Transition to High School

Choosing the right high school is a significant decision for students and their parents. Adolescence is a pivotal time for developing the character and lifelong learning skills that lead to success. Experiences and friendships developed throughout the high school years chart the path for the future.

Our high school programs, rooted in Catholic religious beliefs and values, enable children to grow in their understanding of themselves and their relationships with God and other people. Our teachers understand adolescents and know that a safe, nurturing, structured environment helps them to grow as students and as compassionate young adults.

Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of New York have an impressive record of success, measured in graduation rates, college acceptances and successful careers. These benefits are so important that many students are willing to travel outside their neighborhood to find the school that best fits their needs.

For students who have enjoyed the benefits of Catholic elementary schools, the transition to Catholic secondary education is the next step in the education continuum. Catholic high schools are a part of a logical progression in academic and spiritual formation. There are a wide variety of coeducational and single-sex schools, each with a distinct spirit and identity.

On these pages you can explore our schools and find the one that’s best for your child. You can visit a Catholic High School Fair to meet representatives of many high schools and you can begin the application process here.

Eighth grade students applying to Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of New York are required to take the Test for Admission into Catholic High Schools (TACHS) exam in November.

Click here for information on TACHS.


There are three types of Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of New York: independent, parish and private.

Independent High Schools

Recently the ten high schools formerly operated by the Catholic High School Association became independent high schools operated by independent boards of trustees. These boards were formed from alumni and other community leaders who support the schools’ missions.  These Catholic high schools range from mid-sized (seven schools enroll from 400 to 775 students) to large (three schools enroll 950 to 1400 students).

Parish High Schools

Parish high schools were established by individual parishes, parish high schools were similar to the way the network of parish elementary schools arose across the Archdiocese of New York.  Today, parish high schools, like the other Catholic high schools, are regional and attract many students from surrounding communities who are not members of the sponsoring parish.  The parish high schools tend to be smaller and feature a “family” atmosphere nurturing and supporting students.  Enrollments range from fewer than 400 students in five high schools, to 525 to 700 students in three high schools.

Private High Schools

There are currently 30 private high schools across the Archdiocese of New York, diverse in both size and sponsorship. While most are mid-sized, eight of them enroll fewer than 300 students, and two enroll more than 900 students. The private high schools are locally governed by boards of trustees and are typically sponsored by religious orders or congregations.


Financing a quality secondary education is a challenge in today’s economic climate. Although the Catholic high schools of the Archdiocese rely on tuition, Catholic secondary education is highly subsidized. The cost to educate a child far exceeds what is charged in tuition.

Therefore, Catholic high schools of the Archdiocese rely on advancement offices, local boards of trustees, donors and foundations to raise funds to supplement the tuition payments of their students. The Archdiocese also offers scholarship and tuition assistance programs to eligible families.

Local boards enable parents, alumni, concerned Catholics and other members of the community to ensure the academic excellence and economic viability of the schools. They recognize that Catholic schools cultivate faith formation, a deep understanding of God’s love and a heightened appreciation for the human dignity of all people.