Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is it too late to apply for admission?
We will continue to accept applications as we have space.
2. Do I have to take a test?
Possibly, based on the year for which you are seeking admission. All eighth graders applying to grade 9 who live in the metropolitan DC area must take the High School Placement (HSPT).
3. What kind of scores do I need on the HSPT?
We do not set a minimum national score on the HSPT; it is one factor used in determining admission. Over 62 percent of the Class of 2017 scored in the 70th percentile or higher on the HSPT.
4. How big is the school?
Our student population is around 1,160 in grades 9 through 12. The Class of 2017, for example, is comprised of 260 students from 78 different elementary/middle schools and home schooling. We are presently 50% female and 50% male.
5. Do I have to be Catholic to attend?
In 1957 we were founded as a Catholic high school by six parishes in the Diocese of Arlington. Our mission will continue to be one which emphasizes the educational growth of Catholic residents of the Arlington Diocese. Given the size of our school, however, we have the opportunity to admit students who are of other faiths and who live in DC and Maryland. Eighty three (83%) of our current students are Catholic.
6. How much is tuition?
For the 2013-14 school year, a Catholic student residing in the Diocese of Arlington pays $13,390 in tuition. If an older brother or sister also attends Bishop O’Connell, there are multi-student Catholic family discounts for Arlington Diocese residents. The amount for students of other faiths is $15,495. Our tuition for International students is $17,475. In order to receive the tuition discount for Catholic students, a photocopy of the student’s baptismal certificate must be submitted. Tuition does not include the $275 annual registration fee, the $85 annual Parent/Teacher Organization fee, the $100 freshman orientation fee or books and uniforms.
7. Is there financial aid?
Bishop O'Connell High School offers two types of need-based aid and one type of merit-based aid. The school does not offer athletic scholarships. Additional information can be found on our Tuition Assistance page.
8. What courses do you offer?
We offer 160 unique courses at Bishop O'Connell High School. We offer 36 Honors Courses, 26 AP courses and 5 Dual Enrollment/Dual Credit courses. We offer the most AP courses and Honors' courses of any private school in the area. You can view our course listing here.
8. What type of clubs do you have?
Over 70 different clubs, organizations and interest groups are available to our students. We encourage every student to get involved in a few extracurricular activities. It’s a great way to meet other students as well as spend time with an activity you love. For additional information, please visit Clubs and Organizations.
9. What are some of the unique programs offered at Bishop O'Connell?
10. Can I come shadow at Bishop O’Connell High School?
During the school year, we encourage all prospective students (grade seven and higher) to schedule a time when you can spend a full or half day attending Bishop O'Connell. For additional information on our Spend a Day with a Knight Program and school tours, visit How/When to Visit.
11. What type of sports do you have?
A wide range of athletic teams, from Freshman and Junior Varsity to Varsity are offered for both boys and girls. Sports vary by season; we offer a full complement of fall, winter and spring choices. We are strong competitors of the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference. Learn more by visiting Athletics.
12. What colleges and universities do your graduates attend?
With a strong college preparatory curriculum, it is not surprising that our seniors are admitted to some of the nation’s most prestigious schools. Take a look at where O'Connell graduates are studying today.