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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What advice can you give me about deciding which school to attend?  
Visit each school so you are comfortable and able to make the right decision for you based on what you experience, not what you heard. You, the student, need to find the right match for you! If you’re a current 8th grader, schedule a shadow day to get the full student experience. We also host events throughout the year for students from all grades to see what it’s like to be a Bulldog.
2. How many girls will you accept this year? Who decides the number?
In order to allow us to best serve our students, Saint Ursula Academy leaders plan for a freshman class between 155 and 165 students. This number is based on a constant review of proper facilities and support for our student body. 
3. How do you decide who gets admitted?
Each student who takes the High School Placement Test (HSPT) fills out the application and submits grade school records that will be considered for admission. The admissions committee reviews the entire student profile for each candidate to ensure that she is ready for a college preparatory course load.
4. What kind of grades/scores do you need to get in?
For regular admission into the Class of 2028, the admissions committee will examine:
  • Completed applications (including a response to a Class of 2028 prompt)
  • Report cards from the 7th and 8th grade
  • Most recent standardized test scores/proficiency test scores
  • Attendance records (if not included on report cards)
  • High School Placement Test Scores
For admission to the Educational Services Program, for students with identified learning disabilities, the admissions committee will examine all of the above as well as:
  • Evaluation Team Report (ETR)
  • IEP/ISP, 504 Plan or school accommodation plan, if applicable
  • Teacher recommendations
5. Do you have to "know" someone to get into Saint Ursula?
No, our admissions requirements are the same for every applicant.
6. How do you decide who is appropriate for the Educational Services (ES) Program?
In order to guarantee a high quality of service, the ES Program maintains a small number of students in each class. Students in the ES Program are selected through a separate application process at the time of admission to Saint Ursula Academy. Our ES Program Coordinator, Ms. Arielle Balz, along with the admissions committee, reviews each application for admission to the ES Program. Program requirements are listed on this website.
7. How do I study for the High School Placement Test?
There are many resources available to prepare for the HSPT.  Many websites offer free preparation, such as  Books are also available for purchase on sites such as Amazon.  We recommend Barron's COOP/HSPT/TACHS, 4th edition.  

8. What is the tuition at SUA?
Tuition for the 2023-2024 school year is $15,550. There is also a general fee of $1,000. Details about payment options and financial assistance are listed in the Afford section.  The Educational Services Program requires an additional fee.

9.  How does SUA teach differently to girls?
In today’s society, research shows that girls quickly learn they should not fail, and as a result, they do not take risks. Teachers at Saint Ursula Academy work to create a safe space where girls can take risks and can fail in a safe and supported space. Teachers are working to help girls see their mistakes as “first takes.” The goal is to help them overcome the defeatist mindset.
Research also shows girls want to know exactly what to do.  We give them opportunities for experiential learning and application learning and how to apply it. As a result, they grow more confident in stepping out of their comfort zone, making choices, and using their voice.

We also know that girls do not naturally see themselves as leaders. SUA teachers and the administration work very hard to create leadership opportunities for girls in and out of the classroom to help them become comfortable in leading in a variety of ways and confident they belong in leadership roles. 

Saint Ursula gives girls free time where they can make decisions about how to use their time. We work to help our students develop life skills. That includes making choices to not over-schedule themselves. We address busyness and teach them the importance of self-nurturing, setting boundaries, etc., and work with them to develop these important lifelong skills.
Saint Ursula Academy is a member of the International Coalition of Girls Schools (ICGS) and works to stay on top of best practices specifically for teaching girls.
10. What are classes like? 
Since Saint Ursula offers a challenging college preparatory curriculum, you will encounter a balanced course load based on your individual strengths. You will be in classes with girls who share your love of learning; you will join a nurturing community in which students support each other in their learning and work collaboratively. Courses are designed for students to succeed, and our caring teachers are passionate about supporting your growth as a student and as a young woman. We also have great resources to help you like our school counselors and the Bulldog Academic Resource Center (BARC), which is staffed by National Honor Society tutors and a math or English teacher. 

11. What is the difference between Saint Ursula Academy and other schools?
Our mission and how we live it each and every day sets us apart from other schools. Saint Ursula Academy is a vibrant educational community founded on the strength of our Catholic faith and Ursuline values.  Saint Ursula Academy promotes academic excellence and fosters a welcoming, respectful, and diverse community.  Saint Ursula Academy graduates women filled with faith, integrity and courage, ready to make a positive impact in the world.  

In addition to the academic excellence, one of the hallmarks of a Saint Ursula Academy education is our welcoming community. Students, faculty, and staff strive to create an inclusive, warm, and engaging environment where all students feel like they can find their niche. Saint Ursula Academy is the only all-girls school in Cincinnati to draw students from across the tri-state region, with girls from more than 90 previous schools and over 60 zip codes. SUA is located in the heart of Cincinnati’s cultural center, offering community classrooms at the Cincinnati Art Museum, Krohn Conservatory, Playhouse in the Park, and much more. Saint Ursula has a full campus that blends rich tradition with state-of-the-art learning tools. The campus helps many students gain confidence for their transition to college.
12. What is the schedule like?
Saint Ursula Academy has a proven collegiate block schedule that allows for an all-school lunch and time for clubs/organizations to meet during the school day. The collegiate model provides four classes per day – sufficient time to stimulate thought and discussion, to write an in-class essay independently, to work cooperatively in solving a math problem, or to complete a science laboratory session with a partner. Teachers have time to introduce a concept and explain it completely, and students have time to get hands-on experience practicing the concept all in the same class period. Taking four subjects at a time will allow you to manage your time and balance the course content. Teachers also have fewer students at any given time, so they are better able to know each student and her individual progress. You can take and master more courses in the collegiate model, which allows you to take two sequential math or foreign language course in one academic year. Furthermore, the times the classes meet rotate throughout the week, allowing you to experience teachers at the best time of their day, and vice versa. This schedule also allows more time during the day for you to meet with teachers or clubs and organizations through the fifth bell activity time or the common lunch shared by all students.

13. Does SUA Offer an HONORS Program?
Saint Ursula is known for its challenging academics and its students’ academic success. SUA offers a wide variety of Honors level courses.

Saint Ursula does not offer a formal honors program because our curriculum is so rich, that every course could be compared to an honors course at another educational institution. One-on-one scheduling prevents a student from becoming limited by or stuck on a pre-set track, which can happen in pre-set honors programs. This allows Saint Ursula to schedule each student in the appropriate course based on her individual strengths and interests, allowing us to personally tailor the academic experience for every student.

With our block schedule and intensity, all of our students are moving at a fast pace in a challenging curriculum.
The appropriate course level is re-evaluated for every student each year during scheduling meetings and students can be moved into more or less challenging based on where they will be challenged appropriately at their individual level.

14. How are students placed in honors courses?
Academic Course recommendations are made to set the student on the best course for success at SUA. This is done by looking at the complete academic portfolio of each student, including the HSPT and grade school performance, Counselors and administrators review the recommended courses during individual academic advising meetings with each family.

15. How does the block schedule impact Math instruction?
There are many advantages to taking Math as part of SUA’s Collegiate Block Schedule.

First, we help the girls focus on the SKILLS they need, not just the course. We are fully committed to ensuring girls are prepared for their testing and future courses with the skills they need to succeed.
We can also offer more math courses to our students than a traditional schedule. For example, girls can only take the standard 4 math classes in a traditional schedule, while our 4-Bell Block allows girls to take additional and higher level math courses. In fact, they can move all the way up to AP Calculus.

Math is taught as a "skinny" freshman year, meaning it runs all year.  Sophomore year, girls complete Geometry. They can take additional math courses junior year.   Algebra 2 is generally scheduled the first semester of junior year. That allows a student to complete ALL of the Algebra 2 content ahead of someone taking it all year who may not have completed all of concepts prior to testing. The rest of junior and senior year, the girls have the opportunity to take three+ additional math courses in the remaining semesters.

Teachers do a good job of reviewing and building math into other subjects, like science and technology.
Saint Ursula offers ACT prep classes after school to help girls re-fresh their skills prior to standardized testing.
16. What are the requirements for sport teams?
In order to play any Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) athletic sport, the student must live in the state of Ohio. Each season there is a team that has a “no-cut” policy for students looking to participate. Several of our teams have limited rosters and do cut, but have a variety of levels available (i.e. varsity, reserve, and freshman squads).
17. What if I’m not Catholic?
Saint Ursula welcomes students of all religions to apply and receive the strongest educational experience available. Saint Ursula Academy provides an excellent and nurturing environment for girls as they move through their teenage years, and we believe all young women can benefit significantly from that. While Saint Ursula is a Catholic high school, we believe young women of ANY faith can flourish by experiencing a challenging education that also teaches them to become better, stronger women by engaging in self-reflection and positive action. The mission of Saint Ursula Academy is to transform young women into thinkers, leaders, nurturers, and prophets committed to building a better world.

18. What is the Laptop? 
All students use the same laptop, leased from the Saint Ursula Technology Department.  All of the programs a student will need for the school year will be pre-loaded onto the laptop and will be updated each school year.  The SUA laptop computer has a display that spins and an “inking” or pen component. Textbooks, homework assignments, and student grades are accessible through Schoology, LanSchool, and PowerSchool using the SUA laptop. You will use your laptop  to write or type notes, highlight textbooks, do homework assignments, and write papers all in the same place, maximizing your organization. You will also use your laptop to communicate with your teachers, collaborate on projects with fellow students, and stay up to date with sports and extracurricular activities.
19.  Where do students who attend Saint Ursula Academy live?
Students who attend Saint Ursula Academy come from more than 90 previous schools and over 60 different zip codes.  Students live all over the greater Cincinnati area, including Indiana and Kentucky.  Students from across the region find it is well worth the trip to attend SUA and get the best foundation for college and for life.  
20.  What is the lunch program like?
The Bulldog Fresh Market provides a variety of fresh, healthy and delicious meals prepared onsite daily. Students can purchase a meal or individual items. 
21.  How big is the student body at SUA?  
Saint Ursula Academy currently has 646 students.
22.  What types of clubs and organizations are available?
With more than 40 student-led clubs and organizations, you can write an article for the school newspaper, hone your skills as a photographer, craft competitively with your classmates, or practice your diplomacy skills through Model UN. Most of the clubs, organizations, and honor societies meet during the school day, which means that students have access to these enrichment opportunities built right into their schedules. 
23. How is the Counseling department structured and how do the Counselors support the students? 
Saint Ursula Academy is fortunate to have 7 licensed, experienced, and caring school counselors on our faculty who assist students with the transition into high school, social-emotional and academic concerns, career discernment, and the college search and application process.

Each student is paired with her counselor for all four years. This allows her to build a deep and meaningful partnership with her counselor, who assists her through each stage of her high school development. Since our counselor-to-student ratio is exceptionally low, our counselors are able to give significant time and care to each and every student.

Counselors support students through personalized individual counseling, small and large group meetings, yearly academic advising, and dedicated, one-on-one career and college advising.

24.  I hear the teachers at Saint Ursula are very effective. How do they help the students learn?  
The teachers at Saint Ursula Academy are highly knowledgeable in their areas of expertise and participate in regular professional development and training to stay at the forefront of their field. The teachers really believe in the mission of Saint Ursula and live it through their example every day.  They are invested in each student's success.  They care about each and every girl and work to help them grow as thinkers, leaders, nurturers and prophets. This helps the students thrive in the classroom and beyond.

25. What kinds of transportation is available to and from Saint Ursula Academy?
Many students use carpools to get to Saint Ursula Academy. SUA provides a list of students’ zip codes and telephone numbers to families at the start of the school year to assist with carpool arrangements.
Bus transportation may be provided by the school district in which you reside. Please check with the school district in which you reside for options and details.