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WSJ Article: High Schools sending most kids to top schools

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Replies to: WSJ Article: High Schools sending most kids to top schools

  • NJresNJres Registered User Posts: 6,146 Senior Member
    Prep schools screen the kids so they are only working with the top students to begin with. Look at the top public schools that made the list. They also have selective admissions policies. How many of the kids attending Princeton University from Princeton HS are children of Princeton faculty?
  • maritemarite Registered User Posts: 21,586 Senior Member
    One other variable to factor in is ability to pay. Boston Latin is a public (exam) school. Many of its graduates head off to UMass-Amherst; Ditto, with TJ, except that its graduates head off to UVA.

    It is possible that many students from high performing suburban public high schools are admitted or admissible but choose to attend less expensive schools either because these are their state's flagship schools or they receive merit money from private schools not on this list.

    Many private schools do provide an excellent education. They also have many students whose families are quite able to pay full fare at the colleges on the list. I believe most offer need-based aid?
  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 18,350 Senior Member
    Just look at the numbers: There are well over 20,000 public high schools in the country. The colleges in the index have about 7,000 freshmen, and tend to get about 60% of their students from public schools. So that's 4,000 kids from 20,000 schools. They get 35% of their kids from private schools. I don't know how many private schools there are with graduating classes of more than 50, but it isn't anything like 20,000. 2,000 is probably closer to the right number.
  • ConsolationConsolation Registered User Posts: 23,030 Senior Member
    Prep schools are not necessarily working only with the top students, although certainly some of them may have a higher percentage of them.

    I know that things have changed, but there was a not-too-distant time when the major criteria for entering most prep schools were the right connections and the ability to pay. I really find it hard to imagine that the legacy factor isn't still at work today.

    Locally, the kids who leave our public school system and go to the area private schools--religiously affiliated or not--are very unlikely to be the brightest and/or most successful students. Generally they are kids whose parents have money and who think their kids are in danger of being overlooked. In fact, someone with both kids in private school told me several years ago that "studies have shown" that that is the most common reason for moving kids to private school. Whether she was correct or not I do not know, but my observation would tend to support her.

    Now, there is of course a difference between the local private school and an elite prep school.
  • icy9ff8icy9ff8 - Posts: 1,605 Senior Member
    JHS: Exeter was ranked #11 when examing its actual college placement for the years of 2006, 2005 & 2004. All U.S. based college matriculations were rated for this ranking. Exeter's weakness is it's placement outside of the top third of each class. This info. was supplied by Exeter. Andover, on the other hand, has outstanding college placement for almost it's entire graduating class. And, I was particularly sensitive regarding Exeter in this study. Exeter folks with whom I spoke were friendly, gracious and helpful when dealing with my project. But no, Exeter did not even make the top ten "northeastern" U.S. boarding schools for college placement success. I will gladly furnish you with my findings if you PM me. As hard as it is to believe, my results are accurate-- much more accurate than any other study of which I and many "in the industry" are aware. You will also receive the methodology which will enable you to verify my findings.
  • WintersetWinterset Registered User Posts: 717 Member
    I suppose it depends on what colleges you pick. But if you use the 8 Ivy Leagues plus Stanford and MIT then the results are a bit different. They could have used the Prepreview.com 2008 list. This list also shows average SAT scores (with some not incl the new format):
    1 St. Paul's School 34% 2049
    2 Deerfield Academy 32% 2040
    2 Milton Academy 32% 1360
    4 Groton School 31% 2100
    5 Middlesex School 30% 2010
    6 Phillips Andover Academy 29% 2008
    6 Phillips Exeter Academy 29% 2073
    8 Noble and Greenough School 28% 1355
    9 St. Albans School DC 25%
    10 Lawrenceville School 22% 2020
    11 Hotchkiss School 20% 2015
    12 Choate Rosemary Hall 19% 1332
    13 Hockaday School 18% 1990
    14 Peddie School 17%
    15 St. Andrew's School 16% 1305
    15 Belmont Hill School 16% 1340
    17 Blair Academy 12% 1230
    17 Taft School 12% 1293
    19 St. George's School 11% 1291
    19 Indian Springs School 11% 1305
    21 Cate School 10% 1310
    21 Concord Academy 10% 2023
    23 Cranbrook Schools 8-10% 1921
    23 Georgetown Preparatory School 8-10%
    23 Loomis Chaffee School 8-10%
    23 Northfield Mount Hermon School 8-10% 1202
    23 Miss Porter's School 8-10% 1865
    23 Emma Willard School 8-10% 1910
    23 Episcopal High School 8-10%
    30 Kent School 5-8%
    30 Webb Schools 5-8% 1300
    30 Woodberry Forest School 5-8% 1310
    30 Culver Academies 5-8%en the raking is a bit different.
  • BurnThisBurnThis Registered User Posts: 746 Member
    Scottfossel, can you get us the info for private day schools as well? This is just for boarding schools, it seems.
  • WintersetWinterset Registered User Posts: 717 Member
    Sorry, you can but you need to subscribe.
  • curious14curious14 Registered User Posts: 1,058 Senior Member
    The problem is what to make of the data. It does not mean that a randomly selected student would be more likely to be admitted to these colleges if he attends one of these high schools than if he attends his local public school. It needs to be remembered that these high schools select students with an eye toward their ability to get accepted at prestigious colleges. For example, students whose parents are legacies at Ivy's will get the nod over those who are not. Those who are likely to contribute substantially to the high school and future colleges will get the nod over those who cannot.
  • gossipgirlgossipgirl Registered User Posts: 296 Junior Member
    I found the data from the last time the wsj did this survey (2003). Here's the link. The schools are fairly comparable to this year's. Unfortunately, it does not list the ten schools on this webpage.

    http://webreprints.djreprints.com/wsj_tuition_040104.pdf
  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 18,350 Senior Member
    The ten schools that year were Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown, Penn, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Chicago, and Pomona. The original concept was Ivies plus Stanford, Duke, and Chicago, but Columbia and Stanford refused to cooperate. Pomona was inserted as the nearest West Coast equivalent to Stanford in terms of selectivity, and they decided that no proxy was necessary for Columbia. They also claimed to have looked at the effect of adding Williams, Amherst, and Swarthmore, and decided that it didn't make enough of a difference.
  • exploringMOMexploringMOM Registered User Posts: 66 Junior Member
    I thought to go to Ivies and top schools you really had to be in the top 10% of one's class. So how do some of these highschools send such huge percentages to them?
  • curious14curious14 Registered User Posts: 1,058 Senior Member
    If you read the footnotes on the statistics for the percentage of students in the top 10% you will see that it is as a percentage of those reporting class rank. I would guess that none of the schools listed officially reports class rank and as a result most of their students are not counted in this calculation. I think only something like 60% of high school students have an officially reported class rank. That's why you often see this data with a footnote that says it's based on less than 50% of the student body. Most competitive private schools now say that they do not report class rank. Of course if you are in the top 10 % the guidance counselor will take pains to make that clear to the colleges.
  • ctParent2006ctParent2006 Registered User Posts: 376 Member
    There was a post for an Admissions Officer here, I think back in the summer, that said they do their best to figure out class rank for applicants. Most schools, even those that say they don't rank officially, provide some information to colleges (check their school profiles that go to colleges) so ranks can be figured out.
  • HannaHanna Registered User Posts: 14,905 Senior Member
    "So how do some of these highschools send such huge percentages to them?"

    Because colleges know that to be in the second 10% at St. Paul's takes more skill and effort than it does to be valedictorian at some high schools in this country. There are high schools in this country that barely make the kids write papers. At St. Paul's, you have to have college-level skills to even make B's.

    So colleges try to be fair and (1) not penalize kids because they are stuck in an unchallenging high school and (2) not penalize kids who are doing well at the toughest high schools in the country.
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