For 25 years, Cristo Rey taken a holistic approach to the application process. There is no required entrance exam. Rather, prospective students are interviewed for admission by faculty and staff. Through the initial application and interview, new students are considered based on the Characteristics of a Cristero: motivation and maturity; open to Catholic religious values; employable; earned grades of C or above; of low to moderate income; demonstrated strong discipline and attendance record; comfortable conversing with adults; able to understand and speak Spanish.
These interviews traditionally take place over one weekend every March and make up one of the most important events on the Cristo Rey campus each year. This year’s Admissions Weekend was no different in scope except, for the first time in the school’s history, the interviews were not in person!
Over the weekend of March 6 and 7, Cristo Rey faculty and staff interviewed almost 200 aspiring Cristeros, and their parents, over 30-minute intervals through Microsoft Teams. Teams of two faculty and staff members each evaluated prospective students on the Characteristics of a Cristero, both in English and Spanish. The teams then spoke with the student’s parents to answer questions and provide feedback.
Director of Admissions Blanca Gonzalez has been organizing Admissions Weekend for Cristo Rey for the past 17 years reflects that “Interview Weekend went really well despite the circumstances,” Gonzalez said. “By now," she recognized, "people have been living in the virtual world for a year, so they were much more familiar with videoconferencing and things went really smoothly. Teachers, parents, and students were so flexible and accommodating. Of course, we missed meeting the families face to face, but even virtually, families commented on feeling welcomed and could really feel the excitement and friendliness of our staff. I’m really proud of how it went.”
Acceptances went out on April 1 to 158 students who will make up the Class of 2025. These students come from 66 different schools and 21 different Chicago neighborhoods and suburbs. Applications for the Class of 2025 are still currently being accepted.