Mastery Charter schools held its second annual college signing day Tuesday.
Students and staff from Mastery's 15 Philadelphia schools packed Temple University's Liacouras Center to cheer on its high school seniors who have vowed to complete college.
More than 60 percent of its 500 high school seniors signed a pledge to complete coursework at a four-year college or university.
Another 28 percent pledged to complete a two-year college. The rest of the graduates plan to join a post-secondary program including the military.
Anthony Wells, who plans to attend Bloomsburg University, is graduating from Simon Gratz High, a school that had been plagued with a violent, unruly culture until Mastery took over in 2011.
"We, the Class of 2014, pledge to reach for the stars and push ourselves to greatness," he said, standing before a full arena of his peers.
Since 2005, 75 percent of Mastery's 1,800 alumni have enrolled in two- or four-year colleges.
Mastery officials say 78 percent of the alumni continue from freshman to sophomore year of college – on par with the national average. The school said it doesn't have statistics on how many of its students actually graduate from post-secondary institutions.
Mastery's seniors have earned $21 million in scholarship dollars to date.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 65 percent of students who graduated high school last year were enrolled in colleges or universities in the fall.