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Aquinas Scholars

Aquinas Scholars

Students who are considered academically gifted may participate in the Aquinas Scholars program at Paramus Catholic High School. Selection for this invitation-only high school scholarship program is based on specific criteria and includes tuition scholarships. The program requires that students enroll in a set of intensive courses, starting in grade 9 and continuing through grade 11. 

In keeping with the goals of all academic programs offered at Paramus Catholic High School, the Aquinas Scholars program is designed to prepare students for the demands of college. Our faith-based educational mission is to foster the spiritual growth, academic excellence, social responsibility, and personal development of all students at our school in Paramus, New Jersey. 


For detailed information, please refer to page five of the 2023-2024 course booklet.

What Is the Aquinas Scholars Program?

Named for theologian and philosopher, Thomas Aquinas, the Aquinas Scholars program at Paramus Catholic High School requires its students to enroll in honors-level classes in theology each year. The Aquinas Senior Seminar in grade 12 includes 40 hours of community service in addition to the academic requirements of the seminar.

The curriculum for Aquinas scholars is rigorous, interdisciplinary, and challenging. Aquinas scholars are expected to exceed the general graduation requirements set by Paramus Catholic High School. While they can choose among courses within some disciplines, all classes except one must be categorized as either honors or advanced placement. Advanced placement courses can help students earn college credits, depending on the grade received and the admission and transfer process followed by the college.

Courses required for the Aquinas Scholars program include:

Grade 9

  • Theology Honors
  • English 9 Honors
  • World History Honors
  • Algebra 1 Honors or Algebra 2 Honors (based on math performance test)
  • Biology Honors
  • International Language, Honors if offered (Latin, French, Italian, Spanish)

Grade 10

  • Theology Honors
  • English 10 Honors
  • AP or Honors U.S. History 1
  • Algebra 2 Honors if Algebra 1 Honors taken in grade 9; Geometry Honors if Algebra 2 Honors taken in grade 9
  • Chemistry Honors
  • International Language (second or third level, Honors if offered)
  • P.E./Driver Education

Grade 11

  • Theology Honors
  • English 11 Honors, AP English Language & Composition, or AP English Literature & Composition
  • AP or Honors U.S. History 2
  • Geometry Honors if Algebra 2 Honors taken in grade 10; Pre-Calculus Honors if Geometry Honors taken in grade 10
  • Any full year Science elective: Honors or AP recommended
  • International Language Honors (third or fourth level)

Grade 12

  • Theology Aquinas Senior Seminar (40 hours of community service required)
  • English 12 Honors, AP English Language & Composition, or AP English Literature & Composition
  • AP or Honors U.S. History 2 (if not taken in grade 11)
  • Pre-Calculus Honors if Geometry Honors taken in grade 11; Calculus Honors, AP Calculus, Or AP Statistics if Pre-Calculus Honors taken in grade 11
  • At least 1 course must be AP level
In addition to course requirements, Aquinas scholars are exposed to a variety of academic experiences. In this way, they discover the range of disciplines and programs available at the university and college level. 

Scholarship Program for High School Students

The Aquinas Scholars program also offers substantial tuition scholarships to students in the program. These are dependent on the student renewing their participation each year by meeting strict grade level criteria based on 90% overall weighted averages. 

In addition, students must maintain continued enrollment in the required honors and AP courses. Review for renewal status begins at the end of grade 10. Paramus Catholic High School offers additional scholarship programs for high school students, as well as financial aid opportunities.

Selection Criteria for Aquinas Scholars

There is an admissions committee for the Aquinas Scholars program. The decision to invite a student to join the Aquinas Scholars program is determined through an evaluation of academic performance in grades 7 and  8. Student performance on both the Archdiocesan admissions examination and the Paramus Catholic High School scholarship examination are also considered.

Paramus Catholic High School for College Prep

At least 99% of students who graduate from Paramus Catholic High School attend college. In addition to high-quality educational programs and facilities, our guidance department engages with students from the time they are incoming freshmen through graduation. Each student is assigned a guidance counselor when entering grade 9, and that counselor remains dedicated to the student through grade 12. Students meet with their guidance counselors at least twice a year.

Discover the Benefits of Catholic Education 

Located in Paramus, New Jersey, Paramus Catholic High School is a coeducational, college preparatory private high school. We welcome a diverse student body, providing faith-based values that encourage academic success and personal development. There are a variety of scholarship programs for high school students that assist our students and families with tuition expenses. For more information about the Aquinas Scholars program, and our other learning programs, contact us today.