« Back to compare
/ / School Profile
9-12
Private
Oak Park, IL
Students enrolled: 1,220

Contact this school

505 Washington Boulevard
Oak Park, IL 60302

School website
(708) 386-0127
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Fenwick High School address.

Profile Completeness

INTERMEDIATE

Want to improve this school’s profile? You can!

All schools on GreatSchools begin with BASIC completeness, which includes important information like contact details and test scores. It’s up to the school community to take the next steps. As a parent or community member, you can share what you know with other families by writing a review or answering a few questions about what the school offers. As a school leader, you can upload photos, describe school programs, and more with an Official school profile.

The completeness meter moves to INTERMEDIATE, then ADVANCED, and finally HONOR ROLL as you complete the following: 10 or more reviews, at least 1 photo, and 9 program questions parents find helpful.

Want to improve this school's profile?
for Parents
for Schools
 
January 15, 2014
I didn't enjoy my freshmen year at Fenwick, but once I opened my mind a bit, I saw that the school went past the matching skirts and school shield posted everywhere. Sure, Fenwick isn't perfect, but is any school? The people I met at Fenwick will forever be my best friends, favorite teachers, and some of most inspiring people I've ever met. Fenwick challenged me academically, socially and spiritually which is exactly what I needed out of high school. Also, unlike many believe, I am not catholic, a legacy, or super-conservative, and I still felt welcome by everyone who was. Leaving Fenwick was a sad day, but it left me prepared for college and beyond, and I know I'm welcome back anytime I feel the need to visit.

- submitted by a student
January 15, 2014
Our children are Fenwick graduates and both agree Fenwick was the best four years of their lives.

- submitted by a parent
November 02, 2013
Reading some of the reviews, yes, Fenwick is not as racially diverse as some schools, but the administration is trying to fix it. Fenwick is getting more diverse each year. Also, Fenwick is a college preporatory school. Teachers will not hold your hand, email your mom, or call home (unless you are ditching). In college, teachers won't do that either. If your child wants to be in honors classes, but doesn't test in, the administration will let the child into honors if the parent believes that the child can handle it. It's happened with one of my friends. Turns out, they are getting over a 4.0. Fenwick requires you to work hard. However, if you study, you should do well. If you don't understand something, teachers will help you if you ask or email them. There is even a tutoring system set up. I noticed a few reviews were about snobby people. Yes, many families are wealthy, but I have not met more than three out of the 1200 teens that go to Fenwick are snobby. That is an extremely high, less than 1%. Fenwick is a great school. I would recommend it for everyone who has high goals.

- submitted by a student
September 05, 2013
We have had three children attend Fenwick. Our sons have graduated and, with the help of Fenwick, both are attending their top choice college. Both worked hard while at Fenwick and feel that it prepared them for college. Our daughter is currently attending Fenwick and we were a little concerned about how she would adjust, but she is doing fine and is involved in sports, two science clubs, and the school paper. Fenwick is not perfect and it is not for everyone -- the work is hard and there is not a lot handholding by the faculty. While some of the students are wealthy and flaunt it many more are not -- kind of like the real world. If the goal is to prepare you child for college Fenwick is a solid choice w/ 100% of the graduates attending colleges ranging from Top schools (MIT, Brown, Yale, Harvard, ND) to the Big Ten(Northwestern, Michigan, Illinois, etc.) to Jesuit Universities(BC, Georgetown, Creighton, St. Louis, John Carroll, Gonzaga, Marquette, etc. ) to smaller Universities (Tufts, Johns Hopkins, Denison, Dayton, etc.). Also the faculty is not perfect but 4 Golden Apple teachers at one school is rare.

- submitted by a parent
February 16, 2013
My child went here for one year. I also had a child attend Oak Park River Forest HS. I never heard a peep from a single teacher at Fenwick. I would get emails and calls from the teachers at OPRF about my other child's progress. The staff and faculty are extremely cliquish and really into the Fenwick name. I didn't care for the elite, wealthy kids who were my childs' friends. They were not a good influence on her behavior. It is not a diverse atmosphere at all, although they have a few token blacks. If you are an educated, working mom, realize that the Fenwick Mothers' Club is designed for stay at home Catholic mommies who enjoy going to boutiques after mass.

- submitted by a parent
October 14, 2012
My son attended fenwick. He was not happy at all. He received a great education and got into college of his choice. Fenwick do what there past alumni want them to do which is pamper there alumni. They dont allow black student to challege themselves. they keep them out the honor program. I had to fight with them on several occasion about letting my son take science or elective classes. He played the paino for 8 years and wasnt able to get into the band. I can go on, my advice to black parent is be aware of racism because it does exist at Fenwick. I gave them a 3 star because he did receive a good education that help him to tackle any challeges in the future. I paid every dime for his education, no help at all! We refuse to let our daughter go to this school. Thats just how bad it was.

- submitted by a parent
August 08, 2012
I need to counter some of the reviews I've read. I came in NOT a legacy, NOT wealthy, and from THE CITY. Fenwick welcomed me into its very real community (what we call the Fenwick family). Yes, there are a lot of kids from the western suburbs, and most hover around upper middle class--but I fit in fantastically, thrived in the environment, and still thank God every day that I am a Friar. Fenwick was the best thing that ever happened to me. The faculty are outstanding and very caring and supportive. The students in general are talented and driven but also just genuinely nice kids and not super cliquey (especially by senior year). Fenwick made me see my potential for great things, but imbued me with a dedication to helping others (which is true of my fellow classmates as we now finish up college). God willing I have the funds, I will without a doubt send my children to Fenwick.

- submitted by a student
September 14, 2011
I tested into Fenwick with barely any any legacy (My Mother's cousins went here, but they're not that closely related and haven't given enough money to the school to get me in on that). I came from a public school that was, to put it nicely, a bit inadequate. I see some posts about Fenwick kids being snobs, but never once have I seen that to be true, outside of one or two individuals. I have never seen kids teased for being part of the work-studies program, and am am personally on a scholarship. Feniwck is a great place for gifted students. Unlike at public schools, i've never seen anyone ridiculed for being a "nerd" or for being part of an academic club like the Junior Technical and Engineering Squad, which by the way, took 2nd in the nation last year.Diversity isn't great at fenwick, but I've never seen a single discriminating remark made to a minority student. The faculty is phenomianl (89%) have an advanced degree, including multiple golden apple teachers. They are always willing to help a student, and to meet advanced students' needs teachers have taught classes with only one or two students. Other help for students is a peer tutoring program available to anyone which I use.

- submitted by a student
March 14, 2011
I'm currently in my junior year at this school, and I absolutely love it. The first year I was at Fenwick, I wasn't a fan. However, once I started getting more involved in activities and making more friends, it's grown to be my home. Fenwick is pretty much what you make it. The kids who don't get involved, stay silent in class, and never venture out from their cliques won't like Fenwick as much as they could. For the kids who really make an effort to get involved in the school, the school returns the effort. The sense of community at Fenwick is like none other. Yes, Fenwick has it's issues. The lack of diversity (which the administration IS trying to work on) economically and racially is something of a running joke at Fenwick, but if you're different than the rich, white norm than by no means are you made to feel excluded. I occasionally sigh from the lack of updated technology, but I also know the administration is working on it. Fenwick can be kind of a dysfunctional family, but at the end of the day, it really is family. This sense of family is something you really can't get at these bigger public schools, even the well-ranked ones. People genuinely care about one another.

- submitted by a student
March 08, 2011
I went here for a semester and a half and absolutely hated it the kids are snobs the teachers dont teach and the dress code is terrible if you ask me, this school is only for those that can overly afford it because thats who is treated best i hated it i absolutely could not stand it anymore i transferred back to my old high school which is a top 10 high school in the state and i LOVE it

- submitted by a student
November 17, 2010
Fenwick has a prominant reputation among Catholic high schools especially when it comes to sports and its sports facilities. The students receive a good private school education and are well prepared and positioned if they want to attend a Catholic University. The school is less successful at placing students in the top liberal arts colleges and the Ivy League. They will tell you that admission is based on the Catholic high school entrance exam but if you are an athlete, a legacy or have renown in the community, there is much less difficulty in getting in. There are other private schools that are much more selective but Fenwick can make these claims because of the pool they draw from. It is not very diverse racially or economically and over the years I have hoped that this would change but there has been no attempt to grow in this regard. This does give the school and it's students a reputation for being elitist. Overall, it is a good school but if your child is a higher achiever there is more opportunity with advanced classes and more advanced placement classes in the public school system.

- submitted by a parent
June 14, 2010
Lets see, About $12,000 per year and most of the students at Fenwick come from towns with top rated public schools!! I guess people with too much money like to waste it and not support their own towns and schools. An A student will succeed in any school but you have to actually attend Fenwick if the parents want to be able to say "My child is at Fenwick" as a punchline at a cocktail party... Next is Notre Dame!! That will probably open tons of doors for your c student... Give me an A student from a public high school and a State university any day over a c or B private school student. who had it handed to him. Success is in the heart not pocketbook.

- submitted by a parent
April 14, 2010
I didn't like Fenwick. The kids tend to be snobs. They come to school wearing their Polo button down shirts and Burberry handbags.

- submitted by a student
March 24, 2010
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a community member
no rating December 12, 2009
One of the most elite high schools in all of America. Admittance is highly competitive and Fenwick's tuition is expensive. If excepted, there is also high pressure for a student to keep up. The typical Freshman orientation consisted of asking each student to look at the student at the left and right of them, followed by the dean saying, ' that within 4 years time, one of these students won't make till graduation or have the priviledge to call themselves a Fenwick alumnus'. The school's purpose is very specialized, to breed highly gifted students into leaders. Each year the Ivy League schools, Big Ten universities and other top colleges will specifically go to Fenwick to recruit students for their college, and Fenwick's senior class is always awarded millions of dollars in financial scholarships each year as incentives. The school is definitely in a league of its own.

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 30, 2009
Fenwick, like Loyola Academy and St. Ignatius, is an expensive college prep school that caters to the needs of high-achieving students. From all indications, Fenwick succeeds in its mission: to provide a springboard for students who come into the school with a proven track record for academic excellence. The entrance exam cut-off is in the neighborhood of the 80th percentile; as a result, school-wide academic excellence is virtually guaranteed. Why the Dominicans at Fenwick, like the Jesuits at Loyola and St. Ignatius, would limit their Christian efforts to only the gifted and accomplished seems at odds with the teachings of Jesus Christ; but I guess I'm in the minority in that belief. Other boys' schools in the area, notably St. Patrick and Notre Dame, accept virtually any students above special-ed status, and for significantly less money. That said, Fenwick provides a quality education for those accepted.

- submitted by a community member
no rating September 13, 2009
I have a 2009 Fenwick graduate who thrived in the environment where teachers administrators and other students are there to help. Sure, your student is expected to work hard and is held accountable in areas of respect and discipline. However, I assure you the pride that your son or daughter will feel on Graduation Day at a job well done makes the financial sacrifices pale in comparison to the education and experiences rec'd at Fenwick. On top of that, our student was offered a wonderful scholarship at a fine Midwestern college.

- submitted by a parent
July 17, 2009
As an alumna of Fenwick, I would be thrilled to send my children there, if it weren't for the ever-growing tuition. However, I believe that you get what you pay for, and the students at Fenwick are almost all successful and driven. Slacking and other misbehaving is not tolerated, which creates a healthy and competitive learning environment. The teachers are dedicated, many having been there for 10, 20, 30+ years. The new building is amazing. I hope to be able to send my daughter there when she's ready for high school.

- submitted by a community member
no rating June 30, 2009
Fenwick makes the list as one of the top prep schools in the county. The school is very challenging to their students and the environment is strict, including the dress code which still includes ties worn daily and blazers at assemblies. The accomplishments of Fenwick's alumni says much about the school's success, which includes many Fortune 500 CEO's, a royal, top professional athletes, Pulitzer prize winners, and an astronaut... to just name a few.

- submitted by a parent
no rating June 29, 2009
Fenwick is classified as one of the most elite prep schools within the Chicago area, both academically and athletically, and the school will accept any student regardless of race or religious affiliations without any prejudice, as long as that student is able to meet the testing cut off, which is very competitive. However, the school is primarily made up of privileged students from Chicagoland, and poorer students will have a harder time fitting in. The traditional 'old money' prep-school model is still what Fenwick is all about, and the tuition cost is also deceptive. The $10,000 yearly is only a base- it does not cover, meals, sports, transportation, clubs etc. Realistically one should expect to pay more like $15,000+ a year. Socially, poorer students will also have a harder time keeping up with the general wealthier student body- who is accustomed to a certain life-style.

- submitted by a community member
no rating June 29, 2009
Fenwick is a very prestigious school for all of Illinois, and it has has been one of the magnet prep schools for affluent families living in the Chicago area. Legacy, or what they like to call 'their Fenwick community' is a big part of the 'Fenwick experience'. The school expects alumni to give back to Fenwick- which is continuing to fund their building expansions in Oak Park and supporting their posh River Forrest campus and priory. Young alumni have their own yachting excursions on Lake Michigan and expensive golfing packages. Ultimately, Fenwick is a very exclusive school, and unless you were born into that type of world, I wouldn't consider Fenwick a good fit for most students. The school's alumni have little patience for students and families who can't keep up intellectually and financially to Fenwick's very high standards.

- submitted by a parent
no rating June 15, 2009
This is a great school if you are the sibling, son or daughter of a Fenwick grad. It's all about your relationship w/ the school. Other kids are outsiders. Also, if you are already an academic all-star, you will fit right in. There is not much time or energy spent on developing the talents of kids who are not already great students or athletes. Also, the students are for the most part wealthy suburbanites and the school does very little in terms of service to the West Side community it borders. Not a great place if you are into the arts.

- submitted by a parent
May 27, 2009
Fenwick is an outstanding college prepatory high school. Students attending there can achieve any goals they have. The drama teacher favors boys and affluent families who tend to get the best parts in the plays.

- submitted by a parent
March 19, 2009
I had my two boys test to get into Fenwick and was very proud of them when they got in - one in all honors courses. They have not felt any prejudism either. When my first son needed tutoring, he got it. he needed to make the effort to get to the tutoring. Teachers had after school test prep. classes etc... A friend of the family got in through their scholarship program. We are all Latino and believe that diversity should come from being able to test in - otherwise academic standards are sacrificed. My son is a proud first generation alumni of Fenwick and my son is a proud freshman in honor courses.

- submitted by a parent
March 09, 2009
I believe Fenwick would be a bargain at twice the price, although it does have issues in many ways. I have almost always been impressed with the quality of teachers and administration. If you and your child desire a challenging and competitive environment this may be the school for you.

- submitted by a parent
March 01, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
January 29, 2009
A truly exception and top-ranked preparatory school. Students matriculate to the best colleges, are surrounded by a talented and affluent student body, and the school has highly successful and accomplished alumni. Princely Count Vitus Sebastian Barbaro, Baron dell'Albergo is among Fenwick's distinguished alumni. One would not really be able to find a better preparatory school in the Chicago area for the price ot it's tuition.

- submitted by a parent
September 26, 2008
I am an alumnus, as well as sibling, cousin, daughter, and niece of alumni. Fenwick was a great place to continue my catholic education. However, sexism and racism was popularly tolerated during my time as a Friar. In our classes, we did little writing. We were unprepared for AP exams. The foreign language programs were poor. Only the math team members had enthusiastic math instruction. Wealthy students had tutors. Unless things improve significantly, my children will attend another private school.

- submitted by a community member
July 08, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a community member
May 31, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
January 30, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
November 11, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
August 25, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
October 05, 2006
I have attended Fenwick High School. It has a great Catholic teaching there, with excellant academics, and very talented sports teams. The school is definately the top private school in Illinois.

- submitted by a staff
November 10, 2005
My child is in his first year at Fenwick and has acclimated quite well from grade school. He is challenged by his classes, enjoys the camraderie with his classmates and actively participates in sports. I am impressed by the caring and nurturing environment that comes not only from faculty and administration but from upper class students to the freshman class.

- submitted by a parent
August 04, 2005
Although Fenwick High School has a reputation for being on of the most elite private schools in the state it lacks in far to many areas. Fenwick High School has had difficulty over the passt several years when it comes to the diversity of its students and hasn't really made a fully hearted attempt to do something about it.

- submitted by a former student
July 08, 2005
Fenwick provided my daughter with an outstanding academic, athletic, spiritual & social experience. Tradition and excellence are cornerstones that are valued by the Dominican order and are present in all facets of the high school experience. It is college-prep and you are challenged to achieve your potential. You are not considered a nerd if you are smart! There are many academic teams and clubs that get the same respect the sports teams do. Sports is huge and fairly competitive depending on the sport you want to play. Fenwick is very traditional and discipline is strict. They do a great job of preparing you for college and assisting in the college selection process. There are still a few areas that seem to favor the boys. Its student body could be more culturally diverse. They are very math and science oriented and the arts curriculum could use a boost. Otherwise Go Friars!

- submitted by a parent
February 20, 2005
Fenwick is the type of high school that you're proud to say you attended because of their dedication to tradition and excellence. In my personal experience, colleges seem to consider Fenwick as a school with a great deal of prestige.

- submitted by a former student
October 08, 2004
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
October 07, 2004
Although Fenwick is a great school, my daughter had some complaints. For example, the school seems to be having some slight problems with accepting women among the men. My daughter states that she is at times underestimated due to her sex. Nevertheless, she is happy at Fenwick despite this slight problem.

- submitted by a parent
June 10, 2004
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
March 17, 2004
Saying Fenwick is an extraordinary high school is an understatement. Fenwick has an amazing and diverse faculty, and my child is where she is today all because of Fenwick's outstanding college advisers and teachers. No wonder it's consistently ranked as one of the top 100 schools of the Midwest!

- submitted by a parent
March 01, 2004
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a community member
August 25, 2003
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
August 22, 2003
A fine college prep school for any student.

- submitted by a parent
August 10, 2003
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a former student
Need help choosing a school? We can help »

Media Gallery

Media missing

Uh oh! No photos. This frame will look much better when you upload photos »


Facebook


Nearby homes for sale

     

Last modified: December 15, 2014

Sign up for email updates

Connect with us

Translate this web page

About GreatSchools

Our mission is to help millions of parents get a great education for their kids. GreatSchools.org is an independent nonprofit and the leading national source of school information for families.


GreatSchools.org 1999 Harrison Street, Suite 1100, Oakland, CA 94612

©1998-2014 GreatSchools.org All Rights Reserved. GreatSchools is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization | Ad Choices

Fenwick High School
505 Washington Boulevard, Oak Park, IL  60302
(708) 386-0127
Last modified Fenwick High School is a Private school that serves grades 9-12
Fenwick High School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 46 reviews. Top