The Economist View of Private School Admissions

by NYC Firm Schools on July 7, 2009

The Economist recently published a in-depth article that looks into some private school statistics and the reasons why private school admissions have not dropped with the recession.

“COMPARED with last year, applications are up 14%,” says Mark Stanek, the principal of Ethical Culture Fieldston, a private school in New York. All through the application season he and his board of governors had been on tenterhooks, waiting to see if financial turmoil would cut the number of parents prepared to pay $32,000-34,000 a year to educate a child. Requests for financial help from families already at Fieldston had been rising fast, and the school had scraped together $3m—on top of the $8m it spends on financial aid in a normal year—in the hope of tiding as many over as possible. Nothing is certain until pupils turn up in the autumn. Some parents could get cold feet and sacrifice their deposits. Yet so far the school is more popular than ever.

The article looks at many of the factors involved in choosing a private school education for children and indeed discusses private school admissions and successes from around the globe. Financial concerns, almost across the board, were far down on the list almost every time they were brought up. Inevitably, strength of a private school education and the ability to propel a child’s future towards a brighter, more lucrative future were the end result of the decision making process.

The main commodity that elite schools in the two countries are selling is an edge in university admissions—a commodity that matters as it does nowhere else. In America, Firm Schools offer knowledge of the ins and outs of selective universities’ admission methods, and carefully cultivated relationships with their admissions tutors.

In this article it seems that Private School admissions in a recession still bow to the sacrifices made for quality of education, no matter the cost.

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