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Horace Mann High School vs Trinity High School vs Riverdale Country Day School

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Replies to: Horace Mann High School vs Trinity High School vs Riverdale Country Day School

  • GMC2918GMC2918 Registered User Posts: 910 Member
    As a born & bred New Yorker (who went to Riverdale BTW) and who was fortunate enough to be able to raise her kids here and chose to send them to private schools, I'm trying not to be TOO insulted by what you're saying @DeepBlue86 and @Center ;-) It may not be a "normal" childhood but... is that a bad thing? I for one have never aspired to "normal". Access to the culture & diversity of NYC, along with the independence that teenagers have here is the plus side to living with an "alarming proportion" wealthy families.

    @peacenbless all 3 of these schools take in a large amount of new kids in 9th grade which mixes things up a bit. Many of these new students had applied & were accepted to the specialized high schools, and chose private. Most of them are interesting, smart, curious, accepting, independent and appreciative of the talents of others. You will, without a doubt, encounter some who are not any of those things. No school can protect you from that, and as @DeepBlue86 says above, you'll just have to embrace it.

    FWIW I don't really think that Riverdale has an edge over Trinity or HM on "normal" - as loyal as I am to the school, I'm afraid that it can't claim to be immune from what the others here are saying. When/if you are accepted to any combination of these three, I highly recommend that you spend a day at each. Go to classes, eat lunch in the cafeteria, and ask lots of questions. Academically they are all great and more alike than different in the High School years. What an exciting time for you @peacenbless - enjoy it!
  • nynycasino1234nynycasino1234 Registered User Posts: 447 Member
    edited January 14
    If you are admitted to anyone, you can not go wrong without any choice. However if you have a choice, I would choose Trinity over other school. If your daughter is coming though from prep for prep, choose trinity. If you are full pay, choose any one.
  • rukthecookrukthecook Registered User Posts: 24 New Member
    Although no one can dispute that many students in New York City are either wealthy or surrounded by wealthy people, the resources at a school like Trinity are top notch. In my eyes, the two main differences between NYC private schools are a. Campus, and b. Students. If you want to go to a campus school, You'd be better off with choosing one of the hill schools, but I believe that the students at Trinity are first-rate; of course there will be a number of wealthy families that may not be 'deserving', but Trinity is known as the most prestigious, and because of that, students who have a passion for learning flock over to the Upper West Side to attend Trinity.
    From what I've heard, Horace Mann isn't as hard as it is hyped up to be, and students have a very generous amount of free time if they manage their time well. Riverdale has a beautiful campus (Well, so does HM), but I couldn't find any glaring differences between it and HM.
    Overall, @GMC2918 hit the nail on the head; no school is perfect, and there is undoubtedly students that are admitted for many reasons other than their skill set, but you just have to embrace it. To be admitted into all 3 schools would be a blessing (Decisions come out early February, so nothing is guaranteed yet, though!) Good luck in your search!
  • brantlybrantly Registered User Posts: 2,651 Senior Member
    I'm currently attending a gifted middle school in Texas
    Can you please explain your living situation? Where is your family home? If in Texas, will your family be moving to NYC so you can attend HM, Trinity, or Riverdale? Will you be living with a host family or extended family?

    As for commute, the Hill schools provide busing (for a price) from all over the city. It's not a problem to live anywhere in Manhattan and attend HM or RCD. One thing to keep in mind is that HM and RCD have a bunch of kids from Westchester, so friends will be widely spread out compared with friends you'd make at Trinity.
  • GMC2918GMC2918 Registered User Posts: 910 Member
    Thank you @NYCMomof3 - if I could hit the "Like" button on your post a thousand more times, I would.
  • DeepBlue86DeepBlue86 Registered User Posts: 829 Member
    edited January 15
    @NYCMomof3, your comments prompted me to re-read my my most recent post on this thread, and I stand by what I said.

    I try to avoid providing identifying information in my posts, so I won’t be getting into a discussion with you about which of us has more direct experience/knowledge of high-end New York private schools (by which, since you ask, I mean the most prestigious, non-religious ones, where the wealthy and influential families tend to cluster).

    If you read my post #6 further upthread, though, and some of my posts regarding New York private schools on other threads, you’ll have a fuller basis to judge whether or not I know what I’m talking about.

    Never mind me, though - read the New York Times article I linked to in my prior post discussing the letter from the Trinity headmaster. I hope you’ll acknowledge that he’s got standing to express his point of view, which happens to overlap with mine.

    By the way, I agree with you that New York can be a great place to grow up in and that high-end private schools provide a great many opportunities to students, a number of whom are, as you say, on scholarship. That world is a gilded bubble, though, and an outlier relative to anywhere else.
  • 4junior4junior Registered User Posts: 228 Junior Member
    edited January 15
    I agree with parts of both @DeepBlue86 and @NYCMomof3

    To quote from the Trinity letter
    "... for an increasing number of our older students, with increasing intensity, as they leave our Lower School, our students’ default understanding of the purpose of their schoolwork becomes to make good grades, gain admissions to a highly selective college, set themselves on a path of lifelong superior achievement. And this default setting -- one of narrowly individualistic self-advancement -- has been locked into place by a frenetic pace of life and expectations of perfection that devour the energy and time students need to reflect on the meaning of their schoolwork."

    I agree that there is often more socioeconomic diversity at a top NYC private than a suburban public, but no amount of volunteering in soup kitchens can counteract the truly breathtaking sense of entitlement and the opportunities given to a significant majority of the (full pay) students. By the time they are seniors their sense of school being a place of "narrowly individualistic self-advancement" is fully cemented by the competitive college process where they are in direct competition with each other. For some the doors to the handful of coveted colleges (or to the stepping stones such as internships for Senators etc) often magically open due to parental resources, for others they do not. While pockets of this exist in affluent communities nationwide the pervasiveness within the broad private school network in NYC is without compare. This is not just wealth - this is truly extraordinary wealth/influence. The expectations of achievement and pressure cooker aspect is very real. I know kids who are truly devastated that they will not be attending top 10 universities/LAC; they truly feel like they failed High School. To pretend that those who are at the lower end of the economic scale (like our family) have a HS school experience at the same level as the more well off is simply untrue.

    I do wonder if the OP can fathom how these schools will be different than their current situation, but that is not the question posed as they seem bent on considering them. IMO there are cultural differences between these 3 that may or may not be apparent to someone from Texas visiting for a day. Trinity is understated quiet power and generally more conservative, HM is more openly competitive and ambitious. Being on a campus or hill school feels very very different than being within NYC.
  • NYCMomof3NYCMomof3 Registered User Posts: 489 Member
    @DeepBlue86 this discussion can go on but we will agree to disagree. I can only assume (because I don't know if you have had children in a NYC private) that our experiences have been different. (I don't have time to look for past threads) According to what you consider a high end school to be, I have been a part of that type of school community. My experience over last 16+ yrs has been a lot more good than bad. We are working class with scholarships and we've always felt welcomed and my children never once complained or compared their life to the lives of their classmates. Blanket statements just don't sit well with me. With that said, I chose wisely and I am happy I had a choice. Not all schools are the same. I'm happy Trinity's head of school wants them to go in a different direction but I do find the many of the NYC private schools are what Trinity wants to become.

  • peacenblesspeacenbless Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    Thank you so much. I appreciate everyone’s help.
  • northstar2029northstar2029 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    My impression is that HM no longer offers APs or is phasing them out, as are many NYC independent schools.
  • CuriousCat11CuriousCat11 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    Where did you get in and where are you going?
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