St. Augustine Prep Blog

4 Things to Consider Before Choosing a High School

Posted October 3rd, 2022

When parents of middle schoolers begin researching potential schools for their sons, they usually have a checklist of questions to ask before narrowing down their list of preferred schools. One quality that most parents emphasize is academic rigor, but what does that really mean? Rigorous learning can be defined as helping students develop the skills, knowledge, attitudes, and aptitudes to be successful in the increasingly complex world in which they’ll live and work. 

In more basic terms, academic rigor generally means that students are expected to work hard and learn a great deal. However, what should parents really look for in a school’s curriculum to ensure their son will find this kind of challenge? Here are four things to ask before sending your son to high school.

What Role Does Faculty Play?

Prospective parents should pay careful attention to the real difference-makers at St. Augustine Prep — the faculty and staff who implement the curriculum. Using research-based teaching strategies and with an eye for innovative and experiential practices in teaching, these seasoned educators will help your son move forward in every facet of their personal and professional life. They are the embodiment of the school’s mission statement, “Setting hearts on fire with a passionate search for Truth, Unity, and Love.”

Caring, insightful faculty recognize the uniqueness of each student. Keeping standards high while giving attention to individual needs, St. Augustine Prep’s role model educators are the essential link between the student, the curriculum, and the school’s mission.

Is There a Cohesive Academic Experience?

Here at St. Augustine, there is intent and purpose behind every element of the academic curriculum. The primary goal is to prepare young men for success in college and in life, so designing a relevant and challenging curriculum is essential to fulfilling that aim. It means the course of study is aligned to high accreditation standards and to the evolving requirements of the nation’s top colleges and universities.

With the guidance of their counselors and Unitas mentors, students follow core requirements and diverse electives in a carefully planned and coherent sequence to help them achieve their long-term goals.

How Will My Son Be Challenged?

Along with the aforementioned high academic standards at St. Augustine Prep, your son will also be held to even higher standards of character. Meaning that the curriculum isn’t simply about teaching content, but more about teaching students how to think critically and creatively, research thoroughly, communicate effectively and work collaboratively with their peers.

St. Augustine Prep also works hard to provide a curriculum based on skill development through opportunities offered outside of the classroom, affording their students the opportunity to experience real-world applications of those skills.

Through innovative experiences like the Third Semester program, your son will have a chance to study in an immersive environment that may include foreign travel, practical or professional study, social work, or intense academic research. He’ll also have opportunities for on-site learning and refinement of career goals through the school’s vast network of alumni and passionate supporters who help offer dynamic career-ready opportunities.

From the Veritas Speaker Series, to countless community service opportunities, to the faculty-led Unitas mentorship program, and more, students discover ample opportunities to grow intellectually, spiritually, and professionally. Young men find high standards of hard work, integrity, and diligence, as well as the support needed to achieve those expectations.

Charles Solomon ’19 returned to his alma mater to present to one of the school’s business classes. Slated to graduate from Belmont Abbey College in the spring of 2023, Charles has already built a successful media management company. A successful scholar-athlete at the Prep and now in college, Charles attributes much of his success to the values and alumni network afforded to him during his time at the Prep.


What Results Can I Expect?

Perhaps the best way to assess how the school’s rigorous curriculum has prepared students for success is through examining the track record of its students.

Take for instance a young alumnus like Evan Doliszny ’20 who was awarded a prestigious scholarship by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.  Evan earned the opportunity to travel to Jordan to study Arabic and immerse himself in the culture – he was one of 18 students selected from more than 3,300 applicants nationwide!

Consider the school’s proud Alumni Brotherhood — both recent and those from our earlier decades — many with stories of success chronicled in our Alumni Blog. These are graduates who have found fulfillment in a wide range of professions, all with the common experience of benefitting from St. Augustine Prep’s diverse curriculum.

Take the Next Step

The choice of a high school has a direct impact on a student’s likelihood for acceptance at his preferred college, and success once he arrives there.  St. Augustine Prep is an independent all-boys Catholic, Augustinian high school committed to an academically rigorous curriculum with an emphasis on character development and servant leadership.

Take the opportunity to learn more about the St. Augustine experience by taking advantage of a variety of options to visit our campus. 

The Hermits Family Experience is the official admissions visitation program at St. Augustine Prep. This program allows prospective students and families to visit campus in one of three ways: Morning Campus Tour, Hermit for a Day, or Hybrid Visitation. Guests are extended the finest Augustinian hospitality as they enjoy their time in Richland. Registration for Hermits Open House is also open! Join us on Thursday, November 10, or Friday, November 11 for the most in-depth look at life as a Hermit.

Visit to explore these options, start your application, and learn more about the admissions process at the Prep. For questions or more information, please contact or call (856) 697-2600 ext. 149.

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