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Making the decision to enroll in a private, Catholic high school is an exciting one, but it also comes with its questions and challenges. Light on The Hill is designed to keep prospective and current students — and their parents — up-to-date on news, thoughts, and events relevant to the mission and values at St. Lawrence Seminary High School. 

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5 Things You Should Know About Attending A Faith-Based High School

C1 img  69-1.jpg1. Faith-based classrooms provide a safe space for open discussion of religion that public or non-faith-based schools do not.

St. Lawrence Seminary High School takes pride in the open discussion of religion in both the classroom setting and in Spiritual Direction meetings. Spiritual Direction is a place and a time to talk about a relationship with God and what that means. A Spiritual Director might ask about the student’s classes and activities, how he is taking care of himself, how he is getting along with his classmates, or how God is present in his life. The spiritual director will encourage the student to reflect upon all the experiences of his life and bring these to the meetings.

The whole process is a sacred sharing in the student’s life. Spiritual Directors will share their own thoughts, reflections, personal experiences and recommendations when appropriate to do so. Directors will challenge the students, when necessary, to take responsibility for each of their own questions, ideas and responses.

There is a significant maturing process during the course of the time the student is here. The first year sharing is quite general. In the junior and senior years, the meetings tend to be more in depth and a lot more questions about God are explored. Many more questions arise about religious life and the priesthood. The Director will support the student in times of discernment in whatever way is possible.

2. A student body who works daily to uphold strong values of God creates an extremely welcoming and inclusive atmosphere in the hallways.

Bringing together as diverse a population as St. Lawrence’s gives students the experience of living with people who are sometimes very unlike themselves. Our Values of Spirituality, Diversity, Social Skills, Knowledge and Safe Community work to build class camaraderie and acceptance. Dorm supervisors help guide students to this by promoting socials and other class activities. Living together helps students build meaningful and lifelong relationships with people from across the country (and globe) whom they may never have befriended in any other setting. This also mirrors the experience of living communally that they’ll likely experience in college.

Students at St. Lawrence also learn to develop social skills and to form good friendships and healthy relationships with others. Students are also taught leadership skills in order to build up their community and become role models to their peers.

Want to learn more about how St. Lawrence helps students develop social skills? Read our blog How Do Boarding Schools Promote Life Skills?

3. Faith-based high schools are not only for wealthy families or the academically elite.

Most private academic institutions (faith-based and not), offer financial aid or scholarships of some sort for those who qualify. Many boarding schools offer multiple ways for families to finance such an exceptional education: Need-based Financial Aid, Merit Scholarships, Tuition Loan and Financing Programs, and Tuition Payment Programs. Contact a boarding school Financial Aid Office to learn more information about what programs they offer.

Here at St. Lawrence Seminary, we strive to keep the cost of our education as manageable as possible for the families we serve. We currently offer two types of financial aid. Need-based financial aid is available to domestic students only and tuition payment plans are available to all students, international and domestic. The actual cost of room and board and educating a St. Lawrence Seminary High School Student for a year is approximately $36,000. However, the generosity of our benefactors allows us to keep the charge for tuition, room and board at $13,700 per year*. This number is highly competitive with other boarding schools as well as non-boarding private and Catholic high schools.

4. Attending a faith-based high school provides a well rounded, diverse and virtuous educational experience

Faith-based schools hold faith formation as an equally important value in the overall education of a person. Hence, the programs in faith-based schools, most of the time, if not always, reflect and foster the values that these institutions uphold. Faith-based schools put strong emphasis on not only enhancing the students’ knowledge and understanding of the sciences and the arts but also of religion. There is also an emphasis on the formation of a good conscience and moral character and the teaching of skills necessary to lead a moral and wholesome life.

5. Extracurricular activities like clubs, sports and community events thrive at faith-based schools.  

The sports and club programs offered at St. Lawrence also students to explore their talents and interests — whether they want to play a sport (like soccer or tennis), join an intramural (like volleyball or bowling), participate in a club (like International Club or Cooking Club), or develop their artistic talents (like in band, choir, forensics, or theater) — there is something for everyone. Those who get involved find those to be some of their most meaningful experiences!

Beyond the classroom, students are given the opportunity to explore their likes and dislikes and to develop their personalities in a safe environment. Students are challenged to make friends with people they might not encounter in their daily lives back at home — by living together in the dorms, sharing meals together in fraternities, and working together in extra-curriculars.


Are you interested in learning more about what it means to invest in a boarding school education? We've created a resource for you! Check out our  page The Boarding School Big Picture that looks deeper into the return on investment of a boarding school education.

Check It Out

This entry was posted in Faith & Formation, Mission & Values on January 11, 2018 by Francisco Sauceda