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St. Thomas Aquinas Scholars Program

The 2023-24 St. Thomas Aquinas Scholars collected nearly 500 turkeys for their humanitarian effort to provide Thanksgiving dinners to those served by St. Mary's Food Bank.

The St. Thomas Aquinas Scholars Program is named in honor of the saint Catholics believe to be the Church’s greatest theologian and philosopher.

“Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe, to know what he ought to desire, and to know what he ought to do.”- St. Thomas Aquinas 

What is the St. Thomas Aquinas Scholars Program? 

The St. Thomas Aquinas Program is an integrated program of study that provides an extension to the challenging, well-rounded education of Notre Dame Prep’s most gifted and motivated students. The program of study stimulates academic and personal development through rigorous courses, unique cultural and academic field experiences, and advanced research opportunities. All St. Thomas Aquinas Scholars receive a St. Thomas Aquinas Scholarship. 

Aquinas Scholars must meet rigorous academic requirements. The Aquinas Scholars program will not deter a student from participating in the athletic, music, or extra-curricular programs. Mentorship and advising within the Capstone Experience includes personal contact with professional experts in their field, individualized support during the university discernment and application process, and analysis of potential career interests. Through their four years Scholars will gain a better understanding of the world around them, their own selves, and be challenged to achieve to their fullest potential both at Notre Dame Preparatory and beyond. 

The Benefits: 

  • Scholarship Amount: $2,500 per year, renewable each year for four years  
  • A team of dedicated faculty members who act as mentors and advisers to the scholars  
  • Individualized support during the university discernment and application process 
  • An analysis of potential career interests and shadowing experiences  
  • A curriculum that prepares scholars to succeed in the most rigorous institutions of higher learning 
  • Opportunities for field experiences and cultural enrichment during each academic year 
  • The substantial support of a peer group committed to similar goals of personal excellence and intellectual growth 
  • Designation as an Aquinas Scholar at Commencement and identification of the program in Notre Dame Preparatory’s School Profile 
  • Path to achieve AP Capstone Diploma  

Yearly Goals of the St Thomas Aquinas Scholars Program: 

  • 9th Grade: The goal for freshman year is to expand students’ worldview. Through varied cultural experiences students will learn to understand the vastness of the world around them and to empathize with people from different places and times. 
  • 10th Grade: The goal for sophomore year is for students to develop a critical and personalized lens with which to view the world. Students will analyze topics through different lenses for greater meaning and understanding. This will develop the students’ abilities to think logically, analyze and solve problems, craft and assess arguments, and develop a personal moral and ethical compass. AP seminar will help foster students’ written and oral communication skills to prepare for their culminating research project. 
  • 11th Grade: The goal for junior year is to continue to form students’ research and critical thinking skills by reflecting inward.  Juniors will construct a deeper understanding of themselves as they prepare to apply for colleges. This path will allow them to explore their own world and what they may want to accomplish in the years to come at Notre Dame Preparatory and beyond.  
  • 12th Grade: The goal for senior year is for students to bring their education full circle and apply their skills. They will pursue a research project of their choosing through AP Research and explore the design thinking process as they develop the ways they will process the world. This is the culminating work of a student’s studies, and it represents their ability to conduct research and write effectively.  

Program Requirements: 

  • Complete a minimum of 32 credit hours (30 Academic, 2 Christian Service)  
  • Maintaining a GPA of 3.95 or higher (weighted)  
  • Completion of 16 honors or AP level courses  
  • Completion of the 4th level of consecutive study in the same World Language  
  • Completion of AP Seminar & AP Research   
  • Participation in St. Thomas Aquinas Program meetings and activities  
  • End of year reflection presentations  

Any questions regarding the program or application process should be sent to the Program Coordinator