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Catholic school students score above average on national academic tests. Nationally, 99.1 percent of students at Catholic high schools graduate. Locally, 91.4 percent of graduates from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis go on to college, compared to 44.1 percent of public school graduates.
Catholic schools provide an education that goes beyond preparation for a secular life. They produce students dedicated to their faith, values, families and communities by providing an intellectually stimulating environment rich in spiritual and moral development.
Commitment to service is a core value of Catholic schools. Catholic students learn service—giving their time, talents and effort to help others—both as an expression of faith and good citizenship.
Nationwide, there are nearly 7,000 elementary and secondary Catholic schools. Total enrollment is about 2.1 million.
Nearly 30 percent of Catholic school students come from minority populations. Enrollment of students who are not Catholic is 14.9 percent, an indication many diverse families seek the benefits of a quality education with moral underpinnings.
Catholic schools play a key role in educating students of low-income families and students from the inner city. Urban schools represent 31.5 percent of the total number of Catholic schools, inner city schools 11.5 percent, suburban schools 35.9 percent and rural schools 21 percent.
Nearly half (42.5 percent) of students enrolled in U.S. private schools attend Catholic schools; 38.1 percent attend other religious schools and 19.4 percent go to
Hispanics who attended a Catholic elementary school are twice as likely to have a college degree and a household income of $75,000 or more. The association is even stronger for those who attended a Catholic high school. We are not suggesting that Catholic schooling causes success later in life — certainly there are many other intervening factors — but the comparisons here are worth noting. Catholic schooling does make a difference for Hispanics.
(“Catholic education: Does it still make a difference?”, Mary Gautier, National Catholic Reporter, Oct. 24, 2011)