Chicago State University posts 11% graduation rate

Bad news continues to beset Chicago State University (CSU). The school revealed that its graduation rate is just 11 percent; a number well below the national average.

CSU has faced budget problems as of late due to a budget impasse between state lawmakers and Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. Because of it, the school was forced to cancel spring break and move up commencement. The school was forced to layoff staff and may only survive through the summer as the state legislature agreed to a stopgap funding measure of $600 million.

But that only keeps the school operating and doesn’t address the issue that students aren’t graduating on time. CSU has always taken on students who may have a hard time getting into other schools. Admitting students who have financial problems, come from low-income areas, and students that have low GPA’s will have an impact on who graduates on time. It’s also worth noting that CSU is a predominately black school.

Because of that, CSU’s graduation rate is low and isn’t likely to improve if the issue isn’t directly addressed. But 11 percent is low even for CSU as the school has seen its rate of graduation go as high as 21 percent in recent years.

With no money to possibly keep the school open, and news of low graduation rates, there should be a greater emphasis on CSU’s need for student assistance. A Chicago Tribune editorial pointed to the school’s improving infrastructure as lawmakers poured millions into building improvements. But they failed to invest anything into improving student success and graduation rates.

CSU has come to a crossroads or maybe we’re just realizing that state political leaders have placed the school in a no win situation. Vital to students from underprivileged backgrounds, CSU’s survival is essential to Chicago and those on the Southside.

But without funds and resources to help improve the graduation rate and for students who need guidance, the state’s politicians are leaving CSU to die.

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