Your journey starts here

Applying to Cate

Thank you so much for your interest in becoming a student at Cate. The following steps will walk you through the application process. If you have any questions, please call the Admission Office at (805) 684-4127 ext. 217.

If you have not done so already, please fill out the Admission Inquiry Form to set up your Admission Portal account. If you are a current parent, faculty or staff at Cate, please sign into the Admission Portal here with your username and password to begin the application process (do not fill out the form above).

It is important for you and your parents/guardians to have a campus visit and interview when school is in session and before the application deadline of January 15. For more information on scheduling a visit please click here.

We require that applicants applying for ninth or tenth grade take the Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) or the Independent School Entrance Examination (ISEE) and that the scores be forwarded directly to Cate School.  Eleventh grade applicants may submit SSAT, ISEE, PSAT, SAT or ACT scores. In order for your scores to arrive before the application deadline of January 15, we suggest that you register for your test no later than the January testing date.

SSAT:  Visit SSAT or call (609) 683-4440. The Cate School code: 2170 SSAT dates are listed here.
ISEE:   Visit ISEE or call (800) 446-0320. The Cate School code: 050485
We only accept test scores directly from SSAT/ISEE; we do not accept copies from your school or consultant.

TOEFL: Visit TOEFL or call (877) 863-3546 or (609) 951-1100. The Cate School code: 8529
Cate School requires that all non-native English speakers take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) in order to demonstrate proficiency in oral and written English, even if you have been studying in an English speaking country for the last few years. Admitted students typically score above 100 (out of 120) on the internet-based test.



The Character Skills Snapshot is a new tool designed and administered by the Enrollment Management Association that will allow schools to get a broader view of applicants. We encourage you to spend some time learning about Snapshot—what it measures, how it is administered, and what role the report may play in the admissions process at the schools to which you will apply.

At Cate, we are curious to see individual Snapshot results, though you are not required to submit your results as part of our admissions process. If you do elect to send us your results, we will not include them in your admissions file, thus they will not be part of our decision-making process.

For the next few years, we hope to receive results so that we can gain a greater understanding of what the information means and how it may be utilized in the admissions process in the years ahead. Ultimately, we believe that Snapshot results will enable us to support students in maximizing their personal growth while they live and learn on the Mesa. Thus, we encourage you to send us your results with the assurance that they will in no way inform our admission decisions.

Applications to Cate may be submitted in one of the following three ways:

1) Cate School online application: To begin this application, you must complete the Request Information form to create your Admission Portal account. Once your account is active, you may log in at anytime to work on your application. If you are a current parent, staff, or faculty at Cate, please sign directly into the Admission Portal with your username and password. Then click ‘Add a New Applicant’ to start the online application for your child.

2) Gateway to Prep Schools common application. Click here to utilize this service.

3) Standard Application Online: Note: You will be creating a separate SAO account with SSAT where you will fill out your application. The information submitted to your SAO will be automatically sent to your Cate Admission Portal. As the information is received, the items in the checklist will be updated. As we near the January 15th application deadline, it is important for you to check your Cate Admission Portal (not your SAO account) to assess the completeness of your application. Click here to utilize this service.

For Program Applicants

If you are applying through a program that uses a program specific application, we request that you complete our supplemental application form. Download the Supplement Form. This may include A Better Chance (ABC), Breakthrough, Daniel Murphy Scholarship Foundation (DMSF), Harlem Leadership and Lacrosse (HLL), Independent School Alliance (ISA), Inspiring Young Minds (IYM), New Jersey Seeds Foundation, Oliver Scholars, Queen City Foundation, Stepping Stone Foundation, or TEAK Fellowship.

Our Non-Discrimination Policy

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.