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Catholic or private school?

Catholic or private school?

Catholic vs private schools

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Many parents feel that Catholic schools, like other Christian schools,  offer some advantages over public schools. But if you want the best education for your child is Catholic school or private school better? And what are the advantages of each, in a final analysis?

Catholic schools are an appealing alternative to public schools, especially as many of these have been built new in the last ten years, with excellent facilities featuring the latest technology and very up-to-date features. And (for example) in the province of Ontario, the government funds Catholics schools and thus free, as opposed to the high tuition required by private schools.

Private schools have more variety of exciting options for students than ever before. Private schools give children a solid educational foundation with greater involvement in academics and extracurricular activities. In addition, parents are encouraged to participate within the school community and also help with learning at home.

To compare specific schools one-to-one, visit our compare hub. You can also check out our list of private Catholic schools in Toronto, Mississauga, Ottawa, Ontario, Montreal, and Quebec. And if you want to learn about the difference between Catholic and other Christian schools, read our guide.

Advantages of Catholic Schools

Catholic schools participate in the mission of the Church, integrating religious education as a core subject in their curriculum. In many Canadian provinces, Catholic schools are funded by the province and may offer free education.

Catholic schools, whether private or public, profess different educational affiliations while encouraging students' growth in the life of the Church as well as study of doctrine and theology.

Are you required to be Catholic to attend Catholic school?

It is rare that (public or private) Catholic schools require students or their parents to profess the Roman Catholic faith these days. It is usually enough that schools are allowed to teach Roman Catholic doctrine to children.

Which schools have the better resources and academics, Catholic or private?

Arguably, some Catholic schools do not have the resources that private schools have. Also, many of these schools have larger class sizes. In general, private schools focus on smaller class sizes offering a distinct academic advantage. Many private schools focus on academics in a way that is not possible in publicly funded schools. Private schools are able to turn away applicants. This makes them harder to get into, of course, and also results in an improved classroom environment.

Yeah, but private schools just cost more than Catholic Schools

While this is true, investing in a good education reaps lifelong rewards for children.

Most private schools have smaller class sizes and teachers have more time with students. In many cases, private schools offer IB, AP, gifted, or international exchange programs (although there are also Catholic schools offering these courses and programs). Surveys show that private school students have better advancement in their career. The high standard of discipline in private schools is understood.

All private schools also have the following added advantages:

  • High standard of academics
  • Character training
  • A heightened focus on safety and security
  • Some may offer boarding options
  • Stronger focus on music, culture and arts

The community concept in private schools also discourages unacceptable behaviors among the students. The admission process in private schools is strict. This ensures that the standard of students admitted to such schools is high. Today, private schools are a way of life for students who get the opportunity to have new academic and life experiences. Many of the best private schools pride themselves on the diversity and excellent caliber of their students.

There are many private Catholic schools offering all the advantages of both private and Catholic schools. We list them below.

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    School NameTypePaceCost

    Hawthorn School (est. 1989)  

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • NS to 12 Coed/Girls
    • Day school
    Hawthorn School is an all-girls school in Toronto that offers programs from toddler to grade 12. Our unique mentoring program is tailored to each girl to help them reach their full potential. [View profile]
    • Liberal Arts
    Accelerated$10,000 to $31,400Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Coed Day Homestay10000

    Northmount School (est. 1990)  

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • JK to 8 Boys
    • Day school (115 students)
    Northmount School offers an enriched curriculum in Catholic education from junior kindergarten to grade eight in Toronto. Its average class size is eight to 15 students. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Accelerated$15,000 to $23,500Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Boys Day15000

    Guiding Light Academy (est. 2007)  

    • Mississauga, Ontario
    • JK to 8 Coed
    • Day school (100 students)
    Guiding Light Academy is a Catholic private elementary school in Streetsville, Mississauga. We offer an enriched curriculum for JK, SK and Grades 1 to 8. We are located just minutes away from the Streetsville Go Station. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    • Montessori
    Accelerated$9,500Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Coed Day9500

    Villanova College (est. 1999)  

    • King City, Ontario
    • 4 to 12 Coed
    • Day school (550 students)
    Villanova College is York Region's only independent Catholic school offering Grades 4 to 12 in King City, Ontario. Average class size is 18 students. Specialty programs include STEM and AP. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Accelerated$18,300 to $19,000MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day18300

    Holy Name of Mary College School (est. 2008)  

    • Mississauga, Ontario
    • 5 to 12 Girls
    • Day school
    Holy Name of Mary College School in Mississauga, is an independent Catholic school for girls in grades 5-12 offering an enriched university preparatory programme. The average class size is 12 students. [View profile]
    • Progressive
    Accelerated$16,650 to $45,950MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Day16650

    De La Salle College (est. 1851)  

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • 5 to 12 Coed
    • Day school (640 students)
    De La Salle College is a Catholic, co-educational, university preparatory school in Toronto from grade five to 12, with average class sizes of 22 students and tuition at $12,950. [View profile]
    • Liberal Arts
    Standard-enriched$14,575 to $14,775MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day14575

    Shepherd Montessori Private Catholic School (est. 2000)  

    • Mississauga, Ontario
    • NS to 1 Coed
    • Day school (24 students)
    Shepherd Montessori Private Catholic School offers programs for various grades in Mississauga. Its average class size is ten to 15 students. [View profile]
    • Montessori
    Standard-enriched$6,500/day to $11,000Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Coed Day6500

    Academie Providence (est. 2002)  

    • Ottawa, Ontario
    • NS to 8 Coed
    • Day school (200 students)
    Providence Academy is the only Private French Catholic School offering a trilingual program of study in Ontario with classes from nursery to grade eight. Tuition starts at $8,050 [View profile]
    • Progressive
    Standard-enriched$8,300 to $9,800Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Coed Day8300

    St. Peter's ACHS College School (est. 1990)  

    • Harrow, Ontario
    • 1 to 8 Boys
    • Day school
    • Boarding school
    St. Peter's ACHS College School in Amherstburg, Ont. is a day/residency school for boys grades 1-8 who love Sports and the Outdoors. Tuition starts at $8,900. and is a member of OFIS. We put "FUN" back into learning. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Student-paced$8,900 to $27,400Elementary MiddleSchools Boys Boarding Day8900

    Athol Murray College of Notre Dame (est. 1920)  

    • Wilcox, Saskatchewan
    • 9 to 12 Coed
    • Day school (50 students)
    • Boarding school (275 students)
    Athol Murray College of Notre Dame in Wilcox, Saskatchewan offers grades 9 to 12, with 50 day and 275 boarding students, and an average class size of 16. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Standard-enriched$10,100 to $49,900HighSchools Coed Boarding Day10100

    The Priory School (est. 1947)  

    • Montreal, Quebec
    • K to 6 Coed
    • Day school (165 students)
    The Priory School offers programs from kindergarten to grade six in Montreal. Its average class size is 12 to 14 students. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Standard-enriched$14,250 to $15,590Elementary Coed Day9999999999

    Villa Maria (est. 1854)  

    • Montreal, Quebec
    • 7 to 11 Girls/Boys
    • Day school (1400 students)
    Villa Maria offers programs from grades seven to 12 in Montreal. Its average class size is 28 to 32 students. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Standard-enriched$4,175MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boys Day4175

    The Sacred Heart School of Montreal (est. 1861)  

    • Montreal, Quebec
    • 7 to 11 Girls
    • Day school (230 students)
    • Boarding school
    The pre-eminent All Girls English Catholic high school in Montreal, with 156 years of experience graduating young women of action with solid skills and tools for success. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Standard-enriched$13,764 to $49,492MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boarding Day13764

    St. Michael's College School (est. 1852)  

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • 7 to 12 Boys
    • Day school (1035 students)
    St. Michael's College School offers students in Grades 7-12 an enriched, Catholic, liberal arts education complemented by a diverse co-curricular programme. [View profile]
    • Liberal Arts
    Standard-enriched$18,700MiddleSchools HighSchools Boys Day9999999999

    St. Stanislaus College Prep (est. 1854)  

    • Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi
    • 7 to 12 Boys
    • Day school (315 students)
    • Boarding school (72 students)
    St. Stanislaus College Prep is a faith-based school that offers programs from grades 7 to 12 in Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Standard-enriched$25,510 to $33,950 USDMiddleSchools HighSchools Boys Boarding Day25510

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