Catholic Boarding Schools

The tradition of religiously affiliated boarding schools is a long one, and this is certainly the case for Catholic boarding schools. This article provides information about and tips for finding Catholic boarding schools.

Basic Information to Know About Catholic Boarding Schools

Here is some basic information to know about Catholic boarding schools:

• Catholic boarding schools may be all-girls school, all-boys schools, or coeducational boarding schools.

• Catholic boarding schools may focus on the high school grades, but there are also Catholic boarding schools that accept younger students.

• If you think for a moment about the history of the United States and where immigrants from Catholic European countries settled, you will not be surprised to learn that there are a large number of Catholic schools in California, which formed part of the region that was part of Spain’s colonial holdings in the New World.

• California aside, there are more Catholic schools in New England and the northern Midwest than in the Western states.

• Georgetown Preparatory School is the only Jesuit boarding school in the US, and is one of the oldest boys’ schools here, having been founded in 1789.

• Not all Catholic schools were founded in the distant past. Donahue Academy of Ave Maria, for example, was founded in 2007.

Mistakes to Avoid in Seeking a Catholic Boarding School

There are several assumptions that people might have about Catholic boarding schools. Let’s take a look at dispelling them.

• You may know of the Catholic schools that take their names from St. Catherine, Saint John, Saint Mary, and Saint Lawrence, but not all Catholic boarding schools have a saint’s name in their name, so you could pass one by without ever knowing it. Examples of schools that might not be immediately recognized as Catholic schools include:

            • Canterbury School

            • Gilmour Academy

            • Oaklawn Academy

            • Subiaco Academy

            • Chaminade College Preparatory School

            • Georgetown Preparatory School

            • Villanova Preparatory School

            • Cotter Schools

• The Catholic Boarding School Association (CBSA) has a list of Catholic boarding schools on its website here: but don’t make the mistake of thinking that this is a complete list of Catholic boarding schools in the United States: it’s only a list of Catholic boarding schools that have chosen to affiliate themselves with CBSA, and is not the only association to which Catholic schools belong. For example, Augustinian schools may belong to the Augustinian Secondary Education Association (ASEA) and Dominican schools may belong to Dominican Association of Secondary Schools (DASS).  In addition, Academy of the Holy Family in Baltic, Connecticut; Donahue Academy of Ave Maria in Ave Maria, Florida; Mercyhurst Preparatory School in Erie, Pennsylvania; and Santa Catalina School in Monterey, California are four examples of Catholic schools that are not listed.

• Don’t, on the other hand, assume that searching on with ‘Catholic’ selected in the search criteria will get you a complete list either The list at this site only includes 14 of the 30 listed at CBSA.