- What need does the Cristo Rey Network address?
- Who do Cristo Rey Network schools enroll?
- Do students have to be Catholic to enroll at a Cristo Rey school?
- How are Cristo Rey schools funded?
- What is the Corporate Work Study Program?
- How can students legally work?
- How does Cristo Rey support graduates after high school?
- How can I open a Cristo Rey school in my area?
- How does Cristo Rey measure performance and success?
- Who are the Religious Sponsors of Cristo Rey schools?
- What is the role of the Cristo Rey Network national office?
In a world where the social fabric is fraying, Cristo Rey weaves it back together. Businesses, schools, churches, families, children, and communities all come together in the mutual pursuit of providing quality education. As a result, students enjoy a more diverse experience than they would get in a traditional educational setting; co-workers get to meet, mentor and learn from students who may come from a different background than their own; support for the school is cultivated in the community; and families are able to afford an education that would otherwise be beyond their reach.
- Mike McShane, "Weave Together the Social Fabric," U.S. News and World Report
The Future: In response, the Cristo Rey Network takes an innovative, entrepreneurial approach to offer a secondary education that prepares students for success to and through college. Through the Corporate Work Study Program, every student earns the majority of one's own private education cost while gaining valuable skills, contacts, and knowledge that simply cannot be replicated in the classroom. Our formational model strengthens students' competence, confidence, and aspirations to empower them to build fulfilling lives.
The result is that across our nation, Cristo Rey graduates are completing college at more than twice the rate of the total U.S. low-income population. As Cristo Rey students complete college and secure family-sustaining professional jobs, their economic success creates a ripple effect, impacting other lives and future generations.
Our schools enroll students whose gross family income is 250% of the federal poverty threshold or below. On average, students come from families whose overall average household income is $38,000 for a family of four. Our students are culturally and linguistically diverse, identifying as 98% young men and women of color.
Students earn a majority of their education cost through the Corporate Work Study Program, which provides our schools with a sustainable revenue model that does not rely solely on tuition, traditional fundraising, or government funding. When a Cristo Rey school reaches full enrollment (400-600 students), the financial model reflects 50% of funds earned through CWSP, 30% secured through fundraising, and 10% collected from a modest family contribution (on average $882 per family).
Cristo Rey schools located in choice states that offer vouchers or education tax credits have access to an additional revenue source that further increases the schools’ long-term sustainability. Roughly 85% of revenue can be secured year over year through a combination of Corporate Work Study revenue and vouchers or education tax credits.
The Corporate Work Study Program (a separately incorporated entity) is an employment agency within Cristo Rey schools and places every student five full days a month in an entry-level, professional job all four years of high school. Students earn a majority of their education cost while gaining real-world work experience that strengthens their cognitive and non-cognitive skill development, catalyzes confidence and aspiration, and prepares them for success in college and careers.
More than two decades ago, our founder John P. Foley, S.J. and his team created the Corporate Work Study Program out of financial necessity to ensure Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Chicago opened as both an academically rigorous and financially sustainable school. The innovative and unconventional model has since developed our nationally and globally recognized movement.
Since the first Cristo Rey school opened in 1996, college enrollment and completion has been our goal for all students. The Cristo Rey Network and member schools offer a wide range of support for graduates on their path to and through college including:
Cristo Rey Network National Alumni Association: Established in 2019, the Cristo Rey Network National Alumni Association fosters lifelong relationships for alumni to strengthen their personal and professional pathways towards success. The National Alumni Association facilitates mentorship and community engagement for graduates across all Cristo Rey schools as well as provides exclusive access to opportunities offered by our Alumni Partners.
The process of opening a Cristo Rey Network school in your city begins with a Feasibility Study, a thorough assessment of the following criteria deemed critical for the success of a Cristo Rey school:
- Community Need: Is there a need for a Cristo Rey school and who needs the school?
- Religious Affiliation: What religious congregation will sponsor or endorse the Cristo Rey school?
- Business Community Support: Are there a sufficient number of Corporate Work Study Program job placements to ensure that the school remains financially sustainable?
- Site selection: How will the school be situated in the community between the families it serves and the businesses where students work?
- Sustainability: Can start-up and ongoing needs be met by available funding sources?
All Feasibility Studies must be sanctioned by the local diocese and the group applying to conduct a study must submit a letter from the local Bishop to the Cristo Rey Network national office granting permission to commence the Feasibility Study. For more information, contact our School Growth Team.
The Cristo Rey Network’s 12 Key Performance Indicators include:
- College Readiness
- SAT Gains
- Student Retention
- College Enrollment
- College Completion
- Job Placement
- Job Retention
- Operating Revenue & Expenses
- Cash Flow
- Student Enrollment
- Cost per Student
LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR IMPACT
While the first Cristo Rey school was started by the Society of Jesus and today the Jesuits sponsor several schools, the Cristo Rey Network is not exclusively Jesuit and is blessed to have the active involvement of dozens of Religious Sponsors.
As the engine of excellence, accountability, and growth, the Cristo Rey Network national office team delivers resources and tools to ensure the strong performance of each existing and future school. Collaborating closely with each other and with our schools, the staff at the national office creates and delivers programming that protects the integrity and vitality of the Cristo Rey movement and advances school excellence and innovation by:
- Surfacing, scaling, and standardizing effective practices across all schools through professional development offerings, convenings, and tailored consultation in Corporate Work Study Program, academics, college enrollment and completion, performance measurement, and governance;
- Facilitating new school growth through development and implementation of a national growth plan and support for new schools;
- Supporting mission accountability – as defined by the Mission Effectiveness Standards – through regularly-scheduled school evaluations and data collection and analysis; and
- Stewarding national branding, visibility, and fundraising.
Click for an in-depth view of our team members and their impact.