Catholic Diocese of Richmond

Search Parishes

Ministry > McMahon Parater Scholarship Foundation

Diocese of Richmond Catholic Schools Continue
to Raise the Standards

schoolspageAccording to the Cato Institute in its February 2012 report on schools, “One of the first things you learn when you start to study the comparative performance of school systems is this: on average, Catholic schools are much more educationally effective and vastly more efficient than state-run schools.”

Academically, Diocese of Richmond Catholic schools outpace their counterparts in nearly all categories. For example:

Higher Test Scores: Catholic schools score higher on standardized test scores. A report by the the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) shows that in Mathematics alone, 8th graders in Catholic schools scored 12 points higher than their public school counterparts in 2017. Within the Richmond Diocese, our schools consistently rank in the top 12% on standardized tests.

Higher SAT Scores: SAT scores published by the U.S. Department of Education show a steady decline in test scores over the last several years with mathematics scores falling by 6 points and writing falling by 8 points since 2006. By contrast, SAT scores for Richmond Catholic Diocesan schools continue to grow with an average score of 1140, in 2018, compared with the Virginia average of 1110 and the national average of 1068.

Higher Graduation Rates: Diocese of Richmond Catholic schools maintain a 99% graduation rate. The U.S. average, according to the National Center for Higher Education, is 84%.

More Graduates Attend Four-Year Colleges: The percentage of seniors attending a four-year college is higher among Catholic school students (84.9%) compared to other religious schools (61.3%) and other private schools (57.2%). In the Diocese of Richmond, in 2017, over 98% of our graduates are attending four-year colleges.

More College Scholarships: Over $30 million in scholarships and grants were offered to 257 high school seniors graduating from Richmond Diocesan Catholic schools in the class of 2018.


The Catholic Diocese of Richmond’s schools are individually accredited by AdvancED and approved by the Virginia Council for Private Education as authorized by the Virginia State Board of Education.

In addition, the Catholic Diocese of Richmond is accredited as a district by AdvancED. The Diocese of Richmond was the first diocese in the country to achieve this distinction in 2006.

District accreditation through AdvancEd allows for the use of a common language school improvement across content areas and grade levels, as well as across individual schools, feeder schools, and district lines of responsibility. District accreditation also provides the district and community with validation and recognition for improvement efforts as well as required actions that are designed to further the district’s effort to improve.


With nearly 100 international students from 13 countries, the Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Richmond values it’s ethnically diverse student body.


Percentage of high school graduates who attend a four-year college

Diocese of Richmond Schools 98.1%
Catholic Schools 84.9%
Other Religious Schools 61.3%
Other Private Schools 57.2%
Public Schools 44.1%

National Catholic Education Association, 2010

2018 SAT Scores

Diocese of Richmond average 1140
Virginia average 1110
National average 1068