Benefits of Catholic School to At-Risk Students

It is essential that every possible effort be made to ensure that Catholic schools, despite financial difficulties, continue to provide a Catholic education to the poor and marginalized in society. It will never be possible to free the needy from their poverty unless they are first freed from the impoverishment arising from the lack of adequate education.Pope John Paul II, Ecclesia in America

Catholic schools are among the most brilliant anti-poverty programs in the history of the United States, serving as the great equalizer in formation, education and opportunity.

What the Research Says

  • Students from low socioeconomic backgrounds who attend Catholic schools academically outperform their public school counterparts

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  • Latino children who attend Catholic school are 42% more likely to graduate from high school than their public school counterparts

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  • 98% of low-income minority children that attend Catholic school graduate from high school in four years, compared to 33% of their public school counterparts

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  • The achievement gap between students of different racial and/or socioeconomic backgrounds is significantly smaller in Catholic schools

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  • Inner-city Catholic school parents report taking an active role in their children’s education, and they believe that participating in the Catholic school community represents an opportunity to break the cycle of poverty

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  • Latino Catholic school parents believe their children are more motivated, more focused, and working harder since enrolling them in a Catholic school

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  • Students with multiple disadvantages benefit most from Catholic schools

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  • The poorer and more at-risk a student is, the greater the relative achievement gains in Catholic schools

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