How to choose a Catholic High School

Why a Catholic School? 
Catholic high schools are unique faith-centered communities that integrate thinking and believing in ways that encourage intellectual growth and nurture faith and inspiration. They create a supportive and challenging climate which affirms the dignity of all persons within the school community.

Which school is right for us? 
God made each one of us unique with special gifts and needs. High school is a new destination along the journey of faith and education. As one begins the task of choosing a Catholic high school one will discover that each has its own qualities.

When should we start looking?

  • Sixth Grade is the time for families to start considering which high school would be most appropriate for the student. At this grade level, the approach should be low key and not pressured. Each student has different needs and every high school should be considered for its various strengths.
  • Seventh Grade students should begin thinking about the environment and the activities that are important to them. Students should be open minded and consider all options.
  • Eighth Grade students will experience many opportunities to finalize the decision on which high school will best meet their needs. Check with the high schools for specific deadlines and procedures for admission.

How do we find out more about a particular high school?

  • Open house days allow students and parents to visit and tour the schools, meet faculty, ask questions and gather information.
  • Special event attendance at fine art shows, music performances, plays, worship opportunities, fundraisers and sporting events can give insight into student and parent involvement and the extra-curricular activities available.
  • Freshman-for-a-day programs provides a prospective eighth grader with the opportunity to visit the high school campus, observe classes and attend special programs. Currently enrolled high school students act as hosts and students observe a typical day.

How do we decide on which school?

  • Step 1 – Prioritize. List everything that is expected during the high school experience. Evaluate this list and arrange it in order of importance.
  • Step 2 – Visits. Take advantage of freshman-for-a-day programs, open houses, high school information nights, and other special events offered at the high school.

It is important to evaluate each high school in light of the student’s needs. Since many students are interested in Catholic education, it is necessary to meet all deadlines set by the individual high schools.

Costs include tuition, fees for books, uniforms, athletic participation, special programs, labs, etc.

Admissions procedures have been established for each school. An outline of the procedures is available at the individual high schools.

The Cooperative Admission Program exam is administered in November of each year. Details are available at or from Catholic elementary and high schools in the Archdiocese of Newark and the Diocese of Paterson.