Thank you to our friends in the admissions office of

Saint Ursula Academy for this excellent overview!


Cincinnati offers a myriad of options to consider when it comes to secondary education. Families have choices between public, private, co-ed and single-gendered schools, just to name a few. With the many options offered, it’s no wonder families can feel overwhelmed and miss important dates and deadlines.

Many families have already attended open houses at various schools to gain more insight into their options. The busy “Open House” season begins each fall.

Join us at SUA on September 18, 2019 @ 6:30 – 7:30 pm for 

Strategizing the High School Placement Test

and High School Admissions (click for more info!)


When it comes to Cincinnati Archdiocesan High Schools, the application process begins in fall of your child’s eighth-grade year. There are five primary deadlines to keep in mind for these High Schools:

  • Application
  • Financial Aid
  • High School Placement Test
  • Decision Letter Mailing Date
  • Enrollment Day.

Two of these deadlines are the same for all Archdiocesan schools; the High School Placement date and Decision Mailing date.  School websites serve as a great resource and should be visited frequently. You will see that along with a student’s application, high schools also require grade school records. This enhances the comprehensive admission process and offers more insight and perspective into the student’s academic prowess, patterns and/or trends. Some schools may also require or consider recommendation letters from teachers.

To help ease the stress of the hectic 8th-grade year, you may even want to submit applications as soon as they are available on high school websites. Some applications require an essay submission. Be sure to make note of any special application deadlines that may exist for specific programs and services.

For example, Saint Ursula Academy offers a highly sought after Educational Services Program for students with identified learning disabilities.  This year’s ES Program application deadline is November 8, 2019 while the standard Class of 2024 Application deadline is November 22, 2019. It is important to be aware of all deadlines. While it is possible to still gain admission post-deadline, families may miss out on financial aid or scholarship opportunities.

Entrance Exam

The High School Placement Test (HSPT) is a required standardized test offered at Archdiocesan schools on the same day. The results of this test help schools determine ACCEPTANCE and/or PLACEMENT within their offered curriculum. In 2019, the test is Saturday, November 23, 2019. There is a standard test fee of $30 which is the same at every location where the test is offered. Students may take the test at any location. The location does not at all commit the student to attending that school. On test day, students can choose to send scores to up to 4 schools. It’s a great idea to have a family discussion regarding options leading up to test day. It’s particularly helpful when students and parents are on the same page.

*Many schools also offer HSPT prep classes over the summer and refresher courses in the fall leading up to the test date.

The testing center will send individual testing reports to high schools that were indicated by the student on test day. From this point, admission committees diligently review HSPT scores, student records, teacher comments and referrals as the difficult decision process begins. Every archdiocesan high school is held to the same timeline and sends admissions information on January 15, 2020. After letters are mailed, high schools are unable to reach out to families for the next 5 days. This provides families the privacy to consider all options. Should families have any questions during this 5-day “quiet” period, they are absolutely permitted and encouraged to contact the school.


One other important deadline varies from school to school: actual Enrollment Day. This is the date schools begin accepting registration. For some schools it is imperative to secure a spot within an identified class size, while other schools have a more relaxed and loose timeframe.

Don’t let this process overwhelm you. Remember, school websites are an excellent resource for preliminary research and deadlines. Do not hesitate to reach out to a schools’ admissions department with any questions; they are eager and willing to help guide you.

Happy high school hunting!