June 1, 2021

What Non-Catholic Families Need to Know About Attending a Catholic High School

Written by Paraclete High School

Attending a Catholic high school offers students a diverse range of benefits including a warm and welcoming campus, robust opportunities for sports and extracurricular activities, and most importantly, access to a college prep curriculum that enables sustained success after graduation.

But what if your family or child isn’t Catholic? Well, in most cases, you don’t need to be Catholic to attend a Catholic high school. For prospective non-Catholic families seeking the most ideal and comprehensive high school experience for their children, here is what you need to know about attending a Catholic High School.

The Benefits Catholic High Schools Offer for All Students

A common misconception regarding Catholic high schools is that in order to get the most out the experience, you have to be Catholic. In fact, according to the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA), 20% of Catholic high school students are not Catholic, and at Paraclete High School, 40% of our student body identifies as non-Catholic.

The benefits of a Catholic high school go far beyond academics and into the realm of character development. The increased exposure to morality and access to an extensive college prep curriculum facilitated by educators that support students academically, morally, and emotionally differentiate Catholic high schools from their public counterparts and ultimately leads families of other faiths, or no faith, to choose a Catholic high school for their child.

Exposure to Morality and Character Education

A key component to sustained student success, inside and outside the classroom, is faith. While faith tends to have religious connotations, faith can refer to faith in oneself or simply a form of mindfulness. According to a Harvard report, children who are raised with faith are happier and healthier, with lower rates of depression, and drug and alcohol abuse.

All students who attend a Catholic high school will be exposed to Christian values such as morality and integrity through required religious courses, and immersed with the ideals of faith each and every school day. A complete curriculum will go beyond academics and foster moral and emotional growth. A Catholic high school will challenge your child’s mind, but the right Catholic school will nurture their spirit as well.

Extensive College Prep Curriculum

Non-Catholic families that send their children to credible Catholic high schools understand the long term benefits of exposing their children to a robust college prep curriculum. Catholic high schools amply prepare students for a 4-year college experience while public high schools may not even offer AP capstone programs.

A comprehensive college prep program coupled with an intimate learning environment allows teachers to connect with students on a personal level each and every day. Ensuring your child has access to a fully developed and well-rounded college prep curriculum is the first step to solidifying their future collegiate success and ultimately unlocking their full potential.

A Welcomed New Point of View

Parents who send their non-Catholic children to a Catholic high school provide them with invaluable opportunities to broaden their world view during an impressionable time in their lives.
Exposing students to a Catholic perspective – regardless of their faith – can have positive overarching effects such as a deepened understanding of their religion as well as a broadened worldview.

In addition to exposing non-Catholic students to Christian ideology and perspectives, Catholic high schools are among the most racially and economically diverse private schools in the country with student diversity dramatically increasing over the past 40 years. According to NCEA, racially diverse populations accounted for 21.2% of Catholic school populations with 18.1% being Hispanic/Latino in 2020. Exposing students to varying worldviews and new perspectives is an integral step in the development of their moral character. The right Catholic high school will continually enable multicultural and faith-based interactions for students in a controlled, comfortable, and welcoming environment.

Sending Your Non-Catholic Child to a Catholic High School

At the end of the day, the right Catholic high school has the classes and programs that will enable your child to grow and gain confidence for life after graduation. Non-Catholic students that attend a Catholic high school receive the invaluable opportunity to grow not only as a student, but as a global citizen. Alumni of Catholic high schools are accepting of different cultures and perspectives, preparing them for a successful life in a future globalized world.

Solidify your child’s future collegiate success. Start the application process to assess if Paraclete High School is the right fit for their child.