Recruiting foreign students, Catholic schools fill seats and coffers

Kathy Boccella:

This month, for the fourth time in as many years, Dollard flew to China to spend three weeks sales-talking parents. She hands out pens and magnets bearing her school’s name and all-American eagle mascot – giveaways that, she hopes, will help Conwell-Egan stand out among the hundreds of private and parochial schools crowding a fast-growing international market.

Conwell-Egan is one of three high schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia capitalizing on a trend that has been building for a decade: foreign students, largely Asian, enrolling in U.S. high schools with the goal of honing their English, acclimating to American culture, and scoring an advantage with admissions officers at top colleges here.