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NJ Private Schools Acceptance Rates in Grade 6

jcparentjcparent 24 replies3 threads Junior Member
Hi,

I am considering NJ private schools (Pingry, Newark Academy, Kent Place) for my daughter in 6th Grade. Anyone have an idea of how many applications these schools receive in 6th Grade and what the acceptance rate is like?

Lawrenceville does post metrics for Grade 9. In recent years they seem to get ~2,000 applications and have a ~20% admit rate.
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Replies to: NJ Private Schools Acceptance Rates in Grade 6

  • chemmchimneychemmchimney 781 replies1 threads Member
    I don't know the exact admit rates at those schools but my guess is that your odds are better in 6th grade which is an entry year at all those schools and perhaps not as popular as 9th grade as a start. Newark states that it gets 600 applications each year for 100 spots. The bulk of those 100 spots look to be fairly evenly divided between 6th (52 spots) and 9th (47 spots). Pingry states they receive 4-5 applications for each opening and they accept 26-30 students in 6th grade. Kent Place does not provide these numbers..
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  • jcparentjcparent 24 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Thank you for those data points. Newark Academy also looks like it should translate to 4-5 applications per available spot in 6th Grade. Newark Academy seems like it should be significantly easier to get in 6th Grade vs 9th Grade. For Pingry it seems like 9th Grade spots are ~2x more than in 6th Grade. For both assuming that admissions yield is somewhere in 60% to 75% range, 6th Grade acceptance is probably in 30%-40% range, which doesn't seem terrible, but I have no idea how well qualified the pool is. But at least on face of it is seems tough but not daunting odds.
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  • sgopal2sgopal2 3524 replies49 threads Senior Member
    Getting in at 6th grade is definitely easier than 9th. Not sure of the exact numbers, but if you call the admissions offices, I'm sure they will tell you.
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5855 replies10 threads Senior Member
    Pennington and Hun both have 6th grade entries and neither is super competitive (although I am guessing from the ones you mention that these are not convenient. )

    FWIW, we didn't consider 6th grade entry simply because we weren't sure any of these schools would be the best fit for DC in 9th and we were concerned that he would resist another transition. Not a concern for everyone, but tossing it out there.
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  • jcparentjcparent 24 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Yeah my wife has a job in Manhattan and her commute being short is important. Pingry is already at the outer edge of what we think is doable. Also to be honest we are just looking at the selective top tier private schools, at least for Grade 6. I am not convinced that attending the next tier of private schools is worth it when compared to elite suburban public schools like those in Scarsdale, Chappaqua, Millburn, Bronxville, Jericho etc.
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  • sgopal2sgopal2 3524 replies49 threads Senior Member
    While commute is important, I'd argue that focusing on prestige is shortsighted.

    Some kids are good with competition, others are not. You simply don't know enough by 6th grade.

    I've been through this before, and lots of other parents on this board. Chasing prestige for high school will not equate to better college admissions either.
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  • jcparentjcparent 24 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Dear @sgopal2 I appreciate that different parents can come to different decisions on what makes financial and educational sense for them and their child. Obviously there are a plethora of private schools with a lot of kids going to all kinds of private schools. I simply don't see the value of going to a less prestigious private school that is equally as expensive as the most selective one's when their output in terms of college matriculaton are not superior and in many cases actually worse to elite public schools in affluent suburbs.
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  • jcparentjcparent 24 replies3 threads Junior Member
    I am not convinced that the teachers, infrastructure and student resources will be noticeably superior at the lesser private schools compared to top public schools.
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  • CaliMexCaliMex 1821 replies34 threads Senior Member
    Prestige can be due to very savvy marketing ;-)
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  • sgopal2sgopal2 3524 replies49 threads Senior Member
    I thought much the same way you did when my son applied to selective boarding/private schools in 8th grade. I looked at the matriculation lists from Andover, Exeter and Lawrenceville and thought that it would help my kid get into a top college.

    The truth is that these top private schools are filled with kids who have incredible hooks: legacy, facbrats, donor, athlete, URM, etc. So thats why the college matriculation lists look so great. Even being at the top of your class at one of these fancy private schools doesn't guarantee anything.

    My kid ended up matriculating at a top college, but it had almost nothing to do with the prestige of his boarding school. In fact, I think he probably would have had more opportunities if he had simply stayed at the local public school.

    There is a good scholarly article written by Thomas Espenshade at Princeton that goes into detail about this. The bottom line is that big fish/little pond is much better than being a little fish in a big pond. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/003804070507800401
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  • carpoolingmacarpoolingma 701 replies8 threads Member
    @jcparent , I get what you are saying in #8 and, if you are happy enough with your public school, it makes a great "safety." It all depends what you are looking for. We entered this journey for educational reasons, but the benefit has been so much more!

    DS only applied to 2 schools that he really wanted to go to and used the LPS as a good-enough option if he wasn't accepted. DS would have be fine-enough at LPS.
    However, a friend of his knew that LPS was a terrible fit and applied to private schools very widely. It all depends on your particular circumstance. You know your kid. No judgement from me...unless you are motivated solely by college matriculation. ;)
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  • oldfortoldfort 22985 replies292 threads Senior Member
    Both of my kids went to one of those top private schools in NJ. The older one entered in 3rd grade when they admitted 16 new students. We applied after the due date, she was waitlisted and was taken off the WL when a student decided not to matriculate.
    My older kid probably would have done just as well with the college process at a public school, but the education she received was incomparable. Both of my kids said their secondary education was harder/better than their top tier college (they went to the same college).
    I don't think the decision of going to a private school should be to get into top college.
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  • carpoolingmacarpoolingma 701 replies8 threads Member
    edited October 17
    @oldfort mentioned how well prepared the kids were for the college they went to.
    This is a BIG DEAL and more important then where they go to college! You want them to succeed wherever they go!
    edited October 17
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  • jcparentjcparent 24 replies3 threads Junior Member
    @sgopal2 I am well aware of how competitive admissions to top US colleges are and under no illusion that any private school can guarantee anything. I have followed the SFFA lawsuit against Harvard very carefully and well aware that probably half of the class at elite colleges is URM, Legacies, Athletes, Donors etc.

    My reasons for looking into private schools are to expose my daughters to the best educational environment I can in a setting that provides them resources they might not have anywhere else. College matriculations are merely an output of that and only one factor in the decision making, but saying they are irrelevant is to me not fair. They are one of the most important measures of the quality of the graduating senior class.

    To me it is pretty reasonable to set the threshold of my interest in a private school based on whether it materially exceeds top public schools in college placements to top schools. I am not rich enough that it merely becomes a lifestyle/consumer spending decision for me. If the education and experience is not going to be all that much different from a top public school I can't justify the expense for my financial situation.




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  • jcparentjcparent 24 replies3 threads Junior Member
    BTW I have never agreed philosophically with the concept of being a Big fish in a Small Pond. To me it smacks of mediocrity and it is a principle I have always rejected in my life. I think one must always aim for the best one can be in absolute terms.
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  • jcparentjcparent 24 replies3 threads Junior Member
    I think it is hard to argue that top public high schools (of the caliber of the list I would consider) do not adequately prepare their graduates for the rigor of a college education. So that part is not really a relevant consideration for me - both the private schools I am considering and the public schools I would consider will do that. The question really becomes is how much better is the experience at a private school compared to top public high schools. I think for a lot of private schools it is hard to make the case that they provide a much better experience based on the one metric I can easily check - college matriculations. Neither do I think that private schools always have superior infrastructure in terms of education, athletics etc. just by virtue of being private. All of that to me argues on considering only the most selective private schools where there might be a clearly superior experience.
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  • sgopal2sgopal2 3524 replies49 threads Senior Member
    The question really becomes is how much better is the experience at a private school compared to top public high schools.

    The two experiences are certainly different. Difficult to say if one is objectively 'better' than another. Both private and public schools do a good job in preparing kids for college. But relying on college matriculation stats to determine which school is 'better' is not something that I would recommend.

    I urge you to seek out other opinions from parents on this sub. Many of us have been through this. Private schools are not a magic bullet, but they are good for the right kid. But if getting into a top college is your primary goal, then you might consider reformulating your strategy.
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  • jcparentjcparent 24 replies3 threads Junior Member
    My daughters currently attend a private school in an urban NJ city in the NYC metro area. In fact they have only been in private schools. So there is no mystique about them to me. We are getting to the point in our lives where we need to decide whether to move to a suburb like Millburn, Scarsdale etc. or consider the kind of NYC or suburban NJ private schools I mentioned.

    We are affluent but not rich enough that sending to private schools that cost almost as much as private colleges for 7 years is just a simple consumer lifestyle choice with little ultimate impact to net worth and retirement.

    You keep pegging me as some one dimensional person obsessed with only one outcome, despite my explaining where I am coming from.

    College placements absolutely matter. I don't want my kids to go to a private school where they have a chip on her shoulder about those going to a better class of private schools. Highly skeptical that a private school like UNIS or LREI or Berekeley Carroll is going to provide them a better educational experience or other resources that the public schools I mentioned don't have.
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  • jcparentjcparent 24 replies3 threads Junior Member
    If I was worth high single digit millions sure, who cares just send them to any half-way decent private school doesn't matter much. However I am not in that situation. Can only justify the investment if the experience is markedly superior to the public school alternatives I mentioned.
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  • cinnamon1212cinnamon1212 514 replies6 threads Member
    edited October 20
    Send them to a good public school, that seems to be the way you are leaning.

    College will work out either way (one is not going to be head and shoulders better than another by just by that metric).

    Private school costs a ton of money and if you have good alternatives, take them!
    edited October 20
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