Cate School - Review #6

Read more details about Cate School on their 2023-24 profile page.
Cate School

About the Author:

Years Attended Boarding School:
Sports and Activities:
Public Service Night (Co-head), Water Polo, Swim Team, Cate Review, El Batidor.
College Enrolled:
Home Town, State:
San Francisco, CA

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Cate stands apart from other boarding schools in its idyllic location, strong community and incredible academics. Due to the small size, students and faculty develop intimate relationships which starts with the advising system and big sibling program that starts at the beginning of one's Cate journey. Another aspect that makes Cate standout is its commitment to diversity—and delivery. Though located in California, I shared a classroom with people from all different walks of life and from all different parts of the globe which helped me become a global citizen.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
Upon reflection, what I value most about my Cate experience is how much my education there empowered me. I believe strongly that it is the best education I received because with enough hard work and the support of my teachers; I was able to master any subject. I went to college completely prepared by Cate and in fact found Cate more challenging than university.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
Do not be afraid to move away from home for high school. It was the best thing I ever did and I am grateful every day that I took that risk. I was more than greatly rewarded through lifelong friendships, rich memories and an invaluable education.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
The education, the location and my friends
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Take advantage of every opportunity at Cate, whether it be to try a new sport, participate in an extra-curricular, go to a faculty member's house for dinner, or make a new friend. The more effort you put into the Cate community, the more you will get back in return.


1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The academics at Cate are certainly rigorous, but the teachers are fantastic and are always willing to help you succeed. No concept is too complicated, no project is too large when your teachers are available and happy to help.


1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The athletics program is extremely strong and Cate has exceptional facilities. Cate encourages students to explore different sports with ease and flexibility.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
Fabulous visual arts, music and theatre program

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
There are a plethora of student organizations and volunteer opportunities. The public service program is particularly strong at Cate and offers the students opportunities to volunteer in the Santa Barbara community and travel to Mexico.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
The dorms at Cate are great and they always have a few faculties "parents" who look after everyone in the dorm. These faculties go to great lengths to build community within the dorm and make a personal connection with each of the students. When I was in attendance, the room selection process was controversial because friend groups can be split up into different dorms.


1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
The food was great, and we had fresh vegetables and delicious granola.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Cate's location is incredible, only a 10 minute drive from the ocean and about 20 minutes to Santa Barbara. Carpinteria is a small town with everything one could need.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
Due to its small size, it was incredibly easy to make friends in my grade and across other grades. The big siblings program helps facilitate social connections among different grades, and it's not unusual to see friend groups from across different ages. Cate students are very inclusive and value community. I would also add that Cate students are determined, kind and happy people who push each other to be better.
Read more details about Cate School on their 2023-24 profile page.

Alumni Reviews Review School

Cate School Alumni #1
Class of 2019
5.00 5/21/2020
Colgate University
Cate is one of the unique places you could ever imagine. High up on a mesa with an ocean view surrounded by hundreds of acres of avocado trees, a utopian little community exists and thrives. . .
Cate School Alumni #2
Class of 2018
5.00 8/28/2020
Claremont McKenna College
One aspect of Cate School that I think makes it unique is its campus. When I was doing my research for what kind of boarding school, I wanted to apply to, there were a few. . .
Cate School Alumni #3
Class of 2016
5.00 2/23/2021
Occidental College
Cate is a smaller boarding school and has a very much community bubble. This is a west coast boarding school so people are more liberal and open to alternative teaching. They also emphasize outdoor learning. . .
Show more reviews (16 reviews)

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Quick Stats (2023-24)

  • Enrollment: 300 students
  • Yearly Tuition (Boarding Students): $74,975
  • Yearly Tuition (Day Students): $58,975
  • Acceptance rate: 17%
  • Average class size: 10 students
  • Application Deadline: Jan. 15
  • Source: Verified school update