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Incoming Students Honored with Merit Scholarships

On Thursday, February 8, 2024, Catholic Central High School hosted an Incoming Scholarship Award Night for members of the incoming class who were recognized with either an Academic or Goodness, Discipline, and Knowledge scholarship.  

“The class of 2028 is setting the bar very high already,” stated Director of Admissions and Public Relations, Jake Marmul ’07. “This group represents our 100th graduating class, and we believe they will add a tremendous chapter to our school’s legacy.” 

The presentation was hosted in the Chapel, and one of the key features of the evening was a current student panel. Six seniors, two juniors, two sophomores, and two freshmen introduced themselves, gave some background on their involvement at CC, and then opened the floor to questions. Attendees were asked to check under their seats for a piece of paper with a menu of starter questions before opening it up to anything they wanted to ask the students.  

Kam Lloyd, a senior from Van Hoosen Middle School in Rochester Hills, shared some of his insight: “At CC, you have to prepare. The regular classes here are harder than public school. It’s going to be tough. You’re going to be challenged.”  

Kam is still undecided on where he will attend college. He has been accepted to a variety of schools including Case Western, Alabama, Butler, The Citadel, Kalamazoo College, Michigan State, Michigan Tech, North Carolina A&T, Penn State, and Wayne State. He is also finishing up his application to both the Naval Academy and West Point. 

Hudson Todd, a senior from Oak Valley Middle School in Commerce, also gave his advice. “Be open to everything. Try to join as many clubs as you can to find what’s right for you.” Hudson also drew a round of applause for his biggest takeaway from his time at Catholic Central when he proudly informed attendees that he will be entering the Catholic Church later this year. He is still weighing his options for college soccer, and has been accepted at schools such as Indiana and Miami of Ohio. 

Dominic Apap, a senior from St. Edith in Livonia, has been accepted to Notre Dame, DePaul, and Michigan, among others. He shared one of his takeaways with the families in attendance. “I learned how a whole school, a thousand people can bond together. Before I came here, I really didn’t know what that meant. I was like, ‘Why would I want to go to a school with all boys?’ I can always depend on my brothers. We get through it together.” Dominic also shared that one of his best decisions at CC was to remain involved in the band rather than pursuing additional honors classes simply for the GPA boost. 

Javier Farfán-Morales, a senior from St. Francis of Assisi in Ann Arbor, spoke about making the decision to come to a school where he didn’t know anyone. He highlighted his involvement in the band, soccer, and clubs as a way to meet fellow students, and encouraged the students not to fear making tough choices to place themselves in a position to achieve their goals. Javier has been accepted to schools such as Hope, Michigan, Florida International, Loyola Chicago, and Michigan State. 

Joe Sievert, another senior from St. Francis of Assisi in Ann Arbor, spoke about balancing varsity hockey with his academics, and encouraged the students to take classes in fields that are interesting. His favorite class during his time at CC was his engineering class, which aligns with what he wants to study in college. Joe has been accepted to Purdue, Michigan, and Virginia Tech. 

The final senior on the panel, Lucas Jraiche, is from St. Michael in Livonia. Lucas has been accepted to Michigan, Baylor, Central Michigan, and Xavier. He spoke about the importance of getting involved and trying new things, sharing how he’s now involved with activities he never would have envisioned for himself. Among his many activities, Lucas is one of the “voices of Catholic Central” as a color commentator on the athletics live-streams. 

Adding some humor, and eliciting perhaps one of the most enthusiastic responses from the students, was a question about the quality of lunches. The unanimous response from the full panel was resounding support for both the variety and quality - reinforcing the fact that these high achievers are still teenage boys. 

Every year, Catholic Central considers between 300 and 400 applicants.  To earn an academic scholarship at CC, students must score a 90 or higher national composite score on the High School Placement Test. Goodness, Discipline, and Knowledge scholarships are based on the sum of application materials, and are offered to less than 10% of applicants.

In this year’s first round of acceptances, 87 out of 340 applicants earned a merit scholarship. These scholarship recipients represent more than 25 cities and 42 different middle schools, including 20 Catholic schools, 18 public schools, 2 Christian schools, one private school, and home school.  This is just a small slice of the overall reach of the applicant pool. 

To earn an academic scholarship at CC, students must score a 90 or higher national composite score on the High School Placement Test. Goodness, Discipline, and Knowledge scholarships are based on the sum of application materials, and are offered to less than 10% of applicants.  

“We often hear from parents who are a bit frustrated that their son did not receive a merit scholarship to CC when he did to other schools, or that the amount they received from another school is significantly higher than our merit awards,” explained Marmul. “We have to point them back to our mission as a Catholic school. We work hard to remain accessible and focus on need-based tuition assistance as our primary tool of enrollment.” 

Merit scholarship amounts for this year ranged between $1,000 and $4,000, with an average award of just under $2,500. Tuition is set at $15,975 for the 2024-2025 school year. 

“We had 62 students earn an academic scholarship this year. If we lowered the requirement for an academic scholarship to an 80, for example, another 55 applicants would have received funding. Even if we only offered those families $1,000 scholarships that would be $55,000 in annual funding that would need to come from somewhere,” Marmul continued. “We’ve made the decision as a school to put that funding towards need-based assistance, with which we are very aggressive, and rely on the families to see the value in what we offer as a school.” 

Currently, approximately one-third of the students who attend CC are receiving need-based tuition assistance. The tuition assistance budget for this incoming class was $600,000, bringing the school’s tuition assistance budget to more than $2,000,000 for the 2024-2025 school year. 

"One of the most difficult aspects of our role in the admissions office is the scholarship selection process. We are grateful for the chance to get to know these young men, and to do our best to maintain a fair and consistent process," Marmul concluded. 

After the program, students and their families made their way to the cafeteria for a reception hosted by the Mothers’ Club.  Numerous faculty members and about 40 current students were there to answer additional questions, and the Jazz Band was there to add to the atmosphere. 

To learn more about Catholic Central’s scholarship process, please refer to the tuition assistance page.  

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