We say that Catholic schools are the best choice for what matters most and we mean it. After all, what’s more important than our children and our faith? At the same time we understand the difficulties that families face when deciding how to pay for a Catholic education. Our schools in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati operate in 46 public school districts and draw students from many more. Some of the public schools provide a quality education and the cost is virtually free to the family. So what makes a Catholic school a good value?
Well, like all questions of value – there are two sides to the equation – cost and benefit.
In Catholic elementary schools, our parishes provide for a large portion of the cost of operating the school. This takes up a substantial share of the ministerial capacity of our parishes, routinely 20% or greater of the parish budget. Parishes do this because it’s a part of our faith and ministry as Church and a sign of our discipleship of Jesus Christ. Do we struggle to make ends meet? Yes we sure do. Just like our families, our parishes are constantly looking for cost improvement areas and greater funding avenues. It’s a constant struggle between keeping our schools affordable for as many as possible and providing fair and equitable compensation for our staff.
As for value, we look at many measures of quality to substantiate our schools’ value. Things like:
Our students consistently outperform regional, state, and national results on standardized tests. Our elementary schools produced academic results that were more than 2+ grades years ahead of national norms (Our 8th graders tested well into 10th grade academic levels). Not only that, we see student growth consistently as our students progress through elementary schools, from 1 year ahead of norms in 3rd grade to 2+ years in 8th grade.
Our high schools also outperform national norms on standardized tests. ACT scores showed that our average student composite scores were consistently ranked in the top 25% in the nation.
Our strong academic results open the door to success at the college level. More than 2/3 of our students receive college scholarship offers. Last year they were able to attain merit based scholarships totalling over $310 million per year, or an average of more than $141,000 per student. Catholic schools represent a strong investment that can prepare our students for college and provide a direct benefit in college affordability.
The most important part of a Catholic Education is raising our children in the Catholic faith. It’s the day-to-day teaching of faith and values, praying together, and putting our faith into action through service to others. These are all part of the witness we pass on to students each and every day. And it’s that daily, ordinary witness that changes lives.
YES! Click here to find out how your family afford a valuable Catholic education.