January is a month of renewal, hope, and a time to look forward. Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Phoenix are looking ahead to the 2021-2022 school year by hosting the High School Placement Test on January 9th (with the make-up exam scheduled for January 23rd) for 8th graders. Building the class of 2025 for a high school admissions team takes time, as there are several factors that go into the application and acceptance process each year.

Matt Rylski, Vice President for Enrollment and Family Engagement explained, “The HSPT is still just one aspect and a snapshot of a student’s ability and potential. We will put tremendous value in student interviews, co-curricular involvement, volunteer and service work and teacher recommendations.” Each high school conducts interviews and gathers information from various sources from each applicant, but the HSPT is a requirement for all freshman applicants.

In an environment where face-to-face communication is not always possible, Miranda Maciel, Director of Admissions at Bourgade Catholic said they are prepared for every aspect of the admissions process to go on as in years past, with admissions decisions being made by February 12th. In an effort to make adjustments for this year’s uniqueness, Maciel said, “We expect things to go as per usual but may conduct some student interviews via Zoom rather than in person.”

While testing, application, and interview timelines may remain the same as in years past, each high school’s admissions team has become more creative than ever finding unique ways for families and students to experience their campuses and meet teachers while staying within health and safety guidelines.

Mary Pivonka, Director of Admissions at St. Mary’s High School shared, “This year, the Office of Admissions at Saint Mary’s Catholic High School has been busier than ever. To connect with prospective students and their families we have increased the number of admission events offered here on campus to limit capacity and ensure safety. Virtual options have also been added. This shift in process has allowed us to take a more customized approach, providing opportunities for us to interact and engage in more meaningful conversations.”

As for HSPT testing day itself, each school took extra care to place the health and safety of the 8th graders taking the test as the top priority. Seton Catholic Prep went a step further than was required and added mitigation strategies on test days. Guillermo Viduarri, Seton’s Director of Admissions stated, “Though taking the HSPT online was an option this year, the majority wanted to take it in person. Our plan has been to stagger start times and locations throughout the campus, which allowed for different drop off times and locations for students and smaller groups in each space.”

St. John Paul II Catholic High School, in its third year of operation, will also host the HSPT and has remained on schedule for acceptance into the class of 2025 as well as Xavier College Prep.

There is still time to register for the HSPT make-up test on January 23rd. If cost is an obstacle to choosing a Catholic high school education, contact Catholic Education Arizona or your school of choice to learn more about tax credit scholarships available for all families in Arizona.

To learn more about Catholic high schools in the Diocese of Phoenix, click here: https://catholicschoolsphx.org/en/catholic-high-schools/

Catholic Education Arizona scholarship applications for the 2021-2022 school year open February 1, 2021. To apply for a scholarship to a Catholic school through CEA, click here for information and application: https://catholiceducationarizona.org/students/

Tax credit contributions to create future leaders by funding scholarships for Catholic school students are accepted until April 15, 2021 to count toward 2020 taxes.