Private High School

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Before making a decision on pulling the trigger, I wanted to ask friends here if they see any benefit of sending your kids to private high school if you are aiming top schools like Harvard, Yale etc. The thing is, we will be able to afford it for our kids but that will leave us with almost zero available money after monthly expenses and tuition .We won't need to take out any loans or anything but we will live paycheck to paycheck. 

Is it worth it in your eyes or no? 

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Newyorker1905 said:   live paycheck to paycheck
 


you already know the answer

Depends on the quality and reputation of the public schools in your area.

How much is tuition?

Also depends on, *COUGH* demographics, *COUGH*.

Worth it how? You think going to a private school is a ticket to harvard? Or just asking if a private school is better or a "leg up" somehow to get to harvard?

Its impossible to answer without specifics. Nice expensive private schools are generally better schools. If you've got money to burn then seems like its worth doing. Its not worth doing if you're gonna end up broke.

Sorry for not providing enough info. Here are the answers to questions being asked.

Tuition is $37,000 per kid per year. Total $74,000+ per year for 4 years.
Living in northern NJ now and the town has above average public school system. Public high school graduates around 200 kids yearly, half of them go to community college. Around 3-4 go to top schools like Harvard, Yale etc.

We see private school as a leg up. We won't end up broke but we won't have a lot once they are done college. In our 50's, we will still have decent 401K accumulations etc but for the next 10 years, we will live very moderately. No vacationing or any other expensive stuff.

I will try to provide more answers if there are any other questions but I value fatwallet communities opinion very highly so please share your views if you have time on your hands. Thanks in advance.

Ironically, if you want a leg up, you should send your kid to the worst school in Camden with the lowest percent of white people (or whatever is the worst city in NJ now). You spend money on outside tutors and test prep. Then when you apply, on paper it looks like your kid wase raised in the hood , which is the next best thing to checking the right box.

I've read the reviews on the top private schools here in MI and they are not meant for getting academically talented kids into Harvard or Stanford. They're meant for kids who have wealthy parents but are themselves not academically talented to get into MI's top public universities.

Frankly, there is only so much weight I would put on going to "Harvard/Yale". There are many good schools in the top tier (academic experience wise) and it matters a lot more what you do and how well you do as opposed to where you do it. Since you are in NJ, Rutgers is pretty good IMO. A good engineering degree from Rutgers (if that is the field your kids are into) should provide most of the opportunities for them.

Really depends on a lot of things. Pingry, Newark A, Kent is full of Asians hoping for a leg up to get to Ivy. Your kid will be competing fiercely along with legacy that attends these schools and donates money just before junior applies to Ivy. btw, most Private schools 'expect' donations above and beyond tuition.
However, you kid may flourish and make lots of well to do friends, or end up as wannabe trash from the wrong side of the tracks and work it out in therapy for the next 30 years.

HumDoHamaraDo said:   Really depends on a lot of things. Pingry, Newark A, Kent is full of Asians hoping for a leg up to get to Ivy. Your kid will be competing fiercely along with legacy that attends these schools and donates money just before junior applies to Ivy. 
  This is the problem. By going to a private school, you probably will end up with more competition and not necessarily get a better education. I don't see the best private schools here (30K+ a year) being any better than the best public schools. 
Tuition is $37,000 per kid per year. 
Thats $160k for high school , because you know there's gonna be fees and books and uniforms and other crap. Invest that in index funds for 8 years (high school and college) .At 8%, you'll almost double it. How long will it take your kid's harvard degree to make up that amount? 

The only way it's worth it is if your kid is just average and needs that boost just to get into your state's top public university and would otherwise be stuck going to a CC like half your current school

What makes you think the kids will even get accepted to those colleges? I assume the private high schools will be harder academically so they may have only a C average, while in public school it might be an A average.

atikovi said:    I assume the private high schools will be harder academically so they may have only a C average, while in public school it might be an A average.
  the student at the private school is more of a direct consumer

As someone who went to good college and Ivy law school -- NO WAY. Even if you had a lot more money than you currently do, I wouldn't even consider it. My kids go to a highly rated public charter school and will do charter/public high school. If your kid is Harvard material, spend some money on test prep and to send him/her to some high end summer camps (e.g., science research camps at big universities) and hope for the best. If your kids ends up at UVA or some other non-Ivy, they wouldn't have gotten into Harvard by going to private high school anyway (and likely ended up even worse off because they wouldn't really be able to live with the level of competition and would graduate below the median anyway).

ltcm said:   If your kid is Harvard material
  who isn't harvard material these days

Thanks guys. Some of the posts are eye opening for me. Truly appreciate it.

Edit: For those of you who knows NJ privates, I am talking about Pingry. 

Newyorker1905 said:    Public high school graduates around 200 kids yearly, half of them go to community college. Around 3-4 go to top schools like Harvard, Yale etc.
  
If you look at Pingry's "Outcomes" on their website, they only sent 5 (2 Harvard, 3 Yale) of 147 last year, so it doesn't appear that they have too much of a leg up on your public school. Once you eliminate the half of the public school kids who wouldn't consider private and just wandered off to community college, the seriously college-bound public school kids have a better percentage.  

berlinsmommy said:   
Newyorker1905 said:    Public high school graduates around 200 kids yearly, half of them go to community college. Around 3-4 go to top schools like Harvard, Yale etc.
  
If you look at Pingry's "Outcomes" on their website, they only sent 5 (2 Harvard, 3 Yale) of 147 last year, so it doesn't appear that they have too much of a leg up on your public school. Once you eliminate the half of the public school kids who wouldn't consider private and just wandered off to community college, the seriously college-bound public school kids have a better percentage.  

  Thanks for the reply. This is what I am going by. 26 kids went to Ivies, 1 went to Stanford and 3 went to Duke. This is pretty pretty good if you ask me. But I understand what you and others are saying as well. 

http://www.pingry.org/page.cfm?p=302&newsid=1721

Harvard University (1)
Princeton University (1)
Stanford University (1)
Yale University (3)
University of Pennsylvania (9)
Columbia University (6)
Cornell University (6)
Dartmouth College (1)
Brown University (1)
Duke University (3)
 

The best way to get into Harvard:
1)Your parents went to Harvard
2)Your family gave a lot of money to Harvard
3a)You get perfect grades and participate in lots of extracurriculars
3b)You are poor

Note that private school is not on the list. It only appears to matter because it often intersects with (1) and (2).

If your local public schools are bad, it might make sense to send your kids to private school.  But if they're good?  Save your money.

Of course if you blow all your cash on private high school, you may get lots of financial aid when your kid goes to college.  So in that sense, the high school is lots cheaper since the colleges were going to take the money anyway. 

I guess you are serious and not a troll..

Going to an Ivy League school isn't going to give your kids a leg up in life. The top performers I see and work with everyday come from mostly no name schools. Although some of them got Masters from well known places. I did work once with a MIT grad who participated in that card-counting scheme (the movie 21) and he is very good at what he does.

Also, keep in mind, put your kid in top competitive school can actually sink them. Check out the book "David and Goliath".

Sending a child to a private school only guarantees that your child will spend time with other private school kids and have access to the facilities and teachers. If they have some sort of interest that you can develop using those resources, then it may be worthwhile. However, if they are just there to go to school and be a regular student, they end up having to compete with kids who have a lot of financial resources. If you read Outliers, Gladwell says that as long as your child can get into a good enough college, then his or her options will remain open.

I work for one of the top recognized tech companies in the world and the executive team's alma maters round up to:

-UCLA
-Midwest private school
-Ohio State
-UT
-Brown
-BU
-USC
-2 international
-2 college dropouts

So basically 1 ivy leaguer. CEO is one of the dropouts. One of the previous companies was similar, but once we went public we started hiring Googlers with Ivy Leagues. Let's just say they had no idea how to actually do work. Very smart guys and smart sentences came out of mouths, but could not made a decision worth their life let alone execute on anything assigned to them.

Of the 2 Harvard grads from my high school, 1 is a hedge fund manager and the other is a patent attorney. Few investment bankers that went to Ivies. Rest are doctors, lawyers, who's bosses and coworkers include those who went to state schools.

If you live in NYC, choose a good charter school.  Spending that much $ for private schooling, when there are outstanding charter schools in your locale, makes zero sense. 

It's about how your kids apply themselves, not what private school they go to.

But your kid doesn't even want to go to college.

I cannot believe this is being seriously debated.

jagec said:   
If your local public schools are bad, it might make sense to send your kids to private school.  But if they're good?  Save your money.

how often is it that someone can afford to pay 40k a year for private school tuiton bit not afford to buy in a good school district?

ZenNUTS said:   I guess you are serious and not a troll..

Going to an Ivy League school isn't going to give your kids a leg up in life.
 

  
Hmmmm, not so sure.

I had a job agreed a year before I graduated, corporations came to the campus, interviewed students, and made job offers (contingent on graduating of course). The corporations go where they know the students are of a certain quality, they don't go to Podunk College and waste their time. Not that there aren't excellent students at Podunk College, there are just fewer of them.

Universities don't really know their incoming students, but they do know that the students they have had from School XYZ were of a certain standard, so coming from that school with a proven track record can be advantageous.

Harvard Law or Podunk Law - on paper which candidate would you think was better?

ganda said:    Podunk College 
 

  Is that one a dem party schools in sout Louisiana? 

ganda said:   
Harvard Law or Podunk Law - on paper which candidate would you think was better?

law school and lawyer jobs are a bit different than undergrad

aside from thats, there are schools between Harvard and podunk. a lot of very good ones that you corporations recruit at

If you live somewhere that you would consider sending your kids to Pingry, there is a solid chance you have access to a public "magnet" high school that would provide an excellent education.

Your kid might benefit more from seeing a role model for sound money management than anything he could learn at an Ivy League college.

StevenColorado said:   Your kid might benefit more from seeing a role model for sound money management than anything he could learn at an Ivy League college.
  ohhh burn .... 

Didn't we have a thread last year about a guy who spent $250K of dad's money for 4 years at a high ranking school, but never went to any classes? His parent's were flying in to see his graduation. Wonder what ever happened to him.

If I thought my parents had a spare $148,000, I'd be pissed that they didn't save and give it to me for college tuition so I wouldn't have to deal with student loans. F' that high school stuff.

ledwards said:   If I thought my parents had a spare $148,000, I'd be pissed that they didn't save and give it to me for college tuition so I wouldn't have to deal with student loans. F' that high school stuff.
  Typical entitlement mentality of today's youth.

atikovi said:   
ledwards said:   If I thought my parents had a spare $148,000, I'd be pissed that they didn't save and give it to me for college tuition so I wouldn't have to deal with student loans. F' that high school stuff.
  Typical entitlement mentality of today's youth.

  
Because you would totally be okay with your parents spending $148k on private school instead of using it to to pay for college to prevent you from having student loan debt.  Something that plagues today's generation thanks to rising costs.  Yeah, okay.

Typical mentality of a baby boomer.  

RailroadTrack said:   
Typical mentality of a baby boomer.  

  There's a reason baby boomers are so quick to recognize a sense of entitlement in others.....

Skipping 80 Messages...
TravelerMSY said:   Don't wake the property tax demon.
  
I thought he can't really post right now... should be safe territory



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