Cate School

1960 Cate Mesa Road, P.O. Box 5005,
Carpinteria, CA 93014
Tel: (805) 684-4127 ext 2
Gr: (Boarding) 9-12 | 265 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 265-student, 65-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 only 20% 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."

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Definition of Terms 
2013 School Data
Cate School Boarding School Avg.
School Focus College Preparatory College Preparatory
Grades Offered 9-12 9-12
School Type Co-ed Co-ed
ADD/ADHD Support No No
Religious Affiliation Non-denominational Non-denominational
Year Founded 1910 1907
Campus Size 150 acres 124 acres

Student Body

Enrollment 265 students 300 students
% Students of Color 42% 18%
% International Students 15% 20%
% Students Boarding 85% 67%
Average SAT Score 2027 * National Avg. »View
SAT range (25th-75th percentile) 1900 - 2130 -
Average ACT score 29 *National Avg. » View
Offers Post-Grad Year No No

Acadmics 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 40 15
ESL Courses Offered No Yes
% Faculty with Advanced Degree 81% 65%
Summer Program Offered No Yes


Endowment Size $72 million $14 million
Yearly Tuition
(Boarding Students)
$50,600 $46,900
Yearly Tuition
(Day Students)
$40,350 $26,300
% Students on Financial Aid 30% 35%
Avg. Financial Aid Grant $32,000 $19,000
Merit Scholarships Offered No No


Application Deadline Jan. 15 Jan. 15
SSAT Required Yes Yes
Average Percentile SSAT 83% -
Acceptance Rate 22% 57%
Director of Admissions Charlotte Brownlee '85  
Associate Director of Admissions Gwendolyn Pierce  

Course Listings

List of Courses Offered Link to List of Courses


# Interscholastic Sports Offered 16 13
SportsBallet, Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Squash, Swimming, Tennis, Track and Field, Ultimate Frisbee, Volleyball, Water Polo


Total Extracurricular Organizations 20 24
ExtracurricularsBlack Student Union, California Mathematics League, Camerata, Cate Review (Literary Magazine), CateNet Masters, Chamber Orchestra, El Batidor (school newspaper), Foster Homes (community service), Gay-Straight Alliance, Green Team (recycling), International Students Club, Jazz Band, Kayaking Club, Los Ninos (community service), Mesan (school yearbook), Mock Trial, Peer Tutors, Student Book Club, Student Senate, Tour Guides

College Matriculation

Year: - 10 Most Popular College Choices  (# Enrolled)
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 25 states and 14 countries.
  • Our commitment to socio-economic diversity is evidenced by a financial aid budget of more than $2,600,000.
  • School accreditations: Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
  • Sample of notable school alumni/alumnae:
    • David Crosby - Singer/songwirter
    • Garrett Lisi - noted physicist
    • Billy Steinberg - musician/songwriter
    • Warren Briedenbach III - pioneering surgeon
    • Sir John R.H. Bond - financier
    • Mona Khalil - United Nations
    • Dr. William New - inventor and physician

Nearby Schools:

The nearest school is Villanova Preparatory School (12.5 miles away)
Recent Articles
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