The 129 KIPP Newark Collegiate Academy (NCA) seniors publicly announced for the first time where they will be attending college in the fall.

The celebratory event took place on May 24 at Montclair State University.

An audience of friends and families of the students, high school faculty, the KIPP Through College (KTC) Team and the current KIPP Junior class listened to speeches and students announced their college of choice by holding up banners with the school name on it. 

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“The experience of seeing each one of these talented young women and men announce their intended college is something our team will never tire of, as we know how dedicated our students have been to their academics and what this accomplishment represents,” said Ryan Hill, founder and CEO of KIPP New Jersey. “The teachers and staff of KIPP New Jersey wish our graduating class of 2018 the best of everything as they begin this exciting new chapter of their lives.”

The KTC model emphasizes on preparing students to navigate the academic, social and financial challenges they might encounter preparing for college including everything from entrance exams and applications to book expenses and campus life. The program is successful according to officials who said KIPP NJ sends more African-American students to four-year colleges than any other Newark high school, and their alumni are on track to graduate from college at 3.5 times the rate of students from other low-income families at the same age.  

“Today is the culmination of years of hard work that has paid off,” said Alonzo Eley, who will be attending Kean University in September. “Some of us have been together since middle school, and to share this meaningful experience with my friends, as well as with my teachers and family, is something I’ll never forget.”

KIPP NCA is also one of five NJ high schools in the 80/80 club: 80 percent of African-Americans go to college, and 80 percent attend 4-year schools.

KIPP NJ students received acceptances from many colleges and universities both in New Jersey and as far as Colorado. Among the New Jersey colleges graduates were accepted into are: Bloomfield College, Caldwell, University, College of Saint Elizabeth, Drew University, Fairleigh Dickenson University, Felician University, Georgian Court University, Kean University, Monmouth University, Montclair University, New Jersey City University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Ramapo College of New Jersey, Rider University, Rowan University, Rutgers University, Saint Peter's University, Seton Hall University, Stockton University, The College of New Jersey and William Paterson University.

Out of state schools included Albertus Magnus College, Colorado State University, Drexel University, Hofstra University, Iowa State University, La Salle University, Michigan State University, Morehouse College, Ohio University, Pennsylvania State University, St. John's University and The Ohio State University.

Additionally, one student will be entering the Navy, and another has deferred college for a year because she’s signed to a record label.

“I am proud to be part of KIPP Newark Collegiate Academy’s Class of 2018 and excited for this next step in our journey through college,” said Joselin Marroquin, who will be attending Mount Holyoke this fall.