Education is our foundation. What we learn affects how we work, behave, and give back to our communities.
Catholic education provides a great base for a good life. More than 1.6 million American children go to a Catholic school. Millions of more parents consider sending their children to one.
What are the benefits of a Catholic school? What are the core values of Catholic schooling? Can non-Catholic students go to a school?
Answer these questions and you can make the right choice for your child’s education. Here is your quick guide.
1. Catholic Schools Have High Graduation Rates
Catholic schools are based on discipline. Students are expected to set goals for themselves and work as hard as possible to attain them.
This drives up graduation rates. 99 percent of students who attend a Catholic high school wind up graduating.
The discipline they learn encourages them to continue their education. 86 percent of Catholic high school students attend a four-year college.
2. Students Perform Better on Standardized Tests
The College Board releases regular reports of how students perform on the SAT. Their 2016 report concluded religiously affiliated students score more than 40 points higher on all subjects than students in public schools.
3. Classroom Sizes Are Small
Catholic schools are smaller than public schools. This naturally keeps classroom sizes down. Some schools offer a student-to-teacher ratio as small as 12:1.
Students develop a good rapport with their teachers. They learn directly from them, receiving close supervision. If they need help with assignments, they can find time after school to get assistance.
4. Catholic Education Deepens Faith
Students look to Jesus Christ as a model of personal behavior and integrity. They recognize the presence of God in all people, learning to respect them.
Many schools offer daily readings from the Bible and important documents. Students gain an appreciation of theology, religious art, and history.
5. Schools Are Diverse
Though a Catholic school is faith-centered, it is not limited to Catholic students. Schools welcome Protestant and non-Christian students. They also welcome students from a range of backgrounds, celebrating sociocultural respect.
6. Catholic Schooling Promotes Civic Engagement
The Cardus Religious Schools Initiative conducted a literature review in 2017 examining rates of volunteering among high school students. They found that Catholic students were more likely to volunteer and give to charity than ones from public schools.
7. Classes Are Affordable
Many people think that sending their child to a private Catholic school is expensive. But most schools offer tuition assistance programs for low-income families. A few offer free classes to church or community members.
8. Parents Get Involved
Many Catholic students have parent-teacher boards. Parents are expected to meet with teachers and give their advice on curriculums.
Art shows, concerts, and theatrical performances are open to parents. They can share an experience with their child and learn more about what they like to do.
The Best Types of Schools Are Catholic Schools
Catholic education has numerous benefits. The emphasis on discipline creates high graduation rates and SAT scores.
Classroom sizes are small, giving your child plenty of time to talk to their teachers. They receive a faith-based education that encourages compassion. Schools are diverse so they learn about other cultures.
Catholic students volunteer more than public school students. One way schools give back is through tuition assistance, making Catholic schools affordable. If you want to supervise your child, you can get involved.
Educate yourself on different approaches to education. Follow our coverage for more schooling guides.