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Average college tuition aid for Catholic Memorial grads: $70,000

School Zone

The Journal Sentinel education reporters offer news and notes from their beat

May 20, 2014

By Robert Gebelhoff of the Journal Sentinel

May 20, 2014 0

Catholic Memorial High School in Waukesha announced that its 175 graduating seniors received a total of $12.2 million in college tuition aid, amounting to an average of $70,000 awarded to each student.

“It’s historically the highest dollar amounts we’ve ever had,” Catholic Memorial President Paul Hartmann said.

This year's per student average is a $10,000 increase from 2013. The figure reverses a four-year trend of decreasing per student aid at the school.

Most of the money awarded to the students came from the schools the students plan to attend, which includes Notre Dame, Marquette and UW-Madison. One student in particular plans to attend MIT (with Harvard as her back-up). In total, the graduates will leave Catholic Memorial to attend 62 different colleges and universities.

It is important to note that the high average does not necessary mean that most Catholic Memorial graduates will be attending more than a year at college at no cost. The total number includes scholarships awarded to students for each school they applied to, and some students receiving full-rides raise the average considerably.

Still, the high school’s $70,000 average is notably high considering the size of aid packages usually given to students. The National Center for Education Statistics reports that most students attending nonprofit private schools received only about $15,000 in institutional grants. The number drops to about $9,000 taking public and for-profit schools into account.

In addition to large tuition support, Catholic Memorial also boasts a 100% participation in the ACT with an average score of 25, 4.1 points above the national average.

“We’ve been really blessed with great students,” Hartmann said.

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