Choate vs Lawrenceville 2025

My child was accepted to Choate and Lawrenceville. My family is having a hard time deciding on which school he should attend because we find that both schools are amazing. Could someone tell me which school is more academically challenging and what is the difference in the vibe of the students between the two schools?

you’re splitting hairs academically. both are just as challenging and provide great educations.

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We’re talking about a high school child. Proximity to home should be the prime consideration.

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Asking which top boarding school is less strong academically is akin to asking which Kardashian sister is least rich. You’re splitting hairs.

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LOLWUT. If proximity to home were a, let alone “the prime” consideration then BS shouldn’t be an option at all unless you live down the block and attend as a day student.

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This is the Prep School Parents section. We’ve already drunk the KoolAid and dismissed this as an issue.

Congratulations!

Where do you think your child will be happier?

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Your child has two great options, I don’t think he/she can go wrong with either. If you have any specific questions about Lville, I’m happy to help, but I can’t accurately compare the two schools as we only have relevant experience with Lville.

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My kid did not get the opportunity to consider these 2 schools. From my understanding, L’ville is a feeder school to Princeton and Choate is similar for Yale. Does this make a difference to you or your kid?

This really isn’t a consideration these days, for so many reasons.

Flip the question around: what are your child’s must haves, can’t haves and favorite things? With those concepts maybe folks can help you differentiate.

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Also, given the respective locations of Lawrenceville and Choate, I suspect some of the Princeton and Yale matriculations from them are the children of faculty at those universities.

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When it comes to two schools so similar (they’re even the only 2 boarding schools with about 800 students), the main differences you need to look at are quite subtle—surrounding area, campus structure, % day students, etc. I’d also suggest you peruse the course catalogues and extracurricular offerings of each school just to see which fit better with your child.

Anyways, I’m a current Lawrenceville student and I’ve posted a lot of information on this board about my experience (including stuff pertinent to your concerns). Feel free to peruse my profile, or ask any specific questions if need be. Good luck—you have two great choices.

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Add in legacy for the BS/college combo and I’d say “most” instead of “some”. In fact, for the non-faculty, non-legacy student it may actually be harder to get into the corresponding college, because so many of the faculty and legacy kids are absorbing the available spots, so to speak.

We figure our Choate kids have about a snowball’s chance in…Florida…of getting into Yale.

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You are 50+ years out of date. The days of any prep school being a feeder into any of the Ivies are LONG gone.

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Not the same way they used to be, but the Princeton/Lawrenceville and Choate/Yale connections still exist, mostly because of large number of faculty kids (college faculty not BS) and many qualified legacies (day student families by and large, but some boarders also).

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Princeton High School sends 20 kids every year to Princeton. Boston Latin sends around 21 every year to Harvard. Philadelphia Julia Mastermind Academy sends around 15 kids every year to UPenn. Certain schools are specialists at sending students to a particular ivy league.

Personally, I would choose to attend Lawrenceville.

Yes, that’s my point. It is not CHOATE that’s the reason those kids are going to Yale, it’s that the kids are legacies, or faculty kids. It’s very likely those same kids would be getting into Yale if they attended public school.

Highly selective schools are not wanting more prep school kids just because they attend a prep school. If your kid isn’t a legacy, or a recruited athlete, and you don’t work at an Ivy, you need to understand that your child’s odds of acceptance are extremely low, even though the prep school’s stats may make it seem otherwise.

Kind of like boarding schools with less rigorous academics and an emphasis on sports. You need to know going in that all those Ivy matriculations are 100% recruited athletes. And if your child isn’t a recruited athlete they have just about a zero chance of getting into an Ivy from that school.

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I agree with most of your point but don’t quite agree the chance is zero, if you are at the top of the heap academically you do have a reasonable chance. Of course that’s a very tall order.

Luckily that is not something my younger kid cares about and my older one manage to get it so not my worry any more. But again it stands to reason that you ought to choose the high school for the experience your child will get while in high school, not as a very expensive ticket to top college. Because the latter is a huge gamble with massive potential for disappointment.

I think we agree, actually. I never said a prep school kid’s chances at an Ivy were zero – selective boarding schools are already pre-screening for college in a way, in that they are cherry picking an entire class of kids in the top 5 or 10 percent academically. These are some impressive kids!

Choate football seems to be developing into a bit of a feeder program for Yale football in particular and Ivy League football in general

Hi there. My son was faced with the same decision. Both schools are academically strong. Based on my own personal view, I would say that Choate has a stronger science/STEM program, and Lville is stronger for humanities. My son graduated from Lville in 2018.

Saturday classes are good to keep kids focused, but it does leave them well prepared for college. Saturday classes can be a problem if your child is an athlete and needs to compete on the weekends.

My son’s first year of college was a breeze compared to his time at Lville. I imagine the rigor at Choate is similar. Both are well regarded by the college admissions staff.

I agree with what everyone is saying above regarding college placements, especially @cinnamon1212. In the Lville class of 2018, there were probably at least 15 kids who matriculated to Princeton. Most of these were fac-brats, legacy, URM or athletes. But there were a substantial portion who were not. My guess is that if your child graduates in the top 5% from either school, they will have a good shot at ivies.

But don’t let college placements be the main guiding force for choosing a high school. Choose where your child will thrive and feel most comfortable. The two schools are more similar than they are different. We chose Lville because it was much closer to home. No wrong choice here.

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