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Is it worth leaving private school for public school to get into a good college?

pault289pault289 38 replies19 threads Junior Member
edited June 2015 in College Admissions
I am highly considering leaving my private school because I feel that public school students have a higher chance because they have more opportunities, and more kids, so it's easier to be top 10% whereas in private school there's only 50 kids in my grade meaning top 10% would be top 5... I want to get into a good college. (Stanford, UCLA, USC, Berkley). I'm willing to make changes but is it worth transferring? Do my chances increase exponentially if I were to be in a public school?

P.S. The reasons that are holding me back are friends, and that I've attended private school my whole life so I'm not used to classes with over 500+ kids in the grade. I'm also nervous to make the change, because I've never attended one, and I don't know what to expect.
edited June 2015
8 replies
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Replies to: Is it worth leaving private school for public school to get into a good college?

  • rdeng2614rdeng2614 1736 replies82 threads Senior Member
    No, your chances do not 'increase exponentially' if you went to public school.

    For the reasons that you stated, just stay in private school.

    The schools you mentioned will not that you only have 50 kids in your grade, they will note how many opportunities that were available to you.

    If you take advantage of what's given to you, then it's fine.
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  • 3puppies3puppies 1749 replies12 threads Senior Member
    Additionally, some highly selective schools might look unfavorably at someone leaving private school if it is for the reason of playing admissions games, they may get the sense that this person admitted he/she cannot be excellent at the private high school, so how would they do among all the exceptional students they DO admit.

    Your chances are not great coming from either a private nor a public school. Think hard about the fact that only around a third or so of the accepted students at HYPS are coming from public schools and you may begin to understand that these selective schools are looking for great students, from wherever.

    These selective colleges understand the differences between the school profiles. They know that GPA and therefore rank in some private schools is not really at all comparable to high schools with a very different demographic population. They understand that at a private high school, almost all of the students are motivated and by definition have a more supportive family environment where education is valued. At a public high school, there tend to be more students who struggle with many more types of family issues (not just poverty).

    But these schools also know that students in large public high schools tend to have more choices - more kids means they are more likely to offer multiple AP courses, and usually there are more EC options.

    These colleges also understand the vast differences between suburban, affluent high schools compares with inner-city high schools. They know that a very high graduation rate means that the students in the middle of the pack are generally well-prepared. Similarly, a school with a low graduation rate means many of the students in the middle may not be prepared to handle the academic challenges of a selective college.

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  • siliconvalleymomsiliconvalleymom 4377 replies84 threads Senior Member
    Does your high school use Naviance? Have you talked with your high school's college counselor? This choice is not as simple as public vs. private. The counselor should be able to review with you how students from your current high school fare in the admissions process.
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  • N's MomN's Mom 2206 replies6 threads Senior Member
    Along with attending private school comes the benefit of guidance counselors who know the college admissions process and often, know personally the admissions staff at those selective schools. Public school kids are generally on their own when it comes to admissions. The GCs at public schools often have up to 500 kids per GC and are focused on those who are in trouble. If you are a top student, don't be surprised if they don't even know your name. On college placement, they know the state Us and the community colleges - and are most concerned about the kids who will be going to neither.

    For this reason, I'm betting that your private school does a lot better on placement at the more selective schools than even an affluent public high school.

    There are good reasons to transfer to a public school from a private one, but this isn't one of them.
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  • happy1happy1 23960 replies2403 threads Super Moderator
    edited June 2015
    If you are happy and doing well in your current environment (and it sounds like you are) don't change. I don't think moving to a public school will increase your chances for college at all.
    edited June 2015
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  • pault289pault289 38 replies19 threads Junior Member
    Yes, my school does have Naviance, but I'm not sure how to utilize it. I just finished my freshman year so I plan to meet up with my counselor throughout my sophomore and junior year.
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  • pault289pault289 38 replies19 threads Junior Member
    Thanks for the replies everyone. I was stressed out about it, but now it seems like there is no reason to stress over anything.
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  • TooOld4SchoolTooOld4School 3373 replies12 threads Senior Member
    The top 10% at a public schools is more like the top 25% at a private school. Many private schools are 'known' to admission offices and they adjust as needed. It would only matter if you are in a state, like Texas, that auto-admits a certain percentage of top students to their state college system or there is some other special link. Just enjoy your HS experience free from all the hassles, political orthodoxy and bureaucracy at a public system.
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