Fast Facts


School Focus: College Prep

Grades Offered: Grades 7-12 with a connection to the WACS (Winona Area Catholic Schools) program, which serves 16 months through 6th grade.

School Type: Co-ed, Boys and Girls

Religious Affiliation: Catholic, and open to all.

Campus Size: 45 aces (18 hectares)


Cotter opened its doors on September 5, 1911 and is celebrating its 2nd century of Catholic education. Cotter, named for the diocese’s first bishop, Bishop Joseph Cotter, was a boys’ school directed by the De La Salle Christian Brothers. In 1952, the Brothers turned the operation of the school over to the diocese of Winona, and Cotter became co-educational, combining with Cathedral Girls’ High School. In 1953, a new Cotter building was erected and, in 1962, an addition was added. In 1992, the school moved to its current location on the former campus of the College of St. Teresa. Through its many changes over the past 100 years, Cotter has honored its motto, “Let them respect the truth,” and upheld the finest traditions in Catholic education.

Student Body

Enrollment: 2015 - 342 students

Percent International Students: 24%

Percent Boarding Students: 24%

Average SAT Score: 1874

Average ACT Score: 25.6

Boarding Students:
Approximately 30% of Cotter's students board on campus. International Boarding students do not take grade level English classes until they complete Transitional English, and earn a score of 80 or higher on an IBT TOEFL or in-house exam.

Academics and Faculty

Classroom Dress Code: Casual

Average Class Size: 17

Teacher : Student Ratio: 13:1

# AP/Honors Courses Offered: 12

AP Classes:

  • AP Calculus AB
  • AP Calculus BC
  • AP Language & Composition
  • AP Literature & Composition
  • AP Physics
  • AP US History

Honors Courses:

  • Elementary Linear Algebra
  • Non-Euclidean Geometry
  • Discrete Math
  • Multivariable Calculus
  • Chemistry
  • Human Biology

ACT & SAT Scores

  • 51% of our students who took the ACT in 2014 reached all the College Readiness benchmarks defined by the ACT. The percentage for Minnesota as a state was 39%.
  • Approximately one-third of our graduating students took the SAT and achieved an average composite score of 1722, ranking in the top 25% nationally.
  • 12 AP SCHOLARS IN 2015

Post-Secondary Enrollment

  • 82% of graduates attend four-year universities or colleges
  • 8% attend community/technical colleges
  • 10% undecided

HEF Scholarship

The Hiawatha Education Foundation offers a renewable four-year scholarship to every graduating senior who applies. Awards are based on ACT/SAT scores, class rank, and school involvement.

Extracurricular Activities

  • Canoe & Kayak Club
  • Chess Club
  • Cotter Residence Council
  • Cross Cultural Ministry Program
  • Drama/Musical Productions
  • Intramural sports
  • Marching Band/Pep Band
  • Math Team
  • Music Listening
  • National Honor Society
  • Parmies
  • Peer Helpers
  • Photography Club
  • Speech Team
  • Summer Marching Band
  • Student Council
  • Students Promoting Awareness
  • Yearbook

Girl’s interscholastic sports

Fall sports:

  • Cross Country Running
  • Soccer
  • Swimming & Diving (Co-op)
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball

Winter sports:

  • Basketball
  • Nordic Ski Racing (Co-op)
  • Gymnastics (Co-op)
  • Hockey (Co-op)

Spring sports:

  • Softball
  • Track & Field

Boy’s interscholastic sports

Fall sports:

  • Cross Country Running
  • Football
  • Soccer

Winter sports:

  • Basketball
  • Nordic Ski Racing (Co-op)
  • Hockey (Co-op)
  • Swimming & Diving (Co-op)
  • Wrestling (Co-op)

Spring sports:

  • Baseball
  • Tennis
  • Track & Field
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