Three Catholic schools in CT see increase in admissions despite national trends showing massive decline


MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH)– National trends show Catholic Schools are facing a massive decline in admissions. Three schools in Connecticut are bucking the trend, including Xavier High School. 

News 8 talked with Headmaster Dave Eustis.

He says, “The thing about Xavier we have proven over the last three or four years, we’re financially solvent. We’re going to be here for the long run. We have endowment nearly doubled in the last four years to about 11.5 million dollars now. We’re in a position where we can help families financially, with financial aid scholarships what have you.” 

The most recent data from The National Catholic Educational Association looks at the past decade. The decrease in the number of Catholic Schools since 2010 is about 14 percent. The decrease in the number of students dropped 21 percent. 

Eustis says, “I think there’s a lot of reasons for that, you see the closing of parish schools specifically the lower grades K-6, K-8 a lot of the schools around the country have closed, which is automatically going to reduce the number of kids in Catholic education.”

Especially in Connecticut, we’re seeing schools combine, which also affects the dropping statistics.

“For instance, in Meriden they might have had three schools now they have one Catholic elementary school.” 

Eustis says that is a problem for high schools like Xavier, “Because our feeder system is being eliminated at the lower levels so we have to work harder to keep enrollment at a steady level for us financially.” 

Dean of Students Nick Cerreta tells News 8 it’s the brotherhood created at the school that makes them hold onto their steady admissions rate.

“As an alum of the school myself I graduated here in 2001, it was the same back then as it is now in some ways,” said Cerreta.

While it is good news for Xavier to hear they are not seeing a decline in admissions, there are some schools here in the state represented by the data. In the past few weeks Sacred Heart High School announced they will be closing after the school year. 

“It’s disheartening, it’s a wonderful school in Waterbury. They’ve done a wonderful job, this was their 99 year in operation. All of us here at Xavier are sad that they’re closing,” Eustis says.   

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