Why Give

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KIPP Philadelphia Schools is closing the achievement gap for hundreds of Philadelphia children and opening the doors to college.  KIPP has traditionally been a middle school model, beginning in grade five. Despite the fact that KIPP students often enter grade five far below grade level, by grade eight our students' scores are competitive with those of their suburban peers.  As our schools continue to grow we know the sky is the limit.  See more on our academic results.


In Philadelphia, the college graduation rate is around 10%.  High school graduation statistics in the Philadelphia district schools are similarly dismal (only 61% of students graduate on time).  Families are looking for choices and seek schools like KIPP, which demonstrate results.  There are literally hundreds of students on our waitlist, hoping to gain a seat in a classroom.  Because KIPP schools are able to achieve college completion rates that are four times higher than those of other low-income students, we seek to grow to ten schools educating 4,400 students.  We have already opened four schools and raised more than half of the private dollars needed to grow.  We will open six new schools and will need to raise those start-up funds.  We also raise funds for facilities and for scholarships for KIPPsters in college.


Support_5 Schools FulfilledWhen KIPP opens a new school, it serves just one grade level in its first year, then adds an additional grade each year after that until it is fully enrolled.  This supports a strong school culture, but it takes a few years for our schools to reach economies of scale.  In order to add six new schools and to support our growing schools until they reach scale. KIPP Philadelphia Schools has opened 4 of 10 buildings in its 10 school growth plan and will open six more schools.  

Return on Investment

At KIPP, we look at "return on investment" in three ways:

1.  Leveraging public dollars

KIPP has the unusual advantage of reaching financial sustainability on public dollars once our schools are fully enrolled.  Every private dollar invested in KIPP Philadelphia Schools' growth campaign will leverage public dollars in perpetuity.  The fundraising required is similar to a venture investment to get us through our startup phase as we add six new schools.

2.  Financial ROI

Using the most conservative calculations, once KIPP Philadelphia is fully enrolled, each new cohort of 320 students will contribute over $100 million in lifetime earnings MORE to the economy than if they had attended their local public schools.  This number will get dramatically higher when we eventually reach our goal of having 75% of our students graduate from college.

Calculating Financial Returns
Public Schools
KIPP Public
Charter Schools
Average Lifetime
High School Dropout 38% 5% $875,000
High School Diploma (only) 53% 62% $1,200,000
Bachelor's Degree 10% 33% $2,100,00
Average Student Lifetime Earnings $1,166,500 $1,480,750 Avg. incremental earnings per KIPP student $314,250

3. Social and Community ROI

At KIPP, we constantly reinforce the idea that "team beats individual." Our students understand that they have been given a priceless opportunity and that with that comes responsibility.  While they are young, they fulfill that responsibility by supporting other students (their peers) who are struggling.  As adults, we anticipate that many former "KIPPsters" will come back to teach at KIPP schools.


See our Annual Report>>