Bellarmine's advising office is HORRIBLE. Personal anecdote: Even though I showed significant talent in writing, science and math, I was still recommended for remedial science class. In my other classes, I noticed that certain students received privileges or favors. Athletes were much more likely to get assignments extended, received better grades and overall, the faculty and staff treated them with respect. Students like myself had to fight to get the classes that fit. During college advising week in my junior year, the academic advisor tried to convince me that I was not ""college material"" and that I should think about applying to community college or vocational school. Determined to go to a good 4 year college, I dropped out of Bellarmine and switched to Curtis Senior High where I was recommended for all AP courses and with their help, was later accepted to schools such as Smith College and Simmons, and received several scholarships. If I had stayed at Bellarmine, another poor but talented student would have been overlooked.
The school staff are very under-educated about religious expression. They claim to be open to all religious faiths, but that only extends so far. Non-Catholic students are allowed to opt out of mass but are assumed to be by default Christian and therefore acceptable. Students with religions or spiritual identities that are not understood by the community are shunned, even to the point where the school counselors will try to ""intervene"" for your sake. Being a Wiccan and Pagan, it was not an easy endeavor to maintain my right to possess differing opinions about spirituality. I was repeatedly removed from class for meetings with school counselors who were convinced that I was involved in devil worship. This information was not kept confidential and soon all the staff and students were treating me like I was a leper. It seriously impacted my ability to learn.
Furthermore, this community is not receptive or tolerant of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, or queer, or questioning students. While there may be small organizations run by students to increase tolerance, the school requires that any advertisements run by Queer-friendly organizations such as PFLAG and PACE or events such as The Day of Silence to have the statement ""The Catholic Church does not condone homosexuality"". This enviornment coerces students to conform to the ideologies of Catholicism despite its claims of diversity, respect and tolerance.
In sum, there are only privileges for some. If you are affluent, Catholic, heterosexual and athletic then this school is for you. Anyone else, I recommend looking elsewhere.
Pros: Good athletics, robotics club
Cons: Affluent community, AP classes, Advising, Narrowminded