Fictional Prep School - Please Help!


I have a few thorny questions I’m hoping a kind samaritan can answer…I’m a playwright writing a seriocomedy murder mystery that takes place against the backdrop of an elite private middle school in Los Angeles.

  1. My understanding is most private secondary schools are grades 7 - 12, and I've been hard-pressed to find any elite private schools that are solely middle schools. Do they exist?
  2. If a student has been attending a private school such as the Brentwood School or Harvard-Westlake for 7th/8th grade, do they need to reapply for 9th grade or are they guaranteed admission? Is it possible to get waitlisted for the freshman class?
  3. If that student has been receiving need-based aid, does that same grant renew and are there circumstances in which that offer may lower significantly? Is there such a thing as a waiting list for financial aid (like based on availability?)
  4. If a need-based student no longer needs their grant (for example because he's DEAD) would that aid possibly get redistributed to another student?

I’m trying to establish a realistic motivation for need-based student A to murder need-based student B, based on the idea A would receive B’s financial aid and/or spot in the freshman class of the school they were already attending.

I hope that makes sense. Greatly appreciate any help!!!

  1. The Eaglebrook School is an elite all-boys middle school that is a feeder to elite Deerfield Academy. The King of Jordan attended both. But both schools are in Massachusetts, and both schools have day & boarding students.

  2. I’ve never heard of a K-12 private school that makes existing middle school students apply for its HS admission.

  3. aid is pretty much guaranteed for all years, assuming no huge increases in family income.

  4. yes, there are wait lists for aid. And unused aid can be redistributed.

Okay, thank you so much!

Hmm. If a students parents had lied/misreported their income/hidden assets, is it reasonable to believe that a school would suspend further financial aid to that student?

Doesn’t seem like an unrealistic response to me

Hopefully your main character isn’t going to mass murder accepted FA students so that he can be lifted from FA waiting list at a junior prep school, when he wouldn’t even be eligible for FA in the first place had his parents not lied on their income. Oh. but he is!

Looks like your questions have been answered, but good luck with your story! It sounds like you have a great start. :slight_smile:

I would be interested in reading the final product of this story!

@byardplane any update on your play?