forbes magazine has new prep school rankings

<p>Perhaps it would be more accurate to change the title to the best (Ivy) prep schools. It approaches tunnel vision to declare graduates' matriculation into the Ivy League the one, true test of school quality.</p>

<p>Does anybody else think its odd that the NYC day schools are so high up on FORBE's list of schools? Trinity? Horace Mann?</p>

<p>trinity > brearley/dalton/collegiate? REALLY?</p>

<p>and wowwww, the spence school building is gorgeous!</p>

<p>*Does anybody else think its odd that the NYC day schools are so high up on FORBE's list of schools? Trinity? Horace Mann? *</p>

<p>It's not really that odd at all. In general, those schools have higher matriculation rates into the Ivy's, etc... than the boarding schools and Forbes has that statistic contribute 50% toward this ranking. Why the NYC schools do better is a good question and has been debated around here previously. In my mind, one of the most likely explanations is simply related to size. Of the 7 NYC schools on the list, the 4 single sex schools (Brearley, Chapin, Spence (girls) and Collegiate (boys)) all have around 50 per graduating class. Trinity and Dalton have a bit more than a 100 and Horace Mann is the largest with 175. I think it's also relevant to think about the population that the school's are drawing from, but I'll let you draw your conclusions there.</p>

<p>Fow what it's worth, my wife and I went to dinner last night with the parents of a girl who will be starting at Spence as a 9th grader next year. Their attitude about this article was that it was all sort of silly and didn't mean that much.</p>

I think it's also relevant to think about the population that the school's are drawing from, but I'll let you draw your conclusions there.</p>

<p>For what it's worth, my wife and I went to dinner last night with the parents of a girl who will be starting at Spence as a 9th grader next year. Their attitude about this article was that it was all sort of silly and didn't mean that much.


<p>Lvillegrad - as usual, you are polite. I, less polite however, am actually turned off by the schools on that list. Money can't buy you love, but it clearly can buy you an Ivy admission. Taking nothing away from the few genuinely qualified NYC/Boston day school graduates, or the excellent teaching that takes place at those Schools, the bulk of these students enjoy a level of legacy connection and financial gifting that skews the Ivy-admission results, they are at the rich-folk epicenters of American life. Sure, there are the few token scholarship kids to help the rich and well networked feel better about themselves. But, mostly it's the same greasy wheel being greased again. It's a way of life, a fact of life.</p>

<p>That your Spence friends dismissed the the Forbes article as "silly" is easy for them to do from their privileged perch. It's always easy to poke fun at top ten lists when you're on the list. I'd bet big money that those same friends weren't so devil-may-care before their child was admitted - airy cocktail chatter notwithstanding. </p>

<p>While I also think that the Exeter, Andover, Deerfield, Groton, Lawrenceville, Thacher, Milton, Middlesex's of the world etc are loaded with equally privileged kids, those and many other top boarding schools enjoy a vastly larger, (less financially well-off) percentage of students culled from around the U.S. and the world, making them better institutions designed more around merit than around birth or money.</p>


<p>There's an awful lot that you don't know about the "rich-folk epicenter" of American life. Living in it and seeing first hand this life that you are identifying, I'll tell you that it is probably very different than you imagine. In the high school application process this year, I witnessed kids from incredibly wealthy families disappointed by the schools to which they gained admission. And there are FAR more genuinely qualified kids amongst this cohort than you seem to believe. In my son's 8th grade graduating class about 2/3 were also admitted to one of the selective NYC public schools though few chose to go to them. I know these kids. They are very well-qualified.</p>

<p>Many of the kids who you are imagining are not attending the schools that are on that Forbes list or even the next tier of schools. There are private schools in NYC for them also.</p>

<p>I certainly won't dispute that some of the students at these schools gain their Ivy admissions through "buying their way in", or through a legacy connection (which is less valuable than you think) but that number is FAR lower than you think it is. Buying your way into those schools is VERY expensive and their aren't that many people who can afford it.</p>

<p>I still believe that the primary reason for the disparity in results is size. The total number of graduates in a year from those 7 schools is only about 800. Exeter, Andover and Lawrenceville alone total more than that. Ivy League schools only have so many places. The NYC day schools are just an intense concentration.</p>

<p>Lville - I know far more about the life that I disparage than you would ever believe. The number of genuinely qualified students was not my point. The rich folk epicenter in NYC did not become that way because its inhabitants are stupid. While there may be a few who carry the mantle of rich and dumb, there are infinitely more rich and brilliant students who inhabit these elite NYC day schools. But disconnect most of these kids from their birth privileges (save intellect), including legacy, money, star power and intellectual fame (the four coins of your realm), and you are left with just a bunch of smart kids - no smarter or more qualified than 99% of any students attending any of the top 25 boarding schools.</p>

<p>I appreciate your points, I truly do. But if you and I were to go down the list of kids from these schools who were admitted to the Ivies, I'd be willing to bet that behind 75% of those admissions, we'd find a story of money, legacy, connections etc that pushed the child over the finish line. Take away those special attributes and these kids become just another talent that would be scrambling hard for an Ivy admission based on merit alone. </p>

<p>No, this Forbes list is a better sociological study than an academic one. To me, it tells a totally unintended story. Not an attractive one either.</p>

<p>I would have to agree with rebelangel on this one. There are intensely bright kids all over including many public schools. A lot of Ivy admissions seem to be rigged with money, connections etc. This is a fact of life and has been. The other problem is a lot of people go to these schools for Ivy branding making the competition worse. There are however equally good or better schools than some of the Ivys that people seem to ignore. As someone on these forums said you need a champion in the adcom rooms to push your case because there are so many qualified applicants. I think the stats look better because of small size and demographics.</p>

<p>i thought that i was weird that some of the main line schools werent on the list. the matric is really impressive. but lville was on the list so im happy :)</p>

<p>L'ville is a great school whether it is on this list or not. These lists keep changing depending on who is ranking and from year to year.</p>

<p>I have to agree with Lvillegrad. I really respect his breadth of experience and I'm always fascinated when people with little first hand knowledge of the system will spin conspiracy theories. I can shout it on every mountain and people still will come to these threads believing what they were already predisposed to want to believe:</p>

<p>BS's turn a lot of "rich" legacy kids down. Otherwise the majority of students would be legacies given how many alum there are.</p>

<p>Lists like the one on Forbes are limited, lazy, and meant to sell magazines to people who want to drink that specific Koolaid. They looked at only 55 schools (and ignored the 100 top public High Schools from the Newsweek list, for example) with many of them on the East Coast.</p>

<p>Didn't look at many public schools colleges consider "best practice" where matriculation is high. And the reporter didn't cite sources (for a reason).</p>

<p>BS have strong numbers because they are self-selecting. I.e. they gravitate towards those types of students who are likely candidates for admissions. Whereas the aggregate of public schools are measured against a full spectrum (i.e. they must take all who apply).</p>

<p>If you are able to get into an IVY from BS - most likely you would have done it from public school.</p>

<p>But of course people desperate for some kernel of information that explains their own predicament will drink it all in.</p>

<p>I have some magic beans for sale when y'all are looking for more fantasies to buy.</p>

<p>Exie - are you suggesting that my point of view is akin to a conspiracy theory? Really? This is the core of my theory: that a very high percentage of the students at the elite NYC day schools are those with parents who possess an extreme level of: wealth, connections, legacy status or intellectual fame (or all of these). I believe that this percentage of "extra-gifted" children is higher at these schools than at the top 25 boarding schools, that the ratio of the "extra gifted" to the student body as a whole is higher at the elite NYC day schools than any top 25 boarding schools. Again, I am talking about the ratio of the "extra gifted" to the student body as a whole.</p>

<p>Tell me what part of that you think is not true?</p>

<p>I'm saying that people are making much ado about nothing and taking data in isolation and assigning a lot more value to it than they should.</p>

<p>If you are from a family that has attended BS and a top college you are more likely to have it on your radar than a poor kid at Podunk U. That doesn't mean money and influence buy their children's way into a school. It may mean that many people don't know the option exists, and for some who do, fear of the costs (despite the scholarships available) may prevent them from trying.</p>

<p>It's a big problem in the midwest.</p>

<p>Still - the data is skewed for a reason having nothing to do with "influence" and "money."</p>

<p>That was then. This is now. But the "now" doesn't sell magazines or impress shallow people looking for a way to appear superior. Hence all the nonsensical threads on this board from students (and fewer parents, thank goodness) trying to decide what school is "best" then flocking to Forbes to validate an already shaky opinion.</p>

<p>So for those of us on the interview end of things - we say - move on. There's nothing to see, no speculation worth having, no secret talks and money changing hands.</p>

<p>I could create an equally flawed study by comparing HADES schools to best practice public schools that are public and watch the feeding frenzy begin as people sell their houses (and their souls) trying to catch an elusive dream.</p>

<p>Not everything is as it seems. Looks can be deceiving.</p>

<p>Let's see. The admission game to the elite colleges has become so competitive that chances for "traditional" well-rounded brilliant kids with no "hook" are becomng slim. So what are the hooks? Not in the order of importance, they are...</p>

<li>recruited athelete</li>
<li>First generation</li>
<li>development cases (wealth, connection etc.)</li>
<li>geographic diversity</li>
<li>major awards (e.g. USAMO)</li>
<li>Other great achievements that makes one stand out (publication, research...)</li>

<p>Some of these hooks are more effective than others (e.g. some of the CC'ers have pointed out that an "ordinary" legacy doesn't have much of an impact). In general, the kids must be well qualified for admission no matter what hooks they have. Hooks do (only?) give them a leg up - and that''s a big deal when admit rate falls below 10%. Different kinds of schools may have more students with one or more particular hooks than with others. NYC day schools may have more students with hook #6, inner city public schools may have more with hook #3, boarding schools more with hook #1 and magnet schools may have more with hook #7. That said, you can't say that all the ivy admits from those schools are students with those particular hooks. There are other kids from the same school but have other hooks that can succeed too. And, that is why their ivy matriculation rates are higher. Those particular hooks help boosting the numbers but they are not the whole story.</p>

<p>On a separate note, I believe that just for the sake of admission to highly selective colleges, some kids are better served in public schools, some have a better chance in private schools and for others - it doesn't matter. I don't agree the notion that any ivy admit is already an ivy material at grade 8 and no matter where they go to high schools they'd end up in an ivy. Schools matter - yes even in collge admission.</p>

NYC day schools may have more students with hook #6


Mean to say "hook # 4", but you get the idea.</p>

<p>just for the record the general consensus in NYC is that collegiate and brearley are number #1 and the rest of the list can be debated.</p>

<p>and benley great post very clear, and overall a good post</p>

<p>Trinity is actually the best prep school in NYC. this is one of the few rankings to get it right. before it was top 3 in NY so it being # 1 is not surprising. what is surprising is Horace Mann being second. dalton should be #2. and of course NY dominates because NY is one of the richest cities in the US</p>

<p>Not only do I disagree with this ranking, I don't like it.
I agree with practically everyone who posted on this thread previously: that the data was skewed, college matriculations are NOT the fundamental part of a prep school experience, you CANNOT rank boarding schools because they are too vastly different, etc.
In addition, rankings like these detract from the accomplishments of students who do not attend these schools. I myself was accepted to #6 and #16 (Exeter and Milton, respectively), and two other boarding schools, but chose not to attend, setting my sights on Peddie, which is not on the list. Does this mean I am not as smart or motivated? No. Does this mean that my chances of going to an Ivy are decreased? No. What it DOES mean is that my school's reputation is tainted by idiotic lists like this one, and that when I tell people, "I go to Peddie," they look at me with disdain rather than admiration.
So yes, rankings like this frustrate and annoy me. Might we try boycotting them?</p>

<p>The speculation, stereotypes and conspiracy theories in this thread are pretty amusing. I think the main reason that the top NYC private schools have the kind of college placement records they have is that they are highly selective in admissions in their own right. The experience of my son and his friends was that it was easier to get into the top boarding schools than the top NYC private schools. So it's not surprising that the students admitted to these schools continue to have stellar qualifications when it comes time to apply to college. These students and their families do not "buy" their way into college, which these days is almost impossible to do at the top colleges. Unless you're talking north of $10 million and even then the student has to have decent qualifications (and trust me, the number of families able and willing to offer this kind of money in any given year can be counted on one hand).</p>

<p>Just for the record, there is no general consensus in NYC that Collegiate and Brearley are the top NYC private schools. To the extent there is a general consensus, it would be that the 7 NYC schools in the Forbes list are the top 7 private schools in NYC - but the ordering among the 7 largely depends on who's doing the ranking. I also agree with Lvillegrad's friends whose daughter is at Spence - rankings like this are pretty silly. All of these schools offer a great secondary school education and impressive college placement, as do lots of other schools not on this list. There's not much point in ranking them, other than to sell magazines.</p>

I think the main reason that the top NYC private schools have the kind of college placement records they have is that they are highly selective in admissions in their own right.


Of course! I thought that was a given and we are just trying to find "additional" reasons why these schools consistently outperformed others so significantly year after year. Then I realize that the ONLY explanation to some people is "wealth and connection" while to some others is "ivy material kids" - neither has anything to do with what the schools offer.</p>