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Uncommon Schools

Program Description

College is crucial. We believe a Bachelors degree should be within reach for every young person in this nation. Our mission is to start and manage outstanding urban charter public schools that close the achievement gap and prepare low-income students to graduate from college.

Still today, too many students in low-income school districts struggle to get to and through college because they do not have the same opportunities as students in wealthier neighborhoods. Every morning, the doors of our schools open to defy this injustice and to celebrate the achievement we know is possible.

Horace Mann, one of the founders of American public education, believed that building common schools for the nations young people was the single most powerful way to bring about a society of equals.

We recognize that today, it takes uncommon schools to truly achieve equality. Since our first school opened in 1997, Uncommon Schools has shown that the most revolutionary teaching practices are not happening in the suburbs or elite private schools. They are happening in urban districts like ours. Every day we challenge our own ingenuity and mettle, and that of our scholars. Along the way, we celebrate the tenacious effort that leads to true achievement and ultimately, to a college diploma.

Services Provided

  • Academic enrichment/tutoring/study skills
  • Arts and cultural
  • Career exploration and counseling/internships
  • College admissions guidance and counseling
  • College fairs/campus visits
  • College transition and retention support
  • Community service/service hours
  • Financial aid advising/FAFSA completion
  • Leadership development
  • Mentoring
  • Parent/family services
  • SAT/ACT and other test preparation
  • Scholarships and last-dollar grants
  • Science, tech, engineering, & math (STEM)


Race & Ethnicity

  • White: 1%
  • Asian or Pacific Islander: 1%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 9%
  • Other: 1%
  • African American: 88%

Education Level and
Number of Students

  • High School: 2243
  • Middle School: 7520
  • Elementary School: 6540
  • Post-secondary: 693
  • Non-traditional: 0

Populations Served

  • Academically At-risk
  • Academically High-performing
  • ESL Students


  • Between 50% and 75%

Colleges Attended
by Alumni

  • Allegheny College
  • Amherst College
  • Barnard College
  • Bates College
  • Bennett College
  • Binghamton University
  • Boston University
  • Bowdoin College
  • Brown University
  • Bryn Mawr College
  • Clark Atlanta University
  • Colgate University
  • Cornell University
  • CUNY Bernard M Baruch College
  • CUNY York College
  • Dartmouth College
  • Davidson College
  • Delaware State University
  • DePauw University
  • Emory University
  • Hamilton College
  • Hampton University
  • Harvard College
  • Haverford College
  • Howard University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Lehigh University
  • Lincoln University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Middlebury College
  • Montclair State University
  • Morehouse College
  • Morgan State University
  • New Jersey Institute of Technology
  • New York University
  • North Carolina A & T State University
  • Oberlin College
  • Pomona College
  • Princeton University
  • Ramapo College of New Jersey
  • Rowan University
  • Rutgers University-New Brunswick
  • South Carolina State University
  • Spelman College
  • Stanford University
  • Stockton University
  • Stony Brook University
  • SUNY at Albany
  • SUNY College at Oswego
  • SUNY College at Potsdam
  • Swarthmore College
  • Texas Southern University
  • The College of New Jersey
  • The College of Wooster
  • Tufts University
  • University at Buffalo
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Virginia State University
  • Wellesley College
  • Wesleyan University
  • Yale University

Matriculation & Completion

  • 4-yr College Graduation: 76%