There are several persistent myths surrounding the admissions process at St. Paul’s High School.

As such, we have shared commonly asked questions or comments below to ensure that families are making the best decision based on complete and accurate information.

Please note, our admissions office is readily available to answer your questions about the school, the admissions process, and your son’s interest in applying to St. Paul’s.

Myth #1 – Hundreds of students apply to St. Paul’s every year.

St. Paul’s does receive more applications than can be accepted into the grade 9 class, but the ratio of applications to accepted students has never been greater than 1.7:1. The number of students accepted into Grade 9 is generally 150. This admission year is well within the range of previous years.

Myth #2 – My son is not an athlete – will he be considered, and should he apply?

Yes. The St. Paul’s admissions process takes into account and values the diverse interests and talents of its applicants and actively seeks to select students who will both contribute to and benefit from the diversity of academic, extra-curricular, leadership, and spiritual development programming at St. Paul’s, of which athletics is only one part.

Not all St. Paul’s students participate in athletics. In fact, St. Paul’s students often become actively involved in other programs outside of athletics including band, choir, visual arts, computer science, language, multimedia, and a full range of courses in science and the humanities.

Other extra-curricular programs offered include performing arts, debate, chess, Reach for the Top, student government, newspaper, creative writing, yearbook, and other leadership and service programs.

The range of academic, spiritual, extra-curricular, leadership, and service programs available to St. Paul’s students is as diverse as our student body.

Read more about the academic courses and extra-curricular programs offered at St. Paul’s.

Myth #3 – My family is not Catholic. Does my son have a chance of being successful in the admissions process?

The religious, cultural, and socio-economic diversity of our student body is considered a great strength of St. Paul’s High School. St. Paul’s students exhibit a wide range of interests, personalities, family circumstances, and motivations for attending.

The admissions criteria include a range of considerations which are applied uniformly in the consideration of all applicants. Academic achievement, involvement in a faith community and character (attitude, motivation, work ethic) are all valued. Active involvement in a wide variety of extra-curricular activities is also valued as a measure of the fit between applicant and St. Paul’s.

If families are unable to provide a "Clergy/ Religious Leader Reference" during the application process, they may provide a "Letter of Faith" describing their family's belief system and practices. 

Myth #4 – St Paul’s High School offers scholarships to incoming students

St. Paul’s does not offer entrance scholarships of any kind, athletic or otherwise. St. Paul’s does have an active bursary program that operates independently of the annual admissions process. Bursary applications come only from existing students (including recently accepted new students, but only after they have been accepted) and bursaries are awarded wholly on the basis of financial need.

More information about tuition and bursary information

Accessibility is a long-standing tradition of Jesuit education at St. Paul’s and characteristic of Jesuit schools throughout the world. 

Myth #5 – St. Paul’s High School recruits athletes.

St. Paul’s High School actively recruits students. This is true of all independent schools. This is also true of large public high schools, especially in the era of schools of choice. Open Houses, advertising, direct mail, public relations, press releases, and websites are all examples of activities and means through which independent and public schools alike promote their schools.

Within the St. Paul’s admissions process, consideration given to active involvement in athletics is a very small part of the admission criteria. Equal consideration is also given to applicants who are actively involved in non-athletic pursuits such as music, drama, cultural activities, and volunteer activities.

What is true: many students and their families are attracted to St. Paul’s because of the success of the St Paul’s athletic programs and the school's ability to promote and facilitate athletic and academic achievement in its student-athletes. For many of our students, athletics, at the Crusader or at the intramural level, are an integral part of the St. Paul’s experience.