Catholic Schools in Tucson

Catholic Schools Tucson | Catholic Schools in Tucson

Searching for a Catholic school in Tucson for your child or teen? You've come to the right place! We've put together a comprehensive guide to assist you in finding a school that is the right fit for your family.

What exactly is a Catholic school?

A Catholic school is an education ministry of the Catholic Church. Catholic schools operate under the direct supervision of or in collaboration with a local diocese.

What does it mean to be Catholic?

According to the Diocese of Tucson, there are an estimated 300,000+ Roman Catholics in the Tucson area (who are served by 78 parishes).

The core beliefs of the Catholic faith are found in the Nicene Creed, which states:

  • I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.
  • I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake, he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.
  • I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified who has spoken through the prophets.
  • I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.

You can read the full Catechism of the Catholic Church here.

How many Catholic schools are there in Tucson?

There are around fifteen Catholic schools in the Tucson metro area.

What is the application process like for most Catholic schools?

Like all private schools, Catholic schools each have unique admissions criteria. The admissions process may include academic assessments, student/parent interviews, and/or home visits. Private schools have the right to reject admission to students who they do not think are a strong fit for their school.

Do I have to be a Catholic to attend a Catholic School?

Each Catholic school will vary on this subject. Some schools will require that you provide evidence of baptism into the Catholic church. Other schools welcome families who are interested in a religious/moral education, regardless of their affiliation with the Catholic church. You can expect, however, that most Catholic schools will teach Catholic doctrines in the curriculum (religious courses, sacramental preparation, etc) or through various school events (mass, retreats, etc).

Are any Catholic schools free in Tucson?

No. Private schools are not funded or operated by the government. Thus, Catholic schools are tuition-based.

How much does Catholic school tuition cost in Tucson?

Tuition for Catholic schools in Tucson ranges from $4,000-$15,000/year with the average being around $7,000 - $12,000/year, depending on the school and grade level. Most schools offer scholarships and financial aid. Parents can also seek out tax credit donations from family and friends, thanks to the innovative Arizona Tax Credit program.

Are there scholarships for Catholic schools?

Yes. We are so fortunate to live in Arizona where families can take part in the Tax Credit program, which allows taxpayers to direct their tax dollars to the tuition of individual students. These STOs (School Tuition Organizations) also offer scholarships of various kinds. For more information, we encourage you to attend an informational session through Catholic Tuition Support Organization (CTSO), Institute for Better Education (IBE), Arizona Tuition Connection, or other tax credit organizations of your choice.

It would also be wise to inquire at the school of your choice directly to see if they offer in-house scholarships or financial aid to qualifying families.

What is the ESA program and can it be used for Catholic schools?

Many Tucson families utilize ESA funds from Empowerment Scholarship Accounts to pay for private school - including Catholic school. Although ESAs had been available to select groups (military, foster care, learning disabilities, etc) for a number of years, the ESAs were expanded to ALL Arizona families in 2022 with the passing of House Bill 2853! 

This scholarship, which is open to any Arizona family, gives 90% of the state budget’s funds per student directly to families. The average amount is between $7000-$7800/year. Any student in grades K-12 can receive an ESA and parents can apply for an ESA year round. ESAs can be used to pay for private school tuition, home education, tutors, curriculum, therapies, and more. Learn more about applying for ESA.

What questions should I ask on a school tour?

In order to find a program that is a strong fit for your family, it is important to ask good questions at any tours or information meetings. 

Here are ten questions you may want to ask prospective schools:

  1. Do you require an admissions assessment/exam? If so, what subjects will be covered and how are course placements determined?
  2. Who will be my child's teacher and what credentials/experience does he/she have?
  3. Have all teachers been background-checked? Does the screening process apply to all employees (janitors, lunchroom staff, security personnel, bus drivers, etc.)?
  4. How much “screen time” (iPads, computers, etc) is part of the day, if any?
  5. What curriculum do you use for each subject?
  6. How much homework is required on a typical school night?
  7. What is your policy regarding cell phone use on-campus?
  8. Tell us about the extracurricular and athletic opportunities at this school.
  9. What is the average class size?
  10. What makes this school special?

If you are considering enrolling in a Catholic school at the high school level, be sure to also ask for a copy of the School Profile, which is a one page sheet that includes information about the school's curriculum, community, and scholar accomplishments.

What is the best Catholic school in Tucson?

Great question! With around fifteen Catholic schools in Tucson, it’s hard to pinpoint just one. Each school has a unique community, curriculum, and focus.

The best way to find a Catholic school in Tucson is to ask friends and family members for recommendations. You can also check yelp and google reviews. Finally, don't be shy about scheduling tours at several different schools so that you can make an informed decision.

Other Schools in Tucson

You may also be interested in the following resource pages:

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***Watch this page for new and updated information about Catholic schools in Tucson.

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