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Are there "Prep-Ivys"? If so, what are they?

abmp22abmp22 Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
I go to a public Highschool that is slightly above average and is relatively good compared to its surroundings. After speaking with an admissions officer at Columbia, he said that they don't admit kids from our school because it wasn't as good as the private schools next to ours. He continued to say more than 60% of they freshman class comes from a prepschool.

I want to know whether there are certain prep-school ivys? I am going to apply regardless, but I want to know I have a fair shot.


Replies to: Are there "Prep-Ivys"? If so, what are they?

  • aoeuidhtnsaoeuidhtns Registered User Posts: 207 Junior Member
    Someone in the admissions office actually told you that? That's honestly shocking and unprofessional if true. I'm not sure what you mean by "Prep-Ivys," but all the elite private schools (Andover, Exeter, St. Paul's etc.) along with the selective public schools (Bronx Sci, Stuyvesant, Hunter etc.) are feeder schools to the Ivies.

    Because they're already selective, their class tends to be academically strong as a whole and very involved in ECs/sports--so, the perfect fit for the Ivies.

    That is not to say an equally impressive student from a public school can't be admitted. Case in point, I went to an practically unknown high school and so did many of my college classmates.
  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston Registered User Posts: 11,609 Senior Member
    I seriously doubt is the Columbia adcom said that.
  • LoveTheBardLoveTheBard Registered User Posts: 1,436 Senior Member
    Some schools serve as "feeder" schools to the ivies but there is no direct pipeline -- as @aoeuidhtns correctly notes, there are a handful of private and public schools whose graduates are, in a sense, "pre-vetted." Adcoms know the caliber of students that attend those schools and probably have good relationships with the college counselors. I seriously doubt that an Adcom would make a blanket statement about not accepting students from a school that did not figure among public and private "feeder"- type schools.
  • CorbettCorbett Registered User Posts: 2,719 Senior Member
    edited October 3
    He continued to say more than 60% of they freshman class comes from a prepschool.
    That's unlikely. I don't see any numbers for Columbia, but at other Ivies, the majority of undergraduates come from public high schools. For example:
    In the month of August, both The [Harvard] Crimson and the Yale Daily News, Yale’s daily student newspaper, surveyed incoming freshmen on their backgrounds and interests ...

    The Crimson emailed its annual survey to all members of the Class of 2019. Of the 1,665 students, 1,184, more than 70 percent of the class, responded to the survey. The YDN emailed its survey to all incoming Yale freshmen. Of 1,364 incoming Yale freshmen, 853, or 63 percent, responded.

    Fifty-eight percent of Yale respondents attended a public high school, most of them non-charter, compared to 63 percent of Harvard respondents ...
    Obviously this means that Yale and Harvard do have sizable numbers of private high school students, at 42 and 37 percent. But note that "private high school" doesn't necessarily mean a traditional elite "prep school". That figure will also include many parochial schools, or other local high schools that have a religious orientation.
  • CorbettCorbett Registered User Posts: 2,719 Senior Member
    edited October 3
    I don't see any numbers for Columbia, but at other Ivies, the majority of undergraduates come from public high schools
    Princeton provides a full breakdown. As at Harvard and Yale, the majority of freshmen (about 60%) come from public high schools. You can see that there are significant prep school and religious school components, but the public school students clearly outnumber them.

    60.5 % public
    28.2 % "independent day"/"independent boarding" (these would be the prep schools)
    9.9 % religious
    0.5 % other (home school, military)

  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 27,891 Super Moderator
  • ninakatarinaninakatarina Registered User Posts: 278 Junior Member
    That also doesn't include homeschools. Also, a decent percent of the populations come from overseas, where public/private mean different things.
  • Muad_dibMuad_dib Registered User Posts: 571 Member
    edited October 16
    @abmp22 - I think you got punk'd.
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 27,891 Super Moderator
    edited October 16
    That also doesn't include homeschools
    Harvard: "Less than 1 percent of surveyed students said that they had been homeschooled."
    Cornell: "Other (charter, home-schooled, etc.)14.7%"
    a decent percent of the populations come from overseas,
    Well, we can quibble if 10-12% constitutes decent, but whatever percentage it is, I doubt it moves the needle here.
    where public/private mean different things.
    One should assume that admissions officers at any college, but certainly at this tier, knows the difference between public school and private school, even if "public school" has a different connotation in the UK, as an example.
  • justliviglifejustliviglife Registered User Posts: 127 Junior Member
    edited October 18
    Andover and Exeter literally feed into ivies. Costs as much as/more than some colleges if boarding. If you live in the area, then cheaper. I'm a senior now, but I wish I would've gone to boarding school looking back.

    There is a school in my city that sends around 25 kids to Harvard, 25 kids to MIT, 25 kids to Yale, 25 kids to Stanford, etc. over the span of 3 years.

    Also, the AO said that? Wow...I mean...at least he was honest.

    It's annoying my school is just as challenging/good as the aforementioned school, but ivies barely except anyone from my school each year.

    Also, please don't get stuck in the mentality that only ivies will allow you to succeed big. There are so many schools that are equal. There are state schools with certain programs that are essentially on par with ivies.

    Example for business:
    UPenn (ivy): Wharton = #1 (I think this is still accurate, but not 100% sure)
    University of Texas (State School) McCombs = # 5 (Once, again, not 100%, but pretty sure)

    Ok...so...McCombs at UT is still very hard to get into, externally as well as internally (even more so I believe)

    I was stuck in the "I have to go to an ivy" mind frame and finally broke out of it when I realized how unrealistic actually getting in is. It's a crapshoot, so shoot for the stars, but remember to find other reaches/matches that you would happy going to and of course safeties (I would emphasize with caps but a certain someone on thread thinks it's yelling.

    And remember, there's always grad school/med school/law school!
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