percent of KIPP students have earned a four-year college degree after finishing eighth grade at a KIPP middle school 10 or more years ago. KIPP’s college completion rate is above the national average for all students and four times the rate for students from low-income families nationwide. KIPP's goal is to reach a college completion rate comparable to that of the nation’s highest-income students.

St. Edward’s joins a growing list of KIPP college partners, including Brown University, Duke University, the University of Pennsylvania and Spelman College.  A complete list of KIPP’s college partners can be found at

About St. Edward’s University
St. Edward’s University is a private, liberal arts college in the Catholic Holy Cross Tradition with more than 5,000 students. Located in Austin, Texas, it is one of the top universities in Texas and offers undergraduate and graduate programs, including MBA programs and a master’s degree in counseling. With a network of partner universities around the world, St. Edward’s is a diverse community with programs designed to inspire students with a global perspective. St. Edward's University has been recognized for 11 consecutive years as one of "America's Best Colleges" by U.S. News & World Report and ranks in the top 15 Best Regional Universities in the Western Region. For more information on St. Edward’s University, visit

About KIPP Austin Public Schools
KIPP Austin Public Schools is a network of free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory public schools dedicated to preparing students in Austin’s underserved communities for success in college and in life. KIPP Austin operates nine schools serving more than 3,000 students in east and south Austin. KIPP Austin schools seek to empower underserved students to strengthen the academic skills, intellectual habits, and character traits necessary for success in college and beyond. For more information, visit


KIPP:  Rebecca Raber
Phone: 415-905-0910

St. Edward’s University: Mischelle Diaz
Phone: 512-448-8404