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Quick Facts

Founded in 1910, Cate is a four-year, coeducational college preparatory boarding school in Southern California. We look for exceptional and motivated students who want to fully immerse themselves in a challenging educational experience.

Our mission: Through commitment, scholarship, companionship, and service, each member of the Cate community contributes to what our founder called: “the spirit of this place…all compounded of beauty and virtue, quiet study, vigorous play, and hard work.”

Year Founded
Students Outside of California
Student-Teacher Ratio
Honors & Advanced Courses

Inclusive Campus

Cate School admits students of any race, color, religion, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin to all rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School.

It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identification, national or ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, scholarship, athletic, and other school-administered programs.

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Student Body

  • Total students: 310
  • Boarding students from outside California: 49%
  • Boarding students from abroad: 17%
  • Students of color: 53%
  • Students who receive need-based financial aid: 25%
  • Financial aid allocated for 2023-24: $4,650,000
  • 16 foreign nations represented in student body 2024-25: Argentina, China, Ghana, Hong Kong, Japan, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom
  • 23 states represented in student body: Arizona, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Washington


  • Carpinteria, CA
  • 150-acre campus
  • 5 minutes to the beach
  • 15 minutes to Santa Barbara
  • 90 minutes to Los Angeles
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Academics and Colleges

  • 17% of the Class of 2022 are either National Merit Commended Scholars or National Merit Finalists
  • Mean SAT of Class of 2022: 1380
  • Mean ACT of Class of 2022: 32
  • Student-teacher ratio is 5:1
  • 153 courses offered
  • 51 advanced and honors courses offered
  • Average class size: 10 students
  • Directed studies courses support interests outside or beyond the established curriculum


  • Inquiries received yearly for admission: 2,000
  • Interviews conducted yearly for admission: 600
  • Applications submitted yearly for admission: 700
  • New students enrolled yearly: 75-80