Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

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Afty
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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by Afty » Wed May 16, 2018 3:30 pm

I would look at what colleges the top students from the associated high schools attend, and decide based on that. If they are not sending any kids to "elite" colleges, that will make it harder for your kids (assuming that's a realistic goal for them). Not impossible, but harder.

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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by LadyGeek » Wed May 16, 2018 4:01 pm

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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by HomerJ » Wed May 16, 2018 4:37 pm

masonstone wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 2:02 pm
I'm not sure why many people on this thread throw out the money factor in this debate. With two children, each costing 20k per year, that's 40k per year for private school. Right now we're saving about 400-500k per year. Although we can spend 40K on private school, it would still eat into 10% of our savings which is not a negligible amount. We're not people with 9 figure net-worths and we follow the boglehead's savings philosophy and we don't overspend. We're driving a Honda Accord instead of a Porsche to save money and driving a Masarati off a cliff every year does drive a big dent in our savings.
I think many people consider it fairly negligible in your case because it requires almost zero sacrifice. Saving $400,000 a year instead of $440,000 a year probably means you'll be financially independent in 10 years instead of 9 years.

You asked what I would do... I'm like you, I would not throw away money just because I can afford it.

A good public high school is all one needs. In my opinion, in general, most kids get very little benefit from a private school, and they are a huge waste of money. But that's just my opinion.

And it's a general opinion. Some kids might do better in a private school. Some private schools may be worth the money compared to the local public school.

But in general, there's zero need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a private school if the public school is at all decent. The smart kids will all take honors and advanced and AP classes together in the public school, and will do just as well as a good private school.

Heck, look at this way. Put the $300,000 would you spent on a private school for one kid in a stock index fund at 18.

In 40 years, it will be worth $14 million. Think your adult child would rather have had the private school education or $14 million at age 58? :)
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22twain
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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by 22twain » Wed May 16, 2018 4:44 pm

PFInterest wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 2:07 pm
Statistically your childrens success is determined by SES
:confused :confused
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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by golfCaddy » Wed May 16, 2018 5:02 pm

Here's an article on Harvard feeder schools: https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2013 ... age=single. Only a handful of private schools can boast sending more than a couple of kids a year to Harvard. Even at a place like Andover, which matriculated 16 kids, how many of those 16 slots go to legacies or donors or athletes or URMs/first gen or some member of the Saudi royal family or a Senator's kid or a faculty brat? In terms of getting admitted to the very top schools, Andover might even hurt you, as Harvard will cap the number of kids it will take from any one school and those slots can go to hooked students. One subtlety to this is if your kid has the talent to be a top Lacrosse player, or some other country club sport, your average public school may not offer Lacrosse at all and the elite privates can offer better coaching. In this way, the privates could help your kid become a recruited athlete.

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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by livesoft » Wed May 16, 2018 5:03 pm

masonstone wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 9:32 am
I'm debating on whether I should send my children to private school.

The public elementary school in my community is very good. However there is also a very good private school in my community as well.
We made this choice about 20 years ago. We chose public schools and moved our child from the private school kindergarten to the public school grades 1 through 12.

Our child went on to a private elite university where she graduated early saving us some college expenses, too. She is an independent young woman now and off the parental payroll. That might speak to "What was the outcome?"

I don't see how our choice would have any effect on you though.
Afty wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 3:30 pm
I would look at what colleges the top students from the associated high schools attend, and decide based on that. If they are not sending any kids to "elite" colleges, that will make it harder for your kids (assuming that's a realistic goal for them). Not impossible, but harder.
My spouse did that and called the Admissions Director of a private elite university (not the same one our child eventually attended) and asked them about these two high schools. Answer: No difference in students that come to our university.
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spacecadet610
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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by spacecadet610 » Wed May 16, 2018 5:27 pm

Just curious which suburb you are at in Seattle?

I just bought a home in mercer island just so that my 10 month old would have a good public school. i debated a long time between public versus private in this area but figured it made sense to find a good public school. not sure i made the right decision so found your post very intereting.

A colleague of mine has one child at lakeside and one in a bellevue public school and he says lakeside is not worth the money if you have a good public school.

I went to one of the "elite" colleges (Brown undergrad and medical school, was also accepted by harvard undergrad) and was a product of a crappy public school system. Not sure the whole process is worth it. I worry about the highly competitive environment kids now a days have to deal with.
Ben Mathew wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 1:01 pm
masonstone wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 9:54 am
My question is whether a good private school would give my child a leg up to get into harvard as compared to a good public school. I'm not so sure it does and it'll cost us an extra 1 million (if you compound 20k per year for 18 years with the average returns of the S&P 500 which is 10%).
Putting aside the question of how beneficial it is to go elite colleges, if the goal is to get in, then I think the reality is that it is easier to do so from a private school, especially from an elite prep school. Elite prep schools are set up for elite college admissions in a way that public schools are not. The reputation of public schools and the livelihood of their teachers and employees depend on state testing results. The reputation of elite prep schools and the livelihood of their teachers and employees depend on elite college placement. Institutions respond to incentives.

I live in a suburb of Seattle with highly rated public schools. There are hordes of highly competitive students trying to outdo each other with grades, APs and extracurriculars. Based on published listings of national merit semifinalists from each school, I can tell that the top students in our public high schools are comparable to the top students in the local elite prep school -- Lakeside. Yet it is much harder for a top student from a public school, even from the gifted program, to get into Harvard, than it is from Lakeside. If you're a top student at Lakeside, it's pretty much guaranteed that you can go to an elite university. For an equivalent top student from our public high schools, elite schools would still be a reach. It's not impossible, and a few people always get in, but it's a much dicier proposition than if they were at Lakeside.

I can think of a few reasons for the bias:

- Grading (or testing) standards are harder at Lakeside, so top students will find it easier to stand out and distinguish themselves. Public schools seem to have tons and tons of students with a 4.x GPA (what does that even mean?).

- Teachers and guidance counselors might write stronger recommendation letters because they have a stronger incentive to get their students into elite colleges.

- Elite colleges rely on prep school counselors to do some sorting for them.

- Affluent families that spend lavishly on a private school education might be the sort who will donate generously to the college.

- Plain old social and economic elitism.

My wife and I went to elite colleges, but we anticipate that our children will have a hard time getting into a comparably elite college. They are as academically capable and motivated as we are, but the admissions game has gotten a lot harder. We could have increased their chances by sending them to private school, but felt that paying $30K per year * 2 kids just isn't worth the increased odds of getting into an elite college, the benefits of which are not entirely clear anyway. We did struggle with that decision a little bit, but in the end, we just couldn't justify the massive expense for an uncertain return. We are not entirely happy with the public school system, but we don't plan to switch them to private school just for better shot at college admissions. We might switch them to private school if they become miserable or unmotivated in public school, but so far they seem okay.

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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by staythecourse » Wed May 16, 2018 5:55 pm

masonstone wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 2:02 pm
staythecourse wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 1:52 pm
SuperGrafx wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 1:27 pm
OP brings in $900k annually. He/she can easily afford private school.

Why is this even a question?
This is the perfect situation to have a "spirited" debate of private vs.public school. In this situation it is NOT about money. We chose public as I did not see value added to the private school option. We don't make as much as the OP as we both cut down our hours to spend more time with the kids, but can still easily buy a maserati and drive it off a cliff every year and not make a dent in our finances. So choosing private over public should NOT be about if you can afford it do it and if not don't.

So the responsible default should NOT be private if you have money, but public unless there is a good reason to spend the extra money. If you see value added then do private. That value added may be as obvious as a catholic couple who wants their child to be exposed to religion during their school days. So it does not have to all about academics. Actually, this is not much different then the passive vs. active debate. The default should be passive unless one has value added to justify the higher cost of active. Just my opinion of course.

Good luck.
I'm not sure why many people on this thread throw out the money factor in this debate. With two children, each costing 20k per year, that's 40k per year for private school. Right now we're saving about 400-500k per year. Although we can spend 40K on private school, it would still eat into 10% of our savings which is not a negligible amount. We're not people with 9 figure net-worths and we follow the boglehead's savings philosophy and we don't overspend. We're driving a Honda Accord instead of a Porsche to save money and driving a Masarati off a cliff every year does drive a big dent in our savings.
To be honest with that much savings per year you could drive a maserati off a cliff and wouldn't make too much of a difference, BUT the point is well taken that money does matter no matter how much you save per year. As I mentioned there are plenty of reasons to choose private, but there should be some reasonable reason to choose it vs. just being the default since you have the extra money to burn as if that is the reason everyone doesn't choose private.

To be honest, someone mentioned lacrosse as an example if the private school had a great lacrosse team. Well, to be honest, if you kid wanted to play lacrosse competitive there are so many travel teams and private teams now for sports it isn't like the exposure you have is only available via private school route. For us, we chose public and one of the big reasons is we now have the extra money to pour into whatever their interest (sports, etc...) or weakness (tutoring, etc...) of our children may be since we are paying nothing more then our property taxes for their education. Also, I like that our kids associate with poor to middle income kids and their families. Much better then them associating with old money (which we are not) and all doctor and finance kids like many of the private schools in our area.

If I was in your situation I would decide with your spouse what "extras" are you looking for from the private school that your public school might now offer your child. Then you have a measuring stick. As mentioned by someone else, if your thing is academics then find out what the ACT scores are on average and where the kids ultimately went to college. Then go to the private schools and see if they can accomplish what you are looking for.

The world is going to be more competitive then ever for elite schools since they only want the best so trying to do it through academics will be EXTREMELY difficult in 10+ years so not sure it really matters. Heck, the easiest would be just save a "Harvard building fund" as part of your savings and that likely would be the easiest way to get into a school like that going forward. Works for many folks.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

staythecourse
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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by staythecourse » Wed May 16, 2018 7:49 pm

22twain wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 4:44 pm
PFInterest wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 2:07 pm
Statistically your childrens success is determined by SES
:confused :confused
Socioeconomic status.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by Good Listener » Wed May 16, 2018 7:52 pm

It is 2 % of your income. Cost should be no consideration.

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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by thx1138 » Wed May 16, 2018 10:28 pm

The cost is not relevant in your case.

Tour the schools, talk to parents, do the research and then decide. As already described by many ignoring cost it really comes down to the individual schools. Private might be better or public might be better.

We have “wonderful” public schools around us. Super high ratings for years and years. The ratings are still high as they are a lagging indicator.

But doing the research we found they’ve been hit with a triple whammy in the past few years of:

1. New curriculum roll out was made into an IT disaster with teachers having to use the website in the middle of the night to do lesson plans. Net result most senior staff eligible for retirement retired instead of dealing with it. Volunteer parents spent more time interacting with students as teachers were fighting the computers instead of teaching.

2. Elimination of the gifted program. Said overworked teachers already without time to teach now suppose to develop individual lesson plan for every student.

3. Jumped on the “pad” bandwagon bringing tablets into the classroom at ridiculously early age. This was of course for the good of the students - so much so the superintendent is on his way to prison for a few years on account of the kickbacks he got from the tablet provider.

These public schools rated just as highly as the private schools. Scratch the surface though...

And I have no doubt the rolls are reversed in other places.

Stop fretting about 5% of your salary. Just do your homework and make a choice. Sure if they really seem extremely close in quality go with the public. Likely though one or the other will be different enough you’ll make the choice independent of price.

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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by Cruise » Thu May 17, 2018 12:26 am

OP:

If all else is even (and it usually isn't in a private-to-public school comparison), go with the private school.

The answer lies in the difficulty that public schools have in terminating poor performing teachers and expelling disruptive students. If I was in your situation, for that reason alone, I would choose the private option.

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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by SQRT » Thu May 17, 2018 3:01 am

I sent my daughter to private schools and have never regretted it. Chances are (not with certainty and this will depend on your kids to a large extent) the private school will have better extra curriculars and offer a wider range of options than the public school.

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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by SQRT » Thu May 17, 2018 3:02 am

Cruise wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 12:26 am
OP:

If all else is even (and it usually isn't in a private-to-public school comparison), go with the private school.

The answer lies in the difficulty that public schools have in terminating poor performing teachers and expelling disruptive students. If I was in your situation, for that reason alone, I would choose the private option.
Agree. This was one of the big deciding factors for me.

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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by ks289 » Thu May 17, 2018 4:41 am

HomerJ wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 4:37 pm
masonstone wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 2:02 pm
I'm not sure why many people on this thread throw out the money factor in this debate. With two children, each costing 20k per year, that's 40k per year for private school. Right now we're saving about 400-500k per year. Although we can spend 40K on private school, it would still eat into 10% of our savings which is not a negligible amount. We're not people with 9 figure net-worths and we follow the boglehead's savings philosophy and we don't overspend. We're driving a Honda Accord instead of a Porsche to save money and driving a Masarati off a cliff every year does drive a big dent in our savings.
I think many people consider it fairly negligible in your case because it requires almost zero sacrifice. Saving $400,000 a year instead of $440,000 a year probably means you'll be financially independent in 10 years instead of 9 years.

You asked what I would do... I'm like you, I would not throw away money just because I can afford it.

A good public high school is all one needs. In my opinion, in general, most kids get very little benefit from a private school, and they are a huge waste of money. But that's just my opinion.

And it's a general opinion. Some kids might do better in a private school. Some private schools may be worth the money compared to the local public school.

But in general, there's zero need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a private school if the public school is at all decent. The smart kids will all take honors and advanced and AP classes together in the public school, and will do just as well as a good private school.

Heck, look at this way. Put the $300,000 would you spent on a private school for one kid in a stock index fund at 18.

In 40 years, it will be worth $14 million. Think your adult child would rather have had the private school education or $14 million at age 58? :)
I see your point for high school options where there is some differentiation between students at different levels to best meet individual needs.

However, in elementary school and even middle school the approach is clearly different and classes are taught at a slow enough pace to allow most of the students to keep up. Children with challenges are rightfully integrated into classes which can have both pros and cons for the other students. For kindergarten and the very early grades it is usually not a big deal, but later on it may not best meet the needs of all students.

We used our very good public schools for both of our children for 5-6 years, but have switched to a small, somewhat more academically challenging private school with also more robust extracurrricular options. It is expensive but affordable for us. Our kids seem to be having their needs met better most importantly.

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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by chw » Thu May 17, 2018 5:24 am

I would not, unless there was issue going on in the public school that was a serious issue for your child. You and your spouse are doing really well financially, and have options financially that 99% of the population doesn't have- the challenge you will have is raising your children to be financially prudent adults, and to not overspend on material items, or services that are a luxury. Your children take their cues financially from you and your spouse at all ages, and can get confused as adults about "needs and wants" as they grow up. My wife and I used to analyze advertising and marketing ploys with our children (especially with branded products) to examine if their was value being delivered by a brand name product vs. a less expensive option.

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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Thu May 17, 2018 5:27 am

One factor that hasn't been mentioned here, and it's something that was very important to us personally, is something called "tracking."
Tracking is separating pupils by academic ability into groups for all subjects or certain classes and curriculum within a school. It may be referred to as streaming or phasing in certain schools. ... Students attend academic classes only with students whose overall academic achievement is the same as their own.
The public schools in our (previous) town are among the top handful of non-magnet schools in the country, by reputation. Since we paid extortionate property taxes, many neighbors asked us why we would send our kids to private school, when the public school was extraordinary. Here is why:

One of our sons was in a quasi-remedial track in the public school, especially in math. We are attentive parents, and this placement didn't seem right. The school, being very busy reading its press clippings, refused to reevaluate him, having determined that we were just overly proud parents, unable to deal with our son's obvious limitations. He took the ISEE (Independent School Entrance Exam) and scored quite well, so we put him in a selective private school for high school.

The first year, he got his bearings. By the second year, he had caught up with the other kids in math. By the third year, he was the standout math and science student. This week, he is graduating from Yale with a combined MS/BS in Computer Science after 4 years, has lectured in the graduate school on his area of expertise in Machine Learning, has published in this area, and will be starting a well-paying job in August.

Could he have done this if he had stayed in the public school? Perhaps. Would a teacher have noticed that he didn't belong in the remedial classes? Perhaps. Would he have become discouraged and internalized the low expectations that the school had for him? Probably. I would not gamble with my child's education and future to save a few dollars, or for some slight improvement in convenience (e.g., having to drive him to school rather than have him take the bus). For him, the ROI of the private education (both HS and college) are off the charts. Our only regret is not moving him earlier; shame on us for believing the town's PR machine about the quality of its education.

PS I know that anecdote is not the plural of data, but I'm a simple man, and what I've seen in my own family is strong evidence, to me, of the value of private education.

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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by gips » Fri May 18, 2018 7:47 am

I was making $1m/year and wasn't as fast to dismiss financial impact as most of the posters here. Some questions for the op to consider:
- where are you vs. the goal of financial independence?
- when do you want to retire?
- how many kids do you have/plan to have?
- what is the likelihood of your income moving to $600k (as stated in op)? or less?
- how much have you saved for college?

We have three kids, our public schools are ranked in the top 1% in the country. Since we hadn't reached our goal of financial independence, I was very reluctant to send our three kids to private school.
- my comp was $1mm, we saved around $350k per year and our expenses were $150k per year, the rest went to taxes
- comp could have moved to $500k per year, after tax=$250k, after expenses $100k per year savings
- In 13 years at $500k per year, we'd have saved $1.3mm. call it $2mm after investment returns.
- For the subsequent 6 years, I had a $750k college budget (which was about right)
- It was hard to predict my comp in 13-17 years (I think this is true for most of us)
- my financial independence goal was 50x expenses

given these potential financial outcomes, we decided to send our kids to public school. here are some other thoughts:
- spending $ for a private school to give your kid a chance at hypm doesn't make much sense to me based on the low probability of acceptance.
- I think the decision should be made on which school offers the better education. College placement is a consideration but is secondary.
- we sent our kids to public school but augmented with tutors and summer programs. obviously, a fraction of the cost of private school.
- when it came time for college, we hired a private tutor for the SAT. This helped move the kid's scores to a point where they were qualified for any school in the country.
- we should have hired a college consultant for our oldest since we didn't understand how to write an application. He still attended a great university (top 30). Honestly, his HS admitted making a mistake in reporting class rank and/or gpa that kept him out of the top 10-20 schools. That would never have happened at a private school. but in the end, he received a world-class education and had a great college experience.
- by the time we got to our middle child, we had a deep understanding of how to write an application and the college process. He was admitted to his first choice (a top 20 lac) and our daughter is at her first choice (an ivy).

luck!

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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by obgraham » Fri May 18, 2018 11:31 am

We have gone on at length here about the value of the Private school, largely as to how it might affect getting into an "elite" university.

However, it seems to me the primary duty of the parents should be different: raising a child who is well grounded, respectful, able to get along with others both in and beyond his/her socioeconomic group, and with some valid sense of purpose in life.

OP has the advantage that finances are essentially not an issue for the family. I think the proper choice is which school track will help develop the child into the adult he/she should be.

We were not in OP's income range at all, but we certainly went through a stage where we were concerned that our kids were taking their situation too much for granted. Fortunately we were able to make some changes and they all turned out well, but we need to recognize that high income families have potential problems they too need to address.

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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by Isabelle77 » Fri May 18, 2018 1:20 pm

obgraham wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 11:31 am
We have gone on at length here about the value of the Private school, largely as to how it might affect getting into an "elite" university.

However, it seems to me the primary duty of the parents should be different: raising a child who is well grounded, respectful, able to get along with others both in and beyond his/her socioeconomic group, and with some valid sense of purpose in life.

OP has the advantage that finances are essentially not an issue for the family. I think the proper choice is which school track will help develop the child into the adult he/she should be.

We were not in OP's income range at all, but we certainly went through a stage where we were concerned that our kids were taking their situation too much for granted. Fortunately we were able to make some changes and they all turned out well, but we need to recognize that high income families have potential problems they too need to address.
Yes, this. OP, you have the luxury of deciding which school is a better fit for your children. I think it is absolutely impossible to judge "public school" vs "private school" without taking into account the actual child attending the school and then (of course) the school itself. You are in the enviable position of not really having to consider the financial aspect of it and can just do what is best for your children, which could be different for each child. And that decision doesn't have to be final either.

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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by bloom2708 » Fri May 18, 2018 1:33 pm

With 2 kids at that price, you are looking at a ~million dollar decision through high school.

With your income, $1 million may be"a couple years savings" like my $20 bill. Or it may mean you can work 2 years less down the road.

If your public schools are good, I'd go that route 95 times out of 100.
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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by Stormbringer » Fri May 18, 2018 2:42 pm

In these forums, we tend to focus on financial capital, and optimizing it to the n-th degree.

In this case, I think the difference is social capital. Kids who attend private schools -- the right private schools -- tend to have more of it.
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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by celia » Fri May 18, 2018 2:51 pm

With your income and the knowledge that your public schools are good, I would assume you live in a neighborhood with a lot of professionals/well-educated parents. That, alone, can make your public school very good. I will also assume that there is parent involvement with the school, which is another attribute that contributes to good schools.

masonstone wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 9:32 am
The private school costs between 15-20K per year.
Since this is a low cost for a private school, I assume it is a church-based school. If it is, the question should be how important your faith is for you and your kids. Do you help to support the church already? Do you attend services there or other activities? If so, your children will likely do well there. If you are not a member of the church or have very little participation in it, some church-based schools would rather not have your child there since the home atmosphere and school atmosphere may be incompatible with each other, which could confuse the child. An example would be if you live contrary to what the church teaches.

Besides teaching religion, church-based schools usually do some community outreach/volunteer work. Even young kids can participate in a walk-a-thon to support the local food bank or sing at the local assisted living facility on a field trip.

masonstone wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 9:54 am
I think everyone is ambitious for their kids and most would love to have their kids at Harvard. My question is whether a good private school would give my child a leg up to get into harvard as compared to a good public school.
The easiest thing to find out is what percentage of students graduate (probably 100% for both of the schools in question), what percent of the grads were accepted to a 4-year college, and where did the top students end up going (names of the colleges)? In the church-based schools in our area, all but one or two graduating seniors go to college, although some start at a community college to save money.

I'm not so sure it does and it'll cost us an extra 1 million (if you compound 20k per year for 18 years with the average returns of the S&P 500 which is 10%).
If you need pre-school or day care, you need to pay for it regardless of where you go. The choice of where the child goes to college is primarily (usually) their choice [finances aside] and would cost the same regardless of what K-12 they went to. So I think we are only talking about 13 years of primary and secondary school.

But, what better thing would you spend that million on, if not education? In your case, $1M is just over a year's salary. Not that big of a "loss", considering many people are out of work that long, sometime during their career. (DH and I were both laid off for a year at the same time during a recession, in different industries.)

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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by HomerJ » Fri May 18, 2018 2:57 pm

celia wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 2:51 pm
But, what better thing would you spend that million on, if not education?
Except his kids can already get education at the public schools.

Seriously, what are the odds that the private school education is ONE MILLION DOLLARS better? (Impossible to quantify, of course, which makes spending that kind of money even more frustrating).

I'm still curious where the OP went to school as a child. Public or private? He's making nearly a million dollars a year, putting him in the top 0.01%. Did he need a private school to get him to such lofty heights?
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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by Stormbringer » Fri May 18, 2018 3:18 pm

HomerJ wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 2:57 pm
Seriously, what are the odds that the private school education is ONE MILLION DOLLARS better?
It probably depends on the school. Look at the list of notable alumni from Exeter. I worked for one who made $100M but wasn't notable, so he missed the list.
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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by Glockenspiel » Fri May 18, 2018 3:24 pm

obgraham wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 11:31 am

However, it seems to me the primary duty of the parents should be different: raising a child who is well grounded, respectful, able to get along with others both in and beyond his/her socioeconomic group, and with some valid sense of purpose in life.
I couldn't agree more with this. Well-stated. Yes, I want my child to be successful enough to go to a good college, if they wish to take that route, but more importantly, I want my child to become a good human being, respectful of other people regardless of their race, economic status, etc. and respectful of the environment in which we live.

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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by masonstone » Fri May 18, 2018 3:27 pm

HomerJ wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 2:57 pm
celia wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 2:51 pm
But, what better thing would you spend that million on, if not education?
Except his kids can already get education at the public schools.

Seriously, what are the odds that the private school education is ONE MILLION DOLLARS better? (Impossible to quantify, of course, which makes spending that kind of money even more frustrating).

I'm still curious where the OP went to school as a child. Public or private? He's making nearly a million dollars a year, putting him in the top 0.01%. Did he need a private school to get him to such lofty heights?
I went to public elementary school, junior high and high school. Even my undergrad (UC Berkeley) was public.

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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by Simple Simon » Fri May 18, 2018 3:37 pm

You have to choose between A and B. You think A is better, but it also costs more. So you weigh up the marginal benefit of A over B, and whether is is worth $(A-B) to you. You'll want to consider the opportunity cost too- what can you not do if you choose A.

In your case OP I imagine it hinges on whether you think A is better than B. If yes, then your financials are so strong that the marginal benefit is likely to seem like a good deal, and the opportunity costs seem small. So why wouldn't you.

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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by ChrisC » Fri May 18, 2018 3:39 pm

Stormbringer wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 3:18 pm
HomerJ wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 2:57 pm
Seriously, what are the odds that the private school education is ONE MILLION DOLLARS better?
It probably depends on the school. Look at the list of notable alumni from Exeter. I worked for one who made $100M but wasn't notable, so he missed the list.
Seriously, I think the top magnet public high schools in the country have much more academically accomplished alumni than the top elite private schools. Here's one: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_B ... nce_alumni. And in the DC area, I doubt the top elite private school in the area, Sidwell Friends, has more accomplished students than the top public magnet school, Thomas Jefferson H
S&T. If a child could get into a top private elite school and a top public magnet, I would tend towards the public magnet on academic and social grounds. And if a top elite private college were the goal, it strikes me as wishful thinking that a private elite secondary school gives one a leg up as opposed to a top magnet public school.

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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by golfCaddy » Fri May 18, 2018 3:40 pm

Stormbringer wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 3:18 pm
HomerJ wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 2:57 pm
Seriously, what are the odds that the private school education is ONE MILLION DOLLARS better?
It probably depends on the school. Look at the list of notable alumni from Exeter. I worked for one who made $100M but wasn't notable, so he missed the list.
Based on earlier statements from the OP, I don't believe he's considering a private school in Exeter's league. It might be time to table the HADES discussion.
Just to answer some of the questions asked: Both the private and public schools are good but are not "elite"

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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by Ben Mathew » Fri May 18, 2018 5:43 pm

spacecadet610 wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 5:27 pm
Just curious which suburb you are at in Seattle?

I just bought a home in mercer island just so that my 10 month old would have a good public school. i debated a long time between public versus private in this area but figured it made sense to find a good public school. not sure i made the right decision so found your post very intereting.

A colleague of mine has one child at lakeside and one in a bellevue public school and he says lakeside is not worth the money if you have a good public school.

I went to one of the "elite" colleges (Brown undergrad and medical school, was also accepted by harvard undergrad) and was a product of a crappy public school system. Not sure the whole process is worth it. I worry about the highly competitive environment kids now a days have to deal with.
I'm in Bellevue. Our experience with Bellevue public schools isn't terrible, though I think there are many things they could be doing better. I don't have first-hand experience with private schools, so I don't know how they do along the dimensions of curriculum quality, teacher attention, feedback on homework, personal development, etc. We have experienced some teachers who were good, a few who were bad, and many that were okay. Not sure how different our experience would have been at Lakeside. (Though one person we know whose daughter is at Lakeside is very happy with their decision.)

But quality of teaching and all that aside, when it comes to getting kids into elite colleges, I think Lakeside outperforms public schools. According to their placement stats, over the last five years, they placed 218 students at the most selective colleges (I'm defining these as Ivies, Stanford, MIT, Caltech, Duke, U Chicago, Washington U St. Louis, Rice, Amherst, Swarthmore, Williams, Harvey Mudd, and Pomona.)

That works out to 44 students per year (out of a class of about 110)!

The national merit semi-finalist (NMSF) listings are based solely on PSAT scores. So it gives us a pretty neat way to control for student test performance across schools. This article reports that Interlake High School (home of Bellevue's gifted program) had 27 semifinalists last year, Skyline High School had 18, and Lakeside had 16. So based on that, to have the same elite-college-placement-to-NMSF ratio as Lakeside, Interlake should be sending about 75 kids a year to the elite colleges, and Skyline about 50. I don't have hard data on how many kids go to elite colleges from our public schools, but based on anecdotal evidence, I don't think it's anywhere near that many.

Of course this doesn't mean that it's easy to get into one of these elite colleges from Lakeside. You still have to be in the top third of the class. But if you are, then you have a very good chance. But if you're an equally good top student at a public school, with test performance comparable to the top third at Lakeside, the odds are not nearly as good.

There are a couple of things that this analysis doesn't taken into account: (1) Kids from private schools may be more likely to attend private elite universities due to income, preferences etc. (2) There seem to be more Asian kids in our public schools than at Lakeside. So it could be the race-based quotas in college admissions that's reducing the college placement stats of public schools, not the public vs private angle.

Some may also bring up a third factor: Lakeside kids could be doing extracurricular activities, volunteering, etc.. But given how much the high-achieving hypercompetitive public school students are doing, I doubt that's what's driving the difference.

I too worry about the ill effects of hypercompetition. We have managed to stayed out of it so far, though we do supplement academics (just because I think schools teach don't teach very well). But our kids are only in middle school. No telling how high school, when grades start to matter for college admissions, will play out. But we've already told our kids that they could do everything right and not get into elite colleges. I think elite colleges matter more if they want to join elite i-banking or consulting firms (Goldman Sachs, McKinsey, etc.) -- industries where college branding matters a lot. I don't think that's what they'll end up wanting to do. If they go to UW or a second tier private school and do well in a field with reasonable demand, I think they will still have a lot of options open to them upon graduation.

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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by LarryAllen » Fri May 18, 2018 6:15 pm

In my mind your kids can achieve (AP classes, extracurriculars, blah, blah, blah) at public or private school. However, I truly believe you can make better lifelong business connections at a high end private school. Not a mediocre one though. We sent our kids to the local Catholic school one year and it was the same education as public school but cost money so we put them back in public the following year. I would only do private if it's truly an outstanding private school. Also, there is something to be said for meeting people of more diverse socio-economic backgrounds at the public school. Flip a coin!?

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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by afan » Fri May 18, 2018 7:52 pm

There is no answer to "public vs private." There might be an answer to a particular public school vs a particular private school for your kids. This depends on the resources, the socioeconomic status and particularly the educational level of the parents who send their kids to these schools, and the interaction of the offerings of the school with your kids specific strengths. A good match for one child could be a poor match for another.

If the public and private schools are good, then you have to dig into just what goes on at each place and how you think your kids would fit in.

The list of where high school graduates go to college tells you much more about the families than the school. At best, having a lot of kids who go to the most competitive colleges means that the school is capable of giving some kids excellent educations that permit them to go to such places. But this does not tell you much about the typical experience of students. Show me kids who can get into Andover and I will show you kids who will end up with impressive lists of college acceptances 4 years later. All Andover does is use the high average academic ability of the students to teach very rigorous courses. Public schools don't have the luxury of limiting enrollment to top students, but many good public schools can offer great educations.

You can afford the private school, no problem.
Whether it is the best place for your kids, look around carefully and do the best you can to predict.
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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by celia » Sat May 19, 2018 12:34 am

Stormbringer wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 3:18 pm
HomerJ wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 2:57 pm
Seriously, what are the odds that the private school education is ONE MILLION DOLLARS better?
It probably depends on the school. Look at the list of notable alumni from Exeter. I worked for one who made $100M but wasn't notable, so he missed the list.
LOL, I noticed Erik Per Sullivan in the list who played Dewey in Malcolm in the Middle. He made his money acting BEFORE he went to Exeter. So some people need to be notable before they get in???

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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by Always passive » Sat May 19, 2018 1:06 am

Do what your mind and heart tell you. I sent my children to private school and I am about to finance my granddaughter's private school. I will never know if I was right, but that is not the point. The point is that I have tried to do the best I can, after all my children are my most precious investment.

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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by carguyny » Sat May 19, 2018 5:50 am

What do your kids want and what do you want for them?

My wife and I toured one of the top private schools (top 10 in all ranking sites) in the country last year to consider sending out son there from PK-12. It's about $45k a year on average. The school was exactly what we didn't want - very traditional, teaching kids the same way for decades. No issue for us to cash flow it at all, so cash wasn't a deciding factor. We put the max limit in a UTMA for my son each year, so he'll be well set when he finishes high school where ever he goes.

We want to bring our son up to be a creative thinker/innovator in whatever field he picks. My wife is a private school product and I'm a public school product. I earn much more than my wife, but I found my talent/calling in life, she still hasn't in her early 40s. IMO, luck and talent if you have a decent education matter more than where you got that good education.

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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by staythecourse » Sat May 19, 2018 8:18 am

LarryAllen wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 6:15 pm
However, I truly believe you can make better lifelong business connections at a high end private school. Not a mediocre one though.
This is a real consideration, but sort of fate if it happens or not. I just saw an interview with a rabbi who was Zuckerberg room mate at Harvard. When asked why he didn't work with Zuckerberg early on in the Facebook process he stated he wanted to, but when he asked they told him he didn't have a skill set that would help so they said no. So just being there at the right time is not good enough. So I would think it would take your kid having the correct skill set, correct college, correct social circles at the correct time for this to come to fruition.

Just curious if anyone knows folks who have had personal experience with this "advantage". Not saying it isn't there, but don't think it is as obvious as everyone claims.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by gasdoc » Sat May 19, 2018 8:19 am

Our only daughter is the product of a private middle and high school. She and her friends started at a small Montessorri school in our town. At fifth grade, they split, some going public, while our daughter and some others went to a different private school. All were able to stay in touch through club sports and other activities. All took challenging courses, including AP courses and some of the time used the same text books. The main differences I saw was that there was a concerted effort in the college-prep private school to teach and develop good study habits, with a resulting increase in nightly home work. There were also requirements to participate in activities they thought were looked for on a college application (volunteerism, leadership in sports and different clubs, etc.). When it was time for the actual college application process to begin, there were various meetings with both students and parents discussing the various ideas for a successful application. This may be antedotal, but the private school kids seemed ahead of the public school kids in terms of where they were in getting together a short list of prospective colleges, making college visits, and getting their college applications together. I will say that the teachers and guidance counselors knew each of their students well, and knew what to put in the letters to have the greatest impact. During her freshman year, our daughter thought the kids coming from the private schools had better study habits, and struggled less in the classes, especially during the first semester. How much of this is parenting? How much of this individual students? There is no way to know, but if you can swing the cost, and after touring the various schools in the OP's community, why wouldn't you choose the better school?

gasdoc

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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by carguyny » Sat May 19, 2018 9:29 am

staythecourse wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 8:18 am
LarryAllen wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 6:15 pm
However, I truly believe you can make better lifelong business connections at a high end private school. Not a mediocre one though.
This is a real consideration, but sort of fate if it happens or not. I just saw an interview with a rabbi who was Zuckerberg room mate at Harvard. When asked why he didn't work with Zuckerberg early on in the Facebook process he stated he wanted to, but when he asked they told him he didn't have a skill set that would help so they said no. So just being there at the right time is not good enough. So I would think it would take your kid having the correct skill set, correct college, correct social circles at the correct time for this to come to fruition.

Just curious if anyone knows folks who have had personal experience with this "advantage". Not saying it isn't there, but don't think it is as obvious as everyone claims.

Good luck.
I'm a hiring manager in a very high paying field. We pay kids with 2 years post-college experience $350k/year. We as a firm (we hire about 10-15 per year) have found no correlation between public and private school education and success in our field. Much higher correlation when kids come from hardworking households than where they went to school. We've fired more people with private school educations on a % basis than public school. Most all of them went to Ivy league schools, so there isn't much we can pull from those stats. Very anecdotal, but we've been looking at it to see if there is a relationship as our hiring costs are very high.

We hire search firms to screen candidates so business connections/relationships don't come into getting in the door for an interview. Most of my team comes from Harvard, but I've also had the worst employees I've ever hired come from Harvard.

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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by LarryAllen » Sat May 19, 2018 9:33 am

staythecourse wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 8:18 am
LarryAllen wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 6:15 pm
However, I truly believe you can make better lifelong business connections at a high end private school. Not a mediocre one though.
This is a real consideration, but sort of fate if it happens or not. I just saw an interview with a rabbi who was Zuckerberg room mate at Harvard. When asked why he didn't work with Zuckerberg early on in the Facebook process he stated he wanted to, but when he asked they told him he didn't have a skill set that would help so they said no. So just being there at the right time is not good enough. So I would think it would take your kid having the correct skill set, correct college, correct social circles at the correct time for this to come to fruition.

Just curious if anyone knows folks who have had personal experience with this "advantage". Not saying it isn't there, but don't think it is as obvious as everyone claims.

Good luck.
Yes. I have seen it first hand through a cousin who went to ritzy private school in large city. He made lifelong contacts and connections both through classmates as well as their parents. Also it was a very good school. Also it was very expensive. I would say worth it in his experience.

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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by staythecourse » Sat May 19, 2018 11:03 am

carguyny wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 9:29 am
staythecourse wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 8:18 am
LarryAllen wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 6:15 pm
However, I truly believe you can make better lifelong business connections at a high end private school. Not a mediocre one though.
This is a real consideration, but sort of fate if it happens or not. I just saw an interview with a rabbi who was Zuckerberg room mate at Harvard. When asked why he didn't work with Zuckerberg early on in the Facebook process he stated he wanted to, but when he asked they told him he didn't have a skill set that would help so they said no. So just being there at the right time is not good enough. So I would think it would take your kid having the correct skill set, correct college, correct social circles at the correct time for this to come to fruition.

Just curious if anyone knows folks who have had personal experience with this "advantage". Not saying it isn't there, but don't think it is as obvious as everyone claims.

Good luck.
I'm a hiring manager in a very high paying field. We pay kids with 2 years post-college experience $350k/year. We as a firm (we hire about 10-15 per year) have found no correlation between public and private school education and success in our field. Much higher correlation when kids come from hardworking households than where they went to school. We've fired more people with private school educations on a % basis than public school. Most all of them went to Ivy league schools, so there isn't much we can pull from those stats. Very anecdotal, but we've been looking at it to see if there is a relationship as our hiring costs are very high.

We hire search firms to screen candidates so business connections/relationships don't come into getting in the door for an interview. Most of my team comes from Harvard, but I've also had the worst employees I've ever hired come from Harvard.
It would be great to start this as separate thread on your experiences as a high end hiring manager. Also, great to see if other bogleheads are in similar positions (hiring). All of us other folks are just in amateurs GUESSING on very low sample sizes of what is important, but would be great for others to read what actually matters in real life when it comes to getting hired and fired.

I trained at Harvard and had several folks who were Harvard grads (undergrad and medical school grads). I would agree my experience is split. 1/2 are great and hard working and the other half are not. Surprised me at first as the assumption is different. I do agree the folks who do the best are from hard working backgrounds where they continue to improve their skill set no matter the adversity. Also, they are folks who work and play well with others.

Thanks for the insight.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

staythecourse
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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by staythecourse » Sat May 19, 2018 11:10 am

LarryAllen wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 9:33 am
staythecourse wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 8:18 am
LarryAllen wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 6:15 pm
However, I truly believe you can make better lifelong business connections at a high end private school. Not a mediocre one though.
This is a real consideration, but sort of fate if it happens or not. I just saw an interview with a rabbi who was Zuckerberg room mate at Harvard. When asked why he didn't work with Zuckerberg early on in the Facebook process he stated he wanted to, but when he asked they told him he didn't have a skill set that would help so they said no. So just being there at the right time is not good enough. So I would think it would take your kid having the correct skill set, correct college, correct social circles at the correct time for this to come to fruition.

Just curious if anyone knows folks who have had personal experience with this "advantage". Not saying it isn't there, but don't think it is as obvious as everyone claims.

Good luck.
Yes. I have seen it first hand through a cousin who went to ritzy private school in large city. He made lifelong contacts and connections both through classmates as well as their parents. Also it was a very good school. Also it was very expensive. I would say worth it in his experience.
Interesting. I know parents (about 5-6 total) who went to the largest ritzy old money school in our metro town and did not help any of them. Funny, none of them can even afford to send their own kids to the same school. That, of course, means nothing as I don't think we would ever be in a situation to hang out with super rich folks due to our social circles so probably a bit of selection bias on our part.

Thanks for sharing.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by hmw » Sat May 19, 2018 8:57 pm

I would choose a good public school myself. I am a product of public school myself, and I did just fine. I just don't think 20k a year for 12 years is worth it. I have seen some relatives who had gone to expensive private schools (close to 30K a year), and I am not impressed with the end product. Then, again, I have trouble convince my wife that I am right on this. :annoyed Our son goes to a private school, but our public schools are pretty bad here.

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Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

Post by mouses » Sun May 20, 2018 1:38 am

masonstone wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 9:54 am
adamthesmythe wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 9:49 am
> my wife and I make over 900K per year

So you can do whatever you want.

High earners are often very ambitious for kids, want them to get into Harvard or wherever, and will do anything that might get them a leg up.

The downside, I suppose, is that kids might grow up feeling superior, or might turn out to be mediocre anyway.
I think everyone is ambitious for their kids and most would love to have their kids at Harvard. My question is whether a good private school would give my child a leg up to get into harvard as compared to a good public school. I'm not so sure it does and it'll cost us an extra 1 million (if you compound 20k per year for 18 years with the average returns of the S&P 500 which is 10%).
Does Harvard Admissions consider private schooling a plus, or a minus in terms of their looking for diversity.

If I had kids, I would not send them to a private school if an excellent public school were available. They have to learn that not everyone in the world is rich so they don't turn out to be unempathetic little snots.

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