With so many terrific private high schools in South Jersey, both parents and prospective students can get a little overwhelmed with their options while determining which academic institution may be the best fit. That’s where our annual Private High School Report Card comes in handy. We’ve once again worked directly with several area schools to gather statistical data in an effort to provide accurate information in several key areas. These areas include tuition cost, percentage of graduates attending four-year colleges, percentage of students receiving financial aid, student-to-teacher ratio, and the number of both AP and honors classes offered. We also gathered information on average SAT scores by asking the schools, as a matter of fairness, to provide their average score for 100 percent of the student body taking the test. If the schools only provided a select percentile, rather than the average, we have omitted their scores. You’ll also find answers to key questions often asked during the admissions process as well as a roundup of what’s new and notable around the various campuses.
TUITION, PER YEAR
Moorestown Friends: $26,450
Doane Academy: $17,700
St. Augustine: $16,100
Bishop Eustace: $16,000
Our Lady of Mercy Academy: $10,544
Holy Cross: $10,165
Paul VI: $8,615
Gloucester Catholic: $8,475
Camden Catholic: $8,200
SAT TOTAL SCORE
Moorestown Friends: 1862
Bishop Eustace: 1759
St. Augustine: 1738
Doane Academy: 1660
Our Lady of Mercy Academy: 1637
Paul VI: 1558
Holy Cross: 1503
Gloucester Catholic: 1488
Camden Catholic: N/A
SCHOOL: Math/Critical Reading/Writing
Bishop Eustace: 590/583/586
Camden Catholic: N/A/N/A/N/A
Doane Academy: 580/550/530
Gloucester Catholic: 497/499/492
Holy Cross: 501/502/500
Moorestown Friends: 634/612/616
Our Lady of Mercy Academy: 533/549/555
Paul VI: 527/512/519
St. Augustine: 596/572/570
PERCENTAGE OF STUDENTS ATTENDING 4-YEAR COLLEGES
Doane Academy: 100%
Moorestown Friends: 100%
Bishop Eustace: 99%
Camden Catholic: 98%
St. Augustine: 98%
Our Lady of Mercy Academy: 90%
Holy Cross: 84%
Paul VI: 84%
Gloucester Catholic: 62%
Moorestown Friends: 7:1
Our Lady of Mercy Academy : 7:1
Doane Academy: 8:1
St. Augustine: 11:1
Bishop Eustace: 12:1
Camden Catholic: 12:1
Holy Cross: 15:1
Paul VI: 15:1
Gloucester Catholic: 18:1
NUMBER OF AP CLASSES OFFERED
Paul VI: 20
Moorestown Friends: 19
Bishop Eustace: 17
St. Augustine: 15
Doane Academy: 12
Camden Catholic: 11
Holy Cross: 10
Gloucester Catholic: 8
Our Lady of Mercy Academy : 1
PERCENTAGE OF STUDENTS RECEIVING FINANCIAL AID
St. Augustine: 38%
Bishop Eustace: 33%
Gloucester Catholic: 33%
Camden Catholic: 30%
Doane Academy: 30%
Holy Cross: 30%
Moorestown Friends: 27%
Paul VI: 25%
Our Lady of Mercy Academy: 16%
NUMBER OF HONORS CLASSES OFFERED
St. Augustine: 27
Camden Catholic: 26
Holy Cross: 21
Moorestown Friends: 20
Paul VI: 17
Bishop Eustace: 16
Our Lady of Mercy Academy : 15
Gloucester Catholic: 13
Doane Academy: N/A
Answers to the questions parents and students need to know
How does the school measure individual achievement and progress?
Our students are given assessments in the fall and spring of their freshman, sophomore and junior years. In the fall, our freshmen take the ReadiStep test which is on the PSAT/SAT testing. The sophomore and junior classes take the PSAT test as a means of practice in sophomore year and to qualify as a National Merit Scholar in their junior year. In the spring our freshmen, sophomore and senior classes take the ITED testing, which measures individual progress from year to year. Finally, all of our students have access to Method Test Prep which is an individualized, web-based, 20-week SAT and ACT prep program where students can prepare for these tests. They are assessed on their progress as they proceed through the practice sessions and full-length tests.
—Cara Buckland, director of guidance/college career ¬planning, Gloucester Catholic High School
In what ways do teachers engage with the students?
Given our small student body and class sizes, students at Doane Academy have significant opportunities to build relationships and engage with our teachers to ensure greatest success both inside and outside of the classroom. Students engage with teachers through one-on-one and small group instruction, being part of a family-like school environment, and participating in leadership and character development initiatives. Such initiatives strengthen students individually, along with the greater school community.
—Jane Affleck, director of admissions, Doane Academy
How should parents go about determining the culture of a private school, and whether it would be a good fit for their children?
The most effective and informative way to determine the culture of a school is to visit the school as a family. I also feel that it’s important to visit the school during a regular school day so that they can experience a true sense of the school’s personality. Other means of determining a school’s culture is by taking advantage of their open house events as well as hosting programs, or what we refer to as shadow programs. A family can certainly formulate an opinion after multiple visits to a school so I always encourage them to attend everything.
—Christian Cantwell, director of admissions, Holy Cross High School
What are the things you look for in a prospective student’s application and/or interview?
St. Augustine Preparatory School is seeking outstanding students with achievements, both in and out of the classroom. We invite prospective students to become part of an exceptional student body, brothers that are committed to living the Prep’s Mission of “Setting hearts on fire with a passionate search for truth, unity and love.”
—Stephen Cappuccio, dean of enrollment management, St. Augustine Preparatory School
What sort of student is successful at this school? What is the profile of a typical student?
The successful student at Moorestown Friends School is one who creates a good balance in their daily life and manages their time well. Students participate in clubs, athletics, theater, and many academic competitions outside of school. Teachers and advisors help students establish good study habits and organizational skills to allow them to take full advantage of the wide range of opportunities available. The beauty of Moorestown Friends School is that there is not a “typical student.” Our students come from many cultures and faiths, and from towns all over South Jersey. The broad range of interests, passions, and socioeconomic backgrounds creates a very engaged community of learners inside and outside the classroom. Our community also allows for students across the high school grades to get to know each other. We are a school where a ninth grade student will have a chance to interact with students from other grades during their extracurricular activities in an authentic way.
—Justin Brandon, Upper School director, Moorestown Friends High School
How can a student best prepare for admissions interviews?
Interviews have never been part of the Paul VI admissions process for incoming freshmen. We do encourage prospective students to visit, and to us, the classroom interaction is a more natural way for us to learn about the student, and for the student to learn about us. We do interview our transfer students. In those instances, students can best prepare by understanding their own motivation to leave their current school, and join our community. We want to understand the student’s situation, and be sure that the decision to transfer is a good one for all concerned.
—Kathleen Stewart, director of admissions, Paul VI High School
What are the most important things parents need to have represented about themselves when meeting with admissions officers?
It’s important for parents to review our website before meeting with the admissions department. This allows parents to have a better understanding of Camden Catholic High School and allows them to prepare questions.
It’s important to bring the proper paperwork (report cards, standardized testing results, attendance record) with them so the admissions committee can review their student’s file in a timely manner.
Lastly, parents should know that no question is a silly question. As the admissions director I’m here to help guide them, answer questions and address concerns.
—Colleen Walsh, director of admissions, Camden Catholic High School
Is it possible for a prospective student (and parent) to sit in on a class?
Our Lady of Mercy Academy welcomes students to shadow a current student for the day. Parents are permitted to come for tours or to sit in a class also. We have shadow days and open houses coming up and you can call the office to set up a time to come see our school.
—Shana DeVries, guidance counselor, Our Lady of Mercy Academy
How important are standardized test scores when admissions decisions are being made?
With students coming from so many different schools and geographic areas, standardized test scores are a neutral factor to compensate for the variation in grading amongst area schools. That being said, we value the months of hard work the students put in for grades on their report cards. Our admissions team looks at the entire picture of a student—grades, standardized test scores, community involvement and extracurricular activities—in that order of importance.
—Nick Italiano, dean of admissions, Bishop Eustace Preparatory School
What’s New Around Campus
All of the classrooms in Martorelli Hall, the school’s main classroom building, have been renovated with new televisions, overhead projectors, lighting, and sound systems.
The school unveiled a new dining hall this year, the first capital project made possible through a current $6 million fundraising campaign.
Doane Academy is currently under construction, with Rowan Hall slated to be complete in time for the 2015-2016 school year. The new building will give the school more classroom and meeting space.
Gloucester Catholic is the only private school to partner with Rowan College at Gloucester County. Gloucester Catholic students can take classes that not only satisfy high school graduation requirements, but also can be applied to a university degree. Rowan offers these classes at a discounted cost. RCGC also provides a college counselor who regularly visits the Gloucester Catholic campus and advises these students on course selection and career opportunities.
Our Lady of Mercy Academy
OLMA welcomed a new athletic director, math teacher and full-time guidance counselor this fall. They also started an AP course with hopes of expanding the program further. They will also join other schools around the tri-state area this year for the Speak Up! Program, which brings students together to discuss youth issues and promote positive communication and life choices.
Paul VI has recently embarked on an extensive project to improve the practice and playing fields on campus. The enhanced facility will include two athletic fields—Blue Field and White Field—and the addition of a new regulation playing field, Eagle Field. The new fields are located on the grounds where the school’s convent previously stood. Paul VI has also added an additional weight room for light weight training, already in use by student athletes for the fall season.
St. Augustine Prep has just completed the construction of the Navone Athletic Training Facility that houses a state-of-the-art weight training facility, an artificial turf surface for speed and agility/cross fit training, a batting cage, a concession stand, and public restrooms. The school also recently renovated its Study Commons, designed to be a student centered living/learning environment.
Pictured: Doane Academy
Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Magazine, Volume 11, Issue 7 (October, 2014).
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