“Study Shows Catholic High Schools Improve Students’ College Performance”
As a person immersed in “high school options,” a not-so-flashy title caught my eye recently, a study called, “High School Options and Post-Secondary Student Success: The Catholic School Advantage.” It reported that “students who attended Catholic high schools had higher college grade-point averages, were more likely to graduate, and were more likely to graduate with a STEM degree.”* In addition to 45,000 observations and 25 pages of stats, graphs, and research, the study proposed these four reasons Catholic high school graduates perform so well in college:
1. “Catholic schools may be more academically challenging”*
The “going to college mindset” collectively motivated students in all groups. This caught my eye because parents from public schools often tell me this difference served to spark their children at St. Francis High School.
2. “Catholic schools may promote higher levels of social capital”*
This describes how people, relationships, and dedication drive students to succeed. It hit home, because community is the hallmark of St. Francis, and it propels each student here in personal and transformative ways.
3. “The positive effects of Catholic schooling may be driven by better teacher quality”*
The study cited the freedom of Catholic schools to not only hire effective teachers but to reward effective teaching. Invested teachers help students fulfill their potential at St. Francis High School because students know they care.
4. “An ethic of a strong motivation to work hard as a means of showing love to others and fulfilling a heavenly calling leads to positive Catholic school effects”*
Here was the article’s nod to the heart of St. Francis, the Franciscan virtues, "The St. Francis Way" - which we recognize as concretely beneficial for students to develop the whole person as they prepare for college.
When parents say they’re considering a public high school option, I encourage them to keep their options open and explore St. Francis first, to understand the advantages they’d leave behind. Attending our Open House, on October 20 at 6:30 p.m. or November 6 at 1:00 p.m., is a great start, as is reading about SFHS’s college prep culture (click here for the viewbook). Please call me any time for a private Admissions meeting to discuss the transformative impact of a St. Francis High School education (630) 668-5800 x1120.
Maureen Isphording, Director of Admissions
*Fleming, D. J., Lavertu, S., & Crawford, W. (2018). High School Options and Post-Secondary Student Success: The Catholic School Advantage.Journal of Catholic Education, 21(2).