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Grantee Spotlight

KIPP Foundation

KIPP creates joyful, identity-affirming schools where students can thrive.

What it is

Together with families and communities, KIPP creates joyful, academically excellent preK-12 schools that prepare students with the skills and confidence to pursue the paths they choose—college, career, and beyond.

KIPP schools are tuition free, public schools open to all students, and KIPP is committed to serving children facing economic insecurity. 88% of KIPP students are eligible for federal free or reduced price lunch.

KIPP schools are rooted in high expectations for all students, a focus on character (e.g., grit, perseverance), highly effective teachers and leaders, and a safe, structured, and nurturing school environment. KIPP also supports its students into and through college, strengthening college match, enrollment, persistence, and graduation.

The problem it addresses

A great education can give students a life full of choice and opportunity, but too many children today lack access to such a learning experience. In 2019, only ~35% of students in 4th and 8th grades were proficient in reading and only 41% of 4th graders and 34% of 8th graders were proficient in math. Of those students who graduated high school and went on to attend four-year colleges, only 6 in 10 completed their programs within six years.

Due to a discrepancy of resources and access, affluent white students experience stronger academic results than students of color from economically disadvantaged communities. Relative to their white or higher-income peers, these students are less likely to have effective, well-supported teachers and receive high-quality curricula, and they earn bachelor’s degrees at dramatically lower rates; only 16% of young adults from families in the lowest income quartile earn a bachelor’s degree by age 24, compared to 62% for families in the highest income quartile.


of students in 8th grade are proficient in reading


of students in 8th grade are proficient in math


of young adults from families in the lowest income quartile earn a bachelor’s degree by age 24

Why we believe in it

KIPP’s evidence base demonstrates impressive outcomes for students throughout their educational journey:

As public schools, KIPP schools are sustained through a combination of federal, state, and philanthropic funding.

"The impact of attending a KIPP school on enrolling in a four-year college is a statistically significant 12.9 percentage points...In 2017, the national gap in college enrollment rates between white students and black or Hispanic students for any college type was approximately 14 percentage points among 20- and 21-year-olds (U.S. Census Bureau 2018). In other words, the impact of attending a KIPP school...would be almost large enough to erase the nationwide racial disparity in college enrollment rates."

2019 Mathematica RCT Study, "Long-Term Impacts of KIPP Middle Schools on College Enrollment and Early College Persistence," by Thomas Coen, Ira Nichols-Barrer, and Philip Gleason

Progress to date

With 255 schools reaching over 110,000 students, KIPP is by far the largest network of public charter schools in the country. KIPP has demonstrated impressive growth over the past 10 years, up from 99 schools serving 28,000 students in 2010, and is poised for continued growth.