Regis High School Profile for Parents
Located in the Upper East Side of New York City, Regis High School is the only tuition-free Jesuit high school in the United States and was ranked as the top Catholic High School in 2017. All students who pass the rigorous application process are awarded a full scholarship valued at over $100,000 over four years. Boys looking to attend Regis face a competitive application process that examines their academics and leadership skills. Your student’s tuition-free education at Regis High School will set him up for a lifetime of future success. As such, most of the student body commutes from as far as two and a half hours away to this Manhattan high school. Regis prides itself in helping its students become “men for others,” who will graduate from Regis High School as young adults committed to the tenants of Christianity, humanism, and justice.
Regis High School Quick Facts
|Percentage of Regis students accepted to college
|Percentage of Regis students taking honors classes
|All courses are intensive and accelerated. Students are encouraged to take AP exams after taking the standard required courses at Regis
|Full tuition scholarship awarded for all boys accepted
|Number of Clubs and Organizations
|Number of Sports and Athletic Teams
|The student to teacher ratio
|Average class size
|about 12 to 24, depending on the course
|Approximate Grade Size
|Roman Catholic, Jesuit
|Average SAT score
|Average ACT score
|Admissions application with essays, HSPT exam, two interviews
|Test Date and Application Info
|Open House Dates
|Information Session Dates
- Only free private Jesuit high school in the country
- A student to faculty ratio of 10:1
- Rigorous academics with 100% of graduating boys going on to a four-year college
- Graduates leave with ACT and SAT scores in the top 1% of the country.
- Fewer than 10% of applicants accepted each year.
- Voted top Catholic high school in 2017, consistently ranks among the best high schools in the country.
Do you want your son to join the likes of the many famous writers, lawyers, scientists, doctors, journalists, actors, and directors that have crossed through the hallways and classrooms of Regis High School?
Let’s dive into the philosophy, education, and statistics of Regis High School so that you can start planning for the rigorous testing, application, and interview process that potential Regis boys endure in the hopes of becoming a Regis Owl.
The Story of Kindness and Generosity Behind the Regis Founding
Founded in 1914, Regis High School was made possible by the generous endowment from a formerly anonymous donor. Julia Grant, the wife of New York City Mayor Hugh Grant, donated the equivalent of nearly 40 million dollars for the founding of a tuition-free Jesuit school for the city’s top Catholic boys. While Mrs. Grant’s identity was kept a secret for a century, her large portrait in one of the school’s main meeting rooms often left people wondering if she was the famous anonymous foundress.
When she first handed him the envelope at Christmas Eve Midnight Mass, Mrs. Grant held her pastor, Rev. David Hearn, to two promises. The first was that her identity would be kept secret as the school’s founding donor. The second was that the school would offer tuition-free education for Catholic boys.
106 years later, tuition remains free for the city’s brightest Catholic boys. While the Grant family endowment served as the primary, and often, only funds given to the school for its first 50 years, today, the generosity of parents and alumni allows Regis to continue to offer a top tier, tuition-free education.
Who is a Regis Student?
Since it is one of the best high schools in the United States, it’s no surprise that parents wishing to send their boys to Regis High School start to think about Regis admissions when their boys are still young. Regis High School looks for boys who have demonstrated exemplary academics from as young as elementary school.
Each year Regis accepts approximately 140 boys into their incoming freshman class. Those boys come from the top 10% of male students from New York City and surrounding areas. Four years later, an average of 120 of those boys graduate from this Manhattan high school. It is not possible to transfer to Regis from another school. They accept only Catholic boys committed to strengthening their spiritual lives as much as their academic lives.
Rigorous academic standards and a high-quality faculty pool, each with an average of 18 years of experience in education, keeps Regis High School on the map as one of the country’s top private high schools. The student to faculty ratio of 10:1 ensures your child receives a focused and high-quality education. Some dedicated teachers like Fr. Bender, Mr. Barona, and Mr. Anselme have taught there for over 20 years. They carry on the excellent tradition of Regis teachers and set the standard for new teachers to continue.
Over four years, Regians take courses in English, theology, social studies, math, science, foreign language, history, economics, arts, speech, and writing. Languages offered include Chinese, Latin, Greek, German, Spanish, and French. Examples of transformative experiences are the “American Studies” paper and the Quest retreat, both in sophomore year. Regis boys are encouraged to grow spiritually and socially through extracurricular activities, sports, volunteering, and social justice seminars.
Christian Service Project
During Senior year, students are encouraged to take a Christian service project helping the underprivileged in the New York City area. Most students spend their entire third trimester of senior year doing this as the advanced nature of their courses allows for all requisites to be completed by then.
Extracurriculars at Regis
Regis offers over 70 clubs, sports, and activities for students to choose from the following categories:
- Cultural Based Activities
- Interscholastic Athletics
- Club Sports
- Student Publications such as The Owl Newspaper
- Student Government
- Interest-Based Clubs
- Performance Arts
- Service-Based Programs like the Christian service program for juniors and seniors
- Many more – List of all Regis extracurricular activities
Many of these programs include student participation during vacations and holidays, keeping Regis boys active and engaged year-round if they choose.
Regis is most famous for the Hearn, the school’s speech and debate team. Named after the Reverend, who first dreamed of building a free school for the area’s top Catholic boys, the Hearn competes and wins in national debate and speech conferences each year.
Science Research Project
Students have the opportunity to take an extra course from sophomore year to senior year designing an experiment, testing their hypothesis, and reporting the results. This helps students understand science much better than in the classroom or even from a lab. Students can attend various exhibitions throughout the tri-state area with their projects and have near full access to the lab tools that Regis can offer. Teachers are always eagerly available to supervise and give guidance.
Sports offered at Regis
Regis offers a range of athletics programs designed to encourage students to develop physical and social skills. Practice often occurs in Central Park.
- Baseball: The varsity team has made it to the playoffs every season since 2001, with the exception of the 2003 season.
- Soccer: Many Regis soccer players continue to play at the college level.
- Basketball: The varsity team won state championships in both 2014 and 2018.
- Track/Cross Country: Many track athletes compete at the college level, including a Cornell record holder in the 800 meters.
- Ultimate Frisbee: Frisbee became a Varsity sport in 2018.
- Volley Ball: The volleyball team won city championships in 2017 and 2018.
- Golf: The golf team competed in the CHSAA championships in 2019.
Regis also has a dance every month with many of schools on the Upper East Side, such as Marymount and Sacred Heart. Boys from other schools are not allowed. There is a yearly walk-a-thon with Dominican Academy.
Central Park, The Met, Guggenheim, and many museums and cultural centers are in the neighborhood. Older Regis students are allowed to go to these during school hours if they have unstructured time.
Graduating from Regis High School
After four years of social, emotional, and intellectual growth, 100% of graduating students go on to a four-year college. Compared to a national average of 69% of high-school students who go on to a four-year college, Regis students prepare for future success from day one.
Many students go on to well-known four-year colleges and universities. Some favorites include Georgetown University, Yale University, Columbia University, University of Notre Dame, Harvard University, and many more: Regis matriculation list.
Average Test Scores Graduating Regis High School
Young men graduating from Regis High School leave with an average SAT score of 1470. Compared to the national average score of 1059, it shows the exemplary educational opportunities afforded to Regis students.
Regis graduates leave with an average ACT score of 34. That score puts them in the 99 percentile of ACT test takers. The national average high school ACT score is 20.9.
The rigorous academic standards in place at Regis High School instill students with the skills, knowledge, and work ethic to become productive and faithful citizens who work to make the world better for others.
Much of that preparation for high school, college, and beyond begins in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade as potential Regis boys prepare for the strenuous Regis application process. Surprisingly, much of the material on the SAT and ACT is mastered in elementary school for the scholarship exam for Regis.
Famous Alumni from Regis High School
- Dr. Anthony Fauci: Director of the National Institute of Alergy and Infectius Diseases and one of the world’s more frequently cited scientists. Fauci graduated from Regis High School in 1958.
- Colin Jost: Writer, actor, and comedian. Head writer for Saturday Night Live since 2017. Jost graduated from Regis and then went on to Harvard University.
- Steve Howe Jr: Chairman of Ernst and Young, one of the top four financial firms in the world and named one of the Top 100 Most Influential People by Accounting Today
- Mark Kindschuh: Honored for his bravery when he ran in to help victims of the 2017 London Terrorist Attack using his skills to help stabbing victims.
- Mike Memoli: Correspondent for NBC
- Greg Giraldo: Comedian, TV personality, and lawyer.
- Bill Condon: Oscar-winning screenwriter.
- Patrick Fitzgerald: US District Attorney who participated in the prosecution of 9/11 terrorists.
- Robert Giroux: Book editor famous for editing for T.S. Eliot, George Orwell, Virginia Woolf, and published Jack Kerouac’s first book and edited for over 7 Nobel laureates.
Deciding Factors between Regis and Other Schools
Is Regis or Stuyvesant High School better academically?
While “better” is subjective, I think the only other school that a student should consider instead of Regis (assuming he earns admission to Regis) would be Stuyvesant High School. If a student does not value the religious education, doesn’t mind a much larger school with less individualized attention, and wants to focus more on STEM, then Stuyvesant may be a better choice.
Regis focuses slightly more on humanities. Stuyvesant focuses slightly more on STEM. Both will give excellent STEM and humanities educations. I and many of my fellow graduates studied engineering in college after all.
A similar argument could be made for Bronx Science and Staten Island Tech instead of Regis. I think the student’s preferences would need to be much, much stronger toward STEM and against a religious education in order to choose them. Stuy and Regis are arguably the best schools around.
Is Regis or Xavier High School better academically?
Regis is arguably a stronger version of Xavier in every academic area. Xavier likely has better sports. A student probably shouldn’t choose a school based on sports alone. This is true even if plan is to play in a Division 1 college and make millions professionally.
If the student plans to play casually, then it would be especially unwise. This argument would also work for Fordham Prep, Loyola, St. Peter’s Prep, and any other high schools in the tristate area.
Even if a student earns a full scholarship to another school, the best choice would likely be to accept the universal full scholarship at Regis.
Is Regis or St. Joseph by the Sea better academically?
A student choosing between Sea and Regis would need to seriously consider the commute. It would likely be worth it to attend Regis and the commute even if the student earned a full scholarship to Sea. If a student hates the over hour long commute, they can transfer from Regis. However, no student can transfer TO Regis! This argument would be valid for Monsignor Farrell, St. Peter’s Boys’, and even Xaverian High School.
Many of these students also want to stay with their friends or play sports. These are short-sighted goals which will matter much less in their lives than if they go to a school like Regis. They will still be able to see their friends from home and their social circles will expand greatly. There will be unforeseen benefits. They will be able play sports on the weekends or after school.
Understandably, many of these parents worry about the commute into Manhattan.
The trip is well worth it. There are over 20-40 other Regis students who can travel with your son from Staten Island or Brooklyn. Before the first day, Regis will gladly connect you with a junior or senior to guide him through the first day.
Is Regis or Horace Mann better academically?
Horace Mann is another excellent school which sends many students to prestigious universities every year. Similar to Regis, they foster intellectual curiosity, creativity, and a sense of social responsibility. Unlike Regis, it is coed and has no religious affiliation. They also lack volunteer service as a large part of junior and senior year as do most schools.
Many wise people could argue the merits of excellent schools in the tri-state area like Dalton, Trinity, Brearley, or Spence. These or any of the above may be a “better” choice for some students.
Most students who earn admission to Regis earn scholarships to several other schools. Almost all students who are accepted to Regis and another school with a full scholarship attend Regis.
How to Choose the Best High School
Choosing the right high school is a significant decision. The best fit will depend on various factors, including educational goals, preferences, and personal circumstances.
The curriculum, educational philosophy, class size, relevant academic programs (and flexibility), and general preparedness should likely be the most important factors. Location/commute, whether it is co-ed, extracurriculars, and sports should be considered but ultimately will not be as important.
If will be up to the student to make the most of the opportunity though. A student can get an excellent education at any high school. It will be easier at some than others.
It would be wise to visit each school and discuss specific offerings for your student with the administration before making a decision. Attend information nights and talk to current students, parents, and teachers.
I would warn parents that most 13 year olds weigh unimportant long-term factors when making this decision, like where their friends from 8th grade are going. You will be much more capable of making this decision than your student.
It’s usually best to open up as many doors as possible and then choose the best one when the time comes. A lot can change along the way.
How to get into Regis High School
Since it’s one of the top Catholic high schools in the country and the only Catholic high school to offer free tuition, it shouldn’t be surprising that the admissions process is long and arduous. To be considered for acceptance into Regis High School for 9th grade, boys must be in the top 10% of NYC 8th grade boys. Boys must show superior academic and leadership skills from as young as 4th and 5th grade.
Regis High School offers a rigorous tutoring program for 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade young boys from NYC and the surrounding areas to prepare them for the Regis testing and admissions process. REACH is a free educational program that prepares Catholic boys from NYC for the admissions and scholarship processes for many of the top, private NYC high schools. Not surprisingly, REACH’s application process is difficult and exclusively offered to the top-performing 5th-grade boys in the NYC area.
The Admissions Process for Regis High School
The admissions process starts with boys nominated directly by their principal or 8th-grade teacher to begin the application process. Boys must have a strong academic background from as early as elementary school. To get to the nomination process, students typically score in the top 10% of state academic standardized tests.
After being nominated, these boys must complete an entrance application that includes multiple essays, proof of baptism, and financial aid forms. Two letters of recommendation are also required. Preference is often given to top-performing boys who cannot afford to attend a private Catholic high school. Many Regis boys are the children of Catholic immigrants. Applications are due each fall.
Two weeks after the application deadline, Regis invites selected boys to take the entrance exam. Regis High School uses its own entrance exam called the HSPT (High School Placement Test). The HSPT takes place at Regis High School each November. The HSPT is also used as the scholarship exam for many other high schools. Over 1000 of the brightest boys in the tri-state area take the Regis exam every year.
Top performers on the HSPT who score better than 75-80% of the brightest boys in the NYC area will then make it through to the next round for the interviews. Regis interviews about 250-300 boys for about 140 seats. So your chances of getting into Regis from the interview are about 50%. It seems that students who score exceptionally well on the HSPT and have strong application/essays have an advantage in the interview. If your student is selected after the interview, he will be awarded a full scholarship to one of the best high schools in the country.
Taking the Regis Scholarship Exam
Boys who sit for the HSPT each fall will take the 3-hour exam, which includes five sections:
- Verbal: 60 Questions, 18 minutes
- Quantitative: 52 Questions, 30 minutes
- Reading: 62 Questions, 25 minutes
- Mathematics: 64 Questions, 45 minutes
- Language: 60 questions, 25 minutes
- Comparison between the Regis exam and other common high school admissions exams – SHSAT and TACHS
- Regis exam vs SSAT
- Regis exam vs ISEE
As you can see, very little time is given per question so students cannot hesitate. They need to understand the material backwards and forwards to do well enough on this exam. One of the best ways to improve your score is to take practice tests. The student can become much more familiar with the material and format. This will eliminate surprises on test day. You can signup for an HSPT Practice Exam below between April and November. We start with slightly easier exams earlier than that to build students up to the difficulty.
I work with students throughout their middle school careers to strengthen their academic skills. Over 29 of our students have passed the test to earned and interview to Regis High School since 2015. My students have earned over 17 million dollars in scholarships to NYC’s top private high schools. Full Breakdown of Scholarships 2023
Check our full schedule of practice exams if no tests are available below.
Boys who sit for the HSPT also can have their scores sent to Xavier High School in New York City, Loyola School, Fordham Prep, and St. Peter’s in New Jersey for consideration of acceptance and scholarship.
Regis Admissions Interviews
Finally, if invited to move on to the admissions process’s semi-final round, boys will sit for two interviews the January following the HSPT exam. Between 10 and 20% of the students who are invited to take the Regis exam are invited back for an interview. Both a Regis faculty member and an alumnus interview each prospective student. Every interview will be different. There is no list of questions from which they must ask. Their goal is to try to get to know your student.
During the interviews, boys have the opportunity to show how well rounded they are in person. Regis boys who succeed in the interview process show their personality, interests, strengths, and leadership skills to their interviewees. A strong interview day can make a huge difference for a potential Regis student.
Because we have students who are invited to take the interview every year, we offer interview practice in late December every year. This year, 23 of our students will be taking the interview. We give each student a half hour practice interview that all other students can watch. The interviewer will give each student feedback between sessions.
Preparing for the Regis High School Admissions Process
The key to strong chances of admission is intense preparation from a young age. A student’s goal should be to learn the material so well that they never forget it. All material they learn is cumulative and will allow a strong foundation to be built upon it. Students often begin preparing for the HSPT as early as 6th and 7th grade. Strong academics in middle school and strong performance on the entrance exams can increase their chances for acceptance into the competitive, tuition-free high school.
As a graduate of Regis High School myself, I know the preparation and commitment it takes to succeed in getting into a private high school. My tutoring team offers group and individual private tutoring sessions to boost your student’s academic performance and self-confidence for the rigorous private high school admissions season.
Students we have tutored have had excellent results on the Regis Exam
For those who took the exams in November 2023, 23 of John’s students passed the Regis exam to earn an interview. Students who took their exams in 2022 earned over $4.2 million in scholarships to some of the best high schools in NYC. Pie Chart below is results from those who took tests in 2021.
If you want to increase your son’s chances of joining the ranks of Regis graduates who become “a man for others,” start him early with private or group tutoring sessions. Together we can prepare your student for success in high school and beyond. Most students take a TACHS or HSPT practice test before their first lesson to identify areas of improvement and potentially group similar students with similar goals. We also use this to compare to future practice tests to determine what is working and what isn’t. Call, text, or email us to discuss the best options for your son including individual one-on-one tutoring or in a group. You can view availability for groups and tutoring at Book Me.