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Study finds Catholic-school graduates have best economic prospects

October 24, 2012

A study by economists with the St. Louis branch of the Federal Reserve Bank has found that Catholic schools improve the career income prospects of their students more than public or private schools.

Graduates of private schools earn considerably more than graduates of public schools, the study found. However, since private-school graduates tend to come from affluent families, their higher income does not necessarily mean a step up the economic ladder. For graduates of Catholic schools, on the other hand, the increase in expected career earnings was a “statistically significant 13.6%.” The study suggested that there are “aspects of school quality that could affect earnings later in life.”


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  • Posted by: Cornelius - Oct. 26, 2012 10:07 AM ET USA

    I went to a Catholic all-boys high school and, though there was some misbehavior and even unlawful activity, it was nothing like what my friends in local public schools went through. Theirs was an almost daily combat, whereas I never saw a single fist-fight and it was possible to focus on healthy things: academics, sports, etc. Whether we knew it or not, a Christian spirit pervaded the school, aided and abetted by the good Jesuits who taught us.

  • Posted by: normnuke - Oct. 25, 2012 9:36 PM ET USA

    Could it be that Catholic school students have better parents?

  • Posted by: garedawg - Oct. 24, 2012 9:31 PM ET USA

    That's because Catholic schools can expel those students who aren't cutting it.

  • Posted by: FredC - Oct. 24, 2012 5:58 PM ET USA

    Figure 3 of the Fed Reserve report is more telling, because it more nearly looks at matched students. Catholic schools are definitely superior. Catholic-school students earn more and go to college more often than private-school students.