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Do Top-Tier Admission Officers Prefer Private or Public School Students?

CCEdit_SurajCCEdit_Suraj 13 replies135 threads Editor
This student wants to know whether private schools provide students with an edge in the college admissions process. https://insights.collegeconfidential.com/do-private-school-students-have-college-admission-edge
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Replies to: Do Top-Tier Admission Officers Prefer Private or Public School Students?

  • Waiting2exhaleWaiting2exhale 3066 replies17 threads Senior Member
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  • rickle1rickle1 2543 replies21 threads Senior Member
    edited May 20
    Anecdotal, but... our experience is yes. S attended a public school, did well and attends a private highly selective college. However, most of his class (and previous and future classes - like overwhelmingly most) attend state U. A few neighborhood kids attended prominent private schools. They and many many many of their peers attend quality private schools. Like almost all of them. All over the country too.

    I recall when S was applying to schools, the really high end ones all had local info sessions at his friend's private schools. They were open to basically anyone, but the fact that they were on the private school's campus clearly shows their relationship. Typically these high schools send kids to top colleges each yr and there is a certain expectation on both parties as they have a known "product" and success factor. Colleges want to admit kids that will have success, graduate on time, do well, get a good job, contribute funding, etc. If there's a long term track record in place, it makes it easy for the college to swim in that admission pond.

    But as evidenced by my own kid, as long as you are a strong candidate, you can get into these great schools from anywhere.
    edited May 20
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  • Bill MarshBill Marsh 503 replies5 threads Member
    AOs prefer kids who have been challenged by a rigorous curriculum and demanding courses, and who have done well under those conditions.

    Not all public schools are created equal in this country. AOs know the difference. Some are equivalent to privates. Frankly, not all privates are created equal, and AOs know the differences among them too.

    The school which they applicant attended will be factored in in terms of its ability to challenge students and its ability to provide advanced courses.
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 6424 replies1 threads Senior Member
    I did undergrad at a very highly ranked private university where the very large majority of the other students were from public high schools. It has occurred to me that the same might not necessarily be true at all highly ranked universities. MIT and Caltech might have different preferences compared to Harvard or Princeton. However, I do not think that any of us quite knew why we got accepted while a different strong student did not.

    I have been a strong advocate of doing what makes sense for you, and then finding a university that is happy with what you have done. I never did *anything* to get accepted to a good university. I got accepted to a highly ranked university twice (once for a bachelor's and once for a master's) and I think that the issue was doing well at whatever you do. You are more likely to do well if you like what you are doing.

    As such, getting accepted to a top university at least for me is definitely not the reason to attend a private high school.
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