Santa Margarita Catholic High School

  • Santa Margarita Catholic High School offers a coeducational, college-preparatory education developing students who are people of faith, skilled lifelong learners, healthy individuals and involved citizens of the world.
  • Founded in 1987 under the leadership of the Diocese of Orange, the school`s 42-acre campus is nestled against the picturesque Saddleback Valley Mountains in Rancho Santa Margarita.Ranked as one of the top private schools in the nation by The Washington Post, the school is home to more than 1,700 students. Known for its breadth of academic programs including the International Baccalaureate diploma program; innovative technology; student-centered classrooms; top-ranked academic and athletic programs; emphasis on service and social justice; award-winning arts programs and active student body, Santa Margarita provides a holistic educational experience in a Christ-centered environment. For more information visit

Top Placements

Santa Margarita Catholic High School places among the top 20% of private schools in California for:

School Overview

School Membership(s)School Assoc.National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA)
Other religious school association(s)
Other special emphasis association(s)
Religious AffiliationRoman Catholic
Grades OfferedGrades 9-12
Learning Difference ProgramsYes
Learning Programs SupportedSome of the common areas of expertise are Dyslexia, Dyscalculia and Dysgraphia, but our staff is qualified to support a wide range of learning challenges.
Year Founded1987
Summer School OfferedYes

Student Body

Total Students1,701 students
Student Body TypeCo-ed
% Students of Color
State avg.: 44%
Students by Grade Santa Margarita Catholic High School Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers109 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio16:1
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Average Class Size22 students
Number of AP Courses21 courses
List of Courses OfferedLink to List of Courses
Advanced CoursesAP Art History, AP Biology, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Computer Science A, AP English Language & Comp., AP European History, AP French Language, AP Government/Politics US, AP Macroeconomics, AP Music Theory, AP Physics 1, AP Physics C, AP Psychology, AP Spanish Language, AP Statistics, AP United States History, AP World History
Average SAT score1269
Average ACT score27
Matriculation DataMatric. DataLink to Matriculation Data
Classroom Dress CodeFormal
(plaid skirts, khaki pants, and)

Finances and Admission

Admission DeadlineNone / Rolling
Yearly Tuition Cost$16,435
Tuition Notes$15,650 is Catholic rate for 2018-19 $17,400 is non-Catholic rate for 2018-19


Total Sports Offered21 sports
SportsBaseball, Basketball, Cheering, Cross Country, Dance, Diving, Equestrian, Football, Golf, Ice Hockey, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Surf Team, Swimming, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball, Water Polo, Winter Track, WrestlingBaseballBasketball,
CheeringCross Country,
GolfIce Hockey,
SoftballSurf Team,
Track and FieldVolleyball,
Water PoloWinter Track,

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  • School Location Miles Grades Students
  • San Juan Capistrano
    Grades: 9-12 | 1122 students
    9.7 miles
    26351 Junipero Serra Rd.
    San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
    9.7 9-12
  • San Juan Capistrano
    Grades: PK-12 | 440 students
    11.3 miles
    32032 Del Obispo St
    San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
    11.3 PK-12
  • San Juan Capistrano
    Grades: PK-12 | 1241 students
    10.3 miles
    31641 La Novia
    San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
    10.3 PK-12
  • Orange
    Orange Lutheran High School
    Orange Lutheran High School Photo - Orange Lutheran High School
    (Lutheran Church Missouri Synod)
    Grades: 9-12 | 1330 students
    18.8 miles
    2222 North Santiago Blvd
    Orange, CA 92867
    18.8 9-12
  • Anaheim
    Fairmont Preparatory Academy
    Fairmont Preparatory Academy Photo
    Special Program Emphasis
    Grades: 9-12 | 583 students
    25.8 miles
    2200 W Sequoia Avenue
    Anaheim, CA 92801
    25.8 9-12

School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (10 reviews)
I went here for one academic year about 15 years ago. I left because it was very academic challenging and I felt very constrained.I transferred to a public school where I felt I wasn`t stimulated enough. Looking back I regret leaving and likely if I have kids I would send them to sm. Maybe it`s changed since but when I was there it was a bit of a party school and I know they changed principals since then. I must say as a Jew, I felt very welcome at sm. The environment is very welcoming towards non-Catholics and non-Christians.
- Posted by
SMCHS - wonderful school and I'm so glad we made the investment. My oldest graduated and is now at University of Notre Dame. My middle child is a sophomore and my third child will join the SM ranks in two years. This school is fabulous - there is something for everyone (sports, academics, etc.), the teachers are compassionate, kids are taught respect and kindness, the college counseling department rocks and there is great diversity. I would highly recommend this school and feel like I've given my kids a great well-rounded, faith-based high school education.
- Posted by
SM gave our daughter Samantha so much more than we bargained for - not only rigorous academics, but fostering personal growth spiritually, emotionally, and socially. It is the close personal connections between faculty, staff, and students that set this school apart, and create a caring and supportive community based on Caritas Christi. We are forever grateful to have been part of the SM family!
- Posted by
The one thing I can say about Santa Margarita Catholic High School is that whenever I walk onto campus, it makes me smile! It is such a beautiful campus, so welcoming! My daughter has participated in golf, Talon Theater and cheer and LOVED every activity! Our son is in the Robotics program and can't stop talking about it! The curriculum is rigorous, but look at the universities that our alumni attend! And what can I say about the faculty and staff! Always ready to answer any questions or assist in any way.
- Posted by
I work at SM and everyone here is awesome. Everyone is friendly, caring and fun! People here truly believe in the SM education and the value we provide to our families, which is why SM is so successful in producing kind, caring and hard working students.
- Posted by
SM is a wonderful school. We look at other high schools in the area, but SM was the right fit for us. Never thought I would say, "My daughter loves going to school". Yes, there are challenges, every school has them. However the teachers and community are so very supportive and the spirituality has really made a difference in my daughters life. I am truly grateful for the education and spiritual development my daughter is receiving at SM. Go Eagles!
- Posted by
My daughter thrives here. The community and teachers are amazing. If you are looking for a Catholic education, this is the place to be!
- Posted by
Santa Margarita Catholic High School has changed my life. I made friends before my first day as a freshmen during the orientation. I was worried that I wouldn't make friends quickly, but I shouldn't have been worried. The teachers care about my successes, and if I need extra help, they don't hesitate to stay after school or come in early. The student body is one big community. The school spirit during the pep rallies, spirit weeks, and sports games make me feel as if I am part of a big family. The faith is so strong, it can move mountains. Caritas Christi!
- Posted by
I am a parent at SM and am so grateful we decided to send our kids to school there. Currently we have 2 children there and my youngest is in 6th grade and already excited to be an Eagle! The entire staff works hard to help the students achieve their best -and prepares them to continue achieving after high school. When I walk on campus, I am overwhelmed with joy knowing our children are learning about much more than what`s taught from books. So thankful they get to embrace religion in such an unsettling world too. Truly blessed to be an Eagle Family!
- Posted by
I am currently a sophomore at Santa Margarita, from the experiences I have thus had so far, it's alright. The schools academics are rigorous, most of that depends on what classes you are taking though. The teachers and faculty are always supportive, encouraging students to doing their best and providing them with good educational support. In comparison, the schools Athletics are just as competitive as it's academics as Santa Margarita has won numerous CIF division titles. The one problem I am having with the school is the great amount of competitiveness, which can help to drive someone, but also can be annoying.
- Posted by

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Did You Know?
The average private school tuition in California is $11,369 for elementary schools and $19,928 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in California is 84% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).