Cate School

1960 Cate Mesa Road, P.O. Box 5005
Carpinteria, CA 93014
Tel: 8056844127
Gr: (Boarding) 9-12 | 280 students
Founded in 1910, Cate School is a grade 9-12, coeducational, college preparatory boarding school in Carpinteria, California.
What began as a group of twelve boys and a few teachers has expanded into a 280-student, 70-teacher, deeply academic and talented community with the most diverse student body of any boarding school of its size in the United States.
The faculty are experts in their fields: 74% hold advanced degrees, 18% of these have PhDs.
Cate is one of this nation`s most selective boarding schools, accepting under 20% of our applicants each year.
52% of Cate's most recent graduating class attend the 25 top-ranked colleges and universities in the country.
The Cate experience combines academics, athletics, art and co-curricular activities in a close-knit, community setting where students are enriched by their relationships with their teachers and each other.
When students leave Cate, they have the tools and the conviction to seek out lives full of purpose and meaning.
College admissions offices often report back that Cate students are among their schools' brightest, most dynamic, and intellectually curious individuals.
Mission: Through commitment, scholarship, companionship, and service, each member of the Cate community contributes to what our founder called: "...the spirit of this place...all compounded of beauty and virtue, quiet study, vigorous play, and hard work.".

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description
  • Review #1 - Class of 2010College of William and Mary The word, I feel, that always describes Cate best is "community." I left my local public high school to attend. . .
  • Review #2 - Class of 2010Reed College Community is a key aspect of the Cate experience. Being a Cate student means living in a community of well-rounded. . .
  • Review #3 - Class of 2005University of Pennsylvania Cate is a unique place because it focuses so much on the idea of the community. Because Cate is such. . .
  • Review #4 - Class of 2004University of Virginia The unique outdoors program at Cate makes the school stand out among its peers. Required week long trips at the. . .

Top 20 Placements

Listed among the top 20 boarding schools (out of 323 schools) for:

Definition of Terms 
2016 School Data
Cate School Boarding School Avg.
School Focus College Prep College Preparatory
Grades Offered 9-12 9-12
School Type Co-ed Co-ed
Religious Affiliation Non-denominational Non-denominational
Year Founded 1910 1910
Campus Size 150 acres 110 acres

Student Body

Enrollment 280 students 295 students
% Students of Color
% International Students
% Students Boarding
Average SAT Score 1990 * National Avg. »View
SAT range (25th-75th percentile) 1840 - 2150 -
Average ACT score 25 *National Avg. » View
Offers Post-Grad Year No No

Academics and Faculty

Saturday Classes Yes No
Frequency of Saturday Classes Bi-Weekly Weekly
Classroom Dress Code Casual Casual
Average Class Size 10 students 12
*National School Avg. » 20
Teacher : Student Ratio 1:5 1:7
# of AP / Advanced Courses Offered 51 16
ESL Courses Offered No Yes
% Faculty with Advanced Degree
Summer Program Offered Yes Yes


Endowment Size $80 million $16 million
Yearly Tuition
(Boarding Students)
$58,050 $50,475
Yearly Tuition
(Day Students)
$46,280 $28,200
% Students on Financial Aid
Avg. Financial Aid Grant $49,000 $22,000
Merit Scholarships Offered No No


Application Deadline Jan. 15 Jan. 15
Accepts Standardized Application Yes No
SSAT Required Yes Yes
Average Percentile SSAT 80 -
Acceptance Rate
Director of AdmissionsCharlotte Brownlee '85
Associate Director of AdmissionsGwendolyn Pierce

Course Listings

List of Courses Offered Link to List of Courses


# Interscholastic Sports Offered 19 14
SportsBallet, Baseball, Basketball, Climbing, Cross Country, Dance, Football, Kayaking, Lacrosse, Rock Climbing, Soccer, Softball, Squash, Surf Team, Swimming, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball, Water Polo


Total Extracurricular Organizations 41 23
ExtracurricularsAlianza (Latino Student Alliance), American Sign Language, Black Student Union, California Mathematics League, Camerata, Cate Artists' Theatre, Cate Liberals League, Cate Repbulicans, Cate Review (Literary Magazine), CateNet Masters, Chamber, Chinese Language & Culture Club, Chorale, Cultural Awareness Club, Dance Club, Digital Art, El Batidor (school newspaper), Environment Club, Foster Homes (community service), Gay Straight Alliance (GSA), Green Team, Holiday Cheer (Community Service), International Student Club, Invisible Children, Jazz Club,

College Matriculation

Year: 2009 - 2014 10 Most Popular College Choices  (# Enrolled)
New York University 22
University of Southern California 17
Stanford University 13
Colorado College 11
University of Chicago 11
Barnard College 9
Columbia University 9
University of Pennsylvania 9
Cornell University 8
Brown University 7
Link to Matriculation Data

School Notes

  • With more than 101 courses offered, the goal of the Cate curriculum is to teach students to think and to develop in them a lifelong love of learning. Cate graduates consistently enroll in the country`s top colleges and universities.  Cate strongly values diversity. Our student body is comprised of 42% students of color. We enroll boys and girls from 29 states and 18 countries.  Our commitment to socio-economic diversity is evidenced by a financial aid budget of more than $3,200,000.
  • School accreditations: Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS)
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