Applications and nominations are now being accepted for the 2007 Catholic High School Honor Roll, a program of the Acton Institute. The extended application deadline is May 31, and it is free for schools to participate. The purpose of the Honor Roll is to recognize and encourage excellence in Catholic education. The Honor Roll is an annual list of the top 50 Catholic high schools in the United States, where schools are examined on the criteria of academic excellence, Catholic identity, and civic education. It is viewed nationwide by parents, clergy, the media, donors, and educators. All applicant schools receive detailed evaluations and are eligible for a $1,500 scholarship.

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The Honor Roll is published and publicized nationally, and has come to serve as a resource for parents, schools, and donors. A school’s placement on the Honor Roll, or on one of the honorable mention lists, will distinguish it as one of the finest schools in the nation. The purpose of the Honor Roll is to recognize and encourage excellence in Catholic education. As such, no applicant school will receive negative mention.

Since the Honor Roll’s inception in 2004, schools have found that placing on the Top 50 list is powerful publicity. Whether it is with media coverage, institutional recognition, or praise from the local community, schools are seeing increased enrollment, energized staffs, proud donors, and a tremendous marketing opportunity. More than 200 media stories have helped highlight the good work Catholic high schools do.

The application extended deadline is May 31, and it is again free for schools to participate. All of the nearly 1,400 Catholic secondary schools in the United States are eligible to apply. Schools can apply by returning the three surveys that were recently sent to schools in an application packet, or schools may apply online at www.chshonor.org. If a school completes each of the three surveys online, it will be entered in a drawing for $1,500 in scholarships. Last year’s winner was Marian High School in Mishawaka, IN.

A new feature in 2007 is the ability for anyone to nominate a school. If you think a certain school deserves to be recognized, nominating them will ensure they know about the Honor Roll and are given the chance to participate.

There is one additional opportunity for schools this year. Every school that completes each survey will receive a detailed, comprehensive evaluation that gives feedback, offers tips for improvement, shows where it stands amongst its peers, and details its strengths and weaknesses. This evaluation alone will be worth the time it takes to apply.

The primary goal of the Honor Roll is to encourage schools to educate students as effectively as possible, in a way that integrates Catholic faith and prepares students for active engagement with the world. By supporting this constructive competition, the Honor Roll provides insight into the character of Catholic secondary education and calls everyone to improve the academic and spiritual formation given to America’s youth. In promoting rigorous education, the Honor Roll desires to better prepare students for fruitful vocations in politics, business, and the Church.