University of San Diego opens pipeline for local Catholic high school students

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SAN BERNARDINO—Thanks to our historic tie to the Diocese of San Diego, students at the four Catholic high schools in the Diocese of San Bernardino now have a clear path to attend the University of San Diego.

 On March 22, University of San Diego President Jim Harris announced at Aquinas High School, San Bernardino that Diocesan high schools will now be included in the University’s two-year-old Torero Promise program. This means that students from Aquinas, Notre Dame High School, Xavier College Preparatory High School and St. Jeanne de Lestonnac High School who maintain a grade point average of 3.7 or higher and complete three Advance Placement Honors classes are guaranteed admission to the Catholic university. In addition, students who meet requirements through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process can receive substantial financial assistance.

 “If you do well [academically] you have an easy path to the University,” said Harris.

 The Torero Promise was started in 2017 in an effort to strengthen ties between the University of San Diego and surrounding Catholic high schools. University leaders acknowledged during the announcement event that USD is perhaps better-known outside of Southern California than in its own backyard. The Torero Promise seeks strengthen the University’s local roots, which includes San Bernardino and Riverside counties, once part of the Diocese of San Diego. 

 Just in offering the program to Catholic high schools in San Diego, enrollment has increased 74 percent since 2017, Harris said.

 For Aquinas and Diocesan Catholic School officials, the program encourages a continuation of Catholic education for students into their early adult years when, as Superintendent of Schools Sam Torres describes, “they’re negotiating their faith every day.”

 Added Aquinas President Jim Brennan, “Moral formation doesn’t stop when you’re 17. This is the first step in getting people to understand the concept of K through 16 in Catholic education.”

 For more information about the Torero Promise program please contact one of the four Catholic high schools in the Diocese or visit www.sandiego.edu