Fast Facts


  • Founded: 1987, the charter class of 216 students graduated in June of 1991
  • Alumni: 10,200 graduates, approximately 30 graduates are employed at the school
  • Enrollment: 1,711 students, 49 percent male and 51 percent female
  • Class size: Average class size of 28 with a student to teacher ratio of 15:1
  • Faculty: 111 faculty, 35 percent of teachers have worked at the school for more than ten years and 68 percent have advanced degrees
  • Tuition: $14,975 for Catholic families and $16,650 for non-Catholic families, discounted rate offered for additional students
  • Tuition Assistance: One of every five students receives financial assistance. More than $1.8 million to be awarded to families for the 2017-2018 school year
  • Accreditation: Accredited by the Western Catholic Education Association (WCEA) and Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), Certified as an International Baccalaureate World School (IB), Member of the College Board
  • Overall awards: Honored by U.S. Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School, ranked as a top private school in the nation by the Washington Post for the past six consecutive years
  • Geographically Diverse: Our students live in 66 zip codes. SMCHS is proud of our international student program and currently home to students from eight different countries.
  • Transportation: Santa Margarita offers three bus routes serving Orange County. South County Route No. 1 stops in Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, San Clemente, Talega and Ladera Ranch. South County Route No. 2 stops in Newport Coast, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills and Mission Viejo. The North County route stops in Yorba Linda, Irvine and Foothill Ranch.


  • Average 2016 SAT score: 1717, compared to the national average of 1484 (2017 scores not available
    at press time)
  • Average 2017 ACT score: 26.6, compared to the national average of 21
  • 212 AP Scholars including 8 National AP Scholars in 2017
  • Eight National Merit Finalists in 2017, these students represent the top one percent in the U.S.
  • Nine counselors assist with class scheduling, college planning and admission as well as personal
    counseling. A school psychologist supports students’ emotional and social wellness.
  • 21 Advanced Placement courses, 46 International Baccalaureate courses, 41 honors courses
  • IB World School: The only Catholic International Baccalaureate high school in the county offering a rigorous curriculum taught at an international standard. SMCHS offers both the full diploma program and the opportunity for students to take IB courses
  • Cross-curricular courses combining science, religion, social studies and math to bridge a better understanding of curriculum across disciplines
  • Robotics Tech offered as a science class, the school’s robotics team competes in tournaments across the United States
  • Auxiliary Studies Program: Comprehensive academic support to assist students with specialized learning need
  • Learning Strategies Course for students who need to strengthen their study skills
  • Award-winning Model United Nations (MUN) Program with students participating in mock meetings of the UN across the globe
  • Schedule spanning seven courses with six classes a day
  • College Bound: Santa Margarita graduates attend colleges including Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Carnegie Mellon, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Oxford, Princeton, San Diego State University, Stanford, Texas Christian University, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UCSB, UCSD, The University of Arizona, The University of Chicago, University of Michigan, University of Oregon, University of San Diego, University of Virginia, the University of Southern California and Yale to name a few. Ninety-nine percent of graduates from the Class of 2017 continued their education at the college-level. The class earned $42.1 million in scholarship offers, with the majority of students receiving a scholarship and an average offer of $106,000.
  • Director of College Relations dedicated to building strong partnerships with universities across the nation
  • Academic Services Center: The center includes 10 smart classrooms equipped with innovative technology including interactive white boards, a 3,700 square-foot Digital Media Studio - home to Eagle TV - and counseling and academic offices.
  • Specialized TI-Nspire calculators help tackle advanced mathematical problems and enable teachers to easily poll students electronically to better assess comprehension in real-time and strengthen class participation.


  • Courses in both visual and performing arts including film, video production, screenwriting, sculpture, painting, drawing, photography, orchestra, choir, dance, theatre, band, steel drums, classical guitar and handbells,. The school offers 63 visual and performing arts courses.
  • Dance and Pep Squad teams have garnered national championships
  • Distinction in the Arts Award - National Endowment for the Arts
  • Cappies Critics Program gives students the opportunity to review other high school productions and have their work published in The Orange County Register
  • Theater Arts Productions have received accolades from South Coast Repertory, The National High School Musical Theater Awards, the Orange County Cappies Critics Program and the MACY Awards
  • Domestic and abroad travel opportunities: The performing arts program has performed at places including St. Peter’s Basilica and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

    • 24 CIF teams, plus club sports including equestrian, ice hockey, roller hockey, sand volleyball and surfing
    • 86 percent of students participate in athletics. All teams emphasize sportsmanship and character building.
    • Eco-friendly Facilities: A three-story athletic center with a 5,800 square-foot fitness and weight room center provides unmatched training opportunities for our student athletes. The center earned LEED silver certification for its eco-friendly design and includes team and film rooms. The campus also includes tennis courts, an Aquatics Center complete with stadium seating, an Olympic-sized pool, athletic fields, all-weather track and recently installed FieldTurf.
    • 42 students from the Class of 2017 committed to universities for athletics
    • 64 CIF championships, 200 league champions and 5 state championships
    • Nine-time recipient of the CIF Commissioner’s Cup honoring the top athletic program in the 585-member CIF Southern Section
    • No-cuts: Football, swimming, diving, cross country, girls basketball, water polo, wrestling and track and field all follow a no-cut policy
    • Competitive: Santa Margarita competes in the Trinity League, touted as one of the top leagues in the nation.


  • Clubs and Activities: More than 90% of the student body participates in over 85 different campus clubs and activities
  • Link Crew eases the transition into high school with upperclassmen serving as mentors to the freshman class
  • Eagles Edge provides “real-world” growth and networking opportunities
  • Top-ranked student spirit section by OCVarsity
  • Modernized Library Media Center provides a technology-based collaborative learning environment as well as quiet study space
  • Chef-prepared campus dining featuring healthy, whole foods
  • Culturally Diverse: 63% Caucasian 10% Hispanic 14% Asian/Pacific Islander 11% Multiracial 1% African American • 1% Native American/ Alaskan native

    • Masses: All-school masses are celebrated throughout the year. Daily mass and weekly adoration are offered in the school’s on-campus chapel.
    • Peer Ministry: Students serve as faith leaders by coordinating masses, retreats and service opportunities.
    • RCIA Program: Offers students the opportunity to explore becoming Catholic. Interested students study with our faculty and staff and upon completion of the program are initiated into the Church.
    • Retreats and Fellowship: Overnight retreats offered for all grade levels, praise and worship gatherings
    • Service Learning: Christian service is an integral part of a Santa Margarita education and shapes the character of our students. All students engage in service through a class project. Immersion opportunities close to home and abroad allow students to live out their faith.
    • Religious Leadership: Through a partnership with the Disciples of Mary, Santa Margarita is proud to have a priest on campus providing pastoral care and serving as a witness of religious life. The school is also in partnership with the Sisters of the Sacred Heart who provide faith formation opportunities.


    • Microsoft Showcase School
    • Interactive whiteboards enhance learning: Combining the simplicity of a whiteboard and the power of a computer allowing our teachers to deliver dynamic lessons
    • Campus wide wireless, high-speed internet
    • Technology-centered electives including TV and digital media production, graphic design and computer programming
    • Eagle Television student-run news program produced in state- of-the-art digital media studio
    • One-to-One Tablet PC Program puts a Lenovo Yoga tablet in the hands of every student and teacher to enhance classroom instruction; a Tech Services Center provides on-campus support