Cate School

1960 Cate Mesa Road, P.O. Box 5005
Carpinteria, CA 93014
Tel: (805) 684-4127 ext 2
Gr: (Boarding) 9-12 | 270 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 
2014 School Data
Cate School Boarding School Avg.
School Focus College Preparatory College Preparatory
Grades Offered 9-12 7-12
School Type Co-ed Co-ed
ADD/ADHD Support No No
Religious Affiliation Non-denominational Non-denominational
Year Founded 1910 1909
Campus Size 150 acres 124 acres

Student Body

Enrollment 270 students 295 students
% Students of Color 40% 19%
% International Students 16% 20%
% Students Boarding 81% 68%
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 82% 67%
Summer Program Offered No Yes


Endowment Size $72 million $15 million
Yearly Tuition
(Boarding Students)
$53,150 $48,400
Yearly Tuition
(Day Students)
$42,350 $27,240
% Students on Financial Aid 30% 35%
Avg. Financial Aid Grant $32,000 $20,255
Merit Scholarships Offered No No


Application Deadline Jan. 15 Jan. 15
SSAT Required Yes Yes
Average Percentile SSAT 85% -
Acceptance Rate 17% 58%
Director of Admissions Charlotte Brownlee '85  
Associate Director of Admissions Gwendolyn Pierce  


# 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 27 24
ExtracurricularsAlianza (Latino Student Alliance), Black Student Union, California Mathematics League, Camerata, Cate Review (Literary Magazine), CateNet Masters, Chamber Orchestra, El Batidor (school newspaper), Environmental Club, Foster Homes (community service), Gay-Straight Alliance, Green Team (recycling), Holiday Cheer (Community Service), International Students Club, Invisible Children, Jazz Band, Kayaking Club, Los Ninos (community service), Mesan (school yearbook), Mock Trial, Peer Tutors, Round Square, Student Book Club, Student Senate, The Crew (Video 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 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 boarding school is Oak Grove School (11.6 miles away)
  • School Location Miles Students Grades
  • OjaiOak Grove School
    220 West Lomita
    OjaiCA 93023
    (805) 646-8236
    11.6 mi | 215 students | Gr. Pre-K-12
  • OjaiVillanova Preparatory School
    12096 N. Ventura Ave
    OjaiCA 93023
    (805) 646-1464
    12.5 mi | 250 students | Gr. 9-12
  • OjaiOjai Valley School
    723 El Paseo Road
    OjaiCA 93023
    13 mi | 269 students | Gr. Pre-K-12
  • OjaiBesant Hill School
    8585 Ojai Santa Paula Road
    OjaiCA 93023
    13.9 mi | 100 students | Gr. 9-12
  • OjaiThe Thacher School
    5025 Thacher Road
    OjaiCA 93023
    17.7 mi | 240 students | Gr. 9-12
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